The Seeming Interdependence Between the Concepts of Valid Inference and Proof

Topoi 38 (3):493-503 (2019)
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We may try to explain proofs as chains of valid inference, but the concept of validity needed in such an explanation cannot be the traditional one. For an inference to be legitimate in a proof it must have sufficient epistemic power, so that the proof really justifies its final conclusion. However, the epistemic concepts used to account for this power are in their turn usually explained in terms of the concept of proof. To get out of this circle we may consider an idea within intuitionism about what it is to justify the assertion of a proposition. It depends on Heyting’s view of the meaning of a proposition, but does not presuppose the concept of inference or of proof as chains of inferences. I discuss this idea and what is required in order to use it for an adequate notion of valid inference.



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Dag Prawitz
Stockholm University

References found in this work

The Logical Basis of Metaphysics.Michael Dummett - 1991 - Harvard University Press.
The Logical Basis of Metaphysics.Michael Dummett, Hilary Putnam & James Conant - 1994 - Philosophical Quarterly 44 (177):519-527.
Intuitionism.A. Heyting - 1966 - Amsterdam: North-Holland Pub. Co..
Aristotle's Prior and Posterior Analytics.W. D. Ross - 1949 - Philosophy 25 (95):380-382.

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