16 April 2019: Filippo Ferrari

Logical Anti-Exceptionalism and Logical Normativity

Abstract: The primary aim of this talk is to address the following question: in what sense and to what extent does the normativity of logic put pressure on logical anti-exceptionalism? The talk is structured as follows: first I will introduce and briefly discuss a variety of dimensions of anti-exceptionalism; second I distinguish between different ways in which logic can be said to be normative (for reasoning); third, I discuss the relationships between anti-exceptionalism and logical normativity with the aim of substantiating the following conjecture: the normative function that logic exerts on reasoning is a threat to logical anti-exceptionalism only if it is conceived as a substantive and intrinsic aspect of the nature of logic. I conclude by critically assessing the feasibility of two ‘extrincisists’ strategies: the first, adumbrated by Gillian Russell (Russell 2017), takes truth to be the extrinsic source of the normativity of logic; the second, which is due to Graham Priest (Priest 2016), takes rationality to play that role. If time permits, I sketch an alternative way to understand the normative function of logic—one that would make logic ‘exceptional’ only to a minimal extent.  This talk is partly based on a joint project with Sebastiano Moruzzi.