Logic or reason?

Penelope A. Rush

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12775/LLP.2012.008


This paper explores the question of what logic is not. It argues against the wide spread assumptions that logic is: a model of reason; a model of correct reason; the laws of thought, or indeed is related to reason at all such that the essential nature of the two are crucially or essentially coillustrative. I note that due to such assumptions, our current understanding of the nature of logic itself is thoroughly entangled with the nature of reason.

I show that most arguments for the presence of any sort of essential relationship between logic and reason face intractable problems and demands, and fall well short of addressing them. These arguments include those for the notion that logic is normative for reason (or that logic and correct reason are in some way the same thing), that logic is some sort of description of correct reason and that logic is an abstracted or idealised version of correct reason.

A strong version of logical realism is put forward as an alternative view, and is briefly explored.


reason; logic; thought; mathematics; psychology

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ISSN: 2300-9802 (electronic version)

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