Metapsychologism In The Philosophy Of Logic Essay

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Metapsychologism In The Philosophy Of Logic

ABSTRACT: The problem of psychologism in the philosophy of logic and the different solutions of this problem are considered. Both traditional psychologistic and antipsychologistic solutions are shown to be untenable and the need for a new solution is demonstrated. The original program of metapsychologism is advanced as a solution to the problem of psychologism based on deduction-search theory. Two formalized levels of a logical procedure are distinguished: 1) an object-level at which a notion of inference is formalized; 2) a metalevel at which principles of deduction-search are formalized, and a thesis of metapsychologism according to which metalevel processes are formulated.
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It is a question about logic and in this sense a question external to logic. This is important to mention from the very beginning in order to stress that the changes in the solutions of the problem of psychologism do not influence directly to the solutions of the purely logical tasks. The solution of the problem of psychologism as a problem of philosophy of logic is motivated partly by the developments taking place in logic itself and partly by philosophical considerations. (1)

Usually this problem is treated as a question about the relation between logic, on the one side, and thought or mental processes, on the other side. Thus to understand this question we would need to answer two other questions: What is logic? What is thought? But neither of these questions is easily answered in a general form. (2) For the time being, by the term "logic", I will understand classical first order predicate calculus, (3) and by the term "thought", the reasoning of a cognitive subject when he tries to solve a problem of an arbitrary nature without using any formal logical means. "Thought", then, is reasoning carried on without the conscious application of formalized logical laws and rules of inference. This is still not a very precise understanding of thought, but for the present it is sufficient for a formulation of the

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