Research Group
in Analytic Philosophy

Invalidities

Date: 10 January 2018

Time: 15:00

Place: Seminari de Filosofia UB

Abstract

There are many ways of understanding what it is for an argument to be valid. Although we usually identify the concept of validity with (classical first-order) logical validity and, in turn, we typically take this to capture the notion of necessary preservation of truth in virtue of logical form (or, at least, something very close to that), this is just one way in which validity can be explained. There are situations where this notion is too restrictive and, so, not very useful.

One particularly broad understanding of the notion of validity that has received quite a bit of attention recently is based on the idea that a sentence A implies a sentence B if, and only if, accepting A is incoherent with rejecting B. That is, the argument from A to B is said to be valid only if any agent that accepts A and rejects B is doing something wrong.

The main claim of the paper will be that, under this understanding of the notion of validity, all the usual reasons to privilege a treatment of validities over a treatment of invalidities vanish. So, one interesting consequence of understanding validity in this way that has been, to the best of my knowledge, overlooked in the literature is that validity and invalidity are on a par, which means that there is no reason to treat validities primitively and to define invalidities in terms of them.