A critique of dialetheism

In G. Priest, J. C. Beall & B. Armour-Garb (eds.), The Law of Non-Contradiction. Oxford University Press. pp. 1-226 (2004)
Abstract
This dissertation is a critical examination of dialetheism, the view that there are true contradictions. Dialetheism's proponents argue that adopting the view will allow us to solve hitherto unsolved problems, including the well-known logical paradoxes. ;Dialetheism faces three kinds of challenge. Challenges of the first kind put in doubt the intrinsic coherence of dialetheism. It can be claimed, for example, that it is incoherent for a claim to be both true and false; that claims known to be false cannot be accepted; that claims known to be false cannot be rationally accepted; and that dialetheism entails the falsity of some of its own theoretical claims. The second kind of challenge concerns the use of paraconsistent logics, which dialetheists must adopt on pain of accepting the truth of every proposition. I examine a number of paraconsistent logics, and conclude that either they come at an unacceptably high price or they do not support the dialetheist project. ;I devote most attention to the third kind of challenge, according to which dialetheism fails to provide the promised solutions to the paradoxes and other previously intractable problems, and so we lose the major motivation for the theory. Proponents claim that dialetheism allows for the solution of numerous problems, particularly in metaphysics, law, and logic. In the case of metaphysics, it is claimed that dialetheism allows us to deal with puzzles involving change, vagueness, and motion. However, I argue that the proposed solution does not eliminate the old metaphysical problems, and in fact gives rise to new ones. In the case of law, it is claimed that dialetheism can allow us to deal with legal contradiction. I argue there are more plausible means of solving such conflicts. The strongest case for dialetheism is that it allows us to solve logical and semantic paradoxes of self-reference, some of which have endured for well over two thousand years. I construct a paradox that the dialetheist cannot accommodate, and which shows that dialetheism never provided a solution to the paradoxes at all, even in their more familiar forms
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