Synthese 200 (3):1-18 (2022)
AbstractGillian Russell has recently proposed counterexamples to such elementary argument forms as Conjunction Introduction and Identity. These purported counterexamples involve expressions that are sensitive to linguistic context—for example, a sentence which is true when it appears alone but false when embedded in a larger sentence. If they are genuine counterexamples, it looks as though logical nihilism—the view that there are no valid argument forms—might be true. In this paper, I argue that the purported counterexamples are not genuine, on the grounds that they equivocate. Having defused the threat of logical nihilism, I argue that the kind of linguistic context sensitivity at work in Russell’s purported counterexamples, if taken seriously, far from leading to logical nihilism, reveals new, previously undreamt-of valid forms. By way of proof of concept I present a simple logic, Solo-Only Propositional Logic, designed to capture some of them. Along the way, some interesting subtleties about the fallacy of equivocation are revealed.
Similar books and articles
Requiem for logical nihilism, or: Logical nihilism annihilated.Bogdan Dicher - 2021 - Synthese 198 (8):7073-7096.
Logical nihilism: Could there be no logic?Gillian Russell - 2018 - Philosophical Issues 28 (1):308-324.
The accident of logical constants.Tristan Grøtvedt Haze - 2020 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 9 (1):34-42.
Logical Revision by Counterexamples: A Case Study of the Paraconsistent Counterexample to Ex Contradictione Quodlibet.Seungrak Choi - 2019 - In Proceedings of the 14th and 15th Asian Logic Conferences. pp. 141-167.
Could There Have Been Nothing?: Against Metaphysical Nihilism.Geraldine Coggins - 2010 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
Correspondence and Disquotation: An Essay on the Nature of Truth.Marian Alexander David - 1994 - Oxford University Press.
Mereological Nihilism and Theoretical Unification.Andrew Brenner - 2015 - Analytic Philosophy 56 (4):318-337.
Nihilism, Reason, and "The Good"Nihilism: A Philosophical Essay. [REVIEW]Bernd Magnus - 1971 - Review of Metaphysics 25 (2):292-310.
Logical Pluralism.Gillian Russell - 2013 - In Edward N. Zalta (ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Nihilism: The Root of the Revolution of the Modern Age.Seraphim Rose - 2001 - St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood.
Added to PP
Historical graph of downloads
Citations of this work
No citations found.
References found in this work
Demonstratives: An Essay on the Semantics, Logic, Metaphysics and Epistemology of Demonstratives and other Indexicals.David Kaplan - 1989 - In Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.), Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press. pp. 481-563.
Meaning and Necessity: A Study in Semantics and Modal Logic.Rudolf Carnap - 1947 - Chicago, IL, USA: University of Chicago Press.
Beyond Rigidity: The Unfinished Semantic Agenda of Naming and Necessity.Scott Soames - 2002 - Oxford University Press.