Seminar Series in Analytic Philosophy 2021-22, Session 4

First Steps in the Philosophy of Paradoxicality
Elia Zardini (LanCog and Universidad Complutense de Madrid)

08 October 2021, 11:00 (Lisbon Time – GMT+1) | Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)

Abstract: According to the traditional definition of paradoxicality, in a paradox apparently true premises apparently entail an apparently false conclusion. I argue that the traditional definition is too narrow, in that prominent types of paradoxes also have versions that conclude to an obviously true conclusion but that are nonetheless paradoxical. After drawing out an interesting corollary of this fact, I criticise a couple of alternative proposals (that in a paradox apparently a priori premises apparently entail an apparently a posteriori conclusion; that in a paradox anything (in the relevant range of propositions) apparently entails everything (in the relevant range of propositions)) as both too narrow and too strict. I then propose my own characterisation, according to which in a paradox, apparently, even if the conclusion failed to hold, the premises would be true and the argument form would be valid. I explain in what sense this account is not a reductive definition; in which directions the account can be extended to cover various other paradoxical phenomena and how the account can be understood as the metaphysical ground for a plausible epistemological claim about paradoxicality.