I am trying to write an article on the importance of the study of logic and reason to understand the stand of philosophy. Can anybody share their views on this stand?

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    The two questions seem to be different. You should mention whether your question is about spirituality or philosophy. – SonOfThought Jan 16 '18 at 17:45
  • There is more to the understanding than reason and logic; we understand more than we can reason and more than what is amenable to logic... – Mozibur Ullah Jan 16 '18 at 18:21
  • The Roman Catholic tradition up to this day claims to base its faith on reason, I think. For example, here is a college in California that uses an updated Medieval tradition. thomasaquinas.edu/a-liberating-education I feel certain that this extends to other faith traditions as well. – Gordon Jan 16 '18 at 18:44
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    Although faith and repentance are accessible to all by God's grace, some of the topics of theology have been developed with arguments which the average person might find challenging without some understanding of logic. Afterall, the mind of God is beyond the comprehension of all of us, and remarkable insight has been required by theologians through the ages to come to understand the theology that many take for granted. The arguments of Augustine, Calvin and Francis Turretin, for example, are very cogent without being speculative. – user3017 Jan 16 '18 at 18:47
  • Here is an example of more modern discussions along these lines in France in the 1930s. (Christian: Catholic, reformed Protestant) iep.utm.edu/chri1930 This is just an interesting example. I don't mean that it is representative of all Catholics and Protestants, etc. [Changing the focus, I have found that Christianity does not always fit so well into the "Greek mold".] – Gordon Jan 16 '18 at 20:29

In Medieval Europe, the study of logic and reason was closely allied with the study of theology. This arguably reached its peak with the publication of St Thomas Aquinas' influential (and lengthy) masterwork of Aristotelian logic-based theology, the Summa Theologica.

In more modern times, however, the disciplines have largely parted ways, at least in the English speaking world. Modern logic was developed through the analytical school of philosophy, whose leading figures, such as Bertrand Russell, have often been atheistic. Conversely modern Christianity has moved away from logical and intellectual defenses of faith, and towards a more directly spiritual and emotional connection with the divine.

Some people might still consider logic and reason a prerequisite for the study of theology, but I'd imagine that's more likely a minority opinion than a common expectation.


Doesn't the application of logic and reason to our world lead to us having a measure of the truth in the nature of the world we observe? Its application in the nature of understanding the spiritual we intuitively perceive as part of the world is an attempt to turn intuition into a truth, like the approach attempts in the physical world.

It occurs to me that if we determine the truth of the spiritual we remove faith, and that removes an important factor in the formation of religion. Faith as my understanding is the strength that underpins religion as you have to overcome the weight of doubt by believing it to be the truth when it is not proved to be so, which is a personal big leap and requires strength of character.

If the pursuit in the application of logic results in certainty and fact, the value of faith by its loss, I think, weakens religion and the importance faith gives it.


Logic, in its modern form, is purely about syntax. It simply ignores semantics.

Hegel's logic took both into consideration. His logic takes the form of a dialectic through the triadic moments of thesis, anti-thesis and synthesis. The synthesis sublates the two preceding moments into itself. He calls it a logic because he says the form that the forward and ascending dialectic takes is the form of necessity, and this is what characterizes logic.

Given what @Gordan says, his logic was probably informed by a medieval understanding of what logic consists of, being closely allied to theology. After all, Hegel wrote about the absolute spirit.

  • "Logic, in its modern form, is purely about syntax. It simply ignores semantics." That is patently false. – transitionsynthesis Aug 13 '18 at 15:58
  • @transitionsynthesis: Patently false - how? Do you care to explain? – Mozibur Ullah Aug 14 '18 at 9:21
  • There is an entire discipline in modern logic called "semantics." As a matter of fact, a sharp distinction between syntax and semantics only received its formulation in and by modern logic. plato.stanford.edu/entries/meaning – transitionsynthesis Aug 27 '18 at 22:45
  • @transitionsynthesis: Theres an abstract theory of semantics in logic nevertheless it is not about semantics qua semantics. – Mozibur Ullah Aug 29 '18 at 14:25
  • What do you mean by semantics qua semantics? Standardly, semantics is the study of meaning, so any theory that attempts to give a theory of meaning should count as semantics. Apparently you have something nonstandard and much more specific in mind. – transitionsynthesis Aug 29 '18 at 16:25

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