Journal of Philosophical Logic

, Volume 42, Issue 4, pp 619–634

Acceptable Contradictions: Pragmatics or Semantics? A Reply to Cobreros et al.

Authors

  • Sam Alxatib
    • Department of Linguistics and PhilosophyMassachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Peter Pagin
    • Department of PhilosophyStockholm University
    • Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10992-012-9241-7

Cite this article as:
Alxatib, S., Pagin, P. & Sauerland, U. J Philos Logic (2013) 42: 619. doi:10.1007/s10992-012-9241-7

Abstract

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.

Keywords

ContradictionVaguenessFuzzy logicPragmaticsNatural languageConjunction

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012