Florian Steinberger
Birkbeck, University of London
Logic, the tradition has it, is normative for reasoning. But is that really so? And if so, in what sense is logic normative for reasoning? As Gilbert Harman has reminded us, devising a logic and devising a theory of reasoning are two separate enterprises. Hence, logic's normative authority cannot reside in the fact that principles of logic just are norms of reasoning. Once we cease to identify the two, we are left with a gap. To bridge the gap one would need to produce what John MacFarlane has appropriately called a 'bridge principle', i.e. a general principle articulating a substantive and systematic link between logical entailment and norms of reasoning. This is Harman's skeptical challenge. In this paper, I argue that Harman's skeptical challenge can be met. I show how candidate bridge principles can be systematically generated and evaluated against a set of well-motivated desiderata. Moreover, I argue that bridge principles advanced by MacFarlane himself and others, for all their merit, fail to address the problem originally set forth by Harman and so do not meet the skeptical challenge. Finally, I develop a bridge principle that meets Harman's requirements as well as being substantive.
Keywords Philosophy of logic  Rationality  Epistemic normativity
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Reprint years 2019
DOI 10.1111/phpr.12434
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References found in this work BETA

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