Take what you will from the Situationists; one thing they established is the concept of the the situation. This is merely a way of describing interactions between individuals. However, how would one really analyze a "situation"? Situational Logic would attempt to give the tools for a logical and standard analysis of any given "situation."

One could simply use the tools developed by modal logic and other areas. However, these could be seen as tools for aspects of a situation - not a situation itself. A simpler, more holistic approach is desired - one derived from the concepts and principles set forth by the Situationists themselves. Episodic logic is said to be "situational" but does not describe the meaning of a situation in accordance to the Situationists' concept of the term.

A Comparative Approach:

My method allows for any situation to be broken down into a set of elements which may be analyzed. It allows for a "compelete picture" of any series of events. It is completely self-referential, as it only refers to objects and individuals present at the time of a situation. One could look at any situation, here on referred to as S, as made up by a number of events (En). These events are caused by a number of individuals (In).

--- Thus S is the result of En caused by In. ---

For each event (E) there exists a definition set of four items: t,l,o, and c. t is the type of event. This definition may either be "s" for spatial or "n" for non-spatial. A non-spatial event is a thought or feeling that affects an actual spatial event. l is it's location in the sequence of events. this definition may either be "b" for beginning, or "e" for end. o is the object representation. This may be an I in the S, or any object at all, but a one or two word definition is preferred. c is the definition for the "causal object". This may be an I in the S, or any object. It refers to the cause of the event. Objects (O) also exist. These are either spatial or non-spatial. If non-spatial, then only the thoughts and ideas that relate to the events in a given situation need to be defined.

So lets examine a situation using these tools...

Jenny: Hey Bill!
Bill: Hi Jenn!
Jenny: Bye!
(Jenny leaves)

Stripping it to its elements we find this S has nine events and two individuals.

S ( E9,I2)

E1- (s,b,I1,I1)
E2- (s,b,I2,I2)
E3- (s,b,speech1,I1)
E4- (s,e,speech1,I1)
E5- (s,b,speech2,I2)
E6- (s,e,speech2,I2)
E7- (s,b,speech3,I1)
E8- (s,e,speech3,I1)
E9- (s,e,I1,I1)

I1 - Jenny
I2 - Bill

speech1 - Hey Bill!
speech2 - Hi Jenn
speech3 - Bye!

The first event is when I1 actually begins to "exists" in I2's line of sight and the second is when I2 notices I1. This is referred to as "situational contract", and basically just means a mutual acknowledgement of existence between individuals. Not every situation has an SC, of course, just most human interactions.

It is too be warned that, in counting how many events occured in a given S, to not be over-precise. In transcribing someone's activity in a supermarket, for instance, one needn't count every step an individual takes but merely the movement from one general area of the store to another.

Let's take an example of a large-scoped situation. Say there exists a book. Then the situation we are examining is the existence of that exact book. We will call that "book x". There are then two events needed for this to be a "situation" - a beginning and an end.

E1 - (s,b,printing of book x,printer of book x)
E2 - (s,e,destruction of book x,destroyer book x)

The scope of your S should determine the size of En. A larger scoped S would allow for fewer events, and a smaller scoped S would examine a larger number of events. This is because situational logic includes non-spatial events. This allows for almost any element to be viewed as an "event". Every event could be thought of as having a beginning and an end which are really events in themselves.

Determining the number of events in a given S is largely subjective, that is why it is useful to compare more then one individual's account of a given S. By using two or three individual's accounts, one could build a general account of a given S. With these tools one can show and compare the actual construction of two or more situations.

Ex. 1:
I1: (E3) speech1 (E4)
I2: (E5) speech 2 (E6)
I1: (E7) speech 2 (E8)

Ex. 2:
I1: (E1)
I2: (E2)

My approach states that any situation can be broken down to a series of events caused by individuals, and the objects which directly relate to those events. These objects are things such as "speech1", which could be thought of a series of events incidental to a main event (such as the actual moment the speech began (E3)).

One could also look at all of the individuals and events as objects themselves, and thus one could use situational logic to build a "situational object web" - describing a "situation" as a relation of objects. This is the underlying assumption made in the field of object relations.

Now, if one were to use comparative situational logic to draw a connections between equal "objects" in these "relations" we could use it to bridge a gap between any two events. If we describe an event that could take place, using the last event of one situation as its first event, and the first event of a second situation as its last event, we can show a sequential set of situations.

This is known as a Situation Set.

therefore: S = {s1 (E1, E2), s2 (E2, E3), s3 (E3, E4)}.

That is a barebones description however, and to be of any use in everyday situations we must include an Event Subset between the events used for comparison. This can be shown as an object.

like this: S1 = s1 {(E1 subset1 E2), s2 (E2 subset2 E3), s3 (E3 subset3 E4)}, where E4 is shown to be equal to e1.

For this to be seen as a true Situation set, E1 must be shown to be equal to E4. And of course, all subsets must be defined. This causes what is known as a "closed situation". That is, a situation that loops. Thus, one can see how situational logic is based on the concept that all of existence is actually one event and we make sense of it through reference points. In a metaphysical sense, this one event could be seen as caused by one individual - itself. But it could also be seen as caused by the existance of the objects which make up its functions (some of which are complex enough to be considered individuals). A classic paradox, but only because one is setting their reference points diammetrically, as it is a closed system. Any system within it is related to all other systems in ways that can be observed, and any observable function of a system can be seen as a situation.

Thus described using situational logic, it can be anything once it is fully defined as such to more than one. Therefore, one can use situational logic in all sorts of ways. Namely, to break down peoples perceptions of various events and be able to compare them in an purely logical way.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.