Inconsistency Theories: The Significance of Semantic Ascent

Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 50 (6):575-589 (2007)
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Abstract

This is a discussion of different ways of working out the idea that the semantic paradoxes show that natural languages are somehow “inconsistent”. I take the workable form of the idea to be that there are expressions such that a necessary condition of understanding them is that one be inclined to accept inconsistent claims (an conception also suggested by Matti Eklund). I then distinguish “simple” from “complex” forms of such views. On a simple theory, such expressions are meaningless, while on a complex theory they are not. I argue that complex theories are incompatible with truth conditional semantics and that simple theories are only coherent when the inconsistent claims are metalingusitic attributions of meaning. I close with a discussion of the version of the simple metalinguistic theory I have defended in “Understanding the Liar” and other papers.

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Citations of this work

Replacing truth.Kevin Scharp - 2007 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 50 (6):606 – 621.
Nothing Is True.Will Gamester - 2023 - Journal of Philosophy 120 (6):314-338.
Inconsistency and replacement.Matti Eklund - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (4):387-402.
Disagreement about logic.Ole Thomassen Hjortland - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 65 (6):660-682.
Replacing Truth?Matti Eklund - 2014 - In Brett Sherman & Alexis Burgess (eds.), Metasemantics.

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References found in this work

Inquiries Into Truth And Interpretation.Donald Davidson - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
In contradiction: a study of the transconsistent.Graham Priest - 1987 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Outline of a theory of truth.Saul Kripke - 1975 - Journal of Philosophy 72 (19):690-716.
Truth.Michael Dummett - 1959 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 59 (1):141-62.
The structure and content of truth.Donald Davidson - 1990 - Journal of Philosophy 87 (6):279-328.

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