The Liar

The Liar : An Essay on Truth and Circularity

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This monograph purports to provide a solution to semantical paradoxes like the Liar. The authors base this solution on J. L. Austin's idea of truth, which is fundamental to situation semantics. They compare two models of language, propositions and truth, one based on Russell and the other on Austin, as they bear on the Liar Paradox. In Russell's view, a sentence expresses a proposition, which is true or not. According to Austin, however, there is always a contextual parameter - the situation the sentence is about - that comes between the sentence and proposition. The Austinian perspective proves to have fruitful applications to the analysis of semantic paradox. The authors show that, on this account, the liar is a genuine diagonal argument. This argument can be shown to have profound consequences for our understanding of some of the most basic semantical mechanisms at work in our language. Jon Barwise is, with John Perry, a co-founder of the Centre for the Study of Language and Information at more

Product details

  • Paperback | 206 pages
  • 139.4 x 208.3 x 14.2mm | 278.68g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • figures and tables
  • 0195059441
  • 9780195059441
  • 1,671,355

Review quote

'This is a splendid book. Jon Barwise and John Etchemendy have striking new ideas and material. These they have thought through deftly and masterfully ... a book to seize the philosophical imagination.' W.D. Hart, University College, London. Mind 'Some interesting work of the Stanford based logicians John Barwise and John Etchemendy has thrown considerable light on to this vexing problem. And one of the most interesting aspects of the whole affair is that their work depends upon developments in computer science.' The Guardian. 'In their book, the two logicians put forward a theory of language that includes explicitly some of the "contextual parameters" so far left out of logic, but now shown to be crucial to understanding paradoxes.' The Times 'a book well worth reading for anyone with an interest in puzzles such as The Liar Paradox.' The Guardianshow more

Table of contents

INTRODUCTION: The Liar; Sentences, statements, and Propositions; The universe of hypersets; RUSSELLIAN PROPOSITIONS AND THE LIAR: Modeling Russellian propositions; Truth of Russellian propositions; Consequences of the Russellian account; Sentences and Russellian propositions; AUSTINIAN PROPOSITIONS AND THE LIAR: Modeling Austinian propositions; Austinian propositions and the world; An Austinian semantics; Relating the Russellian and Austinian accounts; Negation and denial; Conclusions; Bibliography; more

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