The Universality of Logic: On the Connection between Rationality and Logical Ability
Evnine (Simon J.)
Source: Mind, Vol. 110, No. 438 (Apr., 2001), pp. 335-367
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

  1. I argue for the thesis (UL) that there are certain logical abilities that any rational creature must have. Opposition to UL comes from naturalized epistemologists who hold that it is a purely empirical question which logical abilities a rational creature has.
  2. I provide arguments that any creatures meeting certain conditions – plausible necessary conditions on rationality – must have certain specific logical concepts and be able to use them in certain specific ways. For example, I argue that any creature able to grasp theories must have a concept of conjunction subject to the usual introduction and elimination rules.
  3. I also deal with disjunction1, conditionality and negation.
  4. Finally, I put UL to work in showing how it could be used to define a notion of logical obviousness that would be well suited to certain contexts – e.g. radical translation and epistemic logic – in which a concept of obviousness is often invoked.

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