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Exploring the science of reason and logical truth through a philosophical point of view

The study of the role and essence of logic is known as the philosophy of logic. This discipline encompasses everything related to logic from the theories of this discipline and its application to how the various systems of logic are interrelated. It also examines the characteristics of the basic concepts that logic comprises. While this covers the basic idea of the philosophy of logic, there is much dispute about what this particular discipline covers. Some regard it as the study of the application of logical methodologies to problems that are related to philosophy, while others either make this distinction apparent or do not make it at all. 

The presence of many logical systems in this discipline is a fairly recent occurrence. For a long period of time, the Aristotelian theories were regarded as the principle doctrine of the philosophy of logic. However, as times progressed, with new scholars coming into the picture, these thoughts were challenged and the idea that there might be more than one way of looking at logic was born. For years, the idea that logic could only be defined and categorised in only one way was a popular prevailing thought. This can be defined as monism. Alternatively, pluralism accepts and believes in the existence of more than school of philosophy when it comes to logic. From this, different forms of logical systems evolved such as formal, informal, classical, non-classical and extended logic.

In India, some of the earliest texts that account for the development of the philosophy of logic were the anviksisi of Medathi Gautama, the Sanskrit grammar rules of Panini, the Vaisesika school and its study of atomism, Gotama’s analysis of inference, the tetralemma of Nagarjuna and the Nyaya school in Vedic philosophy. Indian logic is one of the original traditions of logic, alongside logic in Greek and Chinese traditions. This Indian tradition originated in the ontological speculation of the different logical divisions of the Nasadiya Sukta (Hymn of Creation) of the Rig Veda.

The schools that speak of Indian logic are: 

  1. Vaisesika - Closely related to the Nyaya school of logic, Vaisesika believes in the theory of atomism, postulating that every object that belongs to the physical universe can be broken down into a finite number of atoms. 

  2. Catuskoti - Catuskoti is a part of Buddhist philosophy that speaks of logic. It believes in ‘an indivisible quaternity’, when it comes to argumentation. 

  3. Nyaya - Nyaya translates to ‘recursion’ in the sense of inference. It belongs to the orthodox or astika schools of philosophy. It is commonly known as the school of logic. It is formulated on the basis of the Nyaya Sutras. 

  4. Jain Logic - Jain logic contributed insight into the essence of knowledge, how it came into being, and its reliability. 

  5. Buddhist Logic - In Buddhism, logic is seen as a tool of knowledge, that is an integral part of the Buddhist tradition

  6. Navya Nyaya - Otherwise known as the Neo-logical darsana of Indian philosophy. It is an advancement of the Nyaya school of thought. It uses its principles to create a more precise and rigorous practice. 


Q1. Why do we study logic in relation to philosophy?

Even though these two disciplines might seem different in theory, there are actually co-dependent entities. A lot of philosophical ideas find their roots in reasoning and objectivity. Logic is the discipline that studies these aspects in depth. All aspiring philosophers need logic in order to think clearly and formulate concepts that hold valuable meaning. 

Q2. Is logic different from critical thinking? 

The answer is yes. Logic can be explained as the science of the methodology of the evaluation of arguments and reasoning, while critical thinking utilises logic to separate the truth from fallacies.