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Volume 10, 1997

Cognitive Semantics I

Mark Sainsbury
Pages 216-229

Can Rational Dialetheism Be Refuted By Considerations about Negation and Denial?

Rational dialetheism is the view that for some contradictions, it is rational to believe that they are true. The view, associated with the work of among others, Graham Priest, looks as if it must lead to absurd consequences, and the present paper is an unsuccessful attempt to find them. In particular, I suggest that there is no non-question-begging account of acceptance, denial and negation which can be brought to bear against the rational dialetheist. Finally, I consider the prospect of attacking the position without trying to "refute" it, but even these approaches seem unpromising in the present case. If the drift of the paper is correct, the only strategy is to examine the paradoxes one by one, and show in each case that the best account is non-dialetheic.

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