In my dissertation, I present a novel account of logical normativity. According to my view, logic is normative because what it is to think is constitutively dependent on being evaluable or answerable to certain logical rules. We can succeed or fail to think in accordance with these rules, but we can’t engage in anything called thinking that doesn’t have these rules as a standard for correctness. I distinguish my view from contemporary alternatives by drawing on the Kantian idea that the laws of logic are explicit prescriptions for how we ought to think, but also by rejecting the Kantian idea that all thought must be so constituted. The resulting view is that, simply as a matter of our contingent history, we came to have certain logical rules hold fast for us as a standard of correctness for thinking. My view has unique upshots, such as being congenial to a broadly empiricist view of logic, and its compatibility with extreme forms of logical pluralism.

In progress:

  • Logical Aliens, the Laws of Truth, and the Laws of Thought: I evaluate Frege’s discussion of the logical alien in light of relevant Kant scholarship in order to draw out a crucial distinction upon which my positive view depends, namely the distinction between conceiving of the logical laws as laws of truth, or as laws of thought.
  • Logical Normativity and Logical Constitutivism: I motivate my positive view of logical normativity, logical constitutivism, in light of considerations about the source of logical normativity, and defend the view against standard challenges to logical normativity, as well as the strategy of grounding normativity in facts about what we are and do.
  • The Adoption Problem, Logical Abductivism, and the Laws of Thought: I provide my interpretation of the Adoption Problem and why it poses a problem for logical abductivism, but with the machinery of the previous two chapters, I demonstrate a resolution for logical abductivism that requires taking on logical constitutivism.
  • Logical Normativity and Unconstrained Logical Pluralism: I draw on the developments of the previous chapters to demonstrate that the supposed incompatibility between logical pluralism and logical normativity doesn’t carry over to my view.