Synthese 191 (10):2147-2165 (2014)

Stephan Kraemer
Universität Hamburg
The proper evaluation of a theory’s virtues seems to require taking into account what the theory is indirectly or implicitly committed to, in addition to what it explicitly says. Most extant proposals for criteria of theory choice in the literature spell out the relevant notion of implicit commitment via some notion of entailment. I show that such criteria behave implausibly in application to theories that differ over matters of entailment. A recent defence by Howard Peacock of such a criterion against this objection is examined and rejected. I go on to a develop a better proposal on which, roughly speaking, a theory is counted committed to a claim if and only if its best fully explicit extension is explicitly committed to the claim. Such extensions in turn are evaluated by ordinary standards of theory choice adapted to the case of theories assumed to articulate their intended content in a fully explicit fashion.
Keywords Commitment  Theory choice  Entailment  Incomparability   Logical disagreement
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-013-0388-8
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References found in this work BETA

The Logic of Paradox.Graham Priest - 1979 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 8 (1):219 - 241.
The Metaphysics of Properties.Alex Oliver - 1996 - Mind 105 (417):1-80.

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