Another one of those recurring questions I’m constantly forgetting what I wrote about or where before just came up again on the Gödel’s Lost Letter blog.
Classical tradition views logic as a normative science, one whose object is truth. This puts logic on a par with ethics, whose object is justice or morality in action, and aesthetics, whose object is beauty or the admirable for its own sake.
The pragmatic spin on this line of thinking treats logic, ethics, aesthetics as a concentric series of normative sciences, each a subdiscipline of the next. Logic tells us how we ought to conduct our reasoning in order to achieve the goals of reasoning in general. Thus logic is a special case of ethics. Ethics tells us how we ought to conduct our activities in general in order to achieve the good appropriate to each enterprise. What makes the difference between a normative science and a prescriptive dogma is whether this telling is based on actual inquiry into the relationship of conduct to result, or not.
Here’s a bit I wrote on this a long time ago in a galaxy not far away —