Is there a zande logic?

Newton C.A. Da Costa, Otávio Bueno, Steven French

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The issue of what consequences to draw from the existence of non-classical logical systems has been the subject of an interesting debate across a diversity of fields. In this paper the matter of alternative logics is considered with reference to a specific belief system and its propositions :the Azande are said to maintain beliefs about witchcraft which, when expressed propositionally, appear to be inconsistent. When the Azande have been presented with such inconsistencies, they either fail to see them as such or else accept them as non-problematical. Is our knowledge of logical truths a relative and culturally determined phenomenon, or is there some (transcendent) criterion that allows us to adjudicate between alternative logical systems? The authors propose an approach for resolving disputes about the status of Azande reasoning which assumes a paraconsistent framework, thus providing a new perspective on this debate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-54
Number of pages14
JournalHistory and Philosophy of Logic
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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