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

Mind 110 (438):335-367 (2001)
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.
Keywords Logical concepts  Logical abilities  Cherniak  Rationality
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DOI 10.1093/mind/110.438.335
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PhilPapers Archive Simon J. Evnine, The universality of logic: On the connection between rationality and logical ability
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Laurence Goldstein (2002). The Indefinability of “One”. Journal of Philosophical Logic 31 (1):29 - 42.
Michael J. Shaffer (2004). Probability and Tempered Modal Eliminativism. History and Philosophy of Logic 25 (4):305-318.

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