Can the Classical Logician Avoid the Revenge Paradoxes?

Philosophical Review 124 (3):299-352 (2015)
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Most work on the semantic paradoxes within classical logic has centered around what this essay calls “linguistic” accounts of the paradoxes: they attribute to sentences or utterances of sentences some property that is supposed to explain their paradoxical or nonparadoxical status. “No proposition” views are paradigm examples of linguistic theories, although practically all accounts of the paradoxes subscribe to some kind of linguistic theory. This essay shows that linguistic accounts of the paradoxes endorsing classical logic are subject to a particularly acute form of the revenge paradox: that there is no exhaustive classification of sentences into “good” and “bad” such that the T-schema holds when restricted to the “good” sentences unless it is also possible to prove some “bad” sentences. The foundations for an alternative classical nonlinguistic approach is outlined that is not subject to the same kinds of problems. Although revenge paradoxes of different strengths can be formulated, they are found to be indeterminate at higher orders and not inconsistent

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Andrew Bacon
University of Southern California


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