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Logic and its Pragmatic Aspects

Michele Marsonet

Academicus International Scientific Journal, 2018, issue 17, 46-53

Abstract: A pragmatist conception of logic rejects any kind of logical constructionism, based on the appeal to privileged ontological and epistemological items and to a perfect language supposedly provided by mathematical logic. Even in logic, “pluralism” must be the key-word if one does not want to be locked in the cage of conceptions that become rapidly outdated. Dealing with the dichotomy Absolutism/Relativism in logic, it may be observed that the enterprise of logic can be considered in several - and substantially different - perspectives, among which we find (1) the psychologistic, (2) the Platonistic, and (3) the instrumentalistic viewpoints. According to (1) logic is viewed as fundamentally descriptive, and its task is taken to be that of outlining a “theory of reasoning,” i.e. a systematic account of how we humans proceed when reasoning successufully. According to (3), instead, logic’s task is that of constructing rigorous systems codifying not only actual, but also possible instrumentalities for conducting valid inferences, and these would be available (should someone want to avail himself to them) for adoption as an organon of reasoning, but no empirical claims are made that anyone has (or will) avail himself of this opportunity. The logician devises a tool or instrument for correct reasoning, but does not concern himself about the uses of this instrument. Philosophy and logic cannot be linked so closely, and today the idea that the analytic style of philosophizing is just one style among many others, and not the only possible one, is gaining increasing acceptance.

Keywords: logic; formal logic; logical pluralism; pragmatism; analytic philosophy; praxis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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