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Logic and Natural Selection

Abstract

Is logic, feasibly, a product of natural selection? In this paper we treat this question as dependent upon the prior question of where logic is founded. After excluding other possibilities, we conclude that logic resides in our language, in the shape of inferential rules governing the logical vocabulary of the language. This means that knowledge of (the laws of) logic is inseparable from the possession of the logical constants they govern. In this sense, logic may be seen as a product of natural selection: the emergence of logic requires the development of creatures who can wield structured languages of a specific complexity, and who are capable of putting the languages to use within specific discursive practices.

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Correspondence to Jaroslav Peregrin.

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Work on this paper was supported by the research grant of the Czech Science Foundation No. P401/10/1279.

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Peregrin, J. Logic and Natural Selection. Log. Univers. 4, 207–223 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11787-010-0018-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11787-010-0018-x

Mathematics Subject Classification (2010)

  • 03A05

Keywords

  • Logic
  • natural selection
  • modus ponens
  • inferentialism