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

Mind 110 (438):335-367 (2001)

Authors
Simon Evnine
University of Miami
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.
Keywords Logical concepts  Logical abilities  Cherniak  Rationality
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DOI 10.1093/mind/110.438.335
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References found in this work BETA

An Essay on Free Will.Peter van Inwagen - 1983 - Journal of Philosophy 82 (6):327-330.
Thought and Talk.Donald Davidson - 1975 - In Samuel D. Guttenplan (ed.), Mind and Language. Clarendon Press. pp. 1975--7.

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Citations of this work BETA

Argumentation and Distortion.Jonathan Adler - 2007 - Episteme 4 (3):382-401.
Probability and Tempered Modal Eliminativism.Michael J. Shaffer - 2004 - History and Philosophy of Logic 25 (4):305-318.
The Indefinability of €œOne”.Laurence Goldstein - 2002 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 31 (1):29-42.

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