Do you want to read my paper on the Liar Paradox?

It’s not technical (a bit technical in some footnotes, a quasi-formal bit in the last section), and if you’re into things like the Liar Paradox, I think/hope it’s interesting.

There’s some more formal and technical work I’m doing which will ultimately need to go into this thing, but until that’s done, the thing’s totally readable. :wink:

Fwiw I’m reading it at a conference next month–but it’s not a topic-specific conference…

Anyway, hope you enjoy it and I’m interested to hear anything anyone might want to say about it.

Paper is here


It is Impossible to Suppose the Liar

Natural language presentations of the Liar paradox typically rest on an imperative asking the listener to “suppose” that the liar sentence is true. I argue that it is impossible to suppose that the liar sentence is true, and so these natural language presentations of the Liar paradox fail to present a paradox. More formal presentations of the paradox also fail to present a paradox to the extent that they rely on an interpretation of the strings contained within them as fragments of rational discourse. This is not to say that formal work on the liar and similar paradoxes has no value. It is simply that it turns out not to be work on a paradox per se.

FSR Mediafile is not successfully allowing the file to be read. Try [this link]( to Suppose the Liar C.pdf) instead.

I gave it a cursory perusal. I’ll see if I have time later to read it again. But my first impression would be that you could punch up the plot with some sex and a car chase.

If I remember correctly, the oldest version of the Liar’s Paradox (which goes like this: “Epimenides the Cretan says ‘All Cretans are liars’”) is actually no paradox at all (what that sentence implies is that there is at least one Cretan who tells the truth and that Epimenides is lying).


No, wait. I lied.

(Well, somebody had to say it. :wink: )