On a “most telling” argument for paraconsistent logic

Research paper by Michaelis Michael

Indexed on: 07 Oct '15Published on: 07 Oct '15Published in: Synthese


Priest and others have presented their “most telling” argument for paraconsistent logic: that only paraconsistent logics allow non-trivial inconsistent theories. This is a very prevalent argument; occurring as it does in the work of many relevant and more generally paraconsistent logicians. However this argument can be shown to be unsuccessful. There is a crucial ambiguity in the notion of non-triviality. Disambiguated the most telling reason for paraconsistent logics is either question-begging or mistaken. This highlights an important confusion about the role of logic in our development of our theories of the world. Does logic chart good reasoning or our commitments? We also consider another abductive argument for paraconsistent logics which also is shown to fail.