User talk:

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May I point out some difficulties with your last edit?

Many of the deleted passages are factual rather than speculative:

--that the Greek city-states were increasingly dominated by the commercial classes through popular assemblies,

--that Plato complained about argumentation in the assembly and wanted a government based on episteme (as in book 6 of the Republic for example), and

--that Aristotle then appeals to episteme in explaining the nature of demonstration and the syllogism. These are commonplaces among classical scholars.

It is also a fact that 19th-century logicians often spoke of mechanical procedures, just as it is a fact that Alfred North Whitehead spoke of the mechanical in the reference that was cited (but then deleted).

All these points were summarily deleted on the grounds that they were “merely speculative.”

Instead, the principal nonfactual claim in the deleted material, it would seem, is the assertion of a causal connection between these political, economic or technological tendencies (whether in ancient Greece or 19th-century England) and the development of logic. But this claim is a causal theory, supported by the facts adduced and published by Columbia University Press. And the deleted material never asserted that the theory was true; it merely described the theory and left it to the reader to decide the merits. An editor certainly has a right to disagree with the theory in question and convey counterarguments, but it is quite another thing simply to delete the theory and its supporting material. In that case, the theory isn’t refuted; it is suppressed.

May I ask that future adjustments be more measured—and perhaps discussed first? Please feel free to write to me.

A small, additional point: the published explanation for your deletions was that the deleted material’s purpose “seemed in the main to be self-advertising one (non-scholarly) work.” Regrettably, this characterization disparages the motivation of the contributor (me), and it might also be noted that all the cited works came from academic presses. No hard feelings, of course, but the key point is that the facts adduced are either true or untrue, and the alleged theory is either sound or unsound—quite independently of the supposed motivation of a contributor. WP:BRD explicitly advises against personal characterizations of this kind. Again, please feel free to share your views with me. I have a sincere interest in logic’s history.

Many thanks. Oliveristhingone (talk) 19:07, 15 December 2013 (UTC)