Logic isn’t special. Its theories are continuous with science; its method continuous with scientific method. Logic isn’t a priori, nor are its truths analytic truths. Logical theories are revisable, and if they are revised, they are revised on the same grounds as scientific theories. These are the tenets of anti-exceptionalism about logic. The position is most famously defended by Quine, but has more recent advocates in Maddy, Priest, Russell, and Williamson. Although these authors agree on many methodological issues about logic, (...) they disagree about which logic anti-exceptionalism supports. Williamson uses an anti-exceptionalist argument to defend classical logic, while Priest claims that his anti-exceptionalism supports nonclassical logic. This paper argues that the disagreement is due to a difference in how the parties understand logical theories. Once we reject Williamson’s deflationary account of logical theories, the argument for classical logic is undercut. Instead an alternative account of logical theories is offered, on which logical pluralism is a plausible supplement to anti-exceptionalism. (shrink)
While anti-exceptionalism about logic is now a popular topic within the philosophy of logic, there’s still a lack of clarity over what the proposal amounts to. currently, it is most common to conceive of AEL as the proposal that logic is continuous with the sciences. Yet, as we show here, this conception of AEL is unhelpful due to both its lack of precision, and its distortion of the current debates. Rather, AEL is better understood as the rejection of certain traditional (...) properties of logic. The picture that results is not of one singular position, but rather a cluster of often connected positions with distinct motivations, understood in terms of their rejection of clusters of the various traditional properties. In order to show the fruitfulness of this new conception of AEL, we distinguish between two prominent versions of the position, metaphysical and epistemological AEL, and show how the two positions need not stand or fall together. (shrink)
Anti-exceptionalism about logic is the Quinean view that logical theories have no special epistemological status, in particular, they are not self-evident or justified a priori. Instead, logical theories are continuous with scientific theories, and knowledge about logic is as hard-earned as knowledge of physics, economics, and chemistry. Once we reject apriorism about logic, however, we need an alternative account of how logical theories are justified and revised. A number of authors have recently argued that logical theories are justified by abductive (...) argument (e.g. Gillian Russell, Graham Priest, Timothy Williamson). This paper explores one crucial question about the abductive strategy: what counts as evidence for a logical theory? I develop three accounts of evidential confirmation that an anti-exceptionalist can accept: (1) intuitions about validity, (2) the Quine-Williamson account, and (3) indispensability arguments. I argue, against the received view, that none of the evidential sources support classical logic. (shrink)
Logical pluralism has been in vogue since JC Beall and Greg Restall 2006 articulated and defended a new pluralist thesis. Recent criticisms such as Priest 2006a and Field 2009 have suggested that there is a relationship between their type of logical pluralism and the meaning-variance thesis for logic. This is the claim, often associated with Quine 1970, that a change of logic entails a change of meaning. Here we explore the connection between logical pluralism and meaning-variance, both in general and (...) for Beall and Restall's theory specifically. We argue that contrary to what Beall and Restall claim, their type of pluralism is wedded to meaning-variance. We then develop an alternative form of logical pluralism that circumvents at least some forms of meaning-variance. (shrink)
ABSTRACT What do we disagree about when we disagree about logic? On the face of it, classical and nonclassical logicians disagree about the laws of logic and the nature of logical properties. Yet, sometimes the parties are accused of talking past each other. The worry is that if the parties to the dispute do not mean the same thing with ‘if’, ‘or’, and ‘not’, they fail to have genuine disagreement about the laws in question. After the work of Quine, this (...) objection against genuine disagreement about logic has been called the meaning-variance thesis. We argue that the meaning-variance thesis can be endorsed without blocking genuine disagreement. In fact, even the type of revisionism and nonapriorism championed by Quine turns out to be compatible with meaning-variance. (shrink)
Nonclassical theories of truth have in common that they reject principles of classical logic to accommodate an unrestricted truth predicate. However, different nonclassical strategies give up different classical principles. The paper discusses one criterion we might use in theory choice when considering nonclassical rivals: the maxim of minimal mutilation.
In bilateral systems for classical logic, assertion and denial occur as primitive signs on formulas. Such systems lend themselves to an inferentialist story about how truth-conditional content of connectives can be determined by inference rules. In particular, for classical logic there is a bilateral proof system which has a property that Carnap in 1943 called categoricity. We show that categorical systems can be given for any finite many-valued logic using $n$-sided sequent calculus. These systems are understood as a further development (...) of bilateralism—call it multilateralism. The overarching idea is that multilateral proof systems can incorporate the logic of a variety of denial speech acts. So against Frege we say that denial is not the negation of assertion and, with Mark Twain, that denial is more than a river in Egypt. (shrink)
It is sometimes held that rules of inference determine the meaning of the logical constants: the meaning of, say, conjunction is fully determined by either its introduction or its elimination rules, or both; similarly for the other connectives. In a recent paper, Panu Raatikainen (2008) argues that this view - call it logical inferentialism - is undermined by some "very little known" considerations by Carnap (1943) to the effect that "in a definite sense, it is not true that the standard (...) rules of inference" themselves suffice to "determine the meanings of [the] logical constants" (p. 2). In a nutshell, Carnap showed that the rules allow for non-normal interpretations of negation and disjunction. Raatikainen concludes that "no ordinary formalization of logic ... is sufficient to `fully formalize' all the essential properties of the logical constants" (ibid.). We suggest that this is a mistake. Pace Raatikainen, intuitionists like Dummett and Prawitz need not worry about Carnap's problem. And although bilateral solutions for classical inferentialists - as proposed by Timothy Smiley and Ian Rumfitt - seem inadequate, it is not excluded that classical inferentialists may be in a position to address the problem too. (shrink)