Against Logical Inferentialism

Logique Et Analyse 255 (255):275-287 (2021)
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Abstract

I argue against inferentialism about logic. First, I argue against an analogy between logic and chess, before considering a more basic objection to stipulating inference rules as a way of establishing the meaning of logical constants. The objectionthe Mushroom Omelette Objectionis that stipulative acts are partly constituted by logical notions, and therefore cannot be used to explain logical thought. I then argue that the same problem also attaches to following existing conventional rules, since either those rules have logical contents, or following those conventional rules is done for logical reasons. Lastly, I compare this argument with other arguments found in Quine’s early work, and consider two attempts to reply to Quine.

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Nick Zangwill
University College London

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