Logical Realism and the Riddle of Redundancy

Mind 131 (524):1083-1107 (2023)
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Abstract

According to an influential view, when it comes to representing reality, some words are better suited for the job than others. This is elitism. There is reason to believe that the set of the best, or elite, words should not be redundant or arbitrary. However, we are often forced to choose between these two theoretical vices, especially in cases involving theories that seem to be mere notational variants. This is the riddle of redundancy: both redundancy and arbitrariness are vicious, but there are cases in which one must be picked. Logical realists admit that there are some logical constants among the elite words. This leads to awkward questions, such as which among conjunction and disjunction is elite. In this paper, I show how the riddle of redundancy arises for logical realists, and offer a solution. This approach requires us to change how we represent negation. Instead of using some particular symbol, we represent negation by flipping formulae over the horizontal axis.

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Óscar Antonio Monroy Pérez
Universidad Rosario Castellanos

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