A Dilemma for Dialetheism

The Dualist 15 (Spring):21-31 (2010)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Dialetheic accounts of the liar paradox hold that liar sentences are both true and false. One problem that besets accounts of the liar paradox is that of “revenge liars”. A revenge liar is a liar sentence which, while being of the same kind as the liar sentences an account attempts to handle, cannot be handled in the same way they are without generating contradictions that the account in question is powerless to resolve. It might be thought that dialetheic accounts are immune to revenge problems: If one can intelligibly hold that standard liars are both true and false, why not revenge liars as well? However, in this paper it is argued that dialetheism faces a dilemma: Either it cannot express the distinction between those sentences which are both true and false and those which are not, or else it too suffers from revenge problems. I explore a few different ways in which a dialetheist might try to avoid this dilemma. First, I present a variant of the logic called LP, and show both that it is subject to revenge problems and that it is not well suited to a dialetheic interpretation. Second, I develop a means of expressing the exclusive truth or falsity of sentences which can be utilized by any language that has certain features. Unfortunately, it leads straight to trivialism. Finally, I examine the claim that dialetheists can express the exclusive truth or falsity of sentences in the same way a non-dialetheist can, and conclude that they cannot do so. In the end, it seems that dialetheism’s dilemma is inescapable.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 89,446

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Revenge of the liar: new essays on the paradox.J. C. Beall (ed.) - 2007 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Dialetheism and the Graphic Liar.Greg Littmann - 2012 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 42 (1):15-27.
Denying The Liar.Dale Jacquette - 2007 - Polish Journal of Philosophy 1 (2):91-98.
Paracompleteness and revenge.B. Burgis - 2011 - Analysis 71 (4):688-689.
Expressibility and the Liar's Revenge.Lionel Shapiro - 2011 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (2):297-314.
Doubt truth to be a liar.Graham Priest - 2006 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Against classical dialetheism.Wenfang Wang - 2011 - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 6 (3):492-500.
Kearns' Illocutionary Logic and the Liar.Manuel Bremer - 2008 - History and Philosophy of Logic 29 (3):223-225.
Alethic vengeance.Kevin Scharp - 2007 - In J. C. Beall (ed.), Revenge of the Liar: New Essays on the Paradox. Oxford University Press.
Dialetheism.Francesco Berto, Graham Priest & Zach Weber - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 2018 (2018).
Truthmaker Gaps and the No-No Paradox.Patrick Greenough - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (3):547 - 563.


Added to PP

55 (#255,784)

6 months
1 (#1,005,371)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Jason Zarri
San Francisco State University

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

An Introduction to Non-Classical Logic: From If to Is.Graham Priest - 2008 - Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 14 (4):544-545.
Doubt Truth to Be a Liar.Graham Priest - 2007 - Studia Logica 87 (1):129-134.
Doubt Truth to Be a Liar.Graham Priest - 2007 - Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 13 (4):541-544.
An Introduction to Non-Classical Logic.Graham Priest - 2001 - Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 12 (2):294-295.
Revenge of the liar: new essays on the paradox.J. C. Beall (ed.) - 2007 - New York: Oxford University Press.

View all 10 references / Add more references