David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal for General Philosophy of Science 35 (1):129-145 (2004)
How natural is natural deduction?– Gentzen's system of natural deduction intends to fit logical rules to the effective mathematical reasoning in order to overcome the artificiality of deductions in axiomatic systems (¶ 2). In spite of this reform some of Gentzen's rules for natural deduction are criticised by psychologists and natural language philosophers for remaining unnatural. The criticism focuses on the principle of extensionality and on formalism of logic (¶ 3). After sketching the criticism relatively to the main rules, I argue that the criteria of economy, simplicity, pertinence etc., on which the objections are based, transcend the strict domain of logic and apply to arguments in general (¶ 4). (¶ 5) deals with Frege's critique of the concept of naturalness as regards logic. It is shown that this concept means a regression into psychologism and is exposed to the same difficulties as are: relativity, lack of precision, the error of arguing from `is' to `ought' (the naturalistic fallacy). Despite of these, the concept of naturalness plays the role of a diffuse ideal which favours the construction of alternative deductive systems in contrast to the platonic conception of logic (¶ 6).
|Keywords||argument constructivism extensionality formalism logical consequence natural deduction natural language platonism principle of conditionalisation psychologism truth-functions|
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