I. Psychologism, Functionalism, and the modal status of logical Laws

Inquiry 22 (1-4):343-349 (1979)
In a recent article (Inquiry, Vol. 19 [1976]), J. W. Meiland addresses the issue of psychologism in logic, which holds that logic is a branch of psychology and that logical laws (such as the Principle of Non?Contradiction) are contingent upon the nature of the mind. Meiland examines Husserl's critique of psychologism, argues that Husserl is not convincing, and offers two new objections to the psychologistic thesis. In this paper I attempt to rebut those objections. In question are the acceptable criteria for determining the possibility or impossibility of systems of logic significantly different from our own. I argue that a criteriological application of our accepted laws of logic to this question commits a circular fallacy. I then argue that, even if we accept logical consistency as a criterion for possibility, a plausible argument for the possibility of valid alternative logics can be constructed by using the functionalist analogy between minds and automata. Finally, I attempt to rebut the claim that in logic the only changes possible are conceptual changes that would not permit a proposition to be both true and false
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