Logica Dominans vs. Logica Serviens
Keywordslogic, logica dominans, logica serviens, the nature of logical laws, logical knowledge
Logic is usually presented as a tool of rational inquiry; however, many logicians in fact treat logic so that it does not serve us, but rather governs us – as rational beings we are subordinated to the logical laws we aspire to disclose. We denote the view that logic primarily serves us as logica serviens, while denoting the thesis that it primarily governs our reasoning as logica dominans. We argue that treating logic as logica dominans is misguided, for it leads to the idea of a “genuine” logic within a “genuine” language. Instead of this, we offer a naturalistic picture, according to which the only languages that exist are the natural languages and the artificial languages logicians have built. There is, we argue, no language beyond these, especially none that would be a wholesome vehicle of reasoning like the natural languages and yet be transparently rigorous like the artificial ones. Logic is a matter of using the artificial languages as idealized models of the natural ones, whereby we pinpoint the laws of logic by means of zooming in on a reflective equilibrium.
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