The limits of conceivability: Logical cognitivism and the language faculty

Synthese 171 (1):175 - 194 (2009)
Robert Hanna (Rationality and logic. MIT Press, Cambridge, 2006) articulates and defends the thesis of logical cognitivism, the claim that human logical competence is grounded in a cognitive faculty (in Chomsky’s sense) that is not naturalistically explicable. This position is intended to steer us between the Scylla of logical Platonism and the Charybdis of logical naturalism (/psychologism). The paper argues that Hanna’s interpretation of Chomsky is mistaken. Read aright, Chomsky’s position offers a defensible version of naturalism, one Hanna may accept as far as his version of naturalism goes, although not one that supports the claim that cognitive science offers a place for logic that is somehow outside the natural, contingent order.
Keywords Chomsky  Conceivability  Hanna  Language faculty  Logical competence
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