, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 333-355

Why Conclusions Should Remain Single

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Abstract

This paper argues that logical inferentialists should reject multiple-conclusion logics. Logical inferentialism is the position that the meanings of the logical constants are determined by the rules of inference they obey. As such, logical inferentialism requires a proof-theoretic framework within which to operate. However, in order to fulfil its semantic duties, a deductive system has to be suitably connected to our inferential practices. I argue that, contrary to an established tradition, multiple-conclusion systems are ill-suited for this purpose because they fail to provide a ‘natural’ representation of our ordinary modes of inference. Moreover, the two most plausible attempts at bringing multiple conclusions into line with our ordinary forms of reasoning, the disjunctive reading and the bilateralist denial interpretation, are unacceptable by inferentialist standards.