From the Logic of the Child to a Natural Logic: Perspectives as Knowledge

Abstract

The notion of perspective is often used in Human Sciences, and some authors such as Bruner (1996) refers explicitly to a perspectivist epistemology. Yet, the general idea of such epistemology is to consider that several perspectives on the same object or phenomena can produce more relevant knowledge than one only. Yet, such epistemology is rarely theorized, which raises interesting questions: What is a perspective? Can we describe a particular perspective on something? Answering such question requires more than a philosophical standpoint or credo, none less than an empirical epistemology. Piaget and his team approached such questions empirically in Genetic Epistemology, starting from the study of actual thinking. However, formal logic of his time was not fitted for providing description of the construction of meaning. Grize later theorized and extended unconventional uses of logic within a logic of action representing the thinking of actors within irreversible time without abstracting it from particular situations and contents. Grize’s logic is about singularity—a concrete operational logic—and yet about semiotics, about meaning making. In this sense, Natural Logic may provide researchers studying knowledge with an instrument for including perspectives and points of view. As such, it can contribute to a theory of knowledge taking into account the diversity of points of view and the process of meaning making, based on a perspectivist epistemology.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Original in French: “Enfin, il n’est. pas exclu que la classe ne soit pas plus la réalité psychologique dernière que la théorie des ensembles n’est. le dernier mot du fondement des mathématiques”.

  2. 2.

    In Grize’s terms “une langue d’usage.”

  3. 3.

    Translated from French “le chariot le plus lourd car il n’attire pas le sol avec sa lourdeur.”

  4. 4.

    Translated from French “le chariot le plus lourd car le poid augmente la vitesse en présence d’une force de soutien comme un planché, un sol (ex.: dans un bobsley, si la pers. qui la conduit est. plus lourd qu’une autre, elle a plus de chance d’arriver en bas en premier)”

  5. 5.

    The syntagmatic stacking has been represented with word wrap in order to emphasize the structure of the oral discourse, and according to the short pause in the course of the conversation, indicated with a dot.

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Correspondence to Alaric Kohler.

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Kohler, A. From the Logic of the Child to a Natural Logic: Perspectives as Knowledge. Hu Arenas 1, 97–111 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42087-018-0007-9

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Keywords

  • Perspectivism
  • Genetic epistemology
  • Natural logic
  • Socio-cognitive approach
  • Coordination of points of view