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Ben Martin & Ole Hjortland | Logical Predictivism | Journal of Philosophical Logic

Logical Predictivism

Ben Martin & Ole Hjortland


Motivated by weaknesses with traditional accounts of logical epistemology, considerable attention has been paid recently to the view, known as anti-exceptionalism about logic (AEL), that the subject matter and epistemology of logic may not be so different from that of the recognised sciences. One of the most prevalent claims made by advocates of AEL is that theory choice within logic is significantly similar to that within the sciences. This connection with scientific methodology highlights a considerable challenge for the anti-exceptionalist, as two uncontentious claims about scientific theories are that they attempt to explain a target phenomenon and (at least partially) prove their worth through successful predictions. Thus, if this methodological AEL is to be viable, the anti-exceptionalist will need a reasonable account of what phenomena logics are attempting to explain, how they can explain, and in what sense they can be said to issue predictions. This paper makes sense of the anti-exceptionalist proposal with a new account of logical theory choice, logical predictivism, according to which logics are engaged in both a process of prediction and explanation.

KEYWORDS: Anti-Exceptionalism about logic, Logical methodology, Theory choice, Logical abductivism, Explanation, Prediction