, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 247-250
Date: 30 Jul 2008

Joseph E. Brenner, Logic in Reality, Springer 2008

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When analytic philosophers in the tradition of Carnap and Quine recommended the use of modern logic—the father of which was Gottlob Frege—then, they did so on the basis of the conviction that the use of logic in its modern form would increase the clarity and the stringency of philosophical argumentation. I happen to share this conviction, which is old-fashioned these days. I am not shaken in this conviction by a book like Brenner’s, which is called Logic in Reality, but contains hardly anything that is stringent and hardly anything which is clear—and little where a reader like me feels that he is making contact with reality. For the badness of the book is not the result of a use of logic. In Brenner’s eyes, “[t]he real world is only possible because it is conditionally logically contradictory, that is, partly inconsistent” (p. 134). Well, if that is the case and partial inconsistency is a necessary condition of reality, even of possibility, then it must be a methodological rule to be p