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    Explosion and the normativity of logic

    Steinberger, Florian (2016) Explosion and the normativity of logic. Mind 125 (498), pp. 385-419. ISSN 0026-4423.

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    Abstract

    Logic has traditionally been construed as a normative discipline; it sets forth standards of correct reasoning. Explosion is a valid principle of classical logic. It states that an inconsistent set of propositions entails any proposition whatsoever. However, ordinary agents presumably do -- occasionally, at least -- have inconsistent belief sets. Yet it is false that such agents may, let alone ought to, believe any proposition they please. Therefore, our logic should not recognize explosion as a logical law. Call this the 'normative argument against explosion'. Arguments of this type play -- implicitly or explicitly -- a central role in motivating paraconsistent logics. Branden Fitelson (2008), in a throwaway remark, has conjectured that there is no plausible 'bridge principle' articulating the normative link between logic and reasoning capable of supporting such arguments. This paper offers a critical evaluation of Fitelson's conjecture, and hence of normative arguments for paraconsistency and the conceptions of logic's normative status on which they repose. It is argued that Fitelson’s conjecture turns out to be correct: normative arguments for paraconsistency probably fail.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication following peer review. The version of record is available online at the link above.
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Philosophy
    Depositing User: Florian Steinberger
    Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2016 13:42
    Last Modified: 18 Mar 2018 01:10
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/14778

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