How we gain logical knowledge is still somewhat of a mystery. While we take ourselves to know that ‘Socrates is just’ is a logical consequence of ‘Socrates is wise and just’, we have no detailed and adequate account of how we justify our logical beliefs.
This lack of a detailed account of logical epistemology is partly due to a neglect of logical practice within the research community. Unlike studies of mathematical and scientific methodology, which have taken very seriously the norms of practitioners, accounts of logical knowledge to date have failed to explain how such theories fit with the evidence that logicians actually use.
EpiLog aims to rectify these failings, and use logical practice to both: i) motivate an epistemology of logic called logical abductivism, which proposes that we come to know logical claims through a similar means to claims in other sciences; and ii) identify criteria with which to adjudicate between competing logical theories within the contemporary and future literature.
This second goal of EpiLog is particularly important, as we currently have many competing logical theories available to us, all of which disagree over what is logically correct, but no principled means by which to adjudicate between them. EpiLog aims to provide the community with just such tools by identifying the virtues that past successful logical theories have possessed.
More details about the project’s aims and methodology can be found here.
The Unknown Science: Understanding the Epistemology of Logic through Practice (EpiLog) is funded by a European Research Council (ERC) grant (no: 797507), under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.