Inference to the Best Explanation: A Model for Rational Choice of Logical Theories

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD candidate of logic, Department of Philosophy, University of Isfahan,

2 Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Isfahan


Since the emergence of non-classical logics in the twentieth century, the assumption that logical knowledge is a priori has been challenged. Currently, logicians speak of preferring one logical theory over another and presenting a model of rational choice. “Inference to the best explanation” is a proposed model for the rational selection among scientific theories, and in this paper, we show that logical theories have the necessary features to apply such a methodology in the field of logic. Particularly, we show that such preferential treatment is not merely a liberal choice of a logical language, as Carnap supposed, but the inconsistency with some accepted evidence leads logicians to choose a logic theory that is compatible with that evidence. The Meaning variances of the logical constants are one of the issues that challenge the commensurability of logic theories. Having explained different solutions to this problem, we try to defend the best one in a way that avoids criticism.


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