The Law of Non-Contradiction - that no contradiction can be true - has been a seemingly unassailable dogma since the work of Aristotle, in Book G of the Metaphysics. It is an assumption challenged from a variety of angles in this collection of original papers. Twenty-three of the world's leading experts investigate the 'law', considering arguments for and against it and discussing methodological issues that arise whenever we question the legitimacy of logical principles. The result is a balanced inquiry into (...) a venerable principle of logic, one that raises questions at the very centre of logic itself. The aim of this volume is to present a comprehensive debate about the Law of Non-Contradiction, from discussions as to how the law is to be understood, to reasons for accepting or re-thinking the law, and to issues that raise challenges to the law, such as the Liar Paradox, and a 'dialetheic' resolution of that paradox. The editors contribute an introduction which surveys the issues and serves to frame the debate, and a useful bibliography offering a guide to further reading. This volume will be of interest to anyone working on philosophical logic, and to anyone who has ever wondered about the status of logical laws and about how one might proceed to mount arguments for or against them. (shrink)
Deflationist accounts of truth are widely held in contemporary philosophy: they seek to show that truth is a dispensable concept with no metaphysical depth. However, logical paradoxes present problems for deflationists that their work has struggled to overcome. In this volume of fourteen original essays, a distinguished team of contributors explore the extent to which, if at all, deflationism can accommodate paradox. The volume will be of interest to philosophers of logic, philosophers of language, and anyone working on truth. Contributors (...) include BradleyArmour-Garb, Jody Azzouni, JC Beall, Hartry Field, Christopher Gauker, Michael Glanzberg, Dorothy Grover, Anil Gupta, Volker Halbach, Leon Horsten, Paul Horwich, Graham Priest, Greg Restall, and Alan Weir. (shrink)
In defense of the minimalist conception of truth, Paul Horwich(2001) has recently argued that our acceptance of the instances of the schema,`the proposition that p is true if and only if p', suffices to explain our acceptanceof truth generalizations, that is, of general claims formulated using the truth predicate.In this paper, I consider the strategy Horwich develops for explaining our acceptance of truth generalizations. As I show, while perhaps workable on its own, the strategy is in conflictwith his response to (...) the liar paradox. Something must give. I consider and reject variousalternatives and emendations to the strategy. In order to resolve the conflict,I propose an alternative approach to the liar, one that supports Horwich's strategywhile leaving minimalism maximally uncompromised. (shrink)
Pascal's Wager is finding ever more defenders who aim to undermine the old Many Gods Objection. It is my thesis that they are mistaken. After describing the Wager and the objection, I report on Jeff Jordan's repeated attempt to limit legitimate religious hypotheses to those that are traditional. In separate sections I criticize Jordan, first coming from epistemology and second from anthropology. Then I describe George Schlesinger's repeated appeal to the ‘simplest’ religious hypothesis, and argue that it fails for similar (...) reasons. Finally, I summarize and reject miscellaneous defences of Pascal by Robert Anderson, BradleyArmour-Garb, James Franklin, Joshua Golding, and Nicholas Rescher. (shrink)
Over the past 25 years, Graham Priest has ably presented and defended dialetheism, the view that certain sentences are properly characterized as true with true negations. Our goal here is neither to quibble with the tenability of true, assertable contradictions nor, really, with the arguments for dialetheism. Rather, we wish to address the dialetheist's treatment of cases of semantic pathology and to pose a worry for dialetheism that has not been adequately considered. The problem that we present seems to have (...) broader bite, afflicting both consistent and inconsistent proposals for resolving semantic pathology. Thus, while our primary goal is to uncover some important connections between dialetheism, semantic pathology, and other, more general issues, the problem that we pose might be a worry for anyone who aims to resolve semantic pathology - consistently or not. (shrink)
Philosophical work on truth covers two streams of inquiry, one concerning the nature (if any) of truth, the other concerning truth-related paradox, especially the Liar. For the most part these streams have proceeded fairly independently of each other. In his Deflationary Truth and the Liar (JPL 28:455–488, 1999) Keith Simmons argues that the two streams bear on one another in an important way; specifically, the Liar poses a greater problem for deflationary conceptions of truth than it does for inflationist conceptions. (...) We agree with Simmons on this point; however, we disagree with his main conclusion. In a nutshell, Simmons' main conclusion is that deflationists can solve the Liar only by compromising deflationism. If Simmons is right, then deflationists cannot solve the Liar paradox. In this paper we argue that, pace Simmons, there is an approach to the Liar that is available to deflationists, namely dialetheism. (shrink)
In this paper, we do two things. First, we provide some support for adopting a version of the meaningless strategy with respect to the liar paradox, and, second, we extend that strategy, by providing, albeit tentatively, a solution to that paradox—one that is semantic , rather than logical.
In this paper I critically evaluate a number of current "consistent inconsistency theories" and then briefly motivate a rival position. The rival position challenges a consistent inconsistency theory, by sharing many of its basic commitments without suffering the problems that such a theory appears to face.
In his 2009 Presidential Address to the Aristotelian Society, Simon Blackburn draws an analogy between the deflationist's view of the truth predicate and the quasi-realist's view of the good predicate, one that he has further elaborated elsewhere. The purpose of this note is to establish that Blackburn's analogy fails.
Stephen Read has presented an argument for the inconsistency of the concept of validity. We extend Read’s results and show that this inconsistency is but one half of a larger problem. Like the concept of truth, validity is infected with what we call semantic pathology, a condition that actually gives rise to two symptoms: inconsistency and indeterminacy. After sketching the basic ideas behind semantic pathology and explaining how it manifests both symptoms in the concept of truth, we present cases that (...) establish the indeterminacy of validity and that link this indeterminacy with the concept’s inconsistency. Our conclusion is that an adequate treatment of the semantic pathology thus revealed must deal with both of its symptoms. Further, it must extend to the occurrences of this condition elsewhere: in the concept of truth, in the other central semantic notions, and even in certain philosophical concepts outside semantics. (shrink)
In his famous Wager, Blaise Pascal attempted to adduce prudential grounds on which to base a belief in God. His argument founders, however, on the notorious 'Many Gods Problem', the problem of selecting among the many equiprobable gods on offer. Lycan and Schlesinger try to treat the Many Gods Problem as a problem of empirical over-determination, attempting to overcome it using methodologies familiar from empirical science. I argue that their strategy fails, but that the Many Gods Problem can be solved (...) (or dissolved) nevertheless. The solution I offer both avoids the problem faced by Lycan and Schlesinger, and does so while respecting the original Pascalian intuitions to a greater extent than any solutions thus far proffered. (shrink)
We address an issue recently discussed by Graham Priest: whether the very nature of truth (understood as in correspondence theories) rules out true contradictions, and hence whether a correspondence-theoretic notion of truth rules against dialetheism. We argue that, notwithstanding appearances to the contrary, objections from within the correspondence theory do not stand in the way of dialetheism. We close by highlighting, but not attempting to resolve, two further challenges for dialetheism which arise out of familiar philosophical theorizing about truth.
This article, after briefly discussing Alfred Tarski's influential theory of truth, turns to a more recent theory of truth, a deflationary, or minimalist, theory. One of the chief elements of a deflationary, or minimalist, theory of truth is that it replaces the question of what truth is with the question of what “true” does. After setting out the central features of the minimalist theory of truth, the article explains the motivation for opting for such a position. In addition, it provides (...) some reasons for thinking that such a theory of truth is “minimal” or “deflationary” in the way that contemporary truth theorists have claimed it to be. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Notes on ContributorsLinguistic Puzzles and Semantic Pretence--B.Armour-Garb &--J.Woodbridge Minimal Semantics and the Nature of Psychological Evidence--E.BorgA Naturalistic Approach to the Philosophy of Language--J.Collins In Praise of our Linguistic Intuitions--A.EverettPhenomenal Continua and Secondary Properties--P.Greenough Semantic Oughts in Context--A.Hattiangadi Content, Force and Semantic Norms--M.KlbelLinguistic Competence and Propositional Knowledge--G.LongworthExpressives and Beyond--S.PredelliAnalyticity in Externalist Languages--G.Russell Names as Predicates--S.SawyerThe Epistemic Reading of Counterfactual Conditionals--K.Schulz Introduction, Transmission, and the Foundations of Meaning--J.SpeaksIndex.
Minimalists, following Horwich, claim that all that can be said about truth is comprised by all and only the nonparadoxical instances of (E) p is true iff p. It is, accordingly, standard in the literature on truth and paradox to ask how the minimalist will restrict (E) so as to rule out paradox-inducing sentences (alternatively: propositions). In this paper, we consider a prior question: On what grounds does the minimalist restrict (E) so as to rule out paradox-inducing sentences and, thereby, (...) avoid contradictions? We argue that there is no good reason for thinking that the minimalist can furnish such grounds. Accordingly, while we are tempted to conclude from this that the minimalist should acknowledge the contradictoriness of truth, instead, we end with a challenge: Provide grounds, compatible with minimalism, for banning the paradoxical instances of (E), or embrace dialetheism. (shrink)
We have been witnessing more than two hundred years of successful formation and spread of the nation-state. As a historical reminder, let me quote great French historian of the nineteenth century, Jules Michelet; in spite of its somewhat sentimental tone, his view on the unification of France is typical of what any nationalist would like to say about the successful creation of an ethno-national state: "This unification of France, this destruction of parochial spirit is often considered as the simple result (...) of the conquest of provinces. But a conquest can glue together, chain together the hostile parts, never unite them: the conquest and the war have only opened provinces to each other, and has given to isolated populations an opportunity to meet each other; the quick and lively sympathy of Gallic genius, its social instinct, has done the rest of the work. What a strange event! These provinces, of differing climate, customs and language have understood each other, fallen in love with each other, felt solidarity towards each other….”(Michelet, Histoire de la france, t. III; 1844, Histoire de la France, Anthologized in Saly et. al.1996, p. 115) Saly, P., Gerard, A., Gervais, C. and Rey, M.P., “Nations et nationalismes en Europe 1848-1914., my translation)" Contemporary sociologists express similar thoughts in a different rhetorical garb. They stress the advantages of nation-forming along ethnonational lines. By offering to people a culture in languag(es) they actually spoke, by encouragement of the formation of more local elites, directly in contact with their electorate, and by promoting capitalist mode of production it has enabled the massive democratization. As many sociologists , prominently Anderson and Gellner, have pointed out, democracy and nationalism go together.. (shrink)