Edmund Fawcett is a British political journalist. Formerly chief correspondent of The Economist, he now writes for The New York Times, The Guardian and New Statesman. His latest book is Liberalism (2014).
History of ideas
Liberalism is not dead – its ideals are more important than ever – but it must change radically to survive in the future
There’s a difference, no?, between the study of logic and the use of logic. Looked at practically, if asked for a general answer to what using logic was for, I’d say it was to save time and effort. You spend both verifying the premisses. You reason validly to a conclusion. You don’t need to spend further time and effort verifying the conclusion. The usefulness is topic-blind. Looked at philosophically or rhetorically, the study of sound argument (aka logic) is of course another matter. Thank you for an illuminating and instructive article.
If Kant thought fashion foolish, he took the folly to come in degrees. “Better to be a fool in style”, he said, “than a fool out of style.” He dressed elegantly in bright colours, not the sombre greys and blacks of his university colleagues, and was known about town as a dandy. As a wider rule, he took it for a duty of ours not to make a distasteful or disconcerting impression on others. So his biographer Manfred Kuehn reported in Kant (2001), 115