A Quantificational Analysis of the Liar Paradox


It seems that the most common strategy to solve the liar paradox is to argue that liar sentences are meaningless and, consequently, truth-valueless. The other main option that has grown in recent years is the dialetheist view that treats liar sentences as meaningful, truth-apt and true. In this paper I will offer a new approach that does not belong in either camp. I hope to show that liar sentences can be interpreted as meaningful, truth-apt and false, but without engendering any contradiction. This seemingly impossible task can be accomplished once the semantic structure of the liar sentence is unpacked by a quantified analysis. The paper will be divided in two sections. In the first section, I present the independent reasons that motivate the quantificational strategy and how it works in the liar sentence. In the second section, I explain how this quantificational analysis allows us to explain the truth teller sentence and a counter-example advanced against truthmaker maximalism, and deal with some potential objections.

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