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Logical antiexceptionalism and theoretical equivalence
Analysis 77 (4):759767 (2017)
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I investigate syntactic notions of theoretical equivalence between logical theories and a recent objection thereto. I show that this recent criticism of syntactic accounts, as extensionally inadequate, is unwarranted by developing an account which is plausibly extensionally adequate and more philosophically motivated. This is important for recent antiexceptionalist treatments of logic since syntactic accounts require less theoretical baggage than semantic accounts. 

Thought: A Journal of Philosophy, EarlyView. 

Philosophers of science often assume that logically equivalent theories are theoretically equivalent. I argue that two theses, antiexceptionalism about logic (which says, roughly, that logic is not a priori, that it is revisable, and that it is not special or set apart from other human inquiry) and logical realism (which says, roughly, that differences in logic reflect genuine metaphysical differences in the world), make trouble for both this commitment and the closely related commitment to theories being closed under logical consequence. (...) 

Formal criteria of theoretical equivalence are mathematical mappings between specific sorts of mathematical objects, notably including those objects used in mathematical physics. Proponents of formal criteria claim that results involving these criteria have implications that extend beyond pure mathematics. For instance, they claim that formal criteria bear on the project of using our best mathematical physics as a guide to what the world is like, and also have deflationary implications for various debates in the metaphysics of physics. In this paper, (...) 

There are many different ways to talk about the world. Some ways of talking are more expressive than others—that is, they enable us to say more things about the world. But what exactly does this mean? When is one language able to express more about the world than another? In my dissertation, I systematically investigate different ways of answering this question and develop a formal theory of expressive power, translation, and notational variance. In doing so, I show how these investigations (...) 

Thought: A Journal of Philosophy, EarlyView. 

In a recent paper, Wigglesworth claims that syntactic criteria of theoretical equivalence are not appropriate for settling questions of equivalence between logical theories, since such criteria judge classical and intuitionistic logic to be equivalent; he concludes that logicians should use semantic criteria instead. However, this is an artefact of the particular syntactic criterion chosen, which is an implausible criterion of theoretical equivalence. Correspondingly, there is nothing to suggest that a more plausible syntactic criterion should not be used to settle questions (...) 