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On Logical Relativity

Varzi, Achille C.

One logic or many? I say—many. Or rather, I say there is one logic for each way of specifying the class of all possible circumstances, or models, i.e., all ways of interpreting a given language. But because there is no unique way of doing this, I say there is no unique logic except in a relative sense. Indeed, given any two competing logical theories T1 and T2 (in the same language) one could always consider their common core, T, and settle on that theory. So, given any language L, one could settle on the minimal logic T0 corresponding to the common core shared by all competitors. That would be a way of resisting relativism, as long as one is willing to redraw the bounds of logic accordingly. However, such a minimal theory T0 may be empty if the syntax of L contains no special ingredients the interpretation of which is independent of the specification of the relevant L-models. And generally—I argue—this is indeed the case.



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December 2, 2014