Review of David A. White, Logic and Ontology in Heidegger.
Lorenzo Peña
Many people have maintained a formalistic view of logic, according to which logic does not concern itself with content; therefore a logical theory can entail no ontological commitment. On the other hand, Frege, Russell and Ferdinand Gonseth came close to identifying logic with ontology. Husserl's conception lies somewhere in between.

D.A. White takes the formalistic view for granted, which is one of his major grounds for challenging Heidegger's attempts to base logic upon an elucidation of Being. Another, still firmer assumption of D. A. White's approach is that there is only one logic, which is logic. Thus he makes no forays into an assessment of Heidegger's explorations from the standpoint of the existence of several, mutually discrepant, systems of logic.

As against Heidegger's claim that since the appearance of Hegel's Logik it is not immediately certain that what is contradictory could not also be actual, White maintains that the principle of contradiction remains the same throughout the history of Western metaphysics in its intrinsic formality.

White sets off Heidegger's claims against Strawson's account of contradiction, as put forward in Introduction to Logical Theory. Nevertheless, Heidegger does not assert negations of instances of the principle of noncontradiction, but tries to uncover a field of non-propositional logos wherein the threat of contradiction does not arise and so noncontradiction cannot even be articulated. So, the emancipation from the principle he announces is not the same as that which paraconsistent logicicians are able to facilitate. Those differences notwithstanding, there is something both enterprises seem to share, viz. that some principles or rules of classical logic concerning contradiction lack absolutely universal validity.

Omitting such perspectives is a weakness of White's remarkable book.