Logische Rekonstruktion. Ein hermeneutischer Traktat

Dissertation, University of Greifswald (2014)
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The thesis aims at a methodological reflection of logical reconstruction and tries to develop this method in detail, especially with regard to the reconstruction of natural language arguments. First, the groundwork for the thesis is laid by presenting and, where necessary, adapting its foundations with regard to the philosophy of language and the theory of argument. Subsequently, logical reconstruction, especially the logical reconstruction of arguments, is presented as a hermeneutic method and as a tool for the application of (formal) logic and argumentation theory to natural language arguments. Logical reconstruction is presented as a special type of exegetical interpretation by paraphrase that is subject to (adapted) hermeneutic maxims and presumption rules that govern exegetical interpretation in general. However, in contrast to the interpretation of texts by natural language paraphrases, logical reconstruction leads to interpretantia that are logically explicit formal language texts and can be analyzed using formal methods and meta-theoretical concepts that are not directly applicable to natural language texts. By providing explicit and precise records of different readings, logical reconstruction can thus help to clarify (and maybe even solve) persistent interpretation controversies. Through an adaptation and specification of hermeneutic maxims and presumption rules, the thesis aims at providing suitable means for the systematic guidance and evaluation of logical reconstructions of argumentative texts. As a genuinely interpretative undertaking, logical reconstruction will be distinguished from the non-interpretative enterprise of formalization and from the development of theories of logical form, which provide a framework in which formalization and reconstruction take place. As exegetical interpretations, logical reconstructions of texts that are not readily formalizable can still be assessed with respect to their hermeneutic quality. The hermeneutic method of logical reconstruction can thus widen the scope for the application of logic and argumentation theory, because it allows us to use formal methods for the analysis and assessment of "difficult" natural language texts in a non-arbitrary, albeit indirect way. The last part of the thesis presents a manual for the logical reconstruction of natural language arguments, whose application is illustrated step by step.
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