Logic: Normative or descriptive? The ethics of belief or a branch of psychology?

Philosophy of Science 52 (2):221-238 (1985)
By a logical theory I mean a formal system together with its semantics, meta-theory, and rules for translating ordinary language into its notation. Logical theories can be used descriptively (for example, to represent particular arguments or to depict the logical form of certain sentences). Here the logician uses the usual methods of empirical science to assess the correctness of his descriptions. However, the most important applications of logical theories are normative, and here, I argue, the epistemology is that of wide reflective equilibrium. The result is that logic not only assesses our inferential practice but also changes it. I tie my discussion to Thagard's views concerning the relationship between psychology and logic, arguing against him that psychology has and should have only a peripheral role in normative (and most descriptive) applications of logic
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DOI 10.1086/289241
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David Sherry (1991). The Inconspicuous Role of Paraphrase. History and Philosophy of Logic 12 (2):151-166.

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