Diderik Batens on Logical Pluralism


Reconstructing Baten's argument:

  1. Hypothesis to reduce: Monism, i.e., there is one TRUE logic that is normative and universal, in so far as it provides us with the standard of correctness for reasoning about every domain, to any community, at any historical circumstance.
  2. In order for it to be universal, it must take ALL logical possibiltiies in consideration.
  3. In order for it to be normative, it must at least make a distinction between good and bad arguments, i.e., it must not trivialize the logical consequence relation.
  4. Taking all logical possibiltiies in consideration entails logical nihilism: nothing follows logically from nothing
  5. Nihilism trivializes the logical consequence relation (against 3)
  6. Ergo, monism is false.

Comentarios

  1. I doubt this is Batens' argument. Actually, I think in discussion he rejected this version of the argument as he wanted to avoid issues about normativity. The conclusion of Batens' argument was a disjunction: either LOGIC (as defined in your (1)) shouldn't take into account all possibilities or it is useless. But as it has been defined, it has to take all possibilities into account, so LOGIC is useless. (Of course, for Batens there are other kinds of logic besides LOGIC, for example, "logic" as a closure device for theories, etc.)

    (3) is more like Bueno's anti-trivialist premise and it played no role in Batens' argument, I think.

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  2. You are completely right that Batens explicitly avoided issues about normatively and thus, that my reconstruction is controversial to say the least. A more faithful reconstruction would have put the first premise thus:

    Hypothesis to reduce: Monism, i.e., there is one TRUE logic that is normative and universal, in so far as it allows us to explicate reasoning about every domain, by any community, at any historical circumstance.

    And the third premise should be adjusted accordingly:

    Nevertheless, I am at least skeptical about there being a genuine difference here, since I cannot see how one can explicate a goal-oriented activity like reasoning without committing oneself to something at least as weak as what I call "normatively" here. In other words, I cannot see how one can explicate reasoning without providing standard of correctness for reasoning, thus I still think my reconstruction is accurate.

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