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Revision and Logical Neutrality (or, a Plea for Ecumenical Reasons)

Revision and Logical Neutrality (or, a Plea for Ecumenical Reasons)

Jack Woods (Bilkent) gives a talk at the MCMP Colloquium (23 April, 2015) titled "Revision and Logical Neutrality (or, a Plea for Ecumenical Reasons)". Abstract: What reasons are there for revising our logic? One natural suggestion is that we should move from a logical theory L to L′ when L′ does “better” than L in terms of “simplicity, ontological leanness (Occam’s razor), explanatory power, a low degree of ad hocness, unity, [and] fruitfulness.” (Priest 2006, 147) This is to apply relatively familiar standards of scientific theory choice, such as inference to the best explanation, to the case of logic. There are special difficulties in the case of logic, however, since our choice of a logical theory impacts the background theory in which we carry out theory choice. It is by no means obvious that we can have a logically neutral account of how L and L′ meet these criteria. Certain ways of developing these criteria are not logically neutral as I show. And, given that they are not, there is a serious epistemic worry about the permissibility of using such reasons. Or, anyways, so I shall argue.

Duration: 43 min

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