On Using Inconsistent Expressions

Erkenntnis 77 (1):133-148 (2012)
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The paper discusses the Inconsistency Theory of Truth (IT), the view that “true” is inconsistent in the sense that its meaning-constitutive principles include all instances of the truth-schema (T). It argues that (IT) entails that anyone using “true” in its ordinary sense is committed to all the (T)-instances and that any theory in which “true” is used in that sense entails the (T)-instances (which, given classical logic, entail contradictions). More specifically, I argue that theorists are committed to the meaning-constitutive principles of logical constants, relative to the interpretation they intend thereof (e.g., classical), and that theories containing logical constants entail those principles. Further, I argue, since there is no relevant difference from the case of “true”, inconsistency theorists’ uses of “true” commit them to the (T)-instances. Adherents of (IT) are recommended, as a consequence, to eschew the truth-predicate. I also criticise Matti Eklund’s account of how the semantic value of “true” is determined, which can be taken as an attempt to show how “true” can be consistently used, despite being inconsistent.

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Arvid Båve
University of Lisbon


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