Date: May. 26 (Friday), 16:30–18:00
Place: 京都大学 文学部校舎１階 会議室（1F, Faculty of Letters Main Bldg., Kyoto Univ.）
Speaker: Prof. Joe Morrison (Queen’s University Belfast, UK)
Penelope Maddy argues that logical truths are only contingently true. Her premises include: (1) logical truths are truths about stable features of the world, (2) while humans may struggle to detect worldly features which don’t exhibit such structuring (and struggle to reason non-classically about the world), this is not because such structures necessarily obtain, but because (3) our cognitive abilities have developed in response to these (relatively abundant) structures in our environments. However, (4) not all parts of the world exhibit the kinds of stable structures which would ground classical reasoning, but instead possess structures which might ground non-classical reasoning. (5) It’s possible that an organism could reliably detect and infer on the basis of those kinds of structures instead, in a way which might count as knowledge, and so (6) might evolve to exhibit and exploit non-classical reasoning. It follows that such organisms could come to know non-classical logical truths.
My line of response to Maddy’s argument concerns the issue of how she conceives of the link between inferential abilities (reasoning) and the domain of logical facts (worldly structures). I argue that the relationships between the types of inferential habits that organisms might in fact adopt and the kinds of structures that might exist in the world is weaker than Maddy requires for her argument for logical contingentism to work.