PP-2009-47: Horror Contradictionis

PP-2009-47: van Benthem, Johan (2009) Horror Contradictionis. [Report]

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Abstract

Contradiction between sharp propositions is a major engine of progress in logic, both in reasoning and in related tasks. And yet, in communicative practice, we often try to avoid conflict, and logic also has several strategies for 'defusing' contradictions. This paper discusses some of these, including changes of arity for predicates, relativization of domains, and retreat to weaker statements about agents' beliefs. We note a few folklore facts about the reach of these methods, and then relate the balance between accepting and defusing contradictions to issues in belief revision and game theory. In doing so, we place 'relativism' in a setting of information dynamics: an optimal take on a contradiction depends on its success in facilitating subsequent communication.

Item Type: Report
Report Nr: PP-2009-47
Series Name: Prepublication (PP) Series
Year: 2009
Uncontrolled Keywords: relativism, disagreement, logic, belief
Subjects: Logic
Depositing User: Johan Benthem
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2016 14:37
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2016 14:37
URI: https://eprints.illc.uva.nl/id/eprint/376

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