Fri Feb 9, 2007
60 Evans Hall, 4:10–6 PM
Branden Fitelson (UC-Berkeley)
Epistemological Critiques of “Classical Logic” – Two Case Studies
Some non-classical deductive logicians have offered critiques of classical deductive logic that are based on appeals to epistemological considerations. Gilbert Harman mounted a rather convincing defense of classical deductive logic against these attacks. Ironically, however, Harman (and many others in the literature) seems to have been swayed by Nelson Goodman’s “Grue” argument against classical (i.e., Hempelian and Carnapian) inductive logic. I will argue (largely by analogy with the deductive case) that a compelling Harmanian defense of classical inductive logic is also available. Indeed, I will argue that the Harmanian defensive strategy is (in some respects) even more compelling in the inductive-logical case. Along the way, the discussion will also reveal an interesting connection between Goodman’s “Grue” problem and another well-known problem in contemporary inductive logic (and inductive epistemology): the so-called “problem of old evidence”.