Psychologism And Its History Revalued

Swiss Philosophical Preprints (2009)

Kevin Mulligan
University of Geneva
A hundred years ago Frege had published most of his arguments against psychologism and Husserl was busy writing his Logical Investigations, which was to appear at the turn of the century and open with a long onslaught on psychologism. The arguments of these two logicians against the psychologistic view - of Mill, Erdmann and many others - that the discipline of logic, its sentences, or its "laws", deal with psychological phenomena met with widespread approval from those best qualified to judge (for example Lukasiewicz). They set the agenda for most twentieth century work in exact, "scientific", or analytic philosophy. As the century draws to its close, many of the arguments of Frege and Husserl have been found wanting by analytic philosophers and cognitive scientists who are prepared to argue that the laws of logic are just laws of human thought.
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