The liarparadox is still an open philosophical problem. Most contemporary answers to the paradox target the logical principles underlying the reasoning from the liar sentence to the paradoxical conclusion that the liar sentence is both true and false. In contrast to these answers, Buddhist epistemology offers resources to devise a distinctively epistemological approach to the liarparadox. In this paper, I mobilise these resources and argue that the liar sentence is what (...) Buddhist epistemologists call a contradiction with one’s own words. I situate my argument in the works of Dignāga and Dharmakīrti and show how Buddhist epistemology answers the paradox. (shrink)
Al-Taftāzānī introduces the LiarParadox, in a commentary on al-Rāzī, in a short passage that is part of a polemic against the ethical rationalism of the Muʿtazila. In this essay, we consider his remarks and their place in the history of the LiarParadox in Arabic Logic. In the passage, al-Taftāzānī introduces Liar Cycles into the tradition, gives the paradox a puzzling name—the fallacy of the “irrational root” —which became standard, and suggests a connection (...) between the paradox and what it tells us about truth and falsehood, and arguments for divine voluntarism and what they tell us about the nature of goodness and badness. On this last point, we also discuss a passage from al-Rāzī, which suggests similar connections. (shrink)
We describe the earliest occurrences of the LiarParadox in the Arabic tradition. e early Mutakallimūn claim the Liar Sentence is both true and false; they also associate the Liar with problems concerning plural subjects, which is somewhat puzzling. Abharī (1200-1265) ascribes an unsatisfiable truth condition to the Liar Sentence—as he puts it, its being true is the conjunction of its being true and false—and so concludes that the sentence is not true. Tūsī (1201-1274) argues (...) that self-referential sentences, like the Liar, are not truth-apt, and defends this claim by appealing to a correspondence theory of truth. Translations of the texts are provided as an appendix. (shrink)
Confronting the LiarParadox is commonly viewed as a prerequisite for developing a theory of truth. In this paper I turn the tables on this traditional conception of the relation between the two. The theorist of truth need not constrain his search for a “material” theory of truth, i.e., a theory of the philosophical nature of truth, by committing himself to one solution or another to the LiarParadox. If he focuses on the nature of truth (...) (leaving issues of formal consistency for a later stage), he can arrive at material principles that prevent the LiarParadox from arising in the first place. I argue for this point both on general methodological grounds and by example. The example is based on a substantivist theory of truth that emphasizes the role of truth in human cognition. The key point is that truth requires a certain complementarity of “immanence” and “transcendence”, and this means that some hierarchical structure is inherent in truth. Approaching the LiarParadox from this perspective throws new light on its existent solutions: their differences and commonalities, their purported ad-hocness, and the relevance of natural language and bivalence to truth and the Liar. (shrink)
It seems that the most common strategy to solve the liarparadox 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. (shrink)
The purpose of this note is to present a strong form of the liarparadox. It is strong because the logical resources needed to generate the paradox are weak, in each of two senses. First, few expressive resources required: conjunction, negation, and identity. In particular, this form of the liar does not need to make any use of the conditional. Second, few inferential resources are required. These are: (i) conjunction introduction; (ii) substitution of identicals; and (iii) (...) the inference: From ¬(p ∧ p), infer ¬ p. It is, interestingly enough, also essential to the argument that the ‘strong’ form of the diagonal lemma be used: the one that delivers a term λ such that we can prove: λ = ¬ T(⌈λ⌉); rather than just a sentence Λ for which we can prove: Λ ≡ ¬T(⌈Λ⌉). The truth-theoretic principles used to generate the paradox are these: ¬(S ∧ T(⌈¬S⌉); and ¬(¬S ∧ ¬T(⌈¬S⌉). These are classically equivalent to the two directions of the T-scheme, but they are intuitively weaker. The lesson I would like to draw is: There can be no consistent solution to the Liarparadox that does not involve abandoning truth-theoretic principles that should be every bit as dear to our hearts as the T-scheme. So we shall have to learn to live with the Liar, one way or another. (shrink)
This paper decomposes the LiarParadox into its semantic atoms using Meaning Postulates (1952) provided by Rudolf Carnap. Formalizing truth values of propositions as Boolean properties of these propositions is a key new insight. This new insight divides the translation of a declarative sentence into its equivalent mathematical proposition into three separate steps. When each of these steps are separately examined the logical error of the LiarParadox is unequivocally shown.
Section 1 reviews Strawson’s logic of presuppositions. Strawson’s justification is critiqued and a new justification proposed. Section 2 extends the logic of presuppositions to cases when the subject class is necessarily empty, such as (x)((Px & ~Px) → Qx) . The strong similarity of the resulting logic with Richard Diaz’s truth-relevant logic is pointed out. Section 3 further extends the logic of presuppositions to sentences with many variables, and a certain valuation is proposed. It is noted that, given this valuation, (...) Gödel’s sentence becomes neither true nor false. The similarity of this outcome with Goldstein and Gaifman’s solution of the Liarparadox, which is discussed in section 4, is emphasized. Section 5 returns to the definition of meaningfulness; the meaninglessness of certain sentences with empty subjects and of the Liar sentence is discussed. The objective of this paper is to show how all of the above-mentioned concepts are interrelated. (shrink)
I have read many recent discussions of the limits of computation and the universe as computer, hoping to find some comments on the amazing work of polymath physicist and decision theorist David Wolpert but have not found a single citation and so I present this very brief summary. Wolpert proved some stunning impossibility or incompleteness theorems (1992 to 2008-see arxiv.org) on the limits to inference (computation) that are so general they are independent of the device doing the computation, and even (...) independent of the laws of physics, so they apply across computers, physics, and human behavior. They make use of Cantor's diagonalization, the liarparadox and worldlines to provide what may be the ultimate theorem in Turing Machine Theory, and seemingly provide insights into impossibility,incompleteness, the limits of computation,and the universe as computer, in all possible universes and all beings or mechanisms, generating, among other things,a non-quantum mechanical uncertainty principle and a proof of monotheism. (shrink)
I have read many recent discussions of the limits of computation and the universe as computer, hoping to find some comments on the amazing work of polymath physicist and decision theorist David Wolpert but have not found a single citation and so I present this very brief summary. Wolpert proved some stunning impossibility or incompleteness theorems (1992 to 2008-see arxiv dot org) on the limits to inference (computation) that are so general they are independent of the device doing the computation, (...) and even independent of the laws of physics, so they apply across computers, physics, and human behavior. They make use of Cantor's diagonalization, the liarparadox and worldlines to provide what may be the ultimate theorem in Turing Machine Theory, and seemingly provide insights into impossibility, incompleteness, the limits of computation, and the universe as computer, in all possible universes and all beings or mechanisms, generating, among other things, a non- quantum mechanical uncertainty principle and a proof of monotheism. There are obvious connections to the classic work of Chaitin, Solomonoff, Komolgarov and Wittgenstein and to the notion that no program (and thus no device) can generate a sequence (or device) with greater complexity than it possesses. One might say this body of work implies atheism since there cannot be any entity more complex than the physical universe and from the Wittgensteinian viewpoint, ‘more complex’ is meaningless (has no conditions of satisfaction, i.e., truth-maker or test). Even a ‘God’ (i.e., a ‘device’with limitless time/space and energy) cannot determine whether a given ‘number’ is ‘random’, nor find a certain way to show that a given ‘formula’, ‘theorem’ or ‘sentence’ or ‘device’ (all these being complex language games) is part of a particular ‘system’. -/- Those wishing a comprehensive up to date framework for human behavior from the modern two systems view may consult my book ‘The Logical Structure of Philosophy, Psychology, Mind and Language in Ludwig Wittgenstein and John Searle’ 2nd ed (2019). Those interested in more of my writings may see ‘Talking Monkeys--Philosophy, Psychology, Science, Religion and Politics on a Doomed Planet--Articles and Reviews 2006-2019 2nd ed (2019) and Suicidal Utopian Delusions in the 21st Century 4th ed (2019) . (shrink)
The truth-functional hypothesis states that indicative conditional sentences and the material implication have the same truth conditions. Haze (2011) has rejected this hypothesis. He claims that a self-referential conditional, coupled with a plausible assumption about its truth-values and the assumption that the truth-functional hypothesis is true, lead to a liar’s paradox. Given that neither the self-referential conditional nor the assumption about its truth-values are problematic, the culprit of the paradox must be the truth-functional hypothesis. Therefore, we should (...) reject it. In this paper I argue that, contrary to what Haze thinks, the truth-functional hypothesis is not to blame. In fact, no liar’s paradox emerges when the truth-functional hypothesis is true; it emerges only if it is false. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: This chapter offers a revenge-free solution to the liarparadox (at the centre of which is the notion of Gestalt shift) and presents a formal representation of truth in, or for, a natural language like English, which proposes to show both why -- and how -- truth is coherent and how it appears to be incoherent, while preserving classical logic and most principles that some philosophers have taken to be central to the concept of truth and our (...) use of that notion. The chapter argues that, by using a truth operator rather than truth predicate, it is possible to provide a coherent, model-theoretic representation of truth with various desirable features. After investigating what features of liar sentences are responsible for their paradoxicality, the chapter identifies the logic as the normal modal logic KT4M (= S4M). Drawing on the structure of KT4M (=S4M), the author proposes that, pace deflationism, truth has content, that the content of truth is bivalence, and that the notions of both truth and bivalence are semideterminable. (shrink)
This article examines the various Liar paradoxes and their near kin, Grelling’s paradox and Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem with its self-referential Gödel sentence. It finds the family of paradoxes to be generated by circular definition–whether of statements, predicates, or sentences–a manoeuvre that generates pseudo-statements afflicted with the Liar syndrome: semantic vacuity, semantic incoherence, and predicative catalepsy. Such statements, e.g., the self-referential Liar statement, are meaningless, and hence fail to say anything, a point that invalidates the reasoning on (...) which the various paradoxes rest. The seeming plausibility of the paradoxes is due to the fact that often the sentence used to make the pseudo-statement is ambiguous in that it may also be used to make a genuine statement about the pseudo-statement. Hence, if a formal system is to avoid ambiguity and consequent paradox and contradiction, it must distinguish between the two statements the sentence may be used to make. Gödel’s Theorem presents a further complication in that the self-reference involved is sentential rather than statemental. Nevertheless, on the intended interpretation of the system as a formalization of arithmetic, the self-referential Gödel sentence can only be an ambiguous statement, one that is both a pseudo-statement and its genuine double. Consequently, the conclusions commonly drawn from Gödel’s theorem must be deemed unwarranted. Arithmetic might well be formalized in a proper system that either excludes circular definition or introduces disambiguators. (shrink)
In this paper, we do two things. First, we provide some support for adopting a version of the meaningless strategy with respect to the liarparadox, and, second, we extend that strategy, by providing, albeit tentatively, a solution to that paradox—one that is semantic, rather than logical.
मैं कंप्यूटर के रूप में गणना और ब्रह्मांड की सीमा के कई हाल ही में चर्चा पढ़ लिया है, polymath भौतिक विज्ञानी और निर्णय सिद्धांतकार डेविड Wolpert के अद्भुत काम पर कुछ टिप्पणी खोजने की उम्मीद है, लेकिन एक भी प्रशस्ति पत्र नहीं मिला है और इसलिए मैं यह बहुत संक्षिप्त मौजूद सारांश. Wolpert कुछ आश्चर्यजनक असंभव या अधूरापन प्रमेयों साबित कर दिया (1992 से 2008-देखें arxiv dot org) अनुमान के लिए सीमा पर (कम्प्यूटेशन) कि इतने सामान्य वे गणना कर (...) डिवाइस से स्वतंत्र हैं, और यहां तक कि भौतिकी के नियमों से स्वतंत्र, इसलिए वे कंप्यूटर, भौतिक विज्ञान और मानव व्यवहार में लागू होते हैं. वे कैंटर विकर्णीकरण का उपयोग करते हैं, झूठा विरोधाभास और worldlines प्रदान करने के लिए क्या ट्यूरिंग मशीन थ्योरी में अंतिम प्रमेय हो सकता है, और प्रतीत होता है असंभव, अधूरापन, गणना की सीमा में अंतर्दृष्टि प्रदान करते हैं, और ब्रह्मांड के रूप में कंप्यूटर, सभी संभव ब्रह्मांडों और सभी प्राणियों या तंत्र में, उत्पादन, अन्य बातों के अलावा, एक गैर क्वांटम यांत्रिक अनिश्चितता सिद्धांत और एकेश्वरवाद का सबूत. वहाँ Chaitin, Solomonoff, Komolgarov और Wittgenstein के क्लासिक काम करने के लिए स्पष्ट कनेक्शन कर रहे हैं और धारणा है कि कोई कार्यक्रम (और इस तरह कोई डिवाइस) एक दृश्य उत्पन्न कर सकते हैं (या डिवाइस) अधिक से अधिक जटिलता के साथ यह पास से. कोई कह सकता है कि काम के इस शरीर का अर्थ नास्तिकता है क्योंकि भौतिक ब्रह्मांड से और विटगेनस्टीनियन दृष्टिकोण से कोई भी इकाई अधिक जटिल नहीं हो सकती है, 'अधिक जटिल' अर्थहीन है (संतोष की कोई शर्त नहीं है, अर्थात, सत्य-निर्माता या परीक्षण)। यहां तक कि एक 'भगवान' (यानी, असीम समय/स्थान और ऊर्जा के साथ एक 'डिवाइस' निर्धारित नहीं कर सकता है कि क्या एक दिया 'संख्या' 'यादृच्छिक' है, और न ही एक निश्चित तरीका है दिखाने के लिए कि एक दिया 'सूत्र', 'प्रमेय' या 'वाक्य' या 'डिवाइस' (इन सभी जटिल भाषा जा रहा है) खेल) एक विशेष 'प्रणाली' का हिस्सा है. आधुनिक दो systems दृश्यसे मानव व्यवहार के लिए एक व्यापक अप करने के लिए तारीख रूपरेखा इच्छुक लोगों को मेरी पुस्तक 'दर्शन, मनोविज्ञान, मिनडी और लुडविगमें भाषा की तार्किक संरचना से परामर्श कर सकते हैं Wittgenstein और जॉन Searle '2 एड (2019). मेरे लेखन के अधिक में रुचि रखने वालों को देख सकते हैं 'बात कर रहेबंदर- दर्शन, मनोविज्ञान, विज्ञान, धर्म और राजनीति पर एक बर्बाद ग्रह --लेख और समीक्षा 2006-2019 2 ed (2019) और आत्मघाती यूटोपियान भ्रम 21st मेंसदी 4वें एड (2019) . (shrink)
One well known approach to the soritical paradoxes is epistemicism, the view that propositions involving vague notions have definite truth values, though it is impossible in principle to know what they are. Recently, Paul Horwich has extended this approach to the liarparadox, arguing that the liar proposition has a truth value, though it is impossible to know which one it is. The main virtue of the epistemicist approach is that it need not reject classical logic, and (...) in particular the unrestricted acceptance of the principle of bivalence and law of excluded middle. Regardless of its success in solving the soritical paradoxes, the epistemicist approach faces a number of independent objections when it is applied to the liarparadox. I argue that the approach does not offer a satisfying, stable response to the paradoxes—not in general, and not for a minimalist about truth like Horwich. (shrink)
Pluralists maintain that there is more than one truth property in virtue of which bearers are true. Unfortunately, it is not yet clear how they diagnose the liarparadox or what resources they have available to treat it. This chapter considers one recent attempt by Cotnoir (2013b) to treat the Liar. It argues that pluralists should reject the version of pluralism that Cotnoir assumes, discourse pluralism, in favor of a more naturalized approach to truth predication in real (...) languages, which should be a desideratum on any successful pluralist conception. Appealing to determination pluralism instead, which focuses on truth properties, it then proposes an alternative treatment to the Liar that shows liar sentences to be undecidable. (shrink)
In this paper, I start by describing and examining the main results about the option of formalizing the Yablo Paradox in arithmetic. As it is known, although it is natural to assume that there is a right representation of that paradox in first order arithmetic, there are some technical results that give rise to doubts about this possibility. Then, I present some arguments that have challenged that Yablo’s construction is non-circular. Just like that, Priest (1997) has argued that (...) such formalization shows that Yablo’s Paradox involves implicit circularity. In the same direction, Beall (2001) has introduced epistemic factors in this discussion. Even more, Priest has also argued that the introduction of infinitary reasoning would be of little help. Finally, one could reject definitions of circularity in term of fixed-point adopting non-well-founded set theory. Then, one could hold that the Yablo paradox and the Liarparadox share the same non-well-founded structure. So, if the latter is circular, the first is too. In all such cases, I survey Cook’s approach (2006, forthcoming) on those arguments for the charge of circularity. In the end, I present my position and summarize the discussion involved in this volume. En este artículo, describo y examino los principales resultados vinculados a la formalización de la paradoja de Yablo en la aritmética. Aunque es natural suponer que hay una representación correcta de la paradoja en la aritmética de primer orden, hay algunos resultados técnicos que hacen surgir dudas acerca de esta posibilidad. Más aún, presento algunos argumentos que han cuestionado que la construcción de Yablo no sea circular. Así, Priest (1997) ha argumentado que la formalización de la paradoja de Yablo en la aritmética de primer orden muestra que la misma involucra implícitamente circularidad. En la misma dirección, Beall (2001) ha introducido factores epistémicos en esta discusión. Más aún, Priest ha también argumentado que la introducción de razonamiento infinitario como complemento de la formalización en la aritmética sería de poca ayuda. Finalmente, se podría rechazar todo intento de dar definiciones de circularidad en términos de puntos fijos adoptando teoría de conjuntos infundados. Entonces, se podría sostener que la paradoja de Yablo y la del mentiroso comparten la misma estructura infundada. Por eso, si la última es circular, también lo es la primera. En todos los casos, presento el enfoque de Roy Cook (2006, en prensa) sobre estos argumentos que atribuyen circularidad a la construcción de Yablo. En el final, presento mi posición y un breve resumen de la discusión involucrada en este volumen. (shrink)
This article informally presents a solution to the paradoxes of truth and shows how the solution solves classical paradoxes (such as the original Liar) as well as the paradoxes that were invented as counter-arguments for various proposed solutions (``the revenge of the Liar''). Any solution to the paradoxes of truth necessarily establishes a certain logical concept of truth. This solution complements the classical procedure of determining the truth values of sentences by its own failure and, when the procedure (...) fails, through an appropriate semantic shift allows us to express the failure in a classical two-valued language. Formally speaking, the solution is a language with one meaning of symbols and two valuations of the truth values of sentences. The primary valuation is a classical valuation that is partial in the presence of the truth predicate. It enables us to determine the classical truth value of a sentence or leads to the failure of that determination. The language with the primary valuation is precisely the largest intrinsic fixed point of the strong Kleene three-valued semantics (LIFPSK3). The semantic shift that allows us to express the failure of the primary valuation is precisely the classical closure of LIFPSK3: it extends LIFPSK3 to a classical language in parts where LIFPSK3 is undetermined. Thus, this article provides a content-wise argumentation, which has not been present in contemporary debates so far, for the choice of LIFPSK3 and its classical closure as the right model for the logical concept of truth. In the end, an erroneous critique of Kripke-Feferman axiomatic theory of truth, which is present in contemporary literature, is pointed out. (shrink)
This article examines the various Liar paradoxes and their near kin, Grelling’s paradox and Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem with its self-referential Gödel sentence. It finds the family of paradoxes to be generated by circular definition–whether of statements, predicates, or sentences–a manoeuvre that generates the fatal disorders of the Liar syndrome: semantic vacuity, semantic incoherence, and predicative catalepsy. Afflicted statements, such as the self-referential Liar statement, fail to be genuine statements. Hence they say nothing, a point that invalidates (...) the reasoning on which the various paradoxes rest. The seeming plausibility of the paradoxes is due to the fact that the same sentence may be used to make both the pseudo-statement and a genuine statement about the pseudo-statement. Hence, if a formal system is to avoid ambiguity and consequent seeming paradox, it requires some sort of disambiguator to distinguish the two statements. Gödel’s Theorem presents a further complication in that the self-reference involved is sentential rather than statemental. Nevertheless, on the intended interpretation of the system as a formalization of arithmetic, the self-referential Gödel sentence can only be an ambiguous statement, one that is both a pseudo-statement and its genuine double. Consequently, the conclusions commonly drawn from Gödel’s theorem must be deemed unwarranted. Arithmetic might well be formalized in a proper system that either excludes circular definition or introduces disambiguators. (shrink)
Stephen Barker presents a novel approach to solving semantic paradoxes, including the Liar and its variants and Curry’s paradox. His approach is based around the concept of alethic undecidability. His approach, if successful, renders futile all attempts to assign semantic properties to the paradoxical sentences, whilst leaving classical logic fully intact. And, according to Barker, even the T-scheme remains valid, for validity is not undermined by undecidable instances. Barker’s approach is innovative and worthy of further consideration, particularly by (...) those of us who aim to find a solution without logical revisionism. As it stands, however, the approach is unsuccessful, as I shall demonstrate below. (shrink)
Most work on the semantic paradoxes within classical logic has centered around what this essay calls “linguistic” accounts of the paradoxes: they attribute to sentences or utterances of sentences some property that is supposed to explain their paradoxical or nonparadoxical status. “No proposition” views are paradigm examples of linguistic theories, although practically all accounts of the paradoxes subscribe to some kind of linguistic theory. This essay shows that linguistic accounts of the paradoxes endorsing classical logic are subject to a particularly (...) acute form of the revenge paradox: that there is no exhaustive classification of sentences into “good” and “bad” such that the T-schema holds when restricted to the “good” sentences unless it is also possible to prove some “bad” sentences. The foundations for an alternative classical nonlinguistic approach is outlined that is not subject to the same kinds of problems. Although revenge paradoxes of different strengths can be formulated, they are found to be indeterminate at higher orders and not inconsistent. (shrink)
In this essay (for undergraduates) I introduce three of the famous semantic paradoxes: the Liar, Grelling’s, and the No-No. Collectively, they seem to show that the notion of truth is highly paradoxical, perhaps even contradictory. They seem to show that the concept of truth is a bit akin to the concept of a married bachelor—it just makes no sense at all. But in order to really understand those paradoxes one needs to be very comfortable thinking about how lots of (...) interesting sentences talk about not dogs or cats or elections or baseball but sentences. That is, we need to get familiar analyzing sentences that talk about sentences. (shrink)
In their (2008) article Liar-Like Paradox and Object Language Features C.S. Jenkins and Daniel Nolan (henceforth, JN) argue that it is possible to construct Liar-like paradox in a metalanguage even though its object language is not semantically closed. I do not take issue with this claim. I find fault though with the following points contained in JN’s article: First, that it is possible to construct Liar-like paradox in a metalanguage, even though this metalanguage is (...) not semantically closed. Second, that the presented examples of Liar-like paradox are supposed to be counterexamples to Tarski’s diagnosis of the classic Liarparadox. Third, that JN fail to notice Tarski’s postulate. And finally, that JN fail to recognize that the world they are pondering is not among the possible worlds. (shrink)
This is the original English version of a paper that has been published only in Chinese translation. (For the published, Chinese version, see "透視悖論說謊者的幽默指南", in page 37-44 on 拒絕再Hea──真理與意義的追尋) The paper was originally written as a lecture given at the University of Macau in April 2010. The paper argues that humor is essentially a form of paradoxical deception.
By pooling together exhaustive analyses of certain philosophical paradoxes, we can prove a series of fascinating results regarding philosophical progress, agreement on substantive philosophical claims, knockdown arguments in philosophy, the wisdom of philosophical belief, the epistemic status of metaphysics, and the power of philosophy to refute common sense. As examples, this Element examines the Sorites Paradox, the LiarParadox, and the Problem of the Many – although many other paradoxes can do the trick too.
Lewis Carroll, both logician and writer, suggested a logical paradox containing furthermore two connotations (connotations or metaphors are inherent in literature rather than in mathematics or logics). The paradox itself refers to implication demonstrating that an intermediate implication can be always inserted in an implication therefore postponing its ultimate conclusion for the next step and those insertions can be iteratively and indefinitely added ad lib, as if ad infinitum. Both connotations clear up links due to the shared formal (...) structure with other well-known mathematical observations: (1) the paradox of Achilles and the Turtle; (2) the transitivity of the relation of equality. Analogically to (1), one can juxtapose the paradox of the Liar (for Lewis Carroll’s paradox) and that of the arrow (for “Achilles and the Turtle”), i.e. a logical paradox, on the one hand, and an aporia of motion, on the other hand, suggesting a shared formal structure of both, which can be called “ontological”, on which basis “motion” studied by physics and “conclusion” studied by logic can be unified being able to bridge logic and physics philosophically in a Hegelian manner: even more, the bridge can be continued to mathematics in virtue of (2), which forces the equality (for its property of transitivity) of any two quantities to be postponed analogically ad lib and ad infinitum. The paper shows that Hilbert arithmetic underlies naturally Lewis Carroll’s paradox admitting at least three interpretations linked to each other by it: mathematical, physical and logical. Thus, it can be considered as both generalization and solution of his paradox therefore naturally unifying the completeness of quantum mechanics (i.e. the absence of hidden variables) and eventual completeness of mathematics as the same and isomorphic to the completeness of propositional logic in relation to set theory as a first-order logic (in the sense of Gödel (1930)’s completeness theorems). (shrink)
According to Emma Borg, minimalism is (roughly) the view that natural language sentences have truth conditions, and that these truth conditions are fully determined by syntactic structure and lexical content. A principal motivation for her brand of minimalism is that it coheres well with the popular view that semantic competence is underpinned by the cognition of a minimal semantic theory. In this paper, I argue that the liarparadox presents a serious problem for this principal motivation. Two lines (...) of response to the problem are discussed, and difficulties facing those responses are raised. I close by issuing a challenge: to construe the principal motivation for BM in such a way so as to avoid the problem of paradox. (shrink)
Roger Swyneshed, in his treatise on insolubles (logical paradoxes), dating from the early 1330s, drew three notorious corollaries of his solution. The third states that there is a contradictory pair of propositions both of which are false. This appears to contradict the Rule of Contradictory Pairs, which requires that in every such pair, one must be true and the other false. Looking back at Aristotle's treatise De Interpretatione, we find that Aristotle himself, immediately after defining the notion of a contradictory (...) pair, gave counterexamples to the rule. Thus Swyneshed's solution to the logical paradoxes is not contrary to Aristotle's teaching, as many of Swyneshed's contemporaries claimed. Dialetheism, the contemporary claim that some propositions are both true and false, is wedded to the Rule, and in consequence divorces denial from the assertion of the contradictory negation. (shrink)
I distinguish paradoxes and hypodoxes among the conundrums of time travel. I introduce ‘hypodoxes’ as a term for seemingly consistent conundrums that seem to be related to various paradoxes, as the Truth-teller is related to the Liar. In this article, I briefly compare paradoxes and hypodoxes of time travel with Liar paradoxes and Truth-teller hypodoxes. I also discuss Lewis’ treatment of time travel paradoxes, which I characterise as a Laissez Faire theory of time travel. Time travel paradoxes are (...) impossible according to Laissez Faire theories, while it seems hypodoxes are possible. (shrink)
I use the principle of truth-maker maximalism to provide a new solution to the semantic paradoxes. According to the solution, AUS, its undecidable whether paradoxical sentences are grounded or ungrounded. From this it follows that their alethic status is undecidable. We cannot assert, in principle, whether paradoxical sentences are true, false, either true or false, neither true nor false, both true and false, and so on. AUS involves no ad hoc modification of logic, denial of the T-schema's validity, or obvious (...) revenge. (shrink)
Most paradoxes of self-reference have a dual or ‘hypodox’. The Liarparadox (Lr = ‘Lr is false’) has the Truth-Teller (Tt = ‘Tt is true’). Russell’s paradox, which involves the set of sets that are not self-membered, has a dual involving the set of sets which are self-membered, etc. It is widely believed that these duals are not paradoxical or at least not as paradoxical as the paradoxes of which they are duals. In this paper, I argue (...) that some paradox’s duals or hypodoxes are as paradoxical as the paradoxes of which they are duals, and that they raise neglected and interestingly different problems. I first focus on Richard’s paradox (arguably the simplest case of a paradoxical dual), showing both that its dual is as paradoxical as Richard’s paradox itself, and that the classical, Richard-Poincaré solution to the latter does not generalize to the former in any obvious way. I then argue that my argument applies mutatis mutandis to other paradoxes of self-reference as well, the dual of the Liar (the Truth-Teller) proving paradoxical. (shrink)
This paper gives a definition of self-reference on the basis of the dependence relation given by Leitgeb (2005), and the dependence digraph by Beringer & Schindler (2015). Unlike the usual discussion about self-reference of paradoxes centering around Yablo's paradox and its variants, I focus on the paradoxes of finitary characteristic, which are given again by use of Leitgeb's dependence relation. They are called 'locally finite paradoxes', satisfying that any sentence in these paradoxes can depend on finitely many sentences. I (...) prove that all locally finite paradoxes are self-referential in the sense that there is a directed cycle in their dependence digraphs. This paper also studies the 'circularity dependence' of paradoxes, which was introduced by Hsiung (2014). I prove that the locally finite paradoxes have circularity dependence in the sense that they are paradoxical only in the digraph containing a proper cycle. The proofs of the two results are based directly on König's infinity lemma. In contrast, this paper also shows that Yablo's paradox and its nested variant are non-self-referential, and neither McGee's paradox nor the omega-cycle liarparadox has circularity dependence. (shrink)
Paradoxes and their Resolutions is a ‘thematic compilation’ by Avi Sion. It collects in one volume the essays that he has written in the past (over a period of some 27 years) on this subject. It comprises expositions and resolutions of many (though not all) ancient and modern paradoxes, including: the Protagoras-Euathlus paradox (Athens, 5th Cent. BCE), the Liarparadox and the Sorites paradox (both attributed to Eubulides of Miletus, 4th Cent. BCE), Russell’s paradox (UK, (...) 1901) and its derivatives the Barber paradox and the Master Catalogue paradox (also by Russell), Grelling’s paradox (Germany, 1908), Hempel's paradox of confirmation (USA, 1940s), and Goodman’s paradox of prediction (USA, 1955). This volume also presents and comments on some of the antinomic discourse found in some Buddhist texts (namely, in Nagarjuna, India, 2nd Cent. CE; and in the Diamond Sutra, date unknown, but probably in an early century CE). (shrink)
This paper offers an analysis of a hitherto neglected text on insoluble propositions dating from the late XiVth century and puts it into perspective within the context of the contemporary debate concerning semantic paradoxes. The author of the text is the italian logician Peter of Mantua (d. 1399/1400). The treatise is relevant both from a theoretical and from a historical standpoint. By appealing to a distinction between two senses in which propositions are said to be true, it offers an unusual (...) solution to the paradox, but in a traditional spirit that contrasts a number of trends prevailing in the XiVth century. It also counts as a remarkable piece of evidence for the reconstruction of the reception of English logic in italy, as it is inspired by the views of John Wyclif. Three approaches addressing the Liarparadox (Albert of Saxony, William Heytesbury and a version of strong restrictionism) are first criticised by Peter of Mantua, before he presents his own alternative solution. The latter seems to have a prima facie intuitive justification, but is in fact acceptable only on a very restricted understanding, since its generalisation is subject to the so-called revenge problem. (shrink)
Given any proposition, is it possible to have rationally acceptable attitudes towards it? Absent reasons to the contrary, one would probably think that this should be possible. In this paper I provide a reason to the contrary. There is a proposition such that, if one has any opinions about it at all, one will have a rationally unacceptable set of propositional attitudes—or if one doesn’t, one will end up being cognitively imperfect in some other manner. The proposition I am concerned (...) with is a self-referential propositional attitude ascription involving the propositional attitude of rejection. Given a basic assumption about what constitutes irrationality, and a few assumptions about the nature of cognitively ideal agents, a paradox results. This paradox is superficially like the Liar, but it is importantly different in that no alethic notions are involved at all. As such, it stands independent of the Liar and is not a ‘revenge’ version of it. After setting out the paradox I discuss possible responses. After considering several I argue that one is best off simply accepting that the paradox shows us something surprising and interesting about rationality: that some cognitive shortfall is unavoidable even for ideal agents. I argue that nothing disastrous follows from accepting this conclusion. (shrink)
In a series of articles, Dan Lopez De Sa and Elia Zardini argue that several theorists have recently employed instances of paradoxical reasoning, while failing to see its problematic nature because it does not immediately (or obviously) yield inconsistency. In contrast, Lopez De Sa and Zardini claim that resultant inconsistency is not a necessary condition for paradoxicality. It is our contention that, even given their broader understanding of paradox, their arguments fail to undermine the instances of reasoning they attack, (...) either because they fail to see everything that is at work in that reasoning, or because they misunderstand what it is that the reasoning aims to show. (shrink)
Given certain standard assumptions-that particular sentences are meaningful, for example, and do genuinely self-attribute their own falsity-the paradoxes appear to show intriguing patterns of generally unstable semantic behavior. In what follows we want to concentrate on those patterns themselves: the pattern of the Liar, for example, which if assumed either true or false appears to oscillate endlessly between truth and falsehood.
In Vagueness and Contradiction (2001), Roy Sorensen defends and extends his epistemic account of vagueness. In the process, he appeals to connections between vagueness and semantic paradox. These appeals come mainly in Chapter 11, where Sorensen offers a solution to what he calls the no-no paradox—a “neglected cousin” of the more famous liar—and attempts to use this solution as a precedent for an epistemic account of the sorites paradox. This strategy is problematic for Sorensen’s project, however, (...) since, as we establish, he fails to resolve the semantic pathology of the no-no paradox. (shrink)
The paper describes the solution to semantic paradoxes pioneered by Pavel Tichý and further developed by the present author. Its main feature is an examination (and then refutation) of the hidden premise of paradoxes that the paradox-producing expression really means what it seems to mean. Semantic concepts are explicated as relative to language, thus also language is explicated. The so-called ‘explicit approach’ easily treats paradoxes in which language is explicitly referred to. The residual paradoxes are solved by the ‘implicit (...) approach’ which employs ideas made explicit by the former one. (shrink)
We discuss misinformation about “the liar antinomy” with special reference to Tarski’s 1933 truth-definition paper [1]. Lies are speech-acts, not merely sentences or propositions. Roughly, lies are statements of propositions not believed by their speakers. Speakers who state their false beliefs are often not lying. And speakers who state true propositions that they don’t believe are often lying—regardless of whether the non-belief is disbelief. Persons who state propositions on which they have no opinion are lying as much as those (...) who state propositions they believe to be false. Not all lies are statements of false propositions—some lies are true; some have no truth-value. People who only occasionally lie are not liars: roughly, liars repeatedly and habitually lie. Some half-truths are statements intended to mislead even though the speakers “interpret” the sentences used as expressing true propositions. Others are statements of propositions believed by the speakers to be questionable but without revealing their supposed problematic nature. The two “formulations” of “the antinomy of the liar” in [1], pp.157–8 and 161–2, have nothing to do with lying or liars. The first focuses on an “expression” Tarski calls ‘c’, namely the following. -/- c is not a true sentence -/- The second focuses on another “expression”, also called ‘c’, namely the following. -/- for all p, if c is identical with the sentence ‘p’, then not p -/- Without argumentation or even discussion, Tarski implies that these strange “expressions” are English sentences. [1] Alfred Tarski, The concept of truth in formalized languages, pp. 152–278, Logic, Semantics, Metamathematics, papers from 1923 to 1938, ed. John Corcoran, Hackett, Indianapolis 1983. -/- https://www.academia.edu/12525833/Sentence_Proposition_Judgment_Statement_and_Fact_Speaking_about_th e_Written_English_Used_in_Logic. (shrink)
The paper shows how ideas that explain the sense of an expression as a method or algorithm for finding its reference, preshadowed in Frege’s dictum that sense is the way in which a referent is given, can be formalized on the basis of the ideas in Thomason (1980). To this end, the function that sends propositions to truth values or sets of possible worlds in Thomason (1980) must be replaced by a relation and the meaning postulates governing the behaviour of (...) this relation must be given in the form of a logic program. The resulting system does not only throw light on the properties of sense and their relation to computation, but also shows circular behaviour if some ingredients of the LiarParadox are added. The connection is natural, as algorithms can be inherently circular and the Liar is explained as expressing one of those. Many ideas in the present paper are closely related to those in Moschovakis (1994), but receive a considerably lighter formalization. (shrink)
A number of `no-proposition' approaches to the liarparadox find themselves implicitly committed to a moderate disquotational principle: the principle that if an utterance of the sentence `$P$' says anything at all, it says that $P$ (with suitable restrictions). I show that this principle alone is responsible for the revenge paradoxes that plague this view. I instead propose a view in which there are several closely related language-world relations playing the `semantic expressing' role, none of which is more (...) central to semantic theorizing than any other. I use this thesis about language and the negative result about disquotation to motivate the view that people do say things with utterances of paradoxical sentences, although they do not say the proposition you'd always expect, as articulated with a disquotational principle. (shrink)
Interesting as they are by themselves in philosophy and mathematics, paradoxes can be made even more fascinating when turned into proofs and theorems. For example, Russell’s paradox, which overthrew Frege’s logical edifice, is now a classical theorem in set theory, to the effect that no set contains all sets. Paradoxes can be used in proofs of some other theorems—thus Liar’s paradox has been used in the classical proof of Tarski’s theorem on the undefinability of truth in sufficiently (...) rich languages. This paradox (as well as Richard’s paradox) appears implicitly in Gödel’s proof of his celebrated first incompleteness theorem. In this paper, we study Yablo’s paradox from the viewpoint of first- and second-order logics. We prove that a formalization of Yablo’s paradox (which is second order in nature) is non-first-orderizable in the sense of George Boolos (1984). (shrink)
The semantic paradoxes are a family of arguments – including the liarparadox, Curry’s paradox, Grelling’s paradox of heterologicality, Richard’s and Berry’s paradoxes of definability, and others – which have two things in common: first, they make an essential use of such semantic concepts as those of truth, satisfaction, reference, definition, etc.; second, they seem to be very good arguments until we see that their conclusions are contradictory or absurd. These arguments raise serious doubts concerning the (...) coherence of the concepts involved. This article will offer an introduction to some of the main theories that have been proposed to solve the paradoxes and avert those doubts. Included is also a brief history of the semantic paradoxes from Eubulides to Tarski and Curry. (shrink)
In Replacing Truth, Scharp takes the concept of truth to be fundamentally incoherent. As such, Scharp reckons it to be unsuited for systematic philosophical theorising and in need of replacement – at least for regions of thought and talk which permit liar sentences and their ilk to be formulated. This replacement methodology is radical because it not only recommends that the concept of truth be replaced, but that the word ‘true’ be replaced too. Only Tarski has attempted anything like (...) it before. I dub such a view Conceptual Marxism. In assessing this view, my goals are fourfold: to summarise the many components of Scharp’s theory of truth; to highlight what I take to be some of the excess baggage carried by the view; to assess whether, and to what extent, the extreme methodology on offer is at all called for; finally, to briefly propose a less radical replacement strategy for resolving the liarparadox. (shrink)
This paper motivates and defends alethic nihilism, the theory that nothing is true. I first argue that alethic paradoxes like the Liar and Curry motivate nihilism; I then defend the view from objections. The critical discussion has two primary outcomes. First, a proof of concept. Alethic nihilism strikes many as silly or obviously false, even incoherent. I argue that it is in fact well-motivated and internally coherent. Second, I argue that deflationists about truth ought to be nihilists. Deflationists maintain (...) that the utility of the truth predicate is exhausted by its expressive role, and I argue that the truth predicate can still play this expressive role even if nothing is true. As such, deflationists do not stand to lose anything by accepting nihilism. Since they also stand to gain an elegant solution to the alethic paradoxes, on balance deflationists ought to be nihilists. (shrink)
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