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Title: A sociology of formal logic? Essay review of Claude Rosental’s ‘Weaving Self-Evidence: A Sociology of Logic'
Authors: Greiffenhagen, Christian
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: SAGE Publications / © The Author(s)
Citation: GREIFFENHAGEN, C., 2010. A sociology of formal logic? Essay review of Claude Rosental’s ‘Weaving Self-Evidence: A Sociology of Logic'. Social Studies of Science, 40 (3), pp.471-480.
Abstract: Through a variety of case studies, social studies of science – in particular the sociology of scientific knowledge (SSK) – has demonstrated that scientific experiments and theorems can be open for debate. However, can that also be true for logical arguments? Say, someone accepted the assertion (A), ‘things that are equal to the same are equal to each other’, and the assertion (B), ‘the two sides of this triangle are things that are equal to the same’, but then had doubts over whether or not to accept also, (Z) ‘the two sides of this triangle are equal to each other’, would we not be tempted to say to them, as Achilles says to the Tortoise in Lewis Carroll’s famous dialogue, that: Then Logic would take you by the throat and force you to [accept] it! … Logic would tell you ‘You can’t help yourself. Now that you have accepted A and B … you must accept Z!’ So you’ve no choice, you see. (Carroll, 1895: 280) If we really had no choice, then what could the sociologist say about logic? However, if (as Carroll’s dialogue was meant to show) logic ‘in itself’ cannot force us to accept any particular next step, then what other factors could create the impression of the self-evident nature of logical reasoning – and could these be social factors?
Description: This article was published in the journal, Social Studies of Science [SAGE Publications / © The Author(s)]. The definitive version is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312709357229.
Version: Accepted for publication
DOI: 10.1177/0306312709357229
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/14202
Publisher Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312709357229
ISSN: 0306-3127
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies)

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