The Liar: An Essay on Truth and Circularity

Paperback | November 1, 1992

byJon Barwise, John Etchemendy

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Bringing together powerful new tools from set theory and the philosophy of language, this book proposes a solution to one of the few unresolved paradoxes from antiquity, the Paradox of the Liar. Treating truth as a property of propositions, not sentences, the authors model two distinctconceptions of propositions: one based on the standard notion used by Bertrand Russell, among others, and the other based on J.L. Austin's work on truth. Comparing these two accounts, the authors show that while the Russellian conception of the relation between sentences, propositions, and truth iscrucially flawed in limiting cases, the Austinian perspective has fruitful applications to the analysis of semantic paradox. In the course of their study of a language admitting circular reference and containing its own truth predicate, Barwise and Etchemendy also develop a wide range ofmodel-theoretic techniques--based on a new set-theoretic tool, Peter Aczel's theory of hypersets--that open up new avenues in logical and formal semantics.

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Bringing together powerful new tools from set theory and the philosophy of language, this book proposes a solution to one of the few unresolved paradoxes from antiquity, the Paradox of the Liar. Treating truth as a property of propositions, not sentences, the authors model two distinctconceptions of propositions: one based on the stand...

Jon Barwise is at Indiana University. John Etchemendy is at Stanford University.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:208 pages, 8.27 × 5.55 × 0.55 inPublished:November 1, 1992Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195059441

ISBN - 13:9780195059441

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"Precise and elegant. . . .The book does what it does superbly. It is very well organized, has just the right amount of detail, and is written in a style that is easy to read, even in very technical contexts. Reading it is genuinely enjoyable." --Journal of Symbolic Logic