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THE JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHY: Vol. 116, No. 1, January 2019.

Three Ways in Which Logic Might Be Normative, FLORIAN STEINBERGER

According to tradition, logic is normative for reasoning. Gilbert Harman challenged the view that there is any straightforward connection between logical consequence and norms of reasoning. Authors including John MacFarlane and Hartry Field have sought to rehabilitate the traditional view. This paper argues that the debate is marred by a failure to distinguish three types of normative assessment, and hence three ways to understand the question of the normativity of logic. Logical principles might be thought to provide the reasoning agent with first-personal directives; they might be thought to serve as third-personal evaluative standards; or they might underwrite our third-personal appraisals of others whereby we attribute praise and blame. The author characterizes the three normative functions in general terms and shows how a failure to appreciate this threefold distinction has led disputants to talk past one another. The author further shows how the distinction encourages fruitful engagement with and ultimately resolution of the question.

Counterpossible Non-vacuity in Scientific Practice, PETER TAN

The longstanding philosophical orthodoxy on counterfactuals holds, in part, that counterfactuals with metaphysically impossible antecedents ("counterpossibles") are indiscriminately vacuously true. Drawing on a number of examples from across scientific practice, this paper argues that science routinely treats counterpossibles as nonvacuously true and also routinely treats other counterpossibles as false. In fact, the success of many central scientific endeavors requires that counterpossibles can be nonvacuously true or false. So the philosophical orthodoxy that counterpossibles are indiscriminately vacuously true is inconsistent with scientific practice. The author argues that this provides a conclusive reason to reject the orthodoxy.

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Article Details
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Publication:The Review of Metaphysics
Article Type:Abstract
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2019
Previous Article:INTERNATIONAL PHILOSOPHICAL QUARTERLY: Vol. 59, No. 2, June 2019.
Next Article:THE JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHY: Vol. 116, No. 2, February 2019.

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