Three Cultures—or: what place for logic in the humanities?

October 2015

“Three Cultures—or: what place for logic in the humanities?” unpublished essay.

Logic has been an important part of philosophy since the work of Aristotle in the 4th Century BCE. Developments of the 19th and the 20th Century saw an incredible flowering of mathematical techniques in logic, and the discipline transformed beyond recognition into something that can seem forbiddingly technical and formal. The discipline of logic plays a vital role in mathematics, linguistics, computer science and electrical engineering, and it may seem that it no longer has a place within the humanities. In this essay, I show why this perception is misplaced and dangerous, and that in a time of increasing specialisation and differentiation between the cultures of the humanities, the sciences, and of engineering, logic not only has much to give to the humanities, it also has much to learn.

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You are welcome to download and read this document. I especially welcome feedback on it. As it is not yet published in final form, if you want to cite the paper, please check with me first. Thanks.


I’m Greg Restall, and this is my personal website. I am the Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of Philosophy at the University of St Andrews, and the Director of the Arché Philosophical Research Centre for Logic, Language, Metaphysics and Epistemology I like thinking about – and helping other people think about – logic and philosophy and the many different ways they can inform each other.


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