Neopragmatism and logic: A deflationary proposal (Lionel Shapiro)

The Logic and Metaphysics Workshop will meet on February 27th from 4:15-6:15 (NY time) in-person at the Graduate Center (Room 9205) for a talk by Lionel Shapiro (UConn).

Title: Neopragmatism and logic: A deflationary proposal

Abstract: Neopragmatists seek to sidestep metaphysical puzzles by shifting the target of philosophical explanation from the objects we think and talk about to the functions of expressions and concepts in our cognitive economy. Logical vocabulary can serve as a target for neopragmatist inquiry, and it has also posed obstacles to neopragmatist accounts of other vocabulary. I will argue that the obstacles can be addressed by adopting a neopragmatist perspective toward logical relations, such as logical consequence, and toward propositional content. Doing so calls into question two purported constraints on explanations of the functions of logical connectives. I will sketch an account made possible by rejecting those constraints, one according to which logical connectives serve to express dialectical attitudes. The proposal is deflationary in two ways: it rests on an extension of deflationism from truth to logical relations, and it aims to deflate some of neopragmatists’ theoretical ambitions.

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