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Logic - The Theory of Inquiry Hardcover – November 4, 2008
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That said, this is an excellent Kindle version of one of the most important contributions to the philosophy of logic in the past 100 years. It is important to note the distinction here between a "logic text," which this is not, and an inquiry into the "meta-theory of logic," or "the philosophy of logic," which this most assuredly is. Dewey is *NOT* investigating questions such as, "How do I prove X from such and such a collection of premises?" Rather, he is asking things like, "What is logic?" "How does logic emerge from other activities?" "What licenses logic as a standard of rationality?" and so on.
Dewey was notorious for his general disregard of -- if not out right disdain for -- the merely formal methods of his day, and the sop he tosses out in that direction in the form of Chapter XVII will not satisfy anyone looking for a treatise on symbolic techniques. (For anyone with such an interest, there are innumerable books to be had on the subject, many of them reasonably good, and even a few of these can be had for free as they exist as downloadable .PDF's available under Creative Commons licenses.)
Rather, this book should be viewed as an answer to the question why we should learn these formal methods in the first place. This is actually a pressing issue, not only for the undergrads shoe-horned into an intro class, but for the professors that teach those classes as well. From personal experience and anecdotal evidence (I know -- real scientific ... ) it seems very few philosophy professors can provide an especially satisfactory answer to that "why" question. But when we follow Dewey and look upon logic as the general theory of inquiry, then formal methods reveal themselves as those essential adjuncts that enable us to organize information, recognize hypotheses as eliminable, and ASK THE NEXT SET OF QUESTIONS that will enable us to test those hypotheses for possible elimination.
This position has been largely neglected in contemporary philosophy circles, but not entirely forgotten. If one has access to a decent research library (or tons of money to spend) volume 5 of Jaakko Hintikka's selected papers, "Inquiry as Inquiry" (available at Amazon) brings contemporary formal methods to bear in a manner that is very much of a piece philosophically with Dewey's arguments. (It should be noted here that the model-theoretic methods that Hintikka favors did not exist at the time that Dewey's "Logic" was published. So Dewey cannot be criticized for "failing" to bring matters forward in the fashion that Hintikka has done.) Hurley's "Concise Introduction to Logic" emphasizes the connection between formal methods and general inquiry as well. One might also mention Cohen and Nagel's "An Introduction To Logic And Scientific Method" in this regard. While the formal techniques are a bit out of date, the book is contemporary with Dewey's own work.
However, none of the above books do the legwork of Dewey's "Logic" in terms of developing a fully coherent meta-theory of logic as inquiry. Such a meta-theory is absolutely essential for any appreciation of the formal techniques which are, after all, only an adjunct to the broader process of inquiry itself. Absent such a meta-theory, these adjunct instruments are difficult to appreciate as anything more than mathematical diversions of questionable practical use. With that meta-theory, they become essential components in the progress of inquiry.