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Is logic empirical? Is logic to be found in the world? Or is logic rather a convention, a product of conventions, part of the many rules that regulate the language game? Answers fall in either camp. We like the linguistic answer. In this paper, we want to analyze how a linguistic community would tackle the problem of developing a logic and show how the linguistic conventions adopted by the community determine the properties of the local logic. Then show how to move from a notion of logic that varies from community to community to a notion of logic that is in a sense universal. The framework is conventional up to a point: we have sentences, atomic and composite, the connectives are interpreted, values are computed, and the value of a composite sentence is a function of the values of its subsentences. Less conventional is the use of a plurality of truth values, and the sharp distinction we draw between sentences and statements, in the spirit of the distinction between proposition and judgment that one may find in proof theory. The linguistic community will face many choices. What are the good ones, the ones to avoid? Are there, in some sense, optimal choices? These are the kind of issues we are addressing. Where do we end up? With some kind of universal bivalent logic, ironically enough. We start from an arbitrarily large number of truth values, atomic sentences and connectives, construct a generic many-valued logic, recover more or less the usual results and issues, and in the end it all comes down to a positive bivalent logic with two connectives, `and' and `or', as if logic is nothing more than a mere accounting of possibilities.
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First archival date: 2013-05-15
Latest version: 6 (2014-10-24)
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