Two Paradoxes of Satisfaction

Mind 124 (493):85-119 (2015)
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There are two paradoxes of satisfaction, and they are of different kinds. The classic satisfaction paradox is a version of Grelling’s: does ‘does not satisfy itself’ satisfy itself? The Unsatisfied paradox finds a predicate, P, such that Px if and only if x does not satisfy that predicate: paradox results for any x. The two are intuitively different as their predicates have different paradoxical extensions. Analysis reduces each paradoxical argument to differing rule sets, wherein their respective pathologies lie. Having different pathologies, they are paradoxes of different kinds. Furthermore, each of these satisfaction paradoxes has an analogue with the same pathology in set theory. Therefore, these analogues are respectively of the same two kinds. This level of abstraction is significant in that it tracks two related but different pathologies. Thus, not all paradoxes of semantics and set theory share the same pathology: there are at least two kinds of paradox cutting across the semantic and set-theoretic distinction



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Peter Eldridge-Smith
Australian National University

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