On the normative variability of truth and logic

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This paper discusses the normativity of truth and logic. The paper has three objectives. First, I argue that logic is normative for thought in (at least) the sense of underwriting instrumental rationality. Logic is a good instrument for achieving truth, the goal of cognition. In recent work, Filippo Ferrari has argued that the normative nature of truth may vary across domains. My second aim is to extend this idea to logic, against the background of the idea that logic serves to underwrite instrumental rationality. The third objective is to further develop Ferrari’s framework of normative alethic variability. I do so through a discussion of the normative problem of mixed compounds: the challenge of providing a principled account of the normativity of compounds with constituents whose respective normative profiles differ. I argue that the challenge can be met. Besides offering a solution to a major challenge, the response offered sheds new light on the normative variability framework: the truth of a single mixed compound may have different normative profiles across different ‘disagreement-realizers’. This feature of the view is rooted in a key commitment of the normative variability framework–namely, that disagreement and alethic normativity are intimately connected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236–257
Number of pages22
JournalInquiry (United Kingdom)
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Mar

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy
  • Health Policy

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