A Dynamic Solution to the Liar Paradox (Martin Pleitz)

The Logic and Metaphysics Workshop will meet on February 26th from 4:15-6:15 in room 3309 of the CUNY Graduate Center for a talk by Martin Pleitz (Muenster).

Title: A Dynamic Solution to the Liar Paradox

Abstract: The Liar paradox arises when we combine the assumption that a sentence can refer to itself with our naïve notion of truth and apply our unrevised logic. Most current approaches to the Liar paradox focus on revising our notion of truth and logic because nowadays almost everyone is convinced that there are self-referential sentences. I will argue against this conviction. My argument starts from observations about the metaphysics of expressions: A meaningful expression is based in a syntactic expression which in turn is based in a non-semiotic object, and these are pairwise distinct. As all objects of this three-fold ontology exist only relative to contexts, we can import ideas from tense logic about how existence and reference can interact in a contextualist metaphysics. Semantico-metaphysical reasoning then shows that in this dynamic setting, an object can be referred to only after it has started to exist. Hence the self-reference needed in the Liar paradox cannot occur, after all. As this solution is contextualist, it evades the expressibility problems of other proposals.

Spring 2018 Schedule

The Logic and Metaphysics Workshop will be meeting on Mondays from 4:15 to 6:15 in room 3309 of the Graduate Center, CUNY (365 5th Avenue). The following is the schedule:

Feb 12. GC CLOSED. NO MEETING

Feb 19. GC CLOSED NO MEETING

Feb 26. Martin Pleitz, Muenster

Mar 5. Vera Flocke, NYU

Mar 12. Graham Priest, CUNY Roy Sorensen, WUSTL

Mar 19. Alex Citkin, Private Researcher

Mar 26. Chris Scambler, NYU

Apr 2. SPRING RECESS. NO MEETING

Apr 9. Greg Restall, Melbourne

Apr 16. Daniel Nolan, Notre Dame

Apr 23. Mel Fitting, CUNY

Apr 30. Sungil Han, Seoul National

May 7. Andreas Ditter, NYU

May 14. Rohit Parikh, CUNY