Program requirementsCC+examen
TeacherBrice Halimi
Weekly hours 2 h CM
Years Master Logique et Fondements de l'Informatique


How is logic formal?

The course will be devoted to this question. In particular, we will examine three main reasons for declaring logic "formal": because it uses discursive resources that can be said to be formal (schematic); because it concerns forms (whose status is to be specified: "logical constants" for Russell, "forms derived from something in general" for Husserl, to mention two important examples); and because it aims at an independent validity of any particular content (logic as universal science).

These three main reasons are not necessarily compatible. Moreover, the examination of the question raised will of course imply taking into account the history of logic, and a reflection on the situation of logic between philosophy and mathematics. This will be an opportunity to examine the issue of "absolute generality", that is, the possibility of a theory covering absolutely everything in general.

Aim of the class: knowledge of the philosophical issues of the history of logic in the 20th century.


-[1] J. MacFarlane, “Frege, Kant, and the Logic in Logicism”, The Philosophical Review 111, 2002 -[2] A. Rayo & G. Uzquiano (éds), Absolute Generality, Oxford University Press, 2006 -[3] F. Rivenc, L’Universalisme logique, Payot, 1993 -[4] P. de Rouilhan, “Tarski et l’universalité de la logique”, in F. Nef & D. Vernant, D (éds), Le formalisme en question. Le tournant des années 30, Vrin, 1998.