Philosophy Tag


Last week, A.J. Cotnoir (St. Andrews) tagged Franz Berto (Amsterdam). Will the next it be in Europe again? Let’s see…


How does the epistemology of logical claims work?
Says Carnap: “Well, such claims are analytic: true in virtue of meaning. So we know them a priori, and in the same breath we appreciate their necessity.”
Quine retorts: “Don’t even mention analyticity, Rudolf! Logical claims are in the same holistic boat as anything else: they stand or fall depending on our overall best theory.”
In her ‘Metaphysical Analyticity and the Epistemology of Logic in Philosophical Studies (also here), Gillian Russell aims at keeping the virtues of Carnap and Quine’s opposite stances while avoiding their troubles. She resorts to the distinction between between metaphysical and epistemic analyticity. Logical truths are analytic in the former sense, not in the latter: they are indeed true in virtue of meaning—which explains their modal status. However, competent speakers may fully understand them while failing to take them as true, because the epistemology of meaning is itself a complicated, holistic business. This is a lovely paper engaging with one of the deepest issues in the philosophy of logic. And so, Gillian Russell, you are it!

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