The Journal of Philosophy

Volume 117, Issue 10, October 2020

Michael J. Raven
Pages 557-577

Is Logic Out of This World?

Is logic out of this world? This elusive question reveals a tension in our thinking about the basis of logic: both worldly and unworldly answers get something right and yet they conflict. My aim is to clarify the question and explore a conciliatory answer. I focus on a characterization of unworldliness in terms of ground. This allows for a distinction between proximal and distal unworldliness. That in turn reconfigures our approach to the question. It may now be taken as asking for the proximal or the distal basis of logic. This helps alleviate the tension because the answer for the one need not conflict with a different answer for the other. I explore a case study culminating in an illustration of how a logical truth may indeed be proximally worldly but distally unworldly. I conclude by considering some potential extensions.

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