What it is like to be a Dialetheia. The Ontology of True Contradictions


  • Emiliano Boccardi Pensa MultiMedia Editore
  • Federico Perelda


According to Dialetheism some contradictions (p&~p) are true. What would the world be like if this were the case? Radically indeterminate, according to a venerable answer. This follows from a tacit conflation of the principle of contradiction (PNC) with the Principle of Identity (PI). Accordingly, transcendental arguments (elenchos) purport to show the unassailability of PNC by showing the unassailability of PI. We agree that if PI were to fail, PNC would fail too; but this is not the only way in which PNC might fail. Dialetheias are two-footed creatures in that their truth requires the existence of two conflicting facts: one making p true, the other making ~p true. Our answer to the question is that PNC can fail also if the world is overdeterminate, rather than in-determinate. We conclude that Dialetheism lives and dies with the prospects of a positive account of negative truths.