This paper reflects on metametaphysics and as such develops a metametameta-physical view: that quietist metametaphysics requires dialetheism, and in turn a paraconsistent logic. I demonstrate this using Carnap’s metametaphysical position in his 'Empiricism, Semantics and Ontology' as an example, with regard to how it exhibits self-reference and results in inconsistency. I show how applying Carnap’s position to itself produces a dilemma, both horns of which lead to a contradiction. Such inconsistency commonly arises from meta-theories with global scope, as the (...) 'meta' approach aims to transcend the scope of that which it is theorizing about, whilst the global nature will place itself back within the scope of that which it is theorizing about, which together result in the theory referring to itself whilst refuting itself. I argue that any global metametaphysical theory that draws a limit to thought will face self-reference problems leading to contradictory realms. My conclusion is conditional: If we want to meta-philosophize in such a way and treat quietist meta-theories as being true, then we need to be dialetheist and utilize a paraconsistent logic in order to accommodate the contradictions that result from such theorizing. (shrink)
Is there a notion of contradiction—let us call it, for dramatic effect, “absolute”—making all contradictions, so understood, unacceptable also for dialetheists? It is argued in this paper that there is, and that spelling it out brings some theoretical benefits. First it gives us a foothold on undisputed ground in the methodologically difficult debate on dialetheism. Second, we can use it to express, without begging questions, the disagreement between dialetheists and their rivals on the nature of truth. Third, dialetheism (...) has an operator allowing it, against the opinion of many critics, to rule things out and manifest disagreement: for unlike other proposed exclusion-expressing-devices (for instance, the entailment of triviality), the operator used to formulate the notion of absolute contradiction appears to be immune both from crippling expressive limitations and from revenge paradoxes—pending a rigorous nontriviality proof for a formal dialetheic theory including it. (shrink)
In his famous work on vagueness, Russell named “fallacy of verbalism” the fallacy that consists in mistaking the properties of words for the properties of things. In this paper, I examine two (clusters of) mainstream paraconsistent logical theories – the non-adjunctive and relevant approaches –, and show that, if they are given a strongly paraconsistent or dialetheic reading, the charge of committing the Russellian Fallacy can be raised against them in a sophisticated way, by appealing to the intuitive reading of (...) their underlying semantics. The meaning of “intuitive reading” is clarified by exploiting a well-established distinction between pure and applied semantics. If the proposed arguments go through, the dialetheist or strong paraconsistentist faces the following Dilemma: either she must withdraw her claim to have exhibited true contradictions in a metaphysically robust sense – therefore, inconsistent objects and/or states of affairs that make those contradictions true; or she has to give up realism on truth, and embrace some form of anti-realistic (idealistic, or broadly constructivist) metaphysics. Sticking to the second horn of the Dilemma, though, appears to be promising: it could lead to a collapse of the very distinction, commonly held in the literature, between a weak and a strong form of paraconsistency – and this could be a welcome result for a dialetheist. (shrink)
John Turri gives an example that he thinks refutes what he takes to be “G. E. Moore's view” that omissive assertions such as “It is raining but I do not believe that it is raining” are “inherently ‘absurd'”. This is that of Ellie, an eliminativist who makes such assertions. Turri thinks that these are perfectly reasonable and not even absurd. Nor does she seem irrational if the sincerity of her assertion requires her to believe its content. A commissive counterpart of (...) Ellie is Di, a dialetheist who asserts or believes that The Russell set includes itself but I believe that it is not the case that the Russell set includes itself. Since any adequate explanation of Moore's paradox must handle commissive assertions and beliefs as well as omissive ones, it must deal with Di as well as engage Ellie. I give such an explanation. I argue that neither Ellie's assertion nor her belief is irrational yet both are absurd. Likewise neither Di's assertion nor her belief is irrational yet in contrast neither is absurd. I conclude that not all Moore-paradoxical assertions or beliefs are irrational and that the syntax of Moore's examples is not sufficient for the absurdity found in them. (shrink)
Graham Priest's book In Contradiction is a bold defense of the existence of true contradictions. Although Priest's case is impressive, and many of his arguments are correct, his approach is not the only one allowing for true contradictions. As against Priest's, there is at least one contradictorialist approach which establishes a link between true contradictions and degrees of truth. All in all, such an alternative is more conservative, closer to mainstream analytical philosophy. The two approaches differ as regards the floodgate (...) problem. Priest espouses a confinement policy banning contradictions except in a few special domains, particularly those of pure semantics and set-theory , whereas the alternative approach admits two negations -- natural or weak negation and strong negation, the latter being classical; accordingly, the alternative approach prohibits any contradiction involving strong negation, thus providing a syntactic test of what contradictions have to be rejected. (shrink)
Philosophical dialetheism, whose main exponent is Graham Priest, claims that some contradictions hold, are true, and it is rational to accept and assert them. Such a position is naturally portrayed as a challenge to the Law of Non-Contradiction (LNC). But all the classic formulations of the LNC are, in a sense, not questioned by a typical dialetheist, since she is (cheerfully) required to accept them by her own theory. The goal of this paper is to develop a formulation of (...) the Law which appears to be unquestionable, in the sense that the Priestian dialetheist is committed to accept it without also accepting something inconsistent with it, on pain of trivialism—that is to say, on pain of lapsing into the position according to which everything is the case. This will be achieved via (a) a discussion of Priest's dialetheic treatment of the notions of rejection and denial; and (b) the characterization of a negation via the primitive intuition of content exclusion. Such a result will not constitute a cheap victory for the friends of consistency. We may just learn that different things have been historically conflated under the label of 'Law of Non-Contradiction'; that dialetheists rightly attack some formulations of the Law, and orthodox logicians and philosophers have been mistaken in assimilating them to the indisputable one. (shrink)
Suppose Alice asserts p, and the Caterpillar wants to disagree. If the Caterpillar accepts classical logic, he has an easy way to indicate this disagreement: he can simply assert ¬p. Sometimes, though, things are not so easy. For example, suppose the Cheshire Cat is a paracompletist who thinks that p ∨ ¬p fails (in familiar (if possibly misleading) language, the Cheshire Cat thinks p is a gap). Then he surely disagrees with Alice's assertion of p, but should himself be unwilling (...) to assert ¬p. So he cannot simply use the classical solution. Dually, suppose the Mad Hatter is a dialetheist who thinks that p ∧ ¬p holds (that is, he thinks p is a glut). Then he may assert ¬p, but it should not be taken to indicate that he disagrees with Alice; he doesn't. So he too can't use the classical solution. The Cheshire Cat and the Mad Hatter, then, have a common problem, and philosophers with opinions like theirs have adopted a common solution to this problem: appeal to denial. Denial, these philosophers suppose, is a speech act like assertion, but it is not to be understood as in any way reducing to assertion. Importantly, denial is something different from the assertion of a negation; this is what allows it to work even in cases where assertion of negation does not. Just as importantly, denial must express disagreement, since this is the job it's being enlisted to do. (shrink)
Logical realism is a view about the metaphysical status of logic. Common to most if not all the views captured by the label ‘logical realism’ is that logical facts are mind- and language-independent. But that does not tell us anything about the nature of logical facts or about our epistemic access to them. The goal of this paper is to outline and systematize the different ways that logical realism could be entertained and to examine some of the challenges that these (...) views face. It will be suggested that logical realism is best understood as a metaphysical view about the logical structure of the world, but this raises an important question: does logical realism collapse into standard metaphysical realism? It will be argued that this result can be accommodated, even if it cannot be altogether avoided. (shrink)
The goals of this paper are two-fold: I wish to clarify the Aristotelian conception of the law of non-contradiction as a metaphysical rather than a semantic or logical principle, and to defend the truth of the principle in this sense. First I will explain what it in fact means that the law of non-contradiction is a metaphysical principle. The core idea is that the law of non-contradiction is a general principle derived from how things are in the world. For example, (...) there are certain constraints as to what kind of properties an object can have, and especially: some of these properties are mutually exclusive. Given this characterisation, I will advance to examine what kind of challenges the law of non-contradiction faces; the main opponent here is Graham Priest. I will consider these challenges and conclude that they do not threaten the truth of the law of non-contradiction understood as a metaphysical principle. (shrink)
The starting point of this paper concerns the apparent difference between what we might call absolute truth and truth in a model, following Donald Davidson. The notion of absolute truth is the one familiar from Tarski’s T-schema: ‘Snow is white’ is true if and only if snow is white. Instead of being a property of sentences as absolute truth appears to be, truth in a model, that is relative truth, is evaluated in terms of the relation between sentences and models. (...) I wish to examine the apparent dual nature of logical truth (without dwelling on Davidson), and suggest that we are dealing with a distinction between a metaphysical and a linguistic interpretation of truth. I take my cue from John Etchemendy, who suggests that absolute truth could be considered as being equivalent to truth in the ‘right model’, i.e., the model that corresponds with the world. However, the notion of ‘model’ is not entirely appropriate here as it is closely associated with relative truth. Instead, I propose that the metaphysical interpretation of truth may be illustrated in modal terms, by metaphysical modality in particular. One of the tasks that I will undertake in this paper is to develop this modal interpretation, partly building on my previous work on the metaphysical interpretation of the law of non-contradiction (Tahko 2009). After an explication of the metaphysical interpretation of logical truth, a brief study of how this interpretation connects with some recent important themes in philosophical logic follows. In particular, I discuss logical pluralism and propose an understanding of pluralism from the point of view of the metaphysical interpretation. (shrink)
A logic is called 'paraconsistent' if it rejects the rule called 'ex contradictione quodlibet', according to which any conclusion follows from inconsistent premises. While logicians have proposed many technically developed paraconsistent logical systems and contemporary philosophers like Graham Priest have advanced the view that some contradictions can be true, and advocated a paraconsistent logic to deal with them, until recent times these systems have been little understood by philosophers. This book presents a comprehensive overview on paraconsistent logical systems to change (...) this situation. The book includes almost every major author currently working in the field. The papers are on the cutting edge of the literature some of which discuss current debates and others present important new ideas. The editors have avoided papers about technical details of paraconsistent logic, but instead concentrated upon works that discuss more 'big picture' ideas. Different treatments of paradoxes takes centre stage in many of the papers, but also there are several papers on how to interpret paraconistent logic and some on how it can be applied to philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of language, and metaphysics. (shrink)
The sciences occasionally generate discoveries that undermine their own assumptions. Two such discoveries are characterized here: the discovery of apophenia by cognitive psychology and the discovery that physical systems cannot be locally bounded within quantum theory. It is shown that such discoveries have a common structure and that this common structure is an instance of Priest’s well-known Inclosure Schema. This demonstrates that science itself is dialetheic: it generates limit paradoxes. How science proceeds despite this fact is briefly discussed, as is (...) the connection between our results and the realism-antirealism debate. We conclude by suggesting a position of epistemic modesty. (shrink)
Beginning with the paradoxes of zombie twins, we present an argument that dualism is both true and false. We show that avoiding this contradiction is impossible. Our diagnosis is that consciousness itself engenders this contradiction by producing contradictory points of view. This result has a large effect on the realism/anti-realism debate, namely, it suggests that this debate is intractable, and furthermore, it explains why this debate is intractable. We close with some comments on what our results mean for metaphysics and (...) philosophy, in general. (shrink)
This article argues that Nietzsche's transvaluation project refers not to a mere inversion or negation of a set of values but, instead, to a different conception of what a value is and how it functions. Traditional values function within a standard logical framework and claim legitimacy and bindingness based on exogenous authority with absolute extension. Nietzsche regards this framework as unnecessarily reductive in its attempted exclusion of contradiction and real opposition among competing values and proposes a nonstandard, dialetheic model of (...) valuation. (shrink)
Modal Meinongianism is a form of Meinongianism whose main supporters are Graham Priest and Francesco Berto. The main idea of modal Meinongianism is to restrict the logical deviance of Meinongian non-existent objects to impossible worlds and thus prevent it from “contaminating” the actual world: the round square is round and not round, but not in the actual world, only in an impossible world. In the actual world, supposedly, no contradiction is true. I will show that Priest’s semantics, as originally formulated (...) in Towards Non-being, tell us something different. According to certain models, there are true contradictions in the actual world. Berto and Priest have noticed this unexpected consequence and have suggested a solution, but I will show that their solution is highly questionable. In the last section of this paper, I will introduce a new and simpler version of modal Meinongianism that avoids the problem. (shrink)
In this paper we present a philosophical motivation for the logics of formal inconsistency, a family of paraconsistent logics whose distinctive feature is that of having resources for expressing the notion of consistency within the object language in such a way that consistency may be logically independent of non-contradiction. We defend the view according to which logics of formal inconsistency may be interpreted as theories of logical consequence of an epistemological character. We also argue that in order to philosophically justify (...) paraconsistency there is no need to endorse dialetheism, the thesis that there are true contradictions. Furthermore, we show that mbC, a logic of formal inconsistency based on classical logic, may be enhanced in order to express the basic ideas of an intuitive interpretation of contradictions as conflicting evidence. (shrink)
Aim of the paper is to analyze Priest’s dialetheic solution to Curry’s paradox. It has been shown that a solution refuting ABS, accepting MPP and consequently refuting CP meets some difficulties. Here I just concentrate on one difficulty: one obtains the validity of MPP just using FA in the metalanguage, an invalid rule for a dialetheist.
Roger Swyneshed, in his treatise on insolubles (logical paradoxes), dating from the early 1330s, drew three notorious corollaries of his solution. The third states that there is a contradictory pair of propositions both of which are false. This appears to contradict the Rule of Contradictory Pairs, which requires that in every such pair, one must be true and the other false. Looking back at Aristotle's treatise De Interpretatione, we find that Aristotle himself, immediately after defining the notion of a contradictory (...) pair, gave counterexamples to the rule. Thus Swyneshed's solution to the logical paradoxes is not contrary to Aristotle's teaching, as many of Swyneshed's contemporaries claimed. Dialetheism, the contemporary claim that some propositions are both true and false, is wedded to the Rule, and in consequence divorces denial from the assertion of the contradictory negation. (shrink)
In this paper the class of Fidel-structures for the paraconsistent logic mbC is studied from the point of view of Model Theory and Category Theory. The basic point is that Fidel-structures for mbC (or mbC-structures) can be seen as first-order structures over the signature of Boolean algebras expanded by two binary predicate symbols N (for negation) and O (for the consistency connective) satisfying certain Horn sentences. This perspective allows us to consider notions and results from Model Theory in order to (...) analyze the class of mbC-structures. Thus, substructures, union of chains, direct products, direct limits, congruences and quotient structures can be analyzed under this perspective. In particular, a Birkhoff-like representation theorem for mbC-structures as subdirect poducts in terms of subdirectly irreducible mbC-structures is obtained by adapting a general result for first-order structures due to Caicedo. Moreover, a characterization of all the subdirectly irreducible mbC-structures is also given. An alternative decomposition theorem is obtained by using the notions of weak substructure and weak isomorphism considered by Fidel for Cn-structures. (shrink)
In this paper we present a philosophical motivation for the logics of formal inconsistency, a family of paraconsistent logics whose distinctive feature is that of having resources for expressing the notion of consistency within the object language in such a way that consistency may be logically independent of non- contradiction. We defend the view according to which logics of formal inconsistency may be interpreted as theories of logical consequence of an epistemological character. We also argue that in order to philosophically (...) justify paraconsistency there is no need to endorse dialetheism, the thesis that there are true contradictions. Furthermore, we argue that an intuitive reading of the bivalued semantics for the logic mbC, a logic of formal inconsistency based on classical logic, fits in well with the basic ideas of an intuitive interpretation of contradictions. On this interpretation, the acceptance of a pair of propositions A and ¬A does not mean that A is simultaneously true and false, but rather that there is conflicting evidence about the truth value of A. (shrink)
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