Publications

  • (Fourthcoming)  Ahmad, R. “Higher-Level Paradoxes and Substructural Solutions”. Studia Logica.

There have been recent arguments against the idea that substructural solutions are uniform. The claim is that even if the substructuralist solves the common semantic paradoxes uniformly by targeting Cut or Contraction, with additional machinery, we can construct higher-level paradoxes (e.g., a higher-level Liar, a higher-level Curry, and a meta-validity Curry). These higher-level paradoxes do not use metainferential Cut or Contraction, but rather, higher-level Cuts and higher-level Contractions. These kinds of paradoxes suggest that targeting Cut or Contraction is not enough for solving semantic paradoxes; the substructuralist must target Cut of every level or Contraction of every level to solve the paradoxes. Hence, the substructuralists do not provide as uniform of a solution as they hoped they did.

In response, we argue that the substructuralists need not admit these additional machineries. In fact, they are redundant in light of the validity predicate (i.e., there is no gain in terms of expressive power). The validity predicate is powerful enough to creep these paradoxes in the object level. The substructuralist does not need to ascend to metainferences to construct higher-level paradoxes. Moreover, there is a reading available to the substructuralist such that all the higher-level structural rules would collapse to instances of the object-level structural rules (e.g., meta$_n$Cut and meta$_n$Contraction would become instances of Cut and Contraction).

We then address Barrio et al.’s worry that the validity predicate has its shortcomings; the substructuralist cannot internalize some of its metarules. We claim that the validity of metarules can be internalized without the need to strengthen the validity predicate. However, a problem raised by Barrio et al. is still present—the problem of internalizing unwanted instances of Cut in Cut-free approaches. We argue that this internalization problem is not unique to the validity predicate; the same problem is present with other problematic predicates, such as the truth predicate and the provability predicate.

In this paper, we provide a recipe that not only captures the common structure of semantic paradoxes but also captures our intuitions regarding the relations between these paradoxes. Before we unveil our recipe, we first talk about a well-known schema introduced by Graham Priest, namely, the Inclosure Schema. Without rehashing previous arguments against the Inclosure Schema, we contribute different arguments for the same concern that the Inclosure Schema bundles together the wrong paradoxes. That is, we will provide further arguments on why the Inclosure Schema is both too narrow and too broad.

We then spell out our recipe. The recipe shows that all of the following paradoxes share the same structure: The Liar, Curry’s paradox, Validity Curry, Provability Liar, Provability Curry, Knower’s paradox, Knower’s Curry, Grelling-Nelson’s paradox, Russell’s paradox in terms of extensions, alternative Liar and alternative Curry, and hitherto unexplored paradoxes.

We conclude the paper by stating the lessons that we can learn from the recipe, and what kind of solutions the recipe suggests if we want to adhere to the Principle of Uniform Solution.