The liar paradox for the Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy
Graduate studies at Western
|Abstract||The story goes that Epimenides, a Cretan, used to claim that all Cretans are always liars. Whether he knew it or not, this claim is odd. It is easy to see it is odd by asking if it is true or false. If it is true, then all Cretans, including Epimenides, are always liars, in which case what he said must be false. Thus, if what he says is true, it is false. Conversely, suppose what Epimenides said is false. Then some Cretan at some time speaks truly. This might not tell us anything about Epimenides. But if, to make the story simple, he were the only Cretan ever to speak, and this was the only thing he ever said, then indeed, he would have to speak truly. And we would then have shown that if what he said was false, it must be true.|
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