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AWide-Reflective-Equilibrium Conception of Reconstructive Formalization

AWide-Reflective-Equilibrium Conception of Reconstructive Formalization I propose that a logical formalization of a natural language text (especially an argument) may be regarded as adequate if the following three groups of beliefs can be integrated into a wide reflective equilibrium: (1) our initial, spontaneous beliefs about the structure and logical quality of the text; (2) our beliefs about its structure and logical quality as reflected in the proposed formalization, and (3) our background beliefs about the original text’s author, his thought and other contextually relevant factors. Unlike a good part of the literature, I stress the indispensable role of initial beliefs in achieving such a wide reflective equilibrium. In the final sections I show that my approach does not succumb to undue subjectivism or the mere perpetuation of prejudice. The examples I use to illustrate my claims are chiefly taken from Anselm’s Proslogion 2–3 and the various attempts to formalize these texts. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png History of Philosophy and Logical Analysis Brill

AWide-Reflective-Equilibrium Conception of Reconstructive Formalization

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
2666-4283
eISSN
2666-4275
DOI
10.30965/26664275-01701007
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

I propose that a logical formalization of a natural language text (especially an argument) may be regarded as adequate if the following three groups of beliefs can be integrated into a wide reflective equilibrium: (1) our initial, spontaneous beliefs about the structure and logical quality of the text; (2) our beliefs about its structure and logical quality as reflected in the proposed formalization, and (3) our background beliefs about the original text’s author, his thought and other contextually relevant factors. Unlike a good part of the literature, I stress the indispensable role of initial beliefs in achieving such a wide reflective equilibrium. In the final sections I show that my approach does not succumb to undue subjectivism or the mere perpetuation of prejudice. The examples I use to illustrate my claims are chiefly taken from Anselm’s Proslogion 2–3 and the various attempts to formalize these texts.

Journal

History of Philosophy and Logical AnalysisBrill

Published: Apr 5, 2014

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