On Priest on Nonmonotonic and Inductive Logic

March 2016

“On Priest on Nonmonotonic and Inductive Logic,” Thought, 5:2 (2016) 119–124


Graham Priest defends the use of a nonmonotonic logic, LPm, in his analysis of reasoning in the face of true contradictions, such as those arising from the paradoxes of self-reference. In the course of defending the choice of this logic in the face of the criticism that LPm is not truth preserving, Priest argued that requirement is too much to ask: since LPm is a nonmonotonic logic, it necessarily fails to preserve truth. In this paper, I show that this assumption is incorrect, and I explain why nonmonotonic logics can nonetheless be truth preserving. Finally, I diagnose Priest’s error, to explain when nonmonotonic logics do indeed fail to preserve truth.

Graham Priest has written a very short reply to this article, which also appears in Thought.

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I’m Greg Restall, and this is my personal website. I am the Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of Philosophy at the University of St Andrews, and the Director of the Arché Philosophical Research Centre for Logic, Language, Metaphysics and Epistemology I like thinking about – and helping other people think about – logic and philosophy and the many different ways they can inform each other.


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