How the laws of logic lie

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Nancy Cartwright's 1983 book How the Laws of Physics Lie argued that theories of physics often make use of idealisations, and that as a result many of these theories were not true. The present paper looks at idealisation in logic and argues that, at least sometimes, the laws of logic fail to be true. That might be taken as a kind of skepticism, but I argue rather that idealisation is a legitimate tool in logic, just as in physics, and recognising this frees logicians up to use false laws where these are helpful.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)833-851
Number of pages18
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2024


  • Logic
  • Anti-exceptionalism
  • Modeling
  • Science
  • Nancy Cartwright
  • Idealisation
  • Laws of logic
  • Natural language
  • Simulations


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