The Metaphysics of Mixed Inferences: Problems with Functionalist Accounts of Alethic Pluralism [Book Review]

Metaphysica 11 (2):153-162 (2010)
Abstract
<span class='Hi'>Alethic</span> pluralists argue truth is a metaphysically robust higher-order property that is multiply realized by a set of diverse and domain-specific subvening <span class='Hi'>alethic</span> properties. The higher-order truth property legitimizes mixed inferences and accounts for a univocal truth predicate. Absent of this higher-order property, pluralists lack an account of the validity of mixed inferences and an adequate semantics for the truth predicate and thereby appear forced to abandon the central tenets of <span class='Hi'>alethic</span> pluralism. I argue the use of many-valued logics to support pluralism fails to address the pluralist’s metaphysical problem regarding mixed inferences and mixed truth functional connectives. The high degree of heterogeneity of the <span class='Hi'>alethic</span> realizers (unlike the realizers for pain) challenges the plausibility of a single higher-order functional property. A functional property with such a heterogeneous base cannot be projectable at a theoretically significant level. The problem with mixed inferences and truth functions is but one symptom of the deeper projectability problem.
Keywords Truth  Alethic functionalism  Alethic pluralism  Mixed inferences
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