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Dialogue Foundations

Wilfrid Hodges and Erik C. W. Krabbe
Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volumes
Vol. 75 (2001), pp. 17-49
Published by: Wiley on behalf of The Aristotelian Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4107032
Page Count: 33
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Dialogue Foundations
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Abstract

[Wilfrid Hodges] During the last forty or so years it has become popular to offer explanations of logical notions in terms of games. There is no doubt that many people find games helpful for understanding various logical phenomena. But we ask whether anything is really 'explained' by these accounts, and we analyse Paul Lorenzen's dialogue foundations for constructive logic as an example. The conclusion is that the value of games lies in their ability to provide helpful metaphors and representations, rather than in any true conceptual analysis. In fact some of the standard explanations of logical notions in terms of competitive games simply don't work. /// [Erik C. W. Krabbe] In an attempt to redeem the Lorenzen-type dialogues from their detractors, it is perhaps best first to provide a survey of the various benefits these dialogues have been supposed to yield. This will be done in Section I. It will not be possible, within the confines of this paper, to scrutinize them all, but in Section II we shall delve deeper into the capacity of this type of dialogue to yield a model for the immanent criticism of philosophical positions. Section III will extend the concept of a dialogue in such a way as to conform better with our intuitive conceptions of what a rational discussion of a position should contain. This will be followed up by a concept of 'winning a dialogue' that takes position midway between the old conception of 'winning one play' and that of the full-fledged presentation of a winning strategy (a proof). Concepts of 'rational discussion' are thus shown to be, plausibly, more fundamental than those of proof. In Section IV, I shall discuss the specific problems about dialogical foundations put forward by Wilfrid Hodges.

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