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Charles Travis

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199230334

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199230334.001.0001

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Sublunary Intuitionism

Sublunary Intuitionism

(p.130) 5 Sublunary Intuitionism

Charles Travis (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Truth matters to all those capable of thinking falsely (so of thinking things); but to philosophers in a special way. Philosophers have spoken volumes on the topic. One such example is Michael Dummett's early essay, ‘Truth’, where he defends two intuitions. The first is that no statement could be neither true nor false; or it could never be right to say so. The second is that it is not so of every statement that it is guaranteed to be either true or false. Each has its exponents. Few, though, defend both. If both are right, that may argue for a view dubbed sublunary intuitionism: in an important sense (though one yet to be clarified) the logic of ordinary discourse is intuitionist, not classical. This chapter argues that Dummett's first intuition is incorrect. His second intuition stands on a more radical, perhaps more simple-minded, reading than he gives it. But it is the tension between the two intuitions, if anything, that argues for sublunary intuitionism. Neither alone makes the case.

Keywords:   truth, thinking falsely, Michael Dummett, intuition, sublunary intuitionism

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