Countering Justification Holism in the Epistemology of Logic: The Argument from Pre-Theoretic Universality


  • Frederik J. Andersen University of St Andrews



A key question in the philosophy of logic is how we have epistemic justification for claims about logical entailment (assuming we have such justification at all). Justification holism asserts that claims of logical entailment can only be justified in the context of an entire logical theory, e.g., classical, intuitionistic, paraconsistent, paracomplete etc. According to holism, claims of logical entailment cannot be atomistically justified as isolated statements, independently of theory choice. At present there is a developing interest in—and endorsement of—justification holism due to the revival of an abductivist approach to the epistemology of logic. This paper presents an argument against holism by establishing a foundational entailment-sentence of deduction which is justified independently of theory choice and outside the context of a whole logical theory.


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