The Logic of Exemplarity

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Year of publication 2022
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Law & Literature
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Keywords exemplarity;example;singularity;universality;standard metre;différance;paraconsistent and paracomplete logic;Jacques Derrida;Ludwig Wittgenstein
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Description The topic of exemplarity has attracted considerable interest in philosophy, legal theory, literary studies and art recently. There is broad consensus that exemplary cases mediate between singular instances and general concepts or norms. The aim of this article is to provide an additional perspective on the logic of exemplarity. First, inspired by Jacques Derrida’s discussion of exemplarity, I shall argue that there is a kind of différance between (singular) examples and (general) exemplars. What an example exemplifies, the exemplarity of the example, eludes any fixed identity and follows a logic of supplement. Second, I shall present the so-called logic of exemplarity. The received paraconsistent view has it that the exemplar of X is an X and, at the same time, is not an X. Inspired by Ludwig Wittgenstein’s discussion of the standard metre, I would like to present an alternative paracomplete view whereby we can say of an exemplar of X neither that it is an X nor that it is not an X.
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