Alethic fictionalism, alethic nihilism, and the Liar Paradox

Philosophical Studies 174 (12):3083-3096 (2017)
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Abstract

Recently, several philosophers have proposed fictionalist accounts of truth-talk, as a means for resolving the semantic pathology that the Liar Paradox appears to present. These alethic fictionalists aim to vindicate truth-talk as a kind of as if discourse, while rejecting that the talk attributes any real property of truth. Liggins has recently critically assessed one such proposal, Beall’s constructive methodological deflationist, offering objections to Beall’s proposed alethic fictionalism that potentially generalize to other alethic fictionalist accounts. Liggins further argues that CMD supports a classically consistent response to the Liar Paradox—one that can be extracted from CMD, while leaving its putatively problematic fictionalist elements behind in favor of alethic nihilism. In this paper, after establishing that Liggins’s criticisms of CMD are off base, we show that the classical resolution of the Liar Paradox that he proposes is unworkable. Since his resistance to alethic fictionalism turns out to be unmotivated, we conclude that this approach is still worth considering as a framework for a resolution of the Liar Paradox.

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Author Profiles

Bradley Armour-Garb
State University of New York, Albany
James Woodbridge
University of Nevada, Las Vegas

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References found in this work

The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Science Without Numbers: A Defence of Nominalism.Hartry H. Field - 1980 - Princeton, NJ, USA: Princeton University Press.
Mimesis as Make-Believe.Kendall L. Walton - 1996 - Synthese 109 (3):413-434.
Modal fictionalism.Gideon Rosen - 1990 - Mind 99 (395):327-354.

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