SOPhiA 2022

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programme - Talk

Epistemic Normativity for Non-Classical Truth
(Logic/Philosophy of Mathematics, English)

This talk connects three related concepts: Carnapian Logical Pluralism, Epistemic Normativity and Information.

The Carnapian logical pluralist holds that logical correctness is a language relative notion. A logic is correct for a language iff it endorses all the valid inferences in that language (Carnap 1937, and elsewhere). However, different languages have different semantic properties. This means that the nature of truth, and hence validity, differs from language to language. Consequently, there are many logics that are correct for some language. Logical pluralism is true. Notably, for this talk, the Carnapian is a logical pluralist because they are an alethic pluralist. There are many correct logics because there are many different types of truth.

Epistemic value is the purely theoretical value that comes with knowledge or other praiseworthy doxastic states. The most popular contemporary theory of epistemic value is Veritism , the view that truth is the source of epistemic value. The Carnapian faces a dilemma when faced with Veritism. Because they are alethic pluralists, there are many different possible versions of truth, across different languages. If the Carnapian accepts Veritism, they must either accept that (1) all truth is epistemically valuable or (2) only some truth is.

If they accept (1), then they have to accept that truth in so-called nonsense languages, like those that model nonsense logics like Tonk (Prior 1960).

If they accept (2), then they must explain why the particular types of truth that are epistemically valuable are, and why those that aren't, aren't. To do that, they need to invoke the epistemic value of something other than truth, but then they concede that truth isn__t the source of epistemic value.

Thus, the Carnapian cannot be a Veritist. This means that they have to give a rival account of epistemic normativity. This talk suggests just such a rival view: the Information View. On the Information View, information, not truth, is the source of epistemic value. Information, here, is meant in the technical sense. n bits of information are a factor 2_n reduction on the number of the epistemically possible worlds.

The talk shows that if one accepts the Information View, one can explain the epistemic value of "good" kinds of truth, as well as the lack of epistemic value of "bad" kinds of truth. This explains the epistemic value of (some types of) Non-Classical truth.

Chair: Katia Parshina
Time: 15:20-15:50, 09. September 2022 (Friday)
Location: SR 1.006
Remark: (Online Talk)

Gareth Rhys Pearce 
(University of Vienna, Austria)

Testability and Meaning deco