Mathias Frisch provides the first sustained philosophical discussion of conceptual problems in classical particle-field theories. Part of the book focuses on the problem of a satisfactory equation of motion for charged particles interacting with electromagnetic fields. As Frisch shows, the standard equation of motion results in a mathematically inconsistent theory, yet there is no fully consistent and conceptually unproblematic alternative theory. Frisch describes in detail how the search for a fundamental equation of motion is partly driven by pragmatic considerations (like (...) simplicity and mathematical tractability) that can override the aim for full consistency. The book also offers a comprehensive review and criticism of both the physical and philosophical literature on the temporal asymmetry exhibited by electromagnetic radiation fields, including Einstein's discussion of the asymmetry and Wheeler and Feynman's influential absorber theory of radiation. Frisch argues that attempts to derive the asymmetry from thermodynamic or cosmological considerations fail and proposes that we should understand the asymmetry as due to a fundamental causal constraint. The book's overarching philosophical thesis is that standard philosophical accounts that strictly identify scientific theories with a mathematical formalism and a mapping function specifying the theory's ontology are inadequate, since they permit neither inconsistent yet genuinely successful theories nor thick causal notions to be part of fundamental physics. (shrink)
The concept of measuring inconsistency in information was developed by John Grant in a 1978 paper in the context of first-order logic. For more than 20 years very little was done in this area until in the early 2000s a number of AI researchers started to formulate new inconsistency measures primarily in the context of propositional logic knowledge bases. The aim of this volume is to survey what has been done so far, to expand inconsistency measurement to (...) other formalisms, to connect it with related topics, and to provide ideas for further research in a topic that is particularly relevant now in view of the many inconsistencies in the massive amount of information available. The book contains 11 chapters. The first chapter, by John Grant, gives his original motivation for starting this field, explains why it was formulated in a highly mathematical manner, presents important material that was omitted from the original paper, and provides ideas about the use of dimensions in measuring inconsistency. The second chapter, by Matthias Thimm, is a survey that covers most of the research on inconsistency measures up to 2017. The other 9 chapters, all by experts either in inconsistency measures, or in the topic under consideration, or both, connect inconsistency measures with argumentation, disjunctive logic programming, fuzzy logic systems, modal logics, multiset representation, paraconsistent consequence, probabilistic logic, relational databases, and spatio-temporal databases."-- back cover. (shrink)
It has recently been argued by Davey (2014) that inconsistency is never tolerated in science, but only discretely isolated. But when talking about inconsistencies in science, not much attention has been paid to the inconsistencies between theory and observation. Here I will argue that inconsistency toleration actually takes place in science, and that when we examine actual inconsistent theories, inconsistencies between theory and observation look anything but homogeneous. I will argue, appealing to certain properties of empirical theories, especially (...) holism, that at least two sub-types of inconsistencies regarding theory and observation can be distinguished: those that satisfy a criterion of observational independence and those that do not. (shrink)
William Simkulet has recently criticised Colgrove et al’s defence against what they have called inconsistency arguments—arguments that claim opponents of abortion (OAs) act in ways inconsistent with their underlying beliefs about human fetuses (eg, that human fetuses are persons at conception). Colgrove et al presented three objections to inconsistency arguments, which Simkulet argues are unconvincing. Further, he maintains that OAs who hold that the fetus is a person at conception fail to act on important issues such as the (...) plight of frozen embryos, poverty and spontaneous abortion. Thus, they are morally negligent. In response, we argue that Simkulet has targeted a very narrow group of OAs, and so his criticisms are inapplicable to most OAs. We then explain why his responses to each of Colgrove et al’s objections do not succeed, even for this restricted group. Finally, we note that Simkulet fails to provide evidence for his claims regarding OAs’ supposed failures to act, and we show that OAs veritably do invest resources into these important issues. We conclude that Colgrove et al’s reasons for rejecting inconsistency arguments (en masse) remain intact. (shrink)
Inconsistency robustness is information system performance in the face of continually pervasive inconsistencies---a shift from the previously dominant paradigms of inconsistency denial and inconsistency elimination attempting to sweep them under the rug. Inconsistency robustness is a both an observed phenomenon and a desired feature: Inconsistency Robustness is an observed phenomenon because large information-systems are required to operate in an environment of pervasive inconsistency. Inconsistency Robustness is a desired feature because we need to improve (...) the performance of large information system. This volume has revised versions of refereed articles and panel summaries from the first two International Symposia on Inconsistency Robustness conducted under the auspices of the International Society for Inconsistency Robustness. The articles are broadly based on theory and practice, addressing fundamental issues in inconsistency robustness. The field of Inconsistency Robustness aims to provide practical rigorous foundations for computer information systems dealing with pervasively inconsistent information.". (shrink)
Meditations, aphorisms, maxims, notes, and comments construct a philosophy of thought congruent with the inconsistency of our reality. Those who continue to think never return to their point of departure. —Inconsistencies These 130 short texts—aphoristic, interlacing, and sometimes perplexing—target a perennial philosophical problem: Our consciousness and our experience of reality are inconsistent, fragmentary, and unstable; God is dead, and our identity as subjects discordant. How can we establish a new mode of thought that does not cling to new gods (...) or the false security of rationality? Marcus Steinweg, as he did in his earlier book The Terror of Evidence, constructs a philosophical position from fragments, maxims, meditations, and notes, formulating a philosophy of thought that expresses and enacts the inconsistency of our reality. Steinweg considers, among other topics, life as a game (“To think is to play because no thought is firmly grounded”); sexuality (“wasteful, contradictory, and contingent”); desire (”Desire has a thousand names; It's earned none of them”); reality (“overdetermined and excessively complex”); and world (“a nonconcept”). He disposes of philosophy in one sentence (“Philosophy is a continual process of its own redefinition.”) but spends multiple pages on “A Tear in Immanence,” invoking Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, and others. He describes “Wandering with Foucault” (“Thought entails wandering as well as straying into madness”) and brings together Derrida and Debord. He poses a question: “Why should a cat be more mysterious than a dog?” and later answers one: “Beauty is truth because truth is beauty.” By the end, we have accompanied Steinweg on converging trains of thought. “Thinking means continuing to think,” he writes, adding “But thinking can only pose questions by answering others.” The question of inconsistency? Asked and answered, and asked. (shrink)
Though the social world is real and objective, the way that social facts arise out of other facts is in an important way shaped by human thought, talk and behaviour. Building on recent work in social ontology, I describe a mechanism whereby this distinctive malleability of social facts, combined with the possibility of basic human error, makes it possible for a consistent physical reality to ground an inconsistent social reality. I explore various ways of resisting the prima facie case for (...) social inconsistency. I conclude, however, that the prima facie case survives scrutiny, and draw out some of the ramifications. (shrink)
At various times, mathematicians have been forced to work with inconsistent mathematical theories. Sometimes the inconsistency of the theory in question was apparent (e.g. the early calculus), while at other times it was not (e.g. pre-paradox na¨ıve set theory). The way mathematicians confronted such difficulties is the subject of a great deal of interesting work in the history of mathematics but, apart from the crisis in set theory, there has been very little philosophical work on the topic of inconsistent (...) mathematics. In this paper I will address a couple of philosophical issues arising from the applications of inconsistent mathematics. The first is the issue of whether finding applications for inconsistent mathematics commits us to the existence of inconsistent objects. I then consider what we can learn about a general philosophical account of the applicability of mathematics from successful applications of inconsistent mathematics. (shrink)
Peter Vickers examines 'inconsistent theories' in the history of science--theories which, though contradictory, are held to be extremely useful. He argues that these 'theories' are actually significantly different entities, and warns that the traditional goal of philosophy to make substantial, general claims about how science works is misguided.
This dissertation has two main goals. The first is to provide a practice-based analysis of the field of inconsistent mathematics: what motivates it? what role does logic have in it? what distinguishes it from classical mathematics? is it alternative or revolutionary? The second goal is to introduce and defend a new conception of inconsistent mathematics - queer incomaths - as a particularly effective answer to feminist critiques of classical logic and mathematics. This sets the stage for a genuine revolution in (...) mathematics, insofar as it suggests the need for a shift in mainstream attitudes about the role of logic and ethics in the practice of mathematics. (shrink)
For centuries, inconsistencies were seen as a hindrance to good reasoning, and their role in the sciences was ignored. In recent years, however, logicians as well as philosophers and historians have showed a growing interest in the matter. Central to this change were the advent of paraconsistent logics, the shift in attention from finished theories to construction processes, and the recognition that most scientific theories were at some point either internally inconsistent or incompatible with other accepted findings. The new interest (...) gave rise to important questions. How is `logical anarchy' avoided? Is it ever rational to accept an inconsistent theory? In what sense, if any, can inconsistent theories be considered as true? The present collection of papers is the first to deal with this kind of questions. It contains case studies as well as philosophical analyses, and presents an excellent overview of the different approaches in the domain. (shrink)
In this paper, I compare how it is that inconsistencies are handled in mathematics to how they are handled in chemistry. In mathematics, they are very precisely formulated and identified, unlike in chemistry. So the chemists can learn from the precision and the very well-worked out strategies developed by logicians and deployed by mathematicians to cope with inconsistency. Some lessons can also be learned by the mathematicians from the chemists. Mathematicians tend to be intolerant towards inconsistencies. There are some (...) philosophers of chemistry who attribute to chemists, collectively, a more tolerant attitude towards inconsistency, and so, mathematicians can learn from the chemists’ attitude to inform their choice of strategies. (shrink)
The badness of having conflicting emotions is a familiar theme in academic ethics, clinical psychology, and commercial self-help, where emotional harmony is often put forward as an ideal. Many philosophers give emotional harmony pride of place in their theories of practical reason.1 Here we offer a defense of a particular species of emotional conflict, namely, ambivalence. We articulate an conception of ambivalence, on which ambivalence is unresolved inconsistent desire (§1) and present a case of appropriate ambivalence (§2), before considering two (...) alternative defenses of emotional conflict (§3). We then argue that inconsistent desires can be fitting (§4) and that it can be reasonable not to resolve inconsistent desires (§5), before considering an objection (§6) and concluding the discussion (§7). (shrink)
The article is an extended critical discussion of Kevin Scharp’s Replacing Truth. Scharp’s case for the claim that the concept of truth is inconsistent is criticized, and so is his case for the claim that the concept of truth must be replaced because of its inconsistency.
Several writers have argued that the state lacks the moral standing to hold socially deprived offenders responsible for their crimes because the state would be hypocritical in doing so. Yet the state is not disposed to make an unfair exception of itself for committing the same sorts of crimes as socially deprived offenders, so it is unclear that the state is truly hypocritical. Nevertheless, the state is disposed to inconsistently hold its citizens responsible, blaming or punishing socially deprived offenders more (...) often or more harshly than other offenders, even when the crimes are the same. The state’s stable disposition to inconsistently hold offenders responsible undermines its standing to hold offenders responsible for the same reasons that hypocrisy undermines standing; instead of making an unfair exception of itself, the state makes an unfair exception of others. Strikingly, this means that the state lacks the standing to hold anyone responsible for a crime for which it is unfairly disposed to hold citizens responsible inconsistently, not just socially deprived offenders. Thus, it is even more urgent that the state regain its moral standing by working toward a justice system that holds offenders responsible consistently. (shrink)
I erect a framework within the semantic view of theories for explaining the empirical success of internally inconsistent models and theories, with scientific realism in mind. The framework is an instance of the ‘content-driven’ approach to inconsistency, advocated by both Norton (Philos Sci 54:327–350, 1987) and Smith (Stud Hist Philos Sci 19:429–445, 1988a, In: Fine A, Leplin J (eds) PSA1988, 1988b), whose ideas my analysis aims to clarify and substantiate.
The main thesis of this paper is that we sometimes are disposed to accept false and even jointly inconsistent claims by virtue of our semantic competence, and that this comes to light in the sorites and liar paradoxes. Among the subsidiary theses are that this is an important source of indeterminacy in truth conditions, that we must revise basic assumptions about semantic competence, and that classical logic and bivalence can be upheld in the face of the sorites paradox.
The paper establishes the general structure of the inconsistent models of arithmetic of . It is shown that such models are constituted by a sequence of nuclei. The nuclei fall into three segments: the first contains improper nuclei; the second contains proper nuclei with linear chromosomes; the third contains proper nuclei with cyclical chromosomes. The nuclei have periods which are inherited up the ordering. It is also shown that the improper nuclei can have the order type of any ordinal, of (...) the rationals, or of any other order type that can be embedded in the rationals in a certain way. (shrink)
We present the inconsistency-adaptive deontic logic DP r , a nonmonotonic logic for dealing with conflicts between normative statements. On the one hand, this logic does not lead to explosion in view of normative conflicts such as O A ∧ O ∼A, O A ∧ P ∼A or even O A ∧ ∼O A. On the other hand, DP r still verifies all intuitively reliable inferences valid in Standard Deontic Logic (SDL). DP r interprets a given premise set ‘as (...) normally as possible’ with respect to SDL. Whereas some SDL-rules are verified unconditionally by DP r , others are verified conditionally. The latter are applicable unless they rely on formulas that turn out to behave inconsistently in view of the premises. This dynamic process is mirrored by the proof theory of DP r. (shrink)
Plato’s view on pleasure in the Republic emerges in the course of developing the third proof of his central thesis that the just man is happier than the unjust. Plato presents it as the “greatest and most decisive” proof of his central thesis, so one might expect to find an abundance of scholarly work on it. Paradoxically, however, this argument has received little attention from scholars, and what has been written on it has generally been harshly critical. I believe that (...) this treatment of the argument has been unfair and that the relevant passages deserve a more careful and charitable interpretation. In this paper, I take up two serious charges that scholars have leveled against this proof, that it is inconsistent and that it involves a “fatal ambiguity”. I show that these charges result from misinterpreting Plato’s text, and I offer an alternative interpretation of the relevant passages. In doing so, I hope to shed some light on the complexities involved in Plato’s unappreciated third proof. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
The problem of how to accommodate inconsistencies has attracted quite a number of researchers, in particular, in the area of database theory. The problem is also of concern in the study of belief change. For inconsistent beliefs are ubiquitous. However, comparatively little work has been devoted to discussing the problem in the literature of belief change. In this paper, I examine how adequate the AGM theory is as a logical framework for belief change involving inconsistencies. The technique is to apply (...) to Grove’s sphere system, a semantical representation of the AGM theory, logics that do not infer everything from contradictory premises, viz., paraconsistent logics. I use three paraconsistent logics and discuss three sphere systems that are based on them. I then examine the completeness of the postulates of the AGM theory with respect to the systems. At the end, I discuss some philosophical implications of the examination. (shrink)
Many groups make decisions over multiple interconnected propositions. The “doctrinal paradox” or “discursive dilemma” shows that propositionwise majority voting can generate inconsistent collective sets of judgments, even when individual sets of judgments are all consistent. I develop a simple model for determining the probability of the paradox, given various assumptions about the probability distribution of individual sets of judgments, including impartial culture and impartial anonymous culture assumptions. I prove several convergence results, identifying when the probability of the paradox converges to (...) 1, and when it converges to 0, as the number of individuals increases. Drawing on the Condorcet jury theorem and work by Bovens and Rabinowicz , I use the model to assess the “truth-tracking” performance of two decision procedures, the premise- and conclusion-based procedures. I compare the present results with existing results on the probability of Condorcet’s paradox. I suggest that the doctrinal paradox is likely to occur under plausible conditions. (shrink)
Douglas Patterson argues that the best way to respond to the semantic paradoxes that arise in natural language is to take natural language semantics to be (explosively) inconsistent. According to Patterson, to understand a natural language is to share with others cognition of a false semantic theory. Patterson’s main argument runs as follows. English is expressively rich. So, the first sentence occurring in this review could be.
The Uniform Determination of Death Act (UDDA) provides that “an individual who has sustained either (1) irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory functions or (2) irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem, is dead.” We show that the UDDA contains two conflicting interpretations of the phrase “cessation of functions.” By one interpretation, what matters for the determination of death is the cessation of spontaneous functions only, regardless of their generation by artificial means. By the (...) other, what matters is the cessation of both spontaneous and artificially supported functions. Because each UDDA criterion uses a different interpretation, the law is conceptually inconsistent. A single consistent interpretation would lead to the conclusion that conscious individuals whose respiratory and circulatory functions are artificially supported are actually dead, or that individuals whose brain is entirely and irreversibly destroyed may be alive. We explore solutions to mitigate the inconsistency. (shrink)
The existential insecurity of human beings has induced them to create protective spheres of symbols: myths, religions, values, belief systems, theories, etc. Rationality is one of the key factors contributing to the construction of civilisation in technical and symbolic terms. As Hankiss (2001) has emphasised, protective spheres of symbols may collapse – thus causing a profound social crisis. Social and political transformations had a tremendous impact at the end of the 20th century. As a result, management theories have been revised (...) in order to deal with transition and uncertainty. Francis Fukuyama's (2000) approach is supportive of hierarchical organisation as the best solution when facing a 'disruption'. The notion of Homo Hierarchicus has been based on, allegedly, rational presumptions. This paper contributes to the discussion on hierarchy within contemporary organisations. It criticises so-called 'natural' and 'rational' necessities justifying hierarchy. A key issue identified by the paper is the formalisation of language in claiming value-free knowledge and 'detached' observation as the basis for neutral rationality and aspired efficiency. This should be seriously reconsidered as hindering rather than aiding understanding of social complexity. All in all, Homo Hierarchicus appears to be misleading rather than helping symbolic sphere or construct. (shrink)
This paper presents a new argument against A-theories of time. A-theorists hold that there is an objective now (present moment) and an objective flow of time, the latter constituted by the movement of the objective now through time. A-theorists therefore want to draw different pictures of reality—showing the objective now in different positions—depending upon the time at which the picture is drawn. In this paper it is argued that the times at which the different pictures are drawn may be taken (...) to be normal times or hypertimes. If they are normal times then the A-theory is inconsistent, or else collapses to the B-theory—and appealing to primitive tense operators will not help A-theorists avoid this conclusion. If the times are hypertimes then the A-theory is consistent, but deeply problematic none the less. (shrink)
It is argued that a certain form of the view that the semantic paradoxes show that natural languages are "inconsistent" provides the best response to the semantic paradoxes. After extended discussions of the views of Kirk Ludwig and Matti Eklund, it is argued that in its strongest formulation the view maintains that understanding a natural language is sharing cognition of an inconsistent semantic theory for that language with other speakers. A number of aspects of this approach are discussed and a (...) few objections are entertained. (shrink)
In different papers, David Liggins and Chris Daly tell philosophers what they should not do. There is no sign of them withdrawing any of these prohibitions, but I show that they fail to be consistent when asserting them. The inconsistency concerns when a philosopher should defer to the empirical findings of science.
William Simkulet has recently criticised Colgrove et al ’s defence against what they have called inconsistency arguments—arguments that claim opponents of abortion act in ways inconsistent with their underlying beliefs about human fetuses. Colgrove et al presented three objections to inconsistency arguments, which Simkulet argues are unconvincing. Further, he maintains that OAs who hold that the fetus is a person at conception fail to act on important issues such as the plight of frozen embryos, poverty and spontaneous abortion. (...) Thus, they are morally negligent. In response, we argue that Simkulet has targeted a very narrow group of OAs, and so his criticisms are inapplicable to most OAs. We then explain why his responses to each of Colgrove et al’s objections do not succeed, even for this restricted group. Finally, we note that Simkulet fails to provide evidence for his claims regarding OAs’ supposed failures to act, and we show that OAs veritably do invest resources into these important issues. We conclude that Colgrove et al ’s reasons for rejecting inconsistency arguments remain intact. (shrink)
This paper introduces new logical systems which axiomatize a formal representation of inconsistency (here taken to be equivalent to contradictoriness) in classical logic. We start from an intuitive semantical account of inconsistent data, fixing some basic requirements, and provide two distinct sound and complete axiomatics for such semantics, LFI1 and LFI2, as well as their first-order extensions, LFI1* and LFI2*, depending on which additional requirements are considered. These formal systems are examples of what we dub Logics of Formal (...) class='Hi'>Inconsistency (LFI) and form part of a much larger family of similar logics. We also show that there are translations from classical and paraconsistent first-order logics into LFI1* and LFI2*, and back. Hence, despite their status as subsystems of classical logic, LFI1* and LFI2* can codify any classical or paraconsistent reasoning. (shrink)
It is widely believed that inconsistency is one of the greatest sins a scholar can commit. This issue is especially relevant in linguistics due to the rich diversity of data types, exceptions to the rules, counterexamples to the hypotheses, and background assumptions which constantly come into conflict with methodological principles. Bringing together ideas from linguistics and philosophy of science, this groundbreaking book seeks to answer the following questions: which kinds of inconsistency arise in linguistic theorising? Under which conditions (...) can inconsistencies be tolerated? And how can inconsistencies be resolved? It is the first study to develop a novel metatheoretical framework that accounts for the emergence and the resolution of inconsistency in linguistic theorising, and to reveal the strategies of inconsistency resolution in theoretical linguistics. Supported by detailed case studies, the findings of this metatheoretical analysis can be applied to improve the effectiveness of the working linguist's problem-solving activity. (shrink)
Most opposition to induced abortion turns on the belief that human fetuses are persons from conception. On this view, the moral status of the fetus alone requires those in a position to provide aid—gestational mothers—to make tremendous sacrifices to benefit the fetus. Recently, critics have argued that this pro-life position requires more than opposition to induced abortion. Pro-life theorists are relatively silent on the issues of spontaneous abortion, surplus in vitro fertilisation human embryos, and the suffering and death of born (...) persons due to lack of access to food, shelter and medical care. Colgrove et al call such arguments inconsistency arguments, arguing they ‘do not matter’ and mischaracterise them as ad hominem attacks. Here, I argue these are better understood as moral dilemmas. While some critics argue pro-life inaction is evidence that they do not really believe human fetuses are persons, I contend this inaction is likely the result of resolvable confusion rather than moral negligence. (shrink)
Those who deny that the provision of protection services could be supplied through either the market or some other nonmonopolistic device must therefore endorse some sort of state. And those within that group who maintain that the provision of such services to everyone within a given territory is the only proper function of government must therefore advocate a minimal, or laissez-faire, state. However, an examination of the arguments of three of the better-known contemporary minarchists discloses problems of internal inconsistency (...) which render them unsound, even on their own.. (shrink)
In a recent issue of this journal, M. Frisch claims to have proven that classical electrodynamics is an inconsistent physical theory. We argue that he has applied classical electrodynamics inconsistently. Frisch also claims that all other classical theories of electromagnetic phenomena, when consistent and in some sense an approximation of classical electrodynamics, are haunted by “serious conceptual problems” that defy resolution. We argue that this claim is based on a partisan if not misleading presentation of theoretical research in classical electrodynamics.
We put forward the hypothesis that there exist three basic attitudes towards inconsistencies within world views: (1) The inconsistency is tolerated temporarily and is viewed as an expression of a temporary lack of knowledge due to an incomplete or wrong theory. The resolution of the inconsistency is believed to be inherent to the improvement of the theory. This improvement ultimately resolves the contradiction and therefore we call this attitude the ‘regularising’ attitude; (2) The inconsistency is tolerated and (...) both contradicting elements in the theory are retained. This attitude integrates the inconsistency and leads to a paraconsistent calculus; therefore we will call it the paraconsistent attitude. (3) In the third attitude, both elements of inconsistency are considered to be false and the ‘real situation’ is considered something different that can not be described by the theory constructively. This indicates the incompleteness of the theory, and leads us to a paracomplete calculus; therefore we call it the paracomplete attitude. We illustrate these three attitudes by means of two ‘paradoxical’ situations in quantum mechanics, the wave-particle duality and the situation of non locality. (shrink)
An argument for Trivialism, the view that natural languages are logically inconsistent, is provided that does not rely on contentious empirical assumptions about natural language terms such as “and” or “or.” Further, the view is defended against an important objection recently mounted against it by Thomas Hofweber.
The paper explains how a paraconsistent logician can appropriate all classical reasoning. This is to take consistency as a default assumption, and hence to work within those models of the theory at hand which are minimally inconsistent. The paper spells out the formal application of this strategy to one paraconsistent logic, first-order LP. (See, Ch. 5 of: G. Priest, In Contradiction, Nijhoff, 1987.) The result is a strong non-monotonic paraconsistent logic agreeing with classical logic in consistent situations. It is shown (...) that the logical closure of a theory under this logic is trivial only if its closure under LP is trivial. (shrink)
A critic may attack an arguer personally by pointing out that the arguer’s position is pragmatically inconsistent: the arguer does not practice what he preaches. A number of authors hold that such attacks can be part of a good argumentative discussion. However, there is a difficulty in accepting this kind of contribution as potentially legitimate, for the reason that there is nothing wrong for a protagonist to have an inconsistent position, in the sense of committing himself to mutually inconsistent propositions. (...) If so, any such charge seems to be irrelevant. The questions to be answered in this essay are: what, if any, is the dialectical rationale for this type of criticism, and in what situations, if any, is this kind of charge dialectically legitimate? It will be shown that these attacks can be dialectically legitimate, in special circumstances, and that they can be seen as strategic␣manoeuvres where a party attempts to reconcile his dialectical and his rhetorical objectives. (shrink)
I elaborate and defend the inconsistency view on vagueness I have earlier argued for in my (2002) and (forthcoming). In rough outline, the view is that the sorites paradox arises because tolerance principles, despite their inconsistency, are meaning-constitutive for vague expressions. Toward the end of the paper I discuss other inconsistency views on vagueness that have been proposed, and compare them to the view I favor.
In this work, the first of a series, we study the nature of informal inconsistency in physics, focusing mainly on the foundations of quantum theory, and appealing to the concept of quasi-truth. We defend a pluralistic view of the philosophy of science, grounded on the existence of inconsistencies and on quasi-truth. Here, we treat only the ‘classical aspects’ of the subject, leaving for a forthcoming paper the ‘non-classical’ part.
It is widely recognized that scientific theories are often associated with strictly inconsistent models, but there is little agreement concerning the epistemic consequences. Some argue that model inconsistency supports a strong perspectivism, according to which claims serving as interpretations of models are inevitably and irreducibly perspectival. Others argue that in at least some cases, inconsistent models can be unified as approximations to a theory with which they are associated, thus undermining this kind of perspectivism. I examine the arguments for (...) perspectivism, and contend that its strong form is defeasible in principle, not merely in special cases. The argument rests on the plausibility of scientific knowledge concerning non-perspectival, dispositional facts about modelled systems. This forms the basis of a novel suggestion regarding how to understand the knowledge these models afford, in terms of a contrastive theory of what-questions. (shrink)