David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Suppose Alice asserts p, and the Caterpillar wants to disagree. If the Caterpillar accepts classical logic, he has an easy way to indicate this disagreement: he can simply assert ¬p. Sometimes, though, things are not so easy. For example, suppose the Cheshire Cat is a paracompletist who thinks that p ∨ ¬p fails (in familiar (if possibly misleading) language, the Cheshire Cat thinks p is a gap). Then he surely disagrees with Alice's assertion of p, but should himself be unwilling to assert ¬p. So he cannot simply use the classical solution. Dually, suppose the Mad Hatter is a dialetheist who thinks that p ∧ ¬p holds (that is, he thinks p is a glut). Then he may assert ¬p, but it should not be taken to indicate that he disagrees with Alice; he doesn't. So he too can't use the classical solution. The Cheshire Cat and the Mad Hatter, then, have a common problem, and philosophers with opinions like theirs have adopted a common solution to this problem: appeal to denial. Denial, these philosophers suppose, is a speech act like assertion, but it is not to be understood as in any way reducing to assertion. Importantly, denial is something different from the assertion of a negation; this is what allows it to work even in cases where assertion of negation does not. Just as importantly, denial must express disagreement, since this is the job it's being enlisted to do.
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