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Статья

Logical Charity

Revista Brasileira de Filosofia. 2009. Vol. 233. P. 159-172.

Our aim is to propose a non-referential semantics for the principle of logical charity: neither logical absolutism (one logic, one way of thinking), nor logical relativism (several logics, several ways of thinking) afford an adequate conceptual framework to interpret the meaning of any speech act. But neither of them is totally wrong, either. The point is to see to what extent each of these views is partly right, thus leading to a more consensual but seemingly paradoxical ‘relative principle of charity’. After recalling the theoretical background of logical charity, we suggest a fourvalued logic of acceptance and rejection (hereafter: AR4) to extend the classical view of charity; then we explain how such a non-referential semantics does justice both to the initial champions of logical charity and their opponents. While endorsing coherence as a precondition for rationality, we argue that such a criterion does not entail that classical logic is a necessary conceptual scheme to interpret the others’ beliefs. A better application of charity should take account of the questions implicitly asked by a statement; we proceed in this way by preferring Quine’s verdict-functions to his logical truth-functions while emphasizing upon the varying degrees of strength of a statement.