David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Deductive logic is about the validity of arguments. An argument is valid when its conclusion follows deductively from its premises. Here’s an example: If Alice is guilty then Bob is guilty, and Alice is guilty. Therefore, Bob is guilty. The validity of the argument has nothing to do with what the argument is about. It has nothing to do with the meaning, or content, of the argument beyond the meaning of logical phrases such as if…then. Thus, any argument of the following form (called modus ponens) is valid: If P then Q, and P, therefore Q. Any claims substituted for P and Q lead to an argument that is valid. Probability theory is also content-free in the same sense. This is why deductive logic and probability theory have traditionally been the main technical tools in philosophy of science.
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