Proposal Title

Asynchronous: De-Colonizing Logic

Presentation Type

Long asynchronous

Proposal Website

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/14GGDCpn7IQGQ6D-Nn7jOKyQJ-PWpcOSi?usp=sharing

Start Date

16-2-2021 5:00 PM

End Date

28-2-2021 12:00 AM

Proposal Abstract

While efforts to decolonize university curriculum are increasing, one might wonder to what extent a course on elementary formal logic can be decolonized. If we temporarily bracket decolonizing teaching practices that shape the way content is delivered, one might argue the following: since the content of formal logic is akin to a course that explores the mechanics of 2 + 2 = 4, the content of formal logic itself is immune to calls for decolonization. Put differently, the apparent universality and objectivity of the content put forth in a course on formal logic (a proposition is either true or false; something cannot both be true and false at the same time; etc.) means that decolonizing endeavours cannot penetrate very deeply into the course. This presentation advances some initial reflections, stated below, on how one might begin to incorporate decolonizing practices within a course on formal logical at the undergraduate level. Utilizing examples and references that centre Indigenous voices and experiences and intellectual history, as well as those of other marginalized persons. For instance, course content could include Story-Telling traditions as well as concrete examples from Indigenous peoples histories. More importantly, introducing and exploring the limitations and problems inherent in a system of thinking that takes itself to be ahistorical and free from bias. The key point here would be that the categories of true, false, negation, and so forth are often presented as universal truths and the ‘job’ of a course on elementary formal logic is to articulate how best to acquaint oneself with and deploy these categories across a wide variety of human interactions. However, a decolonizing lens would introduce challenges to the purported claims of universality or objectivity that are typically associated with logic. While philosophers certainly have explored and challenged notions of the true and the false, for example, in academic circles, we would like to illuminate way in which concepts that are central to learning logic at an undergraduate level are already reflective of, and contribute to, social narratives and injustices.

Statement

The presentation reflects the theme of challenging teaching practices and course content that contribute to narratives that contribute to the exclusion of marginalized peoples. The focus of the presentation is on exploring what it would mean to decolonize the practice of teaching formal logic to students.

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Feb 16th, 5:00 PM Feb 28th, 12:00 AM

Asynchronous: De-Colonizing Logic

While efforts to decolonize university curriculum are increasing, one might wonder to what extent a course on elementary formal logic can be decolonized. If we temporarily bracket decolonizing teaching practices that shape the way content is delivered, one might argue the following: since the content of formal logic is akin to a course that explores the mechanics of 2 + 2 = 4, the content of formal logic itself is immune to calls for decolonization. Put differently, the apparent universality and objectivity of the content put forth in a course on formal logic (a proposition is either true or false; something cannot both be true and false at the same time; etc.) means that decolonizing endeavours cannot penetrate very deeply into the course. This presentation advances some initial reflections, stated below, on how one might begin to incorporate decolonizing practices within a course on formal logical at the undergraduate level. Utilizing examples and references that centre Indigenous voices and experiences and intellectual history, as well as those of other marginalized persons. For instance, course content could include Story-Telling traditions as well as concrete examples from Indigenous peoples histories. More importantly, introducing and exploring the limitations and problems inherent in a system of thinking that takes itself to be ahistorical and free from bias. The key point here would be that the categories of true, false, negation, and so forth are often presented as universal truths and the ‘job’ of a course on elementary formal logic is to articulate how best to acquaint oneself with and deploy these categories across a wide variety of human interactions. However, a decolonizing lens would introduce challenges to the purported claims of universality or objectivity that are typically associated with logic. While philosophers certainly have explored and challenged notions of the true and the false, for example, in academic circles, we would like to illuminate way in which concepts that are central to learning logic at an undergraduate level are already reflective of, and contribute to, social narratives and injustices.

https://digitalcommons.library.tru.ca/tpc/2021/program/19