more from Alfred Tarski

Single Idea 19187

[catalogued under 5. Theory of Logic / L. Paradox / 6. Paradoxes in Language / a. The Liar paradox]

Full Idea

In my judgement, it would be quite wrong and dangerous from the point of view of scientific progress to depreciate the importance of nhtinomies like the Liar Paradox, and treat them as jokes. The fact is we have been compelled to assert a false sentence.

Gist of Idea

The Liar makes us assert a false sentence, so it must be taken seriously


Alfred Tarski (The Semantic Conception of Truth [1944], 07)

Book Reference

'Semantics and the Philosophy of Language', ed/tr. Linsky,Leonard [University of Illinois 1972], p.20

A Reaction

This is the heartfelt cry of the perfectionist, who wants everything under control. It was the dream of the age of Frege to Hilbert, which gradually eroded after Gödel's Incompleteness proof. Short ordinary folk panic about the Liar?

Related Idea

Idea 6568 A game can be played, despite having inconsistent rules [Fogelin]