Using a short excerpt from Anselm’s Responsio as an example, this paper tries to present logical reconstruction 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. As such, 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. Yet, even though logical reconstruction is dependent on methods of formalization, it allows us to use formal methods for the analysis and assessment of natural language texts that are not readily formalizable and is thus an important tool when it comes to applying the concepts and methods of formal logic to such texts.
Logical reconstruction is a fundamental philosophical method for achieving clarity concerning the prerequisites, presuppositions and the logical structure of natural language arguments. The scope and limits of this method have become visible not least through its intense application to Anselm of Canterbury’s notorious proofs for the existence of God. This volume collects, on the one hand, reconstructions of Anselmian arguments that take account of the problems of reconstruction and, on the other hand, theoretical reflections on reconstruction with a view to Anselm. We hope that this will allow the reader to critically assess the merits of the theoretical The journal provides a forum for articles in which classical philosophical texts are interpreted by drawing on the resources on modern formal logic. All contributions are double blind peer-reviewed. Information concerning the contents of past volumes (abstracts of all published papers) and plans for future volumes (call for papers, etc.) can be found on the website: www.rub.de/philosophy/pla