A Justification for deduction and Its puzzling corollary
AffiliationSchool of Historical and Philosophical Studies
Document TypePhD thesis
Access StatusOpen Access
© 2018 Dr. Salman Panahy
This thesis is about how deduction is analytic and, at the same time, informative. In the first two chapters I am after the question of the justification of deduction. This justification is circular in the sense that to explain how deduction works we use some basic deductive rules. However, this circularity is not trivial as not every rule can be justified circularly. Moreover, deductive rules may not need suasive justification because they are not ampliative. Deduction preserves meaning, that is, the meaning of non-logical vocabulary of any theory which is developed by deductive reasoning remains unchanged. It means that deduction adds no information to what we already had in our premises. This is why deduction is analytic. However, there are many ways deduction can be informative. In the next three chapters, I will pick a specific kind of deductive reasoning, namely arithmetical reasoning, and will attempt to understand the nature of information we obtain by this kind of reasoning. There is a difference between simple deductive moves such as inferring `Socrates is mortal' from `All human are mortal' and `Socrates is human', and inferring that a relation is reflexive given that it is directed, symmetric and transitive. The latter is more complicated and not as easy to prove as the former. Therefore it is informative and the proof we construct to prove it puts us in an epistemic position that we were not in before having the proof. To be more specific, I show that concepts we need to confirm the conclusion are made in the process of proving the conclusion.
Keywordsphilosophy of logic; epistemology; analyticity; justification of deduction
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