Document Type

Honors Project On-Campus Access Only


When we see something which arouses shock, we sometimes say it “defies logic.” But we don’t mean that we should change the way that mathematics is done. However, a recent view in the contemporary literature, called anti-exceptionalism, claims that some evidence would lead us to such a drastic conclusion. Defined broadly, the anti-exceptionalist says that logic is continuous with the sciences. My thesis considers a specific version of anti-exceptionalism: The view that logic is revisable due to abductive criteria, such as simplicity, explanatory power, and fitness with data. Some go so far as to argue that logic is even revisable due to empirical evidence, as opposed to a priori evidence. This thesis begins by assessing an anti-exceptionalist argument that geometry is analogous to logic. Since applied geometry has been revised due to empirical evidence in the past, so too is this possible with logic. I suggest gaps in the analogy. The second chapter develops these gaps into two further arguments: The first is that logical revision cannot be made a priori. The other suggests it is impossible to decide deductively that a particular logic is better than our current one. Finally, I examine what kinds of evidence we could have against a logical theory and the extent to which different kinds of evidence demand revision.



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