Is logic a normative science and how could it be normative?




Formal deductive logic, truth values, informal logic, argumentation theory, reasoning


The paper deals with the problem of the nature of logic and its normativity in the context of the normativity of scientific knowledge in general. We proceed from a division between fundamental aspects of scientific knowledge which are related to the nature and subject matter of particular sciences, and its applied aspects which are related to the possible applications of sciences. This division fully applies to logic.  The authors note that if we view logic as a completely objective discipline, devoid of any "anthropological basis", then the only rational alternative to anti-realist approaches is an ontological (realistic) strategy to justify the logical ones that seek to justify a certain kind of being. To do this, it is necessary to abandon the normative interpretation of logical evaluations and logical systems. Logic can gain a true ontological foundation, based on the devoid of the normative color of understanding logical evaluations as a particular kind of object. Logic has both a deductive core, and various applied disciplines, modern informal logic among them. While formal deductive logic is concentrated on the systems of abstract logical entities (objects) such as truth values and logical functions, the main task of informal logic consist in studying a real argument, which people apply in  communicative processes, by elaborating certain standards, criteria and procedures for their interpretation and evaluation. No science can be normative in its basic (fundamental) aspects, and so is logic. Nevertheless, any science is in some degree normative with respect to its applied aspects, and informal logic perfectly illustrates this in view of a normative evolving of applied systems of the modern theories of argumentation. In addition to denying the normativity of formal deductive logic as a fundamental theoretical discipline, the authors of this article demonstrate the fundamental possibility of normative measurement of logical knowledge, in particular in the applied aspect of the development of modern informal logic.

Author Biographies

Iryna Khomenko

doctor of sciences in philosophy, professor, Head of the Department of logic, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv.

Yaroslav Sramko

doctor of sciences in philosophy, professor, President of the State Pedagogical University of Kryvyi Rih.


Aristotle. Analytica Priora.

Battersby M. E. (2006). Applied Epistemology and Argumentation Epidemiology. In: Informal Logic, 26(1), 41-62.

Battersby M. E. (1989) Critical Thinking as Applied Epistemology: Relocating Critical Thinking in the Philosophical Landscape. In: Informal Logic, 11(2), 91-100.

Byrne R. M. (1989) Suppressing valid inferences with conditionals. In: Cognition, 31, 61-83.

Declerck R., Reed S. (2001). Conditionals: a comprehensive empirical analysis. Mouton de Gruyter.

Eemeren F. H. van, Garssen B., Krabbe E. C. W., Snoeck Henkemans

F. A., Verheij B., Wagemans J. H. M. eds. (2015) Handbook of argumentation theory. Dordrecht: Springer Reference.

Evans J. (1998). Matching bias in conditional reasoning: Do we understand it after 25 years? In: Thinking and Reasoning, 4, 45-82.

Fiddick L., Cosmides L., Tooby J. (2000). No interpretation without representation: the role of domain-specific representations and inferences in the Wason selection task. In: Cognition, 77, 1-79.

Ford M. (1995). Two modes of mental representation and problem solution in syllogistic reasoning. In: Cognition, 54, 1-71.

Frege G. (2011). Funktion und Begriff, Vortrag gehalten in der Sitzung vom 9. Januar 1891 der Jenaischen Gesellschaft für Medicin und Naturwissenschaft. Verlag Hermann Pohle, Jena 1891. Reprinted in: Patzig, Günther (Hg.). Funktion, Begriff, Bedeutung. Fünf logische Studien. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1-22.

Frege G. (1892). Über Sinn und Bedeutung, Zeitschrift für Philosophie und philosophische Kritik. Band 100, 25-50. Reprinted in: Patzig, Günther (Hg.). (2011). Funktion, Begriff, Bedeutung. Fünf logische Studien. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 23-46.

Frege G. (2001). Schriften zur Logik und Sprachphilosophie Aus dem Nachlaß, Felix Meiner Verlag GmbH, Hamburg.

Freeman J. B. (1994). The Place of Informal Logic in Logic. In: New Essays in Informal Logic. Winsdor, Ontario, Canada: Informal Logic, 36-47.

Freeman J. B. (2000). The Place of Informal Logic in Philosophy. In: Informal Logic, 20 (2), 117-28.

Hintikka Ja. (1999). True and False Logics of Scientific Discovery. Selected Papers. Vol. 5. Dordrecht and Boston: Kluwer, 1999, 115-196.

Husserl E. (1975). Logische Untersuchungen. Erster Band: Prolegomena zur reinen Logik. Text der 1. und 2. Auflage. Hrsg. von Elmar Holenstein.

Johnson, R. H., Blair, J. A. (2000). Informal logic. An Overview. In: Informal Logic, 20 (2), 93-107.

Kant I. (1800). Logik - Ein Handbuch zu Vorlesungen (im Auftrag Kants hrsg. von Gottlob Benjamin Jäsche), Königsberg.

Khomenko I. (2018). A Look at informak logic. In: Future Human Image, 9, 52-62.

Khomenko I. (2018a). Empiricalization as a Trend in Argumentation Study. In: Future Human Image, 10, 20-28.

Kleene S.C. (1967). Mathematical Logic. New York: Wiley.

Marshall W. (1953). Frege's theory of functions and objects. In: Philosophical Review, 62, 374-390.

Parker K. (2003). Reconstructing the normative science. In: Cognitio, 4, 27- 45.

Peirce C.S. (1955). Philosophy and the sciences: a classification. In: Philosophical Writings of Peirce / Ed. by J. Buchle. New York: Dover, 60-73.

Peirce C.S. (1931). The Collected Papers. Vol. I: Principles of Philosophy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Perelman, Ch., Olbrechts-Tyteca L. (1958). Traité De L'argumentation: La Nouvelle Rhétorique. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France La Nouvelle Rhetorique.

Pinto, Robert C. (1994). Logic, Epistemology and Argumeny Appraisal. New Essays in Informal Logic. Winsdor, Ontario, Canada: Informal Logic,116-124.

Shramko Y., Wansing H. (2011). Truth and Falsehood. An Inquiry into Generalized Logical Values. Dordrecht, Heidelberg, London, New York: Springer.


Shramko Y. (2014). The logical way of being true: truth values and the onto-logical foundation of logic. In: Logic and Logical Philosophy, 23, 119-131.

Sorokin P. (1914). Crime and Punishment: Service and Reward. St. Petersburg: Isdatelstvo Dolbysheva.

Toulmin, S. E.(1958). The Uses of Argument. Cambridge: Cambridge UP.


Abstract views: 216



How to Cite

Khomenko, I., & Sramko, Y. (2020). Is logic a normative science and how could it be normative?. Filosofska Dumka, (5), 52–63.



Download data is not yet available.

Most read articles by the same author(s)