The Principle of Sufficient Reason and the Development of Formal Logic: A Discussion with Comrade Li Xiankun

Contemporary Chinese Thought 7 (3):16-28 (1976)
Whether or not the principle of sufficient reason is a fundamental rule of formal logic is a question that merits serious discussion. In debates from as early as the 1960s, when discussing the subject and functions of formal logic, some comrades pointed out that formal logic cannot study just the forms of thought alone. One of their basic arguments was that "the principle of sufficient reason demands that the content of a premise must be true." In discussions concerning the truth and validity of formal logic, some comrades likewise suggested that the validity of thought forms and the truth of their content were identical, their reason being that "one of the demands of the principle of sufficient reason is that a reason must be true." These discussions have already touched on the question of the nature of the principle of sufficient reason. Thus, this discussion now under way is a continuation and deepening of the past discussions on logic. Not only does it involve the content of the principle of sufficient reason and its role and function in formal logic, it also involves the object of study and the direction of the future development of this science, formal logic. The discussion of this problem is undoubtedly highly significant
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DOI 10.2753/CSP1097-1467070316
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