Inconsistency in Science

Newton C. A. da Costa and Steven French

in Science and Partial Truth

Published in print November 2003 | ISBN: 9780195156515
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199785896 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in the Philosophy of Science

 						Inconsistency in Science

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This chapter presents a model-theoretic account in which regarding theories in terms of partial structures offers a straightforward and natural way of accommodating inconsistency. In particular, it draws attention to the heuristic importance of inconsistency in science. Shifting to the epistemic perspective, inconsistent theories can then be regarded as quasi-true and accepted as such, just like any other theory in science. This common epistemic framework forces a blurring of the standard discovery-justification distinction. A form of paraconsistent logic is introduced at the epistemic level as a logic of quasi truth.

Keywords: model-theoretic approach; partial structures; inconsistent theories; quasi-true; paraconsistent logic

Chapter.  11807 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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