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This article identifies problems with regard to providing criteria that regulate the matching of logical formulae and natural language. We then take on to solve these problems by defining a necessary and sufficient criterion of adequate formalization. On the basis of this criterion we argue that logic should not be seen as an ars iudicandi capable of evaluating the validity or invalidity of informal arguments, but as an ars explicandi that renders transparent the formal structure of informal reasoning.doi:10.1007/s11229-007-9218-1 fatcat:e2lzgr4ssjh33ali36wcgxflke