Thoughts on "non-contradictory idendification"

Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand (John Galt's speach) -

"All thinking is a process of identification and integration. Man perceives a blob of color; by integrating the evidence of his sight and his touch, he learns to identify it as a solid object; he learns to identify the object as a table; he learns that the table is made of wood; he learns that the wood is made of cells, that the cells are made of molecules, that the molecules consist of atoms. All through this process, the work of his mind consists of answers to a single question: What is it? His means to establish the truth of his answer is logic, and logic rests on the axiom that existence exists. Logic is the art of non-contradictory identification. A contractiction cannot exist. An atom is itself, and so is the universe; niether can contradict its own identity; nor can it contradict the whole. No concept man forms is valid unless he integrates it without contradiction into the total sum of his knowledge. To arrive at a contradiction is to abdicate one's mind and to evict oneself from the realm of reality."

Non-contradiction exists only in the realm of omnicience. It is in the nature of humanity to have limited knowledge. This is not to say that we cannot know, or that nature does not have a specific non-contradictory existence. It means simply that any individual will not have complete knowledge about most of their environment. This can only result in the eventual perception of contradiction. However, the choice should never be to accept one side and reject the other out of hand. Rather one should seek the nature of the contradiction. It is entirely possible that both sides of a contradiction are true and that there exists a principle that can explain both. It is also possible that it is necessary to maintain a contradiction due to lack of conclusive evidence. The contradiction should of course be recognized as such, but it need not be discarded. In fact, the exploration of contradiction can lead to greater integration and understanding.

see also: