Journal of Philosophical Logic

, Volume 42, Issue 4, pp 619–634 | Cite as

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

  • Sam Alxatib
  • Peter Pagin
  • Uli Sauerland


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.


Contradiction Vagueness Fuzzy logic Pragmatics Natural language Conjunction 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Linguistics and PhilosophyMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Department of PhilosophyStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden
  3. 3.Zentrum für Allgemeine SprachwissenschaftBerlinGermany

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