Does anti-exceptionalism about logic entail that logic is a posteriori?

Synthese 200 (3):1-17 (2022)
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The debate between exceptionalists and anti-exceptionalists about logic is often framed as concerning whether the justification of logical theories is a priori or a posteriori (for short: whether logic is a priori or a posteriori). As we substantiate (S1), this framing more deeply encodes the usual anti-exceptionalist thesis that logical theories, like scientific theories, are abductively justified, coupled with the common supposition that abduction is an a posteriori mode of inference, in the sense that the epistemic value of abduction is (and, indeed, must be) a posteriori. In past work, however, we have argued that this common supposition is incorrect: abduction is an a priori mode of inference, in the sense that the epistemic value of abduction is (and indeed, must be) a priori (Biggs and Wilson 2017a, 2017b, 2019). After sketching our two main argumentative strategies for this conclusion (S2), we go on (S3) to consider its import on the proper understanding of anti-exceptionalism about logic.



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Author Profiles

Stephen Biggs
Iowa State University
Jessica M. Wilson
University of Toronto at Scarborough

References found in this work

Two Dogmas of Empiricism.W. Quine - 1951 - [Longmans, Green].
Modal Logic as Metaphysics.Timothy Williamson - 2013 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Two Dogmas of Empiricism.Willard V. O. Quine - 1951 - Philosophical Review 60 (1):20–43.
The Scientific Image.William Demopoulos & Bas C. van Fraassen - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (4):603.

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