The pathology of validity

Synthese 160 (1):63 - 74 (2008)
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.
Keywords Validity  Paradox  Truth  Inconsistency  Indeterminacy  Semantic pathology
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References found in this work BETA
Saul A. Kripke (1975). Outline of a Theory of Truth. Journal of Philosophy 72 (19):690-716.
Graham Priest (1979). The Logic of Paradox. Journal of Philosophical Logic 8 (1):219 - 241.

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