[FOM] CFP: What is/was logic? Historical perspectives (UNILOG - Rio de Janeiro)

catarina dutilh cdutilhnovaes at yahoo.com
Mon Sep 10 13:50:09 EDT 2012

The upcoming UNILOG congress, taking place in Rio de Janeiro (3-7 April 2013, http://uni-log.org/start4.html ), will be hosting a special session on the scope of logic through history: "What is/was logic? Historical perspectives" (organizers: Catarina Dutilh Novaes and Amirouche Moktefi). The keynote speaker is Anita Feferman.

Throughout most of the history of Western philosophy, there has been a closely related (sub-) discipline called ‘logic’. However, the common name should not conceal the marked differences among what counted as logic at different times. In other words, despite the stable name, logic as a discipline is not characterized by a stable scope throughout its history. True enough, the historical influence of Aristotelian logic over the centuries is something of a common denominator, but even within the Aristotelian tradition there is significant variability. Furthermore, as is well known, in the 19th century logic as a discipline underwent a radical modification, with the birth of mathematical logic. The current situation is of logic having strong connections with multiple disciplines – philosophy, mathematics, computer science, linguistics – which again illustrates its multifaceted nature.

The changing scope of logic through its history also has important philosophical implications: is there such a thing as the essence of logic, permeating all these different developments? Or is the unity of logic as a discipline an illusion? What can the study of the changing scope of logic through its history tell us about the nature of logic as such? What do the different languages used for logical inquiry – regimented natural languages, diagrams, logical formalisms – mean for the practices and results obtained?


This special UNILOG session will focus on both the diversity and the unity of logic through time. Topics may include:
- Historical analyses on what specific logicians or logic traditions considered to be the nature and scope of logic.
- Historical analyses illustrating differences in scope and techniques with respect to the current conception of logic, but also suggesting points of contact and commonalities between these past traditions and current developments (possibly by means of formalizations).
- Historical and philosophical discussions on the place of logic among the sciences and its applications/relations with other disciplines, now and then. 
- Discussions of the logical monism vs. logical pluralism issue in view of the historical diversity/unity of logic over time.
- General philosophical reflections on what (if anything) the diversity of scope and practice in the history of logic can tell us about the nature of logic and the role of universal logic as such.

Abstracts for this special session (around 1000 words) should be submitted by email to
history.unilog2013 at gmail.com
by November 1st 2012

Further inquiries can also be directed to this email address or to one of the organizers.

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