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Colloquium ‘In Denial’ by prof. Stehpen Mumford

13 January @ 15:30 - 17:00

Description

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In Denial We are willing to affirm negations, yet it is difficult to say what could be the truthmakers for negative truths. There is an alternative, however, which is that instead of asserting ¬P, we could deny P. This has been overlooked as an alternative to assertion partly because Frege and others accept the equivalences: 1) between Assertion: <¬P> and Denial: <P>, and 2) between Assertion: <P> and Denial: <¬P>. But these are not equivalences. Assertion and denial have different…
In Denial We are willing to affirm negations, yet it is difficult to say what could be the truthmakers for negative truths. There is an alternative, however, which is that instead of asserting ¬P, we could deny P. This has been overlooked as an alternative to assertion partly because Frege and others accept the equivalences: 1) between Assertion: <¬P> and Denial: <P>, and 2) between Assertion: <P> and Denial: <¬P>. But these are not equivalences. Assertion and denial have different linguistic functions. Assertion aims at truth, commits to a way the world is, expresses a judgment and is conventionally opening. In contrast, denial aims at falsehood, makes no commitment to a way the world is, might withhold judgment and is conventionally responsive. A denial is not, then, the same as an assertion of a negation. That Frege’s logic contains an assertion stroke but not a denial stroke is evidence of his affirmation bias. Recognition of the special role of denial can be useful in cases such as negative truth.

Details

Date:
13 January
Time:
15:30 - 17:00

Venue

TU Delft, Delft, The Netherlands
Delft, The Netherlands
Delft, South Holland The Netherlands
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In Denial

We are willing to affirm negations, yet it is difficult to say what could be the truthmakers for negative truths. There is an alternative, however, which is that instead of asserting ¬P, we could deny P. This has been overlooked as an alternative to assertion partly because Frege and others accept the equivalences: 1) between Assertion: <¬P> and Denial: <P>, and 2) between Assertion: <P> and Denial: <¬P>. But these are not equivalences. Assertion and denial have different linguistic functions. Assertion aims at truth, commits to a way the world is, expresses a judgment and is conventionally opening. In contrast, denial aims at falsehood, makes no commitment to a way the world is, might withhold judgment and is conventionally responsive. A denial is not, then, the same as an assertion of a negation. That Frege’s logic contains an assertion stroke but not a denial stroke is evidence of his affirmation bias. Recognition of the special role of denial can be useful in cases such as negative truth.

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