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Logic&Meta: Suki Finn

March 14, 2016 @ 4:15 pm - 6:15 pm

Logic and Metaphysics Workshop Spring 2016

Mondays, 4.15-6.15. Room 6421, Graduate Center

The workshop is organized by Graham Priest

Monday 14 March, 4.15-6.15

Suki Finn, York

What’s the problem with adopting a logical rule?

Room 6421, CUNY Graduate Center. [This is on the 6th floor, but it’s tucked away in a cul-de-sac, so be prepared for a bit of a wander til you find it.]

Abstract: There have been many ways to understand what the Tortoise taught us in Carroll’s puzzle, “What the Tortoise Said to Achilles”. Quine famously used the puzzle as a “regress problem” against Carnap to show that the logical rules cannot be true by convention. More recently, Kripke has interpreted the puzzle as an “adoption problem” (coined by Padro) which he uses against Quine to show that the logical rules cannot be empirical. I will argue that Carroll’s puzzle, the regress problem, and the adoption problem, are distinct, and that we learn different lessons from each. The aim of this paper is to map out the debates between Kripke, Quine, and Carnap, in order to show that Kripke’s adoption problem is far further reaching than originally considered. I will show how the problem of adopting a logical rule arises whether we take the rules to be empirical (in Quine’s sense) or analytic (in Carnap’s sense), demonstrating that the adoption problem does not discriminate among different interpretations of the status or justification of logical rules. Rather, there is a far more fundamental issue with adopting a logical rule that cannot be resolved by appeal to how we justify our logic. The fundamental issue in the adoption problem is the role that logical rules play in our practice of making inferences. So, the problematic element in adoption is the application, rather than the acceptance or justification, of the logical rules. What we need to do to move forward then is understand what is going on when we make inferences, in a way that doesn’t require a problematic role for rule-following, where the rules are construed as neither analytic in Carnap’s sense or empirical in Quine’s sense. I will briefly gesture at a way to do this at the end of the paper, once the fundamental problem with adopting a logical rule has been extracted from looking at the works of Carroll, Kripke, Padro, Quine, and Carnap.

Full schedule here.



March 14, 2016
4:15 pm - 6:15 pm
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Room 6421, CUNY Graduate Center
365 5th Avenue
New York City ,

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