Acceptable Contradictions: Pragmatics or Semantics? A Reply to Cobreros et al.
- Sam AlxatibAffiliated withDepartment of Linguistics and Philosophy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- , Peter PaginAffiliated withDepartment of Philosophy, Stockholm University
- , Uli SauerlandAffiliated withZentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft Email author
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Naive speakers find some logical contradictions acceptable, specifically borderline contradictions involving vague predicates such as Joe is and isn’t tall. In a recent paper, Cobreros et al. (J Philos Logic, 2012) suggest a pragmatic account of the acceptability of borderline contradictions. We show, however, that the pragmatic account predicts the wrong truth conditions for some examples with disjunction. As a remedy, we propose a semantic analysis instead. The analysis is close to a variant of fuzzy logic, but conjunction and disjunction are interpreted as intensional operators.
KeywordsContradiction Vagueness Fuzzy logic Pragmatics Natural language Conjunction
- Acceptable Contradictions: Pragmatics or Semantics? A Reply to Cobreros et al.
Journal of Philosophical Logic
Volume 42, Issue 4 , pp 619-634
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- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
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- Fuzzy logic
- Natural language
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Linguistics and Philosophy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, 02139, USA
- 2. Department of Philosophy, Stockholm University, 106 91, Stockholm, Sweden
- 3. Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft, Schützenstr. 18, 10117, Berlin, Germany