Two-method errors: having it both ways.

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►JOHN CORCORAN AND IDRIS SAMAWI HAMID, Two-method errors: having it both ways. Philosophy, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260-4150, USA E-mail: [email protected] Philosophy, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1781 USA E-mail: [email protected] Where two methods produce similar results, mixing the two sometimes creates errors we call two-method errors, TMEs: in style, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, implicature, logic, or action. This lecture analyzes examples found in technical and in non-technical contexts. One can say “Abe knows whether Ben draws” in two other ways: ‘Abe knows whether or not Ben draws’ or ‘Abe knows whether Ben draws or not’. But a stylistic TME occurs in ‘Abe knows whether or not Ben draws or not’. One can say “Abe knows how Ben looks” using ‘Abe knows what Ben looks like’. But syntactical TMEs are in ‘Abe knows what Ben looks’ and in ‘Abe knows how Ben looks like’. One can deny that Abe knows Ben by prefixing ‘It isn’t that’ or by interpolating ‘doesn’t’. But a pragmatic TME occurs in trying to deny that Abe knows Ben by using ‘It isn’t that Abe doesn’t know Ben’. There are several standard ways of defining truth using sequences. Quine’s discussions in the 1970 first printing of Philosophy of logic [3] and in previous lectures were vitiated by mixing two [1, p. 98]. The logical TME in [3], which eluded Quine’s colleagues, was corrected in the 1978 sixth printing [2]. But Quine never explicitly acknowledged, described, or even mentioned the error. This lecture presents and analyses two-method errors in the logic literature. [1] JOHN CORCORAN, Review of Quine’s 1970 Philosophy of Logic. In Philosophy of Science, vol. 39 (1972), pp. 97–99. [2] JOHN CORCORAN, Review of sixth printing of Quine’s 1970 Philosophy of Logic. In Mathematical Reviews MR0469684 (1979): 57 #9465. [3] WILLARD VAN ORMAN QUINE, Philosophy of logic, Harvard, 1970/1986.
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