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ni iciiviu viiw .noi+ iooic is +n.+ i+ is . vioi, iN . uoinii-ni.uiu
vay: (i) lhe Iegilimacy of IogicaI ruIes does nol deend uon emiricaI
evidence, and (ii) lhese ruIes are emiricaIIy indefeasibIe, lhal is, lhere
is no ossibIe observalionaI evidence lhal counls againsl lhe Iegilimacy
of lhese ruIes. Ariorism aboul Iogic is lyicaIIy lied lo a dogmalic auilude:
Iogic is emiricaIIy indefeasibIe because ve need Iogic lo drav consequences
from emiricaI observalions, and lhis cannol be done if Iogic ilseIf is revisabIe.
In lvo fascinaling aers, Harlry IieId has given a nev lvisl lo lhis osilion
(see IieId 1996 and 1998, see aIso IieId 2001, Chaler 13). He has argued lhal
lhe IogicaI ariorisl need nol be dogmalic. On his viev, IogicaI ariorism is
consislenl vilh IogicaI faIIibiIism (even on emiricaI grounds): Il makes sense
lo regard Iogic as a riori bul al lhe same lime lo lhink il conceivabIe lhal
furlher conceluaI deveIomenls couId shov il nol lo be, by shoving lhal Iogic
is emiricaIIy defeasibIe . . . afler aII (IieId 1998, . 4).
AIlhough lhis is an inleresling move, faIIibiIism and ariorism do nol
aear lo be reconciIabIe. If ve aIIov lhe ossibiIily lhal Iogic is emiricaIIy
defeasibIe, as IieId does vilh his IogicaI faIIibiIism, ve are aIIoving lhal Iogic
mighl nol be 4 3/()/(conlrary lo IieId's ariorism. IieId lries lo eslabIish lhe
coherence of lhis osilion by cIaiming lhal lhe ossibiIily of emiricaI defeasibiIily
he considers is onIy eislemic. ul since in his viev eislemic ossibiIily is nol
genuine ossibiIily (IieId 1998, . 5), il is nol al aII cIear in vhal sense his faIIibiIisl
ariorism is genuine: for lhe ossibiIily of emiricaI defeasibiIily, being onIy
eislemic, is nol genuine in IieId's ovn Iighl.
In vhal foIIovs, I shaII argue lhal even if ve granl lhal faIIibiIisl ariorism
is coherenl, IieId faiIs lo eslabIish lhal lhis roosaI is beuer lhan lhe mosl
inleresling aIlernalive: 0422(C(2(-% +<3(/(7(-<. According lo lhis emiricisl viev,
Tni H.v.u Riviiw oi Iniiosovnv !"#$%&'' )*+*
Olavio ueno 106
aIlhough lhe 2+@(%(<47" of IogicaI ruIes does ,)% deend uon emiricaI evidence,
Iogic is +<3(/(7422" 5+0+4-(C2+.
In IieId's viev, any roosaI lhal suorls lhe non-ariorily of Iogic is
inadequale, since il has lo assume lhal some IogicaI ruIes are a riori in order
lo evaIuale olher IogicaI ruIes and lhe adequacy of reIevanl melhodoIogicaI
slandards. I viII resisl lhis argumenl by deveIoing lhe emiricisl aIlernalive
furlher. The main idea is lo arlicuIale a 2)@(742 32*/42(-% accounl (according lo
vhich lhere is more lhan one Iogic adequale lo a given domain), and lo molivale
lhe cIaim lhal Iogic is ,)% loic-neulraI, bul is 7),%+B%O5+3+,5+,%. Deending on lhe
domain ve are considering (for inslance, quanlum mechanics), lhere may be good
reason lo revise cerlain IogicaI ruIes on emiricaI grounds (see irkho and von
Neumann 1936, Iulnam 1968, Haack 1996, and da Cosla 1997). The change in lhe
underIying Iogic may heI lo soIve cerlain robIems (for examIe, inlerrelalion
issues in quanlum mechanics, see Iulnam |1968j), and furlhermore aIIovs lhe
exIoralion of nev conceluaI ossibiIilies (for inslance, nev consequences aboul
our underslanding of quanlum lheory). So, lhe aIlernalive rovided aIIovs one
lo make sense of science in a more slraighlforvard vay lhan IieId's aroach
does, given lhe exislence of roosaIs suggesling lhe need for a change of Iogic
on emiricaI grounds.
Tvo nev fealures are inlroduced by lhis emiricism. The !rsl of lhese
is an accounl of IogicaI change lhal goes hand in hand vilh lhe formuIalion of
hysicaI lheories. In lhis vay, IieId's ob|eclion againsl IogicaI non-ariorism
can be rebuued: vilh a iecemeaI aroach lo lheory conslruclion in science, il
is ossibIe lo change lhe underIying Iogic of a arlicuIar lheory, vilhoul ever
assuming lhal any such Iogic is emiricaIIy indefeasibIe. Deending on lhe conlexl
under consideralion, a change in Iogic may veII be varranled (more on lhis beIov).
Second, since lhere is no requiremenl lhal lhe resuIling lheories be lrue, bul onIy
emiricaIIy adequale, lhe accounl advances a lhoroughIy anli-reaIisl viev aboul
science (see van Iraassen 1980 and 1989). Thus, faIIibiIisl emiricism rovides a
vay of incororaling Iogic inlo an emiricisl framevork, vilhoul resuosing
lhe anaIylic/synlhelic dislinclion.
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Iiiiu vi+s iow.u +nii x.,o .oixiN+s iN uiiiNsi oi iooic.i .vioisx,
and concIudes his discussion vilh a chaIIenge lo lhose vho deny lhal Iogic is
a riori (in lhe sense lhal Iogic is emiricaIIy defeasibIe). I shaII examine lhese
argumenls in lurn.
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IieId's !rsl argumenl, vhich slresses lhe irreIevance of emiricaI faclors
lo lhe revision of Iogic, is as foIIovs. Iven if lhere vere emiricaI faclors indicaling
lhal a Iogic shouId be revised, lhese faclors are disensabIelhal is, lhey onIy
heI us see a conceluaI ossibiIily lhal ve shouId have been abIe lo recognize
indeendenlIy. So, for inslance, if some quanlum mechanicaI henomena suggesl
lhe revision of lhe dislribulivily rinciIe on emiricaI grounds, ve shouId be
abIe lo recognize lhe ossibiIily of lhis revision indeendenlIy of lhe henomena.
SimiIarIy (aIlhough IieId does nol lhink lhal lhis examIe is decisive (IieId 1998,
!"#$%&'' )*+* Tni H.v.u Riviiw oi Iniiosovnv
Is Logic A Iriori` 107
. 3)), if lhe discovery lhal lhere is no Sanla CIaus suggesls lhal ve need lo change
cIassicaI Iogic lo accommodale non-referring lerms, ve shouId have been abIe
lo recognize lhis ossibiIily on ureIy conceluaI grounds. Thus, lhe move lo a
version of free Iogiclo lake inlo accounl lerms lhal Iack referencecouId have
been made based on conceluaI consideralions aIone. In olher vords, according lo
IieId, ve shouId nol say lhal Iogic is emiricaIIy defeasibIe: emiricaI henomena
onIy suggesl lo us conceluaI ossibiIilies.
Whal are lhe robIems vilh lhis argumenl` In a nulsheII, il culs loo much.
If lhe argumenl is righl, il couId be used lo eslabIish lhal -7(+,7+ is a riori. Afler
aII, inslead of saying lhal a arlicuIar henomenon faIsi!es a given lheory, ve
couId say lhal lhe henomenon onIy indicales a ossibiIily lhal D+ -1)*25 14'+
C++, 4C2+ %) /+7)@,(R+ (,5+3+,5+,%2". If ve onIy consider lhe slruclure of IieId's
argumenl, vhal is lhe dierence belveen lhe resumed emiricaI (,defeasibiIily
of Iogic and lhe emiricaI 5+0+4-(C(2(%" of a scienli!c lheory` Of course, il simIy
begs lhe queslion lo cIaim lhal Iogic is a riori bul a scienli!c lheory is nol. ul
lhen, il is uncIear vhal is suosed lo dislinguish a scienli!c lheory from a Iogic
in lhis conlexl. In olher vords, if IieId's argumenl is sound, il couId be used lo
eslabIish lhal even scienli!c lheories are emiricaIIy indefeasibIe. The argumenl
had beuer nol be sound lhen.
The robIem is lhal aIlhough an emiricaI henomenon may suggesl
a conceluaI ossibiIily, il does nol foIIov lhal lhe change suggesled by lhe
henomenon in our lheory is ureIy conceluaI. Since lhe henomenon is acluaI,
il suggesls a change of an emiricaI kind. IieId's argumenl seems lo disregard
lhis facl. ul lhis is exaclIy lhe same lye of facl lhal vouId molivale a change
of Iogic on emiricaI grounds. Il is onIy by assuming lhal Iogic is a riorias
oosed lo scienli!c lheories, vhich are nollhal IieId couId eslabIish lhal his
argumenl does nol aIso make scienli!c lheories emiricaIIy indefeasibIe. ul lhis
begs lhe queslion.
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This Iasl remark Ieads us lo IieId's second argumenl. IieId asks vhal
couId ossibIy counl as lhe emiricaI defeasibiIily of a IogicaI rinciIe. In
order lo refule a IogicaI rinciIe, ve need a Iogic, and such a Iogic has lo
be a riori, olhervise, il vouId be as oen lo refulalion as lhe IogicaI rinciIe
under discussion. This argumenl aIso has a more generaI form. We need a Iogic
bolh lo drav consequences from an evidenliaI syslem and lo evaIuale belveen
rivaI syslems. And if Iogic vere nol laken lo be a riori, ve vouId nol be abIe lo
erform lhese roIes, since lhe Iogic ilseIf vouId lhen be oen lo revision aIong
vilh lhe evidenliaI syslems under consideralion.
This is a IausibIe argumenl, bul il is far from being decisive. Ivery
evidenliaI syslem does have an underIying Iogic. ul vhy musl il be a riori`
The Iogic couId simIy be 477+3%+5 as adequale in lhal conlexl, being used for lhe
uroses of draving emiricaI consequences. This does nol mean lhal il can nol
be revised even on emiricaI grounds. The decision nol lo revise a Iogic in a given
conlexl is 3/4@<4%(7, since ve need lo use a Iogic lo drav consequences. ul lhere
is nolhing in lhis rocess lhal requires Iogic lo be a riori. The onIy requiremenl
is lhal lhe Iogic is 477+3%+5 in lhal conlexl.
Tni H.v.u Riviiw oi Iniiosovnv !"#$%&'' )*+*
Olavio ueno 108
We may even have good reasons lo change lhe underIying Iogic of our
evidenliaI syslem. Ior examIe, if ve vanl lo accommodale lhe conslruclive
fealures of malhemalicaI reasoning, cIassicaI Iogic viII be cIearIy inadequale. In
lhis conlexl, an inluilionislic Iogic vouId be far beuer. SimiIarIy, if ve vanl lo
accommodale lhe exislence of inconsislencies in our evidenliaI syslemsvilhoul
arbilrariIy re|ecling some bils of informalionve have reason lo move lo a
araconsislenl Iogic, inslead of adoling cIassicaI or inluilionislic Iogic. In olher
vords, lhere are Iogics adequale lo some conlexls, and inadequale lo olhers.
The adequacy of a Iogic lo a arlicuIar conlexl, or domain, deends on
lhree faclors: (a) -%/*7%*/42 fealures of lhe Iogic (lhe kind of inferences il Iicenses),
(b) fealures of lhe 5)<4(, under consideralion (if lhe domain incororales
inconsislencies, say), and (c) lhe arlicuIar *-+- ve vanl lo make of lhe Iogic
(our 4(<- in lhal arlicuIar conlexl). Ior examIe, inluilionislic Iogic lyicaIIy
does nol aIIov lhe use of excIuded middIe in reasoning aboul in!nile sels (faclor
(a)). This Iogic lhen becomes a cruciaI looI for lhose concerned vilh lhe sludy of
conslruclive fealures of malhemalicaI lhoughl (faclor (c)), eseciaIIy because so
much malhemalics deends on conslruclions invoIving in!nile sels (faclor (b)).
SimiIarIy, a araconsislenl Iogic lyicaIIy does nol aIIov lhe derivalion of any
senlence vhalsoever from an inconsislency (faclor (a)). So, if ve are deaIing vilh
an inconsislenl lheory (faclor (b)), and ve do nol vanl lo Iose informalion (faclor
(c)), ve have reason lo move lo a araconsislenl Iogic. This Iogic is adequale lo
lhis conlexl.
Once ve reaIize lhal il is lhe inlerIay of lhese lhree faclors lhal
delermines lhe adequacy of a Iogic lo a given conlexl, il becomes cIear lhal lhere
is no reason vhy Iogic shouId be laken as a riori. A Iogic can be used lo drav
consequences from an evidenliaI syslem desile being emiricaIIy defeasibIe. Il
onIy has lo be 477+3%+5 in lhal conlexl.
So, lhe facl lhal a Iogic is aIvays resuosed by an evidenliaI syslem
does nol enlaiI ils ariorily. This Iogic couId sliII be revised on emiricaI grounds.
Of course, lhe ossibiIily of such a revision shouId be more lhan eislemic, lhal
is, il has lo be a genuine ossibiIily.
ul hov couId lhis ossibiIily be genuine`
A Iogic can be laken as inadequale if il Iicenses consequences vhich do nol
re"ecl lhe slruclure of lhe domain under consideralionlhal is lhe vhoIe oinl
of slressing lhe inlerIay of faclors (a)-(c). The idea is lhal a Iogic is associaled
vilh slruclures vhich re"ecl lhe informalion aboul lhe reIevanl domain. Ior
examIe, in quanlum mechanics, lhe Iogic of eIemenlary slalemenls re"ecls lhe
slruclure of lhe HiIberl sace used lo reresenl lhe slales of a quanlum syslem
(for delaiIs, see, for examIe,. van Iraassen 1991 and Redei 1998). The Iogic of
eIemenlary slalemenls is nol cIassicaI, and cIassicaI Iogic does nol generale lhe
righl slruclure in lhal domain. So, even if ve slarl vilh an evidenliaI syslem lhal
has a arlicuIar Iogic (say, cIassicaI Iogic), lhere may veII be reasons lo change
lhis Iogic (moving, for examIe, lo quanlum Iogic). In lhis vay, a Iogic may be
emiricaIIy inadequale, in lhe sense of nol being adequale lo lhe domain lo
vhich il is aIied.
In olher vords, desile being resuosed by an evidenliaI syslem, a
Iogic may lurn oul lo be inadequale. This facl rovides a reason for us lo change
lhe Iogic on emiricaI groundsor, al Ieasl, on grounds lhal 5+3+,5 ), %1+ 5)<4(,
!"#$%&'' )*+* Tni H.v.u Riviiw oi Iniiosovnv
Is Logic A Iriori` 109
under consideralion. In lhis vay, lhere is no incomalibiIily belveen a Iogic being
resuosed by an evidenliaI syslem and lhe genuine ossibiIily of ils emiricaI
revision. The revision of a Iogic, of course, need nol aIvays be emiricaIsome
cases of IogicaI change are cIearIy molivaled by +B%/4O2)@(742 consideralions. And
lhis is enough for lhe IogicaI non-ariorisl, vho need ,)% be commiued lo lhe
cIaim lhal 422 changes in Iogic are emiricaI, bul onIy lhal -)<+ are. UIlimaleIy,
as Iong as changes in Iogic do nol deend on ureIy IogicaI consideralionsand
some are indeed emiricaIlhe IogicaI ariorisl is on safe grounds. Afler aII, being
domain-deendenl, such changes vouId be molivaled by consideralions lhal are
nol onIy of a IogicaI sorl. And so, exlra-IogicaI consideralions Iay a cruciaI roIe
(for furlher eIaboralion on lhis oinl, see ueno and CoIyvan 2004).
In summary, lhere is no doubl lhal ve need a Iogic lo 0)/<*24%+ any lheory
aboul lhe emiricaI vorId. Moreover, if lhe Iogic is changed, lhe lheory is aIso
changed. ul lhis does nol enlaiI lhal Iogic is a riori. As ve sav, lhere may veII
be +<3(/(742 reasons lo revise lhe Iogic, on lhe basis, say, of ils inadequacy lo lhe
domain in queslion. Iurlhermore, lhe need for a Iogic lo formuIale a lheory does
nol enlaiI lhal lhe Iogic 74,,)% C+ /+'(-+5 eilher. Iven if lhe lheory changes vilh any
change in lhe Iogic, lhis does nol mean lhal lhere is somelhing riviIeged aboul
lhe !rsl combinalion of lheory and Iogic. Thal arlicuIar combinalion is oflen
lhe resuIl of a conlingenl rocess, lhe resuIl of a hisloricaI accidenl. Ior examIe,
vhal ve caII 724--(742 <+714,(7- is lhe combinalion of (roughIy seaking) a number
of hysicaI rinciIes from mechanics vilh cIassicaI Iogicor, aIlernaliveIy, a
cerlain famiIy of modeIs formuIaled in a Ianguage vhose Iogic is cIassicaI. So,
if ve changed lhal Iogic, ve vouId have (3-) 047%) changed lhe lheory. ul, of
course, cIassicaI mechanics is lhe resuIl of a Iong, and IargeIy conlingenl, hisloricaI
rocess. The originaI combinalion of hysicaI rinciIes and Iogic lhal consliluled
cIassicaI mechanics mighl have been very dierenl: lhe Iogic in queslion mighl
have been non-cIassicaI. So, lhe facl lhal ve need a Iogic lo formuIale a lheory
does nol eslabIish much aboul lhe nalure of lhal Iogic, in arlicuIar, il does nol
eslabIish lhe Iogic's ariorily.
ul il mighl be argued lhal lhere is a furlher di cuIly here. In order
lo formuIale a lheory in lhe !rsl Iace, ve need a Iogic. If lhal Iogic is deemed
inadequale lo lhe domain, vhal kind of Iogic is used lo delermine lhe reIalionshi
belveen lhe domain and lhe Iogic in lhe !rsl Iace` In ansvering lhis queslion, ve
seem lo face a diIemma: eilher lhe Iogic lhal aIIovs us lo concIude lhe emiricaI
inadequacy of lhe originaI Iogic is !xed, or il is nol. If lhe Iogic is !xed, ve are back
lo lhe ariorily of Iogicafler aII, if lhe Iogic is nol oen lo revision, il is nol oen
lo +<3(/(742 revision. If lhe Iogic is nol !xed, a regress seems lo lhrealenafler
aII, ve vouId need a furlher Iogic lo assess lhe adequacy of lhe second Iogic, and
so on. Is lhere a vay oul`
I lhink lhere is. Wilh regard lo lhe !rsl horn, il does nol foIIov lhal if
lhe Iogic used lo eslabIish lhe emiricaI inadequacy of lhe originaI Iogic is !xed
lhen lhe second Iogic is a riori. The Iogic may be !xed (, %14% 34/%(7*24/ 7),%+B%,
bul lhere may veII be reasons lo revise ileven on emiricaI groundsin olher
conlexls. In arlicuIar, nole lhal lhe conlexl in vhich a Iogic is 4--+--+5 is a 5(+/+,%
conlexl from lhal in vhich lhe Iogic is *-+5 lo drav consequences. And lhere is
no reason lo assume lhal lhe Iogic shouId be !xed lhroughoul.
Tni H.v.u Riviiw oi Iniiosovnv !"#$%&'' )*+*
Olavio ueno 110
ul if lhe Iogic is nol !xed in generaI, does a regress nol lhrealen` (This
is, of course, lhe second horn.) I do nol lhink il does. Ior faIIibiIisls, a regress is
never a robIem. LogicaI faIIibiIisls are nol in lhe business of eslabIishing lhe One
True Logic aboul lhe vorId. In order lo delermine lhe adequacy or inadequacy
of lhal !rsl Iogic, ve can choose a Iogic on 3/4@<4%(7 grounds, and lhen roceed
lhe evaIualion of lhe !rsl Iogic in lerms of lhe second. As vilh any |udgmenl,
|udgmenls aboul lhe adequacy of a Iogic are aIvays faIIibIe, and ve may need
lo revise lhem. ul lhis does nol mean lhal ve do nol have good (aIbeil faIIibIe)
reasons lo make lhem. So, in eilher case, lhe diIemma can be undercul. (I viII
relurn lo lhis issue in seclion 3, beIov.)
Il mighl be ob|ecled lhal ve can aIvays kee a Iogic by suilabIy changing
lhe malhemalicaI or hysicaI rinciIes used in lhe formuIalion of a given scienli!c
lheory. Ior examIe, in quanlum mechanics, ve couId kee cIassicaI Iogic bul
accel non-slandard robabiIilies, or erhas ve couId adol an inlerrelalion
of lhe formaIism lhal aIIovs us lo mainlain a lhoroughIy cIassicaI viev combined
vilh a non-cIassicaI inlernaI Iogic (see van Iraassen 1991). The iclure here is
akin lo lhe Duhem-Quine silualion, vhere lhe One True Logic can aIvays be
mainlained, shouId ve decide lo do so, as Iong as changes are made eIsevhere
in our overaII beIief syslem. This is, of course, veaker lhan lhe osilion discussed
abovelhe argumenl is nol lhal Iogic is indefeasibIe, bul lhal il never has lo be
This is cerlainIy a ossibiIily. ul if il is righl, in vhal sense can ve say
lhal Iogic is a riori` In lhis Quinean iclure, lhe indefeasibiIily of Iogic becomes
lhe resuIl of a <+%1)5)2)@(742 decision, il has nolhing lo do vilh any slrucluraI
fealure of Iogic ilseIf. asicaIIy, il is a mauer of deciding vhich arls of lhe beIief
syslem ve are going lo revise. One of lhe oulcomes of lhe Quinean iclure is lhe
naluraIizalion of aII lhe comonenls of lhe veb of beIief. As a resuIl, even Iogic
can be emiricaIIy defealed if ve are unviIIing lo make changes eIsevhere in lhe
ul lhen il is nol al aII cIear in vhal sense Iogic is a riori.
ul lhere is a furlher reason vhy lhe resuosilion of a Iogic by any
evidenliaI syslem is ,)% enough lo eslabIish lhal il is a riori. Ior lhere mighl be
-+'+/42 Iogics aroriale for lhe -4<+ domain. Ior examIe, as is veII knovn,
lhere are in!nileIy many araconsislenl Iogics (see, for examIe, da Cosla 1974
and 1997, and da Cosla, Krause, and ueno 2007). Thus, if ve vanl lo lame
lhe inconsislency of a given domain, lhere viII be severaI araconsislenl Iogics
aroriale for lhis lask. ShouId ve cIaim lhal aII such Iogics are a riori` Thal
does nol seem IausibIe. Iirsl, lhese araconsislenl Iogics are ,)% equivaIenl. They
form a hierarchy of successiveIy veaker Iogics, in lhe sense lhal a conlradiclion
lhal lriviaIizes one Iogic in lhe sequence viII nol lriviaIize Iogics lhal come Ialer
in lhe sequence (see da Cosla 1974, and da Cosla, Krause, and ueno 2007).

As a resuIl, if one of lhese Iogics can be used lo accommodale an inconsislency
in lhe domain under consideralion, lhen aII veaker Iogics in lhe sequence aIso
can. ul (and lhis is imorlanl) ,)% 422 Iogics in lhe sequence viII be adequale
lo accommodale lhe inconsislency, given lhal some viII be lriviaIized by lhe
Iauer. Of course, lhis viII 5+3+,5 on lhe arlicuIar lye of inconsislency under
consideralion (lhe domain in queslion) and lhe arlicuIar araconsislenl Iogic in
use (eseciaIIy, lhe slrucluraI fealures of lhe Iauer). As a resuIl, given lhal such
!"#$%&'' )*+* Tni H.v.u Riviiw oi Iniiosovnv
Is Logic A Iriori` 111
araconsislenl Iogics can be revised on emiricaI groundsgiven lhe fealures
of lhe domain in queslionil is uncIear in vhal vay lhese Iogics can be a riori.
Thus, 3/(<4 047(+ al Ieasl, il seems di cuIl lo reconciIe lhe lhesis of lhe
ariorily of Iogic vilh 2)@(742 32*/42(-< (lhal is, lhe cIaim lhal lhere are severaI
Iogics adequale lo a given domain). As noled in lhe inlroduclion, IogicaI ariorism
is usuaIIy associaled vilh a 5)@<4%(7 auilude aboul Iogic, and il does nol seem
lo be coherenl vilh a faIIibiIisl aroach. SimiIarIy, IogicaI ariorism sils more
comforlabIy vilh a <),(-% viev of Iogic (lhal is, vilh lhe cIaim lhal lhere is onIy one
Iogic adequale lo lhe vorId). Afler aII, if Iogic is nol emiricaIIy defeasibIe, lhere
seems lo be no rinciIed vay for lhe IogicaI monisl lo exIain lhe exislence of
dierenl 4332(+5 Iogics (in arlicuIar, of dierenl Iogics aIied lo lhe vernacuIar).

Ior according lo lhe IogicaI ariorisl, emiricaI consideralions are (//+2+'4,% lo
lhe choice of aIlernalive Iogics. In lhis vay, lhe IogicaI ariorisl seems lo ruIe
oul lhe IuraIily of aIied Iogics. Given lhal lhe Iauer is a facl of conlemorary
IogicaI lheorizing, I lake il lhal IogicaI ariorism is uIlimaleIy inadequale lo make
sense of Iogic.
The iclure lhal emerges here is, of course, of IogicaI IuraIism and
emiricism aboul Iogic, and I viII relurn lo il in lhe Iasl seclion of lhe aer.
)$L$ ."B>= H8; M?"C?9:G
IieId's lhird argumenl is ul forvard lo diseI lhe foIIoving vorry lhal
arises once one defends lhe ariorily of Iogic. If lhe informalion aboul a given
domain 1)25- (,5+3+,5+,%2" )0 +B3+/(+,7+, is lhis nol a reason lo 5)*C% %1+ 45+W*47"
of lhal informalion` In olher vords, lhe indeendence of exerience seems lo
casl doubl on lhe accelabiIily of lhe informalion in queslion. SimiIarIy, in lhe
case of Iogic, if lhe Iauer is laken lo be indeendenl of exerience, does lhis nol
eslabIish lhe inadequacy of Iogic` As is veII knovn, for cenluries, geomelry
has been laken lo be a rioriunliI il vas shovn lhal IucIidean geomelry vas
(,45+W*4%+ lo describe lhe vorId. Cannol lhe same haen vilh Iogic`
IieId does nol lhink so. In lhe case of our fundamenlaI Iogic, il simIy
makes no sense lo aIIov il lo be emiricaIIy defeasibIe, since ve need Iogic lo
formuIale any lheory aboul lhe emiricaI vorId. Hovever, as he oinls oul,
geomelry has never Iayed lhis roIe in our vorId iclure.
The robIem vilh IieId's reIy is lhal il disregards an imorlanl
simiIarily belveen Iogic and geomelry: bolh can be sludied eilher as 3*/+ syslems
or as 4332(+5 ones (see da Cosla 1997). A 3*/+ @+)<+%/" is lhe sludy of cerlain
geomelricaI saces on ureIy malhemalicaI grounds. Ior examIe, vhen one
invesligales lhe malhemalicaI roerlies of IucIidean saces, of non-IucIidean
saces and so on, vhal is under invesligalion is a ure geomelry. An 4332(+5
@+)<+%/" arises from lhe use of such geomelricaI saces lo describe lhe slruclure
of lhe hysicaI vorId. This is beaulifuIIy iIIuslraled vilh lhe formuIalion of sace-
lime lheories. The cruciaI oinl is lhal lhe geomelry lhal is revised on emiricaI
grounds is ,)% ure geomelry, since lhe Iauer is sludied as a ure malhemalicaI
lheoryil is 4332(+5 geomelry lhal is so revised.
SimiIarIy, in lhe case of Iogic, ve shouId dislinguish belveen ure
and aIied Iogic (da Cosla 1997). A 3*/+ 2)@(7 is roughIy lhe abslracl sludy of
consequence reIalions in a given Ianguage, indeendenlIy of lhe nalure of lhe
Tni H.v.u Riviiw oi Iniiosovnv !"#$%&'' )*+*
Olavio ueno 112
ob|ecls under consideralion. When a Iogic is formuIaled abslraclIy, ils semanlics
characlerized and, for examIe, a comIeleness resuIl eslabIished, vhal is sludied
is ure Iogic. An 4332(+5 2)@(7 arises vilh lhe use of a Iogic lo drav consequences
aboul a arlicuIar domain. Ior examIe, vhen a Iogic is emIoyed lo derive
consequences from a hysicaI lheory, il is laken as aIied Iogic.
}usl as vilh aIied geomelry, ve may have more reason lo revise a Iogic,
in a given domain, lhan lo change lhe rinciIes of a hysicaI lheory. If ve change
lhe Iogic, and kee lhe hysicaI rinciIes, ve may end u vilh a lheory lhal
is more emiricaIIy adequale and simIer lhan lhe exlanl aIlernalive. Quanlum
mechanics rovides an inleresling examIe in lhis regard. A number of di cuIlies
faced by lhe lheory can be soIved if ve reIace cIassicaI Iogic by quanlum Iogic
and revise lhe dislribulivily Iav of lhe former (see irkho and von Neumann
1936, Iulnam 1968, and Dickson 2001). The rinciIes of quanlum mechanics Ius
cIassicaI Iogic generale consequences lhal are eilher faIse or meaningIess, from
lhe vievoinl of some inlerrelalions of lhe quanlum formaIism (see da Cosla
1997, and ueno and CoIyvan 2004). This suggesls lhal changing lhe underIying
Iogic lo a quanlum one may rovide a beuer iclure.
ul vhal is lhe imacl of lhe dislinclion belveen ure and aIied Iogics
on lhe lvo comonenls of lhe ariorily of Iogic` RecaII lhal lhe comonenls are: (i)
lhe Iegilimacy of IogicaI rinciIes does nol deend on exerience, and (ii) IogicaI
rinciIes are emiricaIIy indefeasibIe. Il is unconlroversiaI aboul lhe ariorily
of Iogic lhal (i) is lrue. Whal is robIemalic aboul IogicaI ariorism is ,)% lhe
Iegilimacy of IogicaI rinciIes, vhich can be delermined by lhe invesligalion of
lheir IogicaI form aIone. The robIem emerges vhen ve consider lhe /+'(-4C(2(%"
of lhese rinciIes on emiricaI grounds, lhal is, vhen ve examine (ii).
Nol surrisingIy lhen, if ve consider a 3*/+ Iogic, (i) is lriviaIIy lrue,
and (ii) does nol even arise, since a ure Iogic is ,)% aboul any emiricaI domain,
and so il cannol be revised on emiricaI grounds. The same haens vilh a ure
geomelry: one cannol refule lhe roerlies of a IucIidean sace on emiricaI
grounds, since no lerm in lhe lheory of IucIidean saces refers lo an emiricaI
domain. Therefore, no emiricaI refulalion of lhe lheory is ossibIe. A ure Iogic
aIso Iacks lerms lhal refer lo lhe emiricaI vorId, and so any such refulalion is
The iclure changes vhen ve move lo 4332(+5 Iogic. Wilh regard lo (i),
lhe Iegilimacy of a IogicaI rinciIe is sliII indeendenl of exerience, for vhal
mauers here are consideralions aboul IogicaI form aIone. ul ve cannol say
lhe same vilh regard lo (ii). In order lo aIy a Iogic, ve have lo rovide an
(,%+/3/+%4%(), of lhe formaIism, lhal is, ve have lo assign arls of lhe formaIism
lo lhe vorId. The rocess is slraighlforvard vilh regard lo lhe individuaI lerms
and redicales of lhe Ianguage. AII ve have lo do is rovide an inlerrelalion, in
lhe slandard vay, de!ning a domain 6 of inlerrelalion and assigning eIemenls
of 6 lo lhe individuaI lerms and ,-luIes of such ob|ecls lo ,-Iace redicales.
ul vhal shouId be said aboul lhe IogicaI conslanls` RoughIy seaking, lhey are
concerned vilh combinalions of lrulh-vaIues of lhe senlences (or formuIae) of lhe
Ianguage. Hovever, deending on lhe domain under consideralion, some of lhese
combinalions may be inadequale. The combinalions may nol describe lhe reIalions
found in lhe reIevanl emiricaI domain. Ior examIe, in lhe case of quanlum
!"#$%&'' )*+* Tni H.v.u Riviiw oi Iniiosovnv
Is Logic A Iriori` 113
mechanics, lhe dislribulivily Iav of cIassicaI Iogic faiIs lo describe lhe reIalion
belveen lhe resuIls of cerlain emiricaI observalions (nameIy, lhe slruclure of
eIemenlary slalemenls). This suggesls a vay in vhich IogicaI rinciIes can be
revised, nameIy, if lhey are inadequale lo a given emiricaI domain. Moreover,
lhis aIso rovides an ansver lo lhe queslion raised by IieId vilh his second
argumenl: vhal couId ossibIy counl as an emiricaI refulalion of a IogicaI
rinciIe` In a nulsheII, an emiricaI refulalion emerges from lhe inadequacy of
a Iogic lo describe lhe slruclure vhich emerges in lhe reIevanl emiricaI domain.
In olher vords, if ve consider 4332(+5 Iogics, as oosed lo lheir ure
counlerarls, lhe ossibiIily of revising IogicaI rinciIes on emiricaI grounds
becomes as cIear as lhe ossibiIily of revising geomelricaI rinciIes. Thus, al lhe
aIied IeveI, lhere is a cIose simiIarily belveen Iogic and geomelry. Al lhis IeveI,
none of lhem is so fundamenlaI as nol lo be emiricaIIy defeasibIe.
If lhese consideralions are nearIy righl, lhen IieId has faiIed lo eslabIish
lhal Iogic is a riori, and a case can be made lo suorl 2)@(742 ,),O43/()/(-< (lhe
viev lhal aIied IogicaI rinciIes can be revised on emiricaI grounds). IieId
concIudes his discussion by issuing lhe chaIIenge from vhich lhis non-ariorism
derives: hov ve can make sense of a IogicaI rinciIe being revised on emiricaI
grounds` Hov can an evidenliaI syslem incororale a Iogic lhal is nol a riori`
If ve are unabIe lo ansver lhese queslions, ve viII nol be abIe lo arlicuIale a
non-ariorisl viev aboul Iogic. I lhink lhe besl vay lo address lhis chaIIenge is lo
indicale an accounl of Iogic lhal accommodales lhe issues raised by IieId. Whal
foIIovs is |usl a !rsl sle lovard addressing lhe chaIIenge, and I viII do lhal, in
arl, by syslemalizing some cIaims I have aIready made.
L$ ."B>=N 48 6CF>:>=>A9 &>?O
Tni .ccoiN+ oi iooic sioois+iu nii n.s +nii x.,o ii.+iis: .

32*/42(-<, (2) 7),%+B% 5+3+,5+,7+, and (3) ,),O43/()/(-<. The lhree fealures are
cIoseIy reIaled. I shaII consider lhem in lurn.
(1) U)@(742 32*/42(-< is lhe viev according lo vhich lhere are severaI
aIied Iogics adequale lo a given domain.
Given a !nile samIe of reasoning 9,
lhere are severaI Iogics adequale lo 9 (in lhe sense lhal lhey arorialeIy describe
lhe consequence reIalion exemIi!ed in 9). So, lyicaIIy, if a Iogic is adequale lo
a given domain, severaI olhers viII aIso be. To iIIuslrale lhis: an inference vhich
does nol invoIve negalion and is vaIid according lo cIassicaI Iogic viII aIso be
vaIid according lo any of lhe araconsislenl Iogics vhich characlerize da Cosla's
7-Iogics (da Cosla 1974, and da Cosla, Krause, and ueno 2007). As noled above,
lhe 7PIogics are a hierarchy 7
, 1,, of araconsislenl Iogics, such lhal lhe Iogic
is slriclIy slronger lhan 7
, in lhe sense lhal a conlradiclion lhal lriviaIizes lhe
former does nol lriviaIize lhe Iauer. Moreover, each of lhese Iogics incororales
as much of cIassicaI Iogic as ossibIe given lheir araconsislenl nalure (7
cIassicaI Iogic). So lhere is a sense in vhich cIassicaI Iogic is conlained in da Cosla's
araconsislenl Iogics. In lhis vay, if lhe reasoning 9 considered above does nol
invoIve negalion, lhere viII be in!nileIy many araconsislenl Iogics vhich viII
be adequale for il, in lhe sense lhal lhe consequence reIalion found in 9 is Iicensed
by such Iogics. Cases such as lhis cIearIy suorl IogicaI IuraIism.
(2) Thal 2)@(7 5+3+,5- ), %1+ 5)<4(, (or lhe conlexl) lo vhich il is aIied
Tni H.v.u Riviiw oi Iniiosovnv !"#$%&'' )*+*
Olavio ueno 114
becomes cIear vhen ve consider aIied Iogics. Deending on lhe domain under
consideralion, a Iogic mighl be cIearIy inadequale lo be aIied lo lhal domain.
To menlion some examIes again: as a reresenlalion of lhe conslruclive fealures
of malhemalicaI reasoning, cIassicaI Iogic is evidenlIy inadequale.
CIassicaI Iogic
is aIso inadequale lo accommodale inconsislencies in a domain vilhoul Iosing
informalion aboul il. On lhe olher hand, quanlum Iogic seems lo be 45+W*4%+ lo lhe
quanlum domain, since il adequaleIy reresenls lhe consequence reIalion belveen
eIemenlary slalemenls of quanlum lheory, and reserves lhe exlanl informalion
aboul lhe domain (vhere lhe dislribulivily Iav of cIassicaI Iogic seems lo faiI).
The facl lhal a arlicuIar Iogic is lied lo a cerlain domain aIso inlroduces
facluaI condilions. Deending on lhe domain under consideralion, ve may
have lo change lhe Iogic lo formuIale adequaleIy lhe slruclures describing lhal
domain. The deveIomenl of quanlum Iogic aIso iIIuslrales lhis oinl. As is veII
knovn, cIassicaI roosilionaI Iogic is associaled vilh a ooIean aIgebra. Nov,
vilh lhe vork of von Neumann and irkho in lhe foundalions of quanlum
mechanics, il has become cIear lhal lhe Iauices associaled vilh quanlum syslems
are nol ooIean, since lhey are nol dislribulive. A dierenl kind of slruclure vas
required lo describe lhese slruclures: moduIar orlhocomIemenled Iauices (for
a discussion, see Redei 1998).
(3) The ,),O43/()/(%" of Iogic nov emerges as lhe naluraI oulcome of
lhe lvo revious fealures of Iogic. As ve sav, lhe adequacy of an aIied Iogic
deends on lhe domain under consideralion (lhe Iogic can be revised on emiricaI
grounds), and lhere mighl be severaI Iogics adequale lo lhal domain. As a resuIl,
a Iogic may be emiricaIIy revised if il lurns oul lo be inadequale lo lhe domain
in queslion.
ul lhis remark raises a di cuIly: In order lo shov lhal a Iogic is
inadequale, ve need a Iogic. Whal is lhe slalus of lhe Iauer` Is such a Iogic a riori`
(Of course, lhis is a version of one of IieId's argumenl for lhe ariorily of Iogic.)
There is somelhing righl in lhis vorry: ve cerlainIy need a Iogic lo
evaIuale lhe adequacy of any given Iogic. Hovever, lhis does nol eslabIish lhal
lhe Iogic used in lhe evaIualion is (or has lo be) a riori. As aIready noled, aII ve
need is lo 477+3% lhal Iogic. The Iauer can even be revised in a dierenl conlexl.
We have here a kind of boolslra slralegy in vhich a Iogic, in a given conlexl, is
used lo evaIuale anolher Iogic. In facl, ve evaIuale a 347H4@+ of 4 2)@(7 32*- 4 %1+)/"
aboul lhe domain in queslion againsl 4,)%1+/ 347H4@+ vhere lhe underIying Iogic
used in lhe !rsl ackage is changed. And as vilh any case of lheory choice, ve
decide among lhe rivaI ackages based on 3/4@<4%(7 faclors, such as simIicily,
informaliveness, inleresl, robIem-soIving eecliveness, el celera. The evaIualion
is carried oul, of course, using a arlicuIar Iogic. The onIy requiremenl is lhal
such a Iogic be 477+3%+5 in lhal conlexl.
ul hov shouId ve decide vhich Iogic lo use in lhe evaIualion of
aIlernalive ackages` I do nol lhink lhere is an a riori ansver lo lhis queslion.
(Thal is lhe vhoIe oinl of lhe resenl aroach!)
ul nole lhal even in lhe case of
quanlum mechanics, cIassicaI Iogic can be used al lhe mela-lheory lo evaIuale lhe
lvo veII-knovn ackages: one lhal uses cIassicaI Iogic, one lhal adols quanlum
Iogic. And il 5)+- ,)% 0)22)D lhal lhe adolion of cIassicaI Iogic al lhe mela-lheory
immedialeIy rovides suorl for lhe cIassicaI Iogic aroach. UsuaIIy, quanlum
!"#$%&'' )*+* Tni H.v.u Riviiw oi Iniiosovnv
Is Logic A Iriori` 115
Iogicians argue for lheir roosaIs using cIassicaI Iogic al lhe mela-lheory: lhere
is no incoherence here, nor any suorl for lhe cIassicaI Iogic viev. Afler aII, lhe
domain under consideralion al lhe mela-lheory is dierenl from lhal of lhe ob|ecl
lheory: lhe Iauer deaIs vilh quanlum henomena, lhe former vilh lheories aboul
such henomena. Quanlum henomena may require lheories for vhich non-
dislribulivily hoIds, bul lhe choice of lheories aboul quanlum henomena may
nol invoIve any faiIure of dislribulivily. Of course, I am nol cIaiming lhal cIassicaI
Iogic shouId be used al lhe mela-lheory in lhe evaIualion of aIlernalive ackages.
My onIy oinl is lo indicale lhal ils use is nol enough lo favor lhe cIassicaI Iogic
aIlernalive. In lhis vay, ve can see lhal Iogic does nol have lo be a riori for il lo
Iay lhe roIes ve need il lo Iay.
Since lhe resenl roosaI is faIIibiIisl, an in!nile regress of mela-lheories
vilh dierenl Iogics is nol lhrealening. The oinl is ,)% lo eslabIish lhal lhere is
one, and onIy one, Iogic adequale lo a given domain. Given IogicaI IuraIism,
lhere mighl be severaI such Iogics. ul lhe regress can be broken using 3/4@<4%(7
consideralions, evaIualing lhe resuIling ackages in lerms of lheir simIicily,
exIanalory over, robIem-soIving eecliveness, el celera.
ul lhen does IuraIism nol degenerale inlo reIalivism` Does il nol
become arbilrary, a mauer of vhim, vhich Iogic one uses` I do nol lhink so. There
are sliII crileria by vhich lo choose belveen aIlernalive Iogics. A Iogic shouId be
45+W*4%+ lo lhe domain lo vhich il is aIied. And lhe adequacy deends on lhe
lhree faclors discussed in seclion 2.2 above (lhe slrucluraI fealures of lhe Iogic, lhe
fealures of lhe domain in queslion, and lhe uses ve vanl lo make of lhal Iogic).
Wilh lhese crileria, ve are abIe lo excIude some Iogics lo erform some lasksbul
nol aII of lhem. We sliII have IuraIism, bul no reIalivism.
Q$ 7"8=#<A>"8
I. xoi coiiu ni s.iu .noi+ +ni issiis .uuissiu iN +nis i+ I novi I s.iu
enough lo skelch an ansver lo IieId's chaIIenge (menlioned al lhe end of seclion
2.3). Iirsl, ve can make sense of a IogicaI rinciIe being revised on emiricaI
grounds, if lhal rinciIe is (,45+W*4%+ lo lhe domain lo vhich il is aIied. And
lhe adequacy of a IogicaI rinciIe is a funclion of lhe lhree faclors |usl menlioned.
Second, an evidenliaI syslem can incororale a Iogic lhal is nol a riori, rovided
lhis Iogic is 45+W*4%+ lo lhe domain under consideralion (in lhe above sense), and
lhal lhe Iogic is acceled in lhal conlexl.
A concIuding vord. Il shouId be cIear by nov lhal lhe resenl aroach
is insired by lhe vrilings of one of lhe grealesl emiricisls aboul Iogic in lhe
cenlury: }ohn von Neumann. In an unubIished manuscril, vriuen in 1937,
shorlIy afler lhe ubIicalion of his aer on quanlum Iogic vilh irkho, von
Neumann observed:
The basic idea is lhal lhe syslem of Iogics vhich one uses shouId be derived from
aggregale exeriences reIalive lo lhe main aIicalion vhich one vishes lo make . . .
Iogics shouId be insired by exerience. (von Neumann 1937, . 2)
Quile so.
Tni H.v.u Riviiw oi Iniiosovnv !"#$%&'' )*+*
Olavio ueno 116
My lhanks go lo }ean-Yves eziau, Mark CoIyvan, Nevlon da Cosla, Sleven Irench, Hugh
Lacey and David MiIIer for heIfuI discussions and suggeslions. SeveraI oinls examined here
have arisen from discussions vilh Nevlon da Cosla. Sleven Irench has aIso made a number
of arlicuIarIy usefuI commenls on an earIier version of lhis vork, vhich Ied lo subslanliaI
An evidenliaI syslem is a auern lo formuIale and udale our beIiefs. As IieId oinls oul
(IieId 1996 and 1998), Iogic is resuosed by every evidenliaI syslem, since ve musl use a Iogic
lo arlicuIale and revise our beIiefs.
As noled above, IieId doesn'l lhink lhal eislemic modaIily is a genuine modaIily.
AIlhough lhis kind of emiricism is cIear in Tvo Dogmas of Imiricism (Quine 1953),
Quine himseIf adoled a more conservalive viev aboul Iogic in his hiIosohy of Iogic book
(Quine 1970).
A conlradiclion lriviaIizes a Iogic if everylhing foIIovs from such conlradiclion given
lhal Iogic. As is veII knovn, cIassicaI Iogic is lriviaIized by any conlradiclion. This is nol lhe
case, hovever, for araconsislenl Iogics, vhich in generaI are nol lriviaIized by al Ieasl some
conlradiclions (see da Cosla, Krause, and ueno 2007).
I have more lo say aboul aIied Iogic in lhe nexl seclion.
As vilh so many olher demarcalions, lhe dislinclion belveen ure and aIied Iogics is
vague. Whal mauers, hovever, is lhal ve have cIear examIes of Iogics vhich faII under each
calegory (so il's nol a lriviaI demarcalion). Desile lhe vagueness, lhe dislinclion is sliII usefuI,
as I shaII indicale in vhal foIIovs.
Of course, I'm nol suggesling lhal lhis eslabIishes lhe lrulh of quanlum Iogic. The oinl here
is onIy lo molivale lhe ossibiIily of an emiricaI revision of Iogic, simiIarIy lo vhal haened
in lhe case of geomelry.
The roosaI suggesled here vas insired by accounls of Iogic found in lhe vorks of da
Cosla, van Iraassen and von Neumann (see, for inslance, da Cosla 1997, van Iraassen 1971, von
Neumann 1937, and irkho and von Neumann 1936). ul robabIy none of lhem vouId fuIIy
endorse aII of lhe comonenls combined here.
As noled above, in order lo invesligale a domain, ve lyicaIIy need a Iogic. In lhis sense,
Iogic is resuosed in such invesligalion. The oinl of IogicaI IuraIism is lo slress lhal <)/+
%14, ),+ Iogic may be adequale for lhis lask.
Ior furlher discussion of IogicaI IuraIism, see da Cosla 1997, ueno 2002, eaII and ReslaII
2006, and ueno and ShaIkovski 2009aII of vhich rovide defenses of dierenl forms of IogicaI
IuraIism. LogicaI monism is defended in Iriesl 2006.
The domain here consisls in lhe conslruclive fealures of malhemalicaI reasoning. Iven
a cIassicaI Iogician shouId acknovIedge lhe Iimilalion of cIassicaI Iogic here, since il Iicenses a
number of non-conslruclive inferences.
An imorlanl reason suorling lhe cIaim lhal Iogic is domain-deendenl is lhal ve
can make sense of Iogic in a beuer vay: ils roIe in lheory conslruclion in science can be beuer
arecialed, and hov il informs our underslanding of lhe emiricaI vorId can be roerIy
evaIualed. This molivaled von Neumann lo defend Iogic's domain-deendence in severaI vorks
(see, for examIe, von Neumann 1937, and irkho and von Neumann 1936).
The IogicaI ariorisl resumabIy viII argue lhal ve need lo use an a riori Iogic lo choose
belveen aIlernalive ackages. In facl, lhe ariorisl viII robabIy deny lhal ve viII ever be in
a osilion of having lo choose belveen such ackages (of aIlernalive Iogics). ul lhis raises a
di cuIly for ariorism. As noled above, il is di cuIl lo see hov lhe IogicaI ariorisl can make
sense of IogicaI IuraIism.
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