Bergen Logic Group
Work in progress by Evelyn Erickson

Bergen Logic Seminar: Rational Theory Revision In Logic: Beyond Abductivism

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Rational Theory Revision In Logic: Beyond Abductivism

Abstract: A recent trend in the philosophy of logic, under the title of “anti-exceptionalism”, proposesthat the principles of logic are not to be justified by a priori intuitions, but rather, as in theother sciences, by a posteriori or empirical evidence. How exactly the relation of logic andscience is to be fleshed out by the anti-exceptionalist remains to be determined. Anapproach favored by many is to adopt the method of Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE)to select the best logical theory. This approach is not without problems, or so it is arguedherein. Anti-exceptionalism should not stand or fall on the merits of logical abductivism, orthose of any method of theory revision in particular. Rather than defining anti-exceptionalismin terms of applying the scientific methodology of theory revision to logic, the presentdissertation proposes to define it simply in terms of rational theory revision. Such definitionallows for divergent ontological and methodological views to fall under the scope ofanti-exceptionalism, without, at the same time, being too encompassing. The presentdissertation articulates what rational theory revision of logic looks like, beyond logicalabductivism.