1st Edition

Reasons for Logic, Logic for Reasons Pragmatics, Semantics, and Conceptual Roles

By Ulf Hlobil, Robert B. Brandom Copyright 2025
    368 Pages
    by Routledge

    Reasons for Logic, Logic for Reasons presents a philosophical conception of logic — “logical expressivism”— according to which the role of logic is to make explicit reason relations, which are often neither monotonic nor transitive. This conception of logic reveals new and enlightening perspectives on inferential roles, sequent calculi, representation, truthmakers, and many extant logical theories.

    The book shows how we can understand different metavocabularies as making explicit the same reason relations, namely normative-pragmatic, alethic-representational, logical, and “implication-space” metavocabularies. This includes a philosophical account of the pragmatic role of reason relations, treatments of nonmonotonic and nontransitive consequence relations in sequent calculi, a correspondence between these sequent calculi and variants of truthmaker theory, and the introduction of a novel kind of formal semantics that interprets sentences by assigning inferential roles to them. The book thus offers logical expressivists and semantic inferentialists new ways to understand logic, content, inferential roles, representation, and reason relations.

    This book will appeal to researchers and graduate students who are interested in the philosophy of logic, in reasons and reasoning, in theories of meaning and content, or in nonmonotonic and nontransitive logics.

    Introduction: Metavocabularies of Reason

    1. A Pragmatic Metavocabulary

    2. Logical Expressivism and the Open Structure of Reasons

    3. Introducing Logical Vocabulary: Making Reason Relations Logical

    4. Truth-Taking and Truth-Making: How They Share a Rational Form

    5. Implication-Space Semantics: Content as Implicational Role

    6. Conclusion

    Epilogue: A Speculative Synthesis


    Ulf Hlobil is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Concordia University.  His publications include “Limits of Abductivism About Logic” (2020) and G.E.M. Anscombe: Aufsätze (2014, with Katharina Nieswandt).

    Robert B. Brandom is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh.  His books include Making It Explicit (1994), Between Saying and Doing (2008), and A Spirit of Trust (2019).  He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the British Academy. 

    "Hlobil and Brandom join forces in this remarkable work of philosophy and logic, uncompromising in depth and in breadth. Their discursive rationalism provides the much-needed perspective of reasoners as they are engaged in critical reflection on their reasoning practices. We are invited to a bird’s eye view of a rich network of logics that accounts for a variety of discursive practices and their relation to the world---and the sights are wonderful. Reasons for Logic, Logic for Reasons is a true masterpiece."

    Gil SagiUniversity of Haifa, Israel