What Harmony Could and Could Not Be

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (4):617 - 639 (2011)
Abstract
The notion of harmony has played a pivotal role in a number of debates in the philosophy of logic. Yet there is little agreement as to how the requirement of harmony should be spelled out in detail or even what purpose it is to serve. Most, if not all, conceptions of harmony can already be found in Michael Dummett's seminal discussion of the matter in The Logical Basis of Metaphysics. Hence, if we wish to gain a better understanding of the notion of harmony, we do well to start here. Unfortunately, however, Dummett's discussion is not always easy to follow. The following is an attempt to disentangle the main strands of Dummett's treatment of harmony. The different variants of harmony as well as their interrelations are clarified and their individual shortcomings qua interpretations of harmony are demonstrated. Though no attempt is made to give a detailed alternative account of harmony here, it is hoped that our discussion will lay the ground for an adequate rigorous treatment of this central notion
Keywords Harmony  Logical constants
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