2nd Semester 2021/22: Logic as practice

Michiel van Lambalgen, Martin Stokhof

The project is concerned with an investigation of the perspective of ‘logic- as-practice’, with a focus on the application of logic in philosophy. ‘Logic-as- practice’ is to be contrasted with ‘logic-as-doctrine’: the view that there is one unique normatively justified logic, to which all philosophy must conform.

The practical perspective is being actively explored in philosophy of mathematics, but its application to logic is still in an early stage.

The project will introduce the background ideas, contrast these with more common conceptions of the role and nature of logic, apply them to a number of concrete cases, and make an inventory of open conceptual questions and potential further applications.

The project has the following parts:

  1. Logic and practice theory:
    introduction to practice theory; illustration with applications from the philosophy of mathematics; contrast with common conceptions

  2. Logical/mathematical models for central concepts in Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason

  3. Wittgenstein’s analysis of Cantor’s diagonalisation argument in his Remarks on the Foundations of Mathematics

  4. Dummett, logic and realism

  5. Inventory of open questions and possible applications


There will be two, on-site meetings of two hours in the first three weeks, on Mondays and Wednesdays. In the last week there is one meeting on Monday. Attendance of these meetings is mandatory. There is  a limit to the number of participants that the project can host.


In addition, there will be a two hour on-line meeting on Fridays for questions and discussions during the first three weeks. Attendance of this meeting is optional.


After each meeting students will be given reading materials together with questions and assignments. The results will be gathered and discussed on Canvas.


Open to students enrolled in the Master of Logic programme; no further prerequisites.


Requirements for credits are as follows:

- Attendance of the on-site meetings

- Preparation of weekly homework: readings, reports, additional questions

- Completion of a take home exam in the last week

The take home exam will allow students to focus on issues that suit their backgrounds. 




A more elaborate description, including readings, assignments and references will be available around mid May.