Philosophical Studies

, Volume 176, Issue 1, pp 117–139 | Cite as

Following logical realism where it leads

  • Michaela Markham McSweeneyEmail author


Logical realism is the view that there is logical structure in the world. I argue that, if logical realism is true, then we are deeply ignorant of that logical structure: either we can’t know which of our logical concepts accurately capture it, or none of our logical concepts accurately capture it at all. I don’t suggest abandoning logical realism, but instead discuss how realists should adjust their methodology in the face of this ignorance.


Logical realism Structure Unknowability Ineffability Fundamentality Relations 



Special thanks to Shamik Dasgupta for many iterations of comments and discussion. Thanks also to Mark Balaguer, Ross Cameron, Rebecca Chan, Sam Cowling, Neil Dewar, Maegan Fairchild, Juliet Floyd, Hans Halvorson, Dan Korman, Kevin Lande, the late, wonderful, deeply missed Josh Parsons, Gideon Rosen, Jeffrey Sanford Russell, Jonathan Schaffer, Theodore Sider, Tuomas Tahko, Kelly Trogdon, Jason Turner, Jennifer Wang, Max Weiss, Nathan Wildman, an anonymous referee, and audiences at Oxford, Princeton and the Canadian Philosophical Association.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Philosophy DepartmentBoston UniversityBostonUSA

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