Sebastian Horvat (Universität Wien): Should logic be influenced by empirical science? Some preliminary reflections
The recent philosophical literature on logic has seen a significant rise in views that reject some of the epistemological and metaphysical tenets that have traditionally been attributed to logic, such as its alleged aprioricity, analyticity, necessity and generality. Moreover, it has been suggested that choosing a logical theory proceeds along similar methodological lines to how theories are chosen in the other sciences, and more particularly, that the empirical sciences themselves may (or even should) inform our logical beliefs. The aim of this talk is to critically evaluate the latter suggestion, and more broadly, the role that empirical science may or may not possibly have in logic.
I will start by briefly discussing a concrete historical example: namely, the debates concerning the need for the adoption of a non-classical logic in light of the empirical adequacy of quantum mechanics. The confusion surrounding these and similar debates will motivate me to cautiously remark that an adequate evaluation of the role of empirical science in logic requires an antecedent elucidation of how logic is to be conceived as a discipline. In response, I will offer a simplified taxonomy of currently held conceptions of logic, and show that under some of these conceptions the role of empirical science, or lack thereof, is manifest, whereas for others the situation is less clear. I will conclude by gesturing towards the way I currently think logic and its relation to the empirical sciences ought to be conceived.