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The Law of Non-Contradiction$
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Graham Priest, JC Beall, and Bradley Armour-Garb

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199265176

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199265176.001.0001

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Logical Non-Apriorism and the ‘Law’ of Non-Contradiction

Logical Non-Apriorism and the ‘Law’ of Non-Contradiction

(p.156) 9 Logical Non-Apriorism and the ‘Law’ of Non-Contradiction
The Law of Non-Contradiction

Otávio Bueno

Mark Colyvan

Oxford University Press

A common response to those who question the Law of Non-Contradiction (LNC) is that it is impossible to debate such a fundamental law of logic. The reasons for this response vary, but what seems to underlie them is the thought that there is a minimal set of logical resources without which rational debate is impossible. This chapter argues that this response is misguided. First, it defends non-apriorism in logic: the view that logic is in the same epistemic boat as other scientific theories. It then offers an account of logical theory change in terms of this epistemology. The LNC is discussed in terms of this account of logical theory change, and it is shown that rational debate over this law can, and does, proceed. Finally, arguments for and against the LNC are discussed, and how and where non-a priori considerations arise in these arguments are illustrated.

Keywords:   logical non-apriorism, law of non-contradiction, law of logic, rational debate, non-apriorism in logic, logical theory change, epistemology

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