FOM: wider cultural significance: polylogism

palma, ap GERSHOM palma at
Fri Mar 5 08:51:36 EST 1999

There seems to be at least 2 notion of logics that are relevant.
FOL withidentity is mathematically stable and well behaved theory, it may
or may not be *expressively* powerful enough for mathematics (my guess i
no, but then I ma not ocnvinced there is naything in the sense releant
here that is powerful enough), but it certainly has the advantage of being
simple as a structure (some mathematicians I talk to claim that it is
then there is something else whihc we may or may not want to call LOGIC. 
it is the structure of reasoning as we can capture it (foggily) in
language.Ed (Mares) remark seems to me to capture a lot of what a
decription of reasoning should account for (ficton is just one case in
which ex falso NON quodlibet, the main serious example is legal reasoning,
it is very likely that one can considre the legal framework of an entire
country as a formal system and one can --usually -- find a # &~#
somewhere, noboy deduces that murder is thereby permitted by law)-
the real problems start when one asks whether logic itself should be
understood as a decsription of real practices (mental models and
inferences? psychological states?) or as a purely normative doctrine of
preservation (iof truth values.)

All of that appears to me to be perfectly stable across groups "cultures"
or what have you, hence having many logicS does not entail at all this
opbscure doctiren of polylogicism.


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