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Evelyn Fernandes Erickson | On the metaphysics of (epistemological) logical anti-exceptionalism | Principia

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On the metaphysics of (epistemological) logical anti-exceptionalism

Evelyn Fernandes Erickson


A recent logical anti-exceptionalist trend proposes that logical theories are revisable in the same manner as scientific theories, either on grounds of the method of theory selection or on what counts as evidence for this revision. Given this approximation of logic and science, the present essay analyzes the commitments of both these varieties and argues that, as it currently stands, this kind of anti-exceptionalism is committed to scientific realism, that is, to realism about some unobservable entities evoked in logical theories. The essay argues that anti-exceptionalism cannot be separated into metaphysical and epistemological varieties, and proposed rather to label anti-exceptionalists views either broadly in terms of theory revision, or narrowly in terms of logic’s affinity with science.

KEYWORDS: Logical anti-exceptionalism, abduction, scientific realism, logical realism