The universality of logic: On the connection between rationality and logical ability

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

I argue for the thesis (UL) that there are certain logical abilities that any rational creature must have. Opposition to UL comes from naturalized epistemologists who hold that it is a purely empirical question which logical abilities a rational creature has. I provide arguments that any creatures meeting certain conditions - plausible necessary conditions on rationality - must have certain specific logical concepts and be able to use them in certain specific ways. For example, I argue that any creature able to grasp theories must have a concept of conjunction subject to the usual introduction and elimination rules. I also deal with disjunction, conditionality and negation. Finally, I put UL to work in showing how it could be used to define a notion of logical obviousness that would be well suited to certain contexts - e.g. radical translation and epistemic logic - in which a concept of obviousness is often invoked.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-367
Number of pages33
JournalMind
Volume110
Issue number438
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy

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