Article/Publication Details

Which Formula is the Right One? (Criteria of Adequacy of Logical Analysis)

(Original title: Která formule je ta pravá? (Kritéria adekvátnosti logické analýzy))
Organon F, 2012, vol. 19, Supplementary Issue 1, pp. 163-179.
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Transforming natural language sentences into formulas of a formal language (such as that of classical predicate logic) is a common practice that underlies most applications of logic to analysis of our reasoning/argumentation. Is this practice guided by any well established criteria? We argue that the answer is negative. The way from natural language to a formal one is much more tricky and much more arduous than it prima facie seems. We sketch a roadmap of this way and strive to explicate the criteria of adequacy of logical formalization that are implicit to the relevant practices. These considerations lead us to conceive logic as a project based on a search for a reflective equilibrium. Any formal system deserving the name logic must reach a balance between the authority of logical laws over individual arguments and their answerability to intuitive correctness of the bulk of such arguments.


argument, logic, logical form, reflective equilibrium

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