Episteme 18 (2):282-297 (2021)

Authors
Colin R. Caret
Utrecht University
Abstract
This paper is about the underlying logical principles of scientific theories. In particular, it concerns ex contradictione quodlibet the principle that anything follows from a contradiction. ECQ is valid according to classical logic, but invalid according to paraconsistent logics. Some advocates of paraconsistency claim that there are ‘real’ inconsistent theories that do not erupt with completely indiscriminate, absurd commitments. They take this as evidence in favor of paraconsistency. Michael calls this the non-triviality strategy. He argues that this strategy fails in its purpose. I will show that Michael's criticism significantly over-reaches. The fundamental problem is that he places more of a burden on the advocate of paraconsistency than on the advocate of classical logic. The weaknesses in Michael's argument are symptomatic of this preferential treatment of one viewpoint in the debate over another. He does, however, make important observations that allow us to clarify some of the complexities involved in giving a logical reconstruction of a theory. I will argue that there are abductive arguments deserving of further consideration for the claim that paraconsistent logic offers the best explanation of the practice of inconsistent science. In this sense, the debate is still very much open.
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DOI 10.1017/epi.2019.17
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References found in this work BETA

Blind Reasoning.Paul Boghossian - 2003 - Supplement to the Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 77 (1):225-248.
Blind Reasoning.Paul A. Boghossian - 2003 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 77 (1):225–248.
What is the Normative Role of Logic?Hartry Field - 2009 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 83 (1):251-268.
Epistemic Circularity.William P. Alston - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (1):1-30.

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