History and Philosophy of Logic 42 (2):101-117 (2021)

Alexander Douglas
University of St. Andrews
Jonathan Nassim
Birkbeck College (PhD)
We examine a contribution L. Susan Stebbing made to the understanding of critical thinking and its relation to formal logic. Stebbing took expertise in formal logic to authorise logical intervention in public debate, specifically in assessing of the validity of everyday reasoning. She held, however, that formal logic is purely the study of logical form. Given the problems of ascertaining logical form in any particular instance, and that logical form does not always track informal validity, it is difficult to see how she could justify her belief in logical interventionism. Her answer to this problem is the contribution we explore here. It involves the view that although the logician’s expertise is not sufficient to assess arguments made in everyday contexts on its own, it nevertheless plays a unique role in giving systematicity and direction to the critique of such arguments, in particular, in public debate.
Keywords Critical thinking  Formal logic  Stebbing  Validity
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DOI 10.1080/01445340.2021.1883381
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References found in this work BETA

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Citations of this work BETA

Susan Stebbing's Intellectualism.Bryan Pickel - 2022 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 10 (4).
The Philosopher Versus the Physicist: Susan Stebbing on Eddington and the Passage of Time.Peter West - 2021 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 30 (1):130-151.

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