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Fitch's paradox: Two attempts to rescue Tennant's proposal from the threat of ad hocness

Johansson, Thomas LU (2012) FTEM10 20111
Theoretical Philosophy
Abstract
Fitch's paradox is problematic to any philosopher that claims the truth to be independent of us. Neil Tennant has proposed a solution to this paradox, which has been criticized in many ways. One is that the proposal is ad hoc. In this thesis I will examine two attempts to save the proposal from that criticism. First, Tennant himself has suggested that there is a general pattern for thesis restrictions when a counterexample is found, and he claims that his proposal is an instance of that pattern. In this paper I will show that Tennant fails to save his own theory, simply because the suggested pattern does not generate proper theories but mere tautologies that are necessarily true - which is a catastrophy to any theory that wants to claim... (More)
Fitch's paradox is problematic to any philosopher that claims the truth to be independent of us. Neil Tennant has proposed a solution to this paradox, which has been criticized in many ways. One is that the proposal is ad hoc. In this thesis I will examine two attempts to save the proposal from that criticism. First, Tennant himself has suggested that there is a general pattern for thesis restrictions when a counterexample is found, and he claims that his proposal is an instance of that pattern. In this paper I will show that Tennant fails to save his own theory, simply because the suggested pattern does not generate proper theories but mere tautologies that are necessarily true - which is a catastrophy to any theory that wants to claim something new. Second, Igor Douven has argued that Tennant's proposal is equivalent to a principled one, an therefore is rescued from the threat of ad hocness. I will not deny that the two versions are equivalent, but that Douven's is principled. More exactly, I will show that the one proposed by Douven is less principled than Tennant's original one. (Less)
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author
Johansson, Thomas LU
supervisor
organization
course
FTEM10 20111
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
language
English
id
2740297
date added to LUP
2012-07-27 15:08:06
date last changed
2012-07-27 15:08:06
@misc{2740297,
  abstract     = {Fitch's paradox is problematic to any philosopher that claims the truth to be independent of us. Neil Tennant has proposed a solution to this paradox, which has been criticized in many ways. One is that the proposal is ad hoc. In this thesis I will examine two attempts to save the proposal from that criticism. First, Tennant himself has suggested that there is a general pattern for thesis restrictions when a counterexample is found, and he claims that his proposal is an instance of that pattern. In this paper I will show that Tennant fails to save his own theory, simply because the suggested pattern does not generate proper theories but mere tautologies that are necessarily true - which is a catastrophy to any theory that wants to claim something new. Second, Igor Douven has argued that Tennant's proposal is equivalent to a principled one, an therefore is rescued from the threat of ad hocness. I will not deny that the two versions are equivalent, but that Douven's is principled. More exactly, I will show that the one proposed by Douven is less principled than Tennant's original one.},
  author       = {Johansson, Thomas},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Fitch's paradox: Two attempts to rescue Tennant's proposal from the threat of ad hocness},
  year         = {2012},
}