Truth, warrant and superassertibility

Synthese 148 (1):31 - 56 (2006)
In a recent paper on Truth, Knowability and Neutrality Timothy Kenyon sets out to defend the coherence of a putative anti-realist truth-predicate, superassertibility, due to Wright (1992, 1999), against a number of Wright’s critics. By his own admission, the success of Kenyon’s defensive strategies turns out to hinge upon a realist conception of absolute warrant which conflicts with the anti-realist character of the original proposal, based, as it was, on a notion of defeasible warrant. Kenyon’s potential success in resisting Wright’s critics brings a pyrrhic victory: either way, realism wins. Here I argue that the link between superassertibility and defeasible warrant can be restored in a way which clarifies the consistency of the pair, provided that the notion of inference to superassertibility is properly understood in logical terms. As one might expect, the requisite notion is not classical in character. As one might not expect, the notion cannot be properly construed in intuitionist terms either. Hence, I propose an alternative logical framework which, I believe, is at least formally adequate to the representation of superassertibility on the basis of defeasible warrant. The price to be paid for rejecting the ‘third way’ proposed here in favour of either of the two more traditional logical options is precisely that indicated by Kenyon’s discussion.
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    Michael de (2013). Empirical Negation. Acta Analytica 28 (1):49-69.
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