In Contradiction: A Study of Transconsistent By Professor Graham Priest

A review of a book “In Contradiction” by Graham Priest

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NOTE:                  Professor Graham Priest is a renowned living philosopher specializing in Modern Logic. Contradiction, tautology (esp. imagining a logical link where it is non-existent) , finite logic, infinite logic are the concepts worthy of the discussion among TF USA affiliates (nSalik)

Graham Priest

In Contradiction: A Study of the Transconsistent

Published: March 18, 2007

Graham Priest, In Contradiction: A Study of the Transconsistent, Oxford University Press, 2nd edition (expanded), 2006, 352pp., $35.00 (pbk), ISBN 0199263302.

Reviewed by José Martínez Fernández, University of Barcelona

A dialetheia is a true contradiction, that is, a sentence A such that A ∧ ¬ A is true.  Since falsity is defined as truth of the negation, a dialetheia can be equivalently defined as a sentence A that is both true and false. The first edition of In Contradiction, published in 1987, has become the classical presentation and defense of dialetheism: the view that there are dialetheias. This thesis may look at first sight almost unintelligible, making us wonder what the meaning of truth and negation would be if there are true contradictions. But after reading the careful arguments that Priest builds to defend dialetheism, and the passionate attack he launches on classical logic and consistent views of the world, one realizes that dialetheism is a major logical theory, deserving a detailed examination.

The second edition of the book incorporates unchanged (apart from corrections of typographical errors and notational changes) the text of the first edition with its three parts and then adds a fourth part with six new chapters (ch.15-20), which comment on the text of the first edition and further develop some of its contents, expanding the book by one third. I will begin by outlining the main changes and additions that Priest has made to the first edition of the book. I will then make two critical comments.

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