English

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Abstract

This is a groundbreaking work that advances the theory on which human rationality is based. Traditionally, it is believed that human thinking is captured and shaped by the so-called logic, and the relationship between language and meaning/thought is based on the notions of “true” and “false” that Aristotle chose and on which the current binary logic is based. The work outlines the process by which Aristotle arrived at these two notions and shows that he chose them through a process of elimination of options; that explains why logic has no applicability to analyzing language, establishing meaning, and capturing the human thinking. Then the work introduces a complex reasoning square that includes not only the notions of “true” and “false,” but also all other oppositions that Aristotle had discarded and are involved in any human discourse, therefore it establishes the true structure that is involved in any thought process. In order to show that this is not just a theoretical model but the actual structure that is involved in any discourse, the rational or reasoning square is applied to various literary forms such as metaphors, similes, syllogisms, informal arguments, narratives, humor, and so on. The second part of the study analyses the biblical book of Ecclesiastes, a notoriously difficult book to understand, and outlines its thinking and what might be the problems with accepting it. In the last part, the dissertation analyses some scholarly works on Ecclesiastes not only to understand how scholars deal with a text, but also the scholarly arguments that are used to support their claims.

The work has profound implications for all academic disciplines that come under the broad umbrella called “humanities” because it defines for the first time what “meaning” in language is, a notion that has proved so far to be illusive as any scholar knows. Since the work proves that the current binary logic is unable to establish meaning in language, all current research on artificial intelligence based on such logic is doomed to failure and instead it should be based on the theory advanced in this work. Once these rational structures are properly understood, not only the meaning of any discourse can be accurately established and analyzed, but it can also be replicated by machines.

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