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Quasi-truth and defective knowledge in science: a critical examination

Arenhart, Jonas R. B. and Krause, Décio (2019) Quasi-truth and defective knowledge in science: a critical examination. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Quasi-truth (a.k.a. pragmatic truth or partial truth) is typically advanced as a framework accounting for incompleteness and uncertainty in the actual practices of science. Also, it is said to be useful for accommodating cases of inconsistency in science without leading to triviality. In this paper, we argue that the given developments do not deliver all that is promised. We examine the most prominent account of quasi-truth available in the literature, advanced by da Costa and collaborators in many places, and argue that it cannot legitimately account for incompleteness in science: we shall claim that it conflates paraconsistency and paracompleteness. It also cannot account for inconsistencies, because no direct contradiction of the form α ∧ ¬α can be quasi-true, according to the framework. Finally, we advance an alternative interpretation of the formalism in terms of dealing with distinct contexts where incompatible information is dealt with. This does not save the original program, but seems to make better sense of the formalism.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Arenhart, Jonas R. B.jonas.becker2@gmail.cpm
Krause, Déciodeciokrause@gmail.com
Keywords: quasi-truth, partial truth, pragmatic truth, paraconsistency, paracompleteness, inconsistencies
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Epistemology
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Logic
Depositing User: Décio Krause
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2019 14:12
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2019 14:12
Item ID: 16356
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Epistemology
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Logic
Date: 21 August 2019
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/16356

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