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Truth and the liar

Howson, Colin (2011) Truth and the liar. In: DeVidi, David, Hallet, Michael and Clark, Peter, (eds.) Logic, Mathematics, Philosophy, Vintage Enthusiasms: Essays in Honour of John L. Bell. The Western Ontario series in philosophy of science (75). Springer. ISBN 9789400702134

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Identification Number: 10.1007/978-94-007-0214-1_6

Abstract

Frege famously claimed that logic is the science of truth: “To discover truths is the task of all science; it falls to logic to discern the laws of truth” (Frege, 1956, p. 289). But just like the other foundational concept of set, truth at that time was intimately associated with paradox; in the case of truth, the Liar paradox. The set-theoretical paradoxes had their teeth drawn by being recognised as reductio proofs of assumptions that had seemed too obvious to warrant stating explicitly, but were now seen to be substantive, and more importantly inconsistent. Tarski includes the Liar paradox in his classic discussion of the concept of truth (Tarski, 1956), and developed it, in the form of his famous theorem on the undefinability of truth, as a reductio of the assumption that a language could be semantically closed, in the sense of being able to contain its own truth-predicate.Frege famously claimed that logic is the science of truth: “To discover truths is the task of all science; it falls to logic to discern the laws of truth” (Frege, 1956, p. 289). But just like the other foundational concept of set, truth at that time was intimately associated with paradox; in the case of truth, the Liar paradox. The set-theoretical paradoxes had their teeth drawn by being recognised as reductio proofs of assumptions that had seemed too obvious to warrant stating explicitly, but were now seen to be substantive, and more importantly inconsistent. Tarski includes the Liar paradox in his classic discussion of the concept of truth (Tarski, 1956), and developed it, in the form of his famous theorem on the undefinability of truth, as a reductio of the assumption that a language could be semantically closed, in the sense of being able to contain its own truth-predicate.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL: http://www.springer.com/
Additional Information: © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Divisions: Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Sets: Departments > Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Date Deposited: 21 May 2013 10:03
Last Modified: 12 May 2020 23:31
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/50348

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