‘Everything true will be false’: Paul of Venice’s two solutions to the insolubles

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In his Quadratura, Paul of Venice considers a sophism involving time and tense which appears to show that there is a valid inference which is also invalid. His argument runs as follows: consider this inference concerning some proposition A: A will signify only that everything true will be false, so A will be false. Call this inference B. Then B is valid because the opposite of its conclusion is incompatible with its premise. In accordance with the standard doctrine of ampliation, Paul takes A to be equivalent to 'Everything that is or will be true will be false'. But he proceeds to argue that it is possible that B's premise ('A will signify only that everything true will be false') could be true and its conclusion false, so B is not only valid but also invalid. Thus A and B are the basis of an insoluble. In his Logica Parva, a self-confessedly elementary text aimed at students and not necessarily representing his own view, and in the Quadratura, Paul follows the solution found in the Logica Oxoniensis, which posits an implicit assertion of its own truth in insolubles like B. However, in the treatise on insolubles in his Logica Magna, Paul develops and endorses Swyneshed's solution, which stood out against this ''multiple-meanings'' approach in offering a solution that took insolubles at face value, meaning no more than is explicit in what they say. On this account, insolubles imply their own falsity, and that is why, in so falsifying themselves, they are false. We consider how both types of solution apply to B and how they complement each other. On both, B is valid. But on one (following Swyneshed), B has true premises and false conclusion, and contradictories can be false together; on the other (following the Logica Oxoniensis), the counterexample is rejected.
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Archival date: 2020-04-14
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