I am looking at three articles right now. The first two both come from The Revenge of the Liar: New Essays on the Paradox, edited by JC Beall. The third is from an upcoming issue of Studia Logica. I’ll get to that. First, though, I want to talk about “Embracing Revenge: On the Indefinite Extendability of Language” by Roy T. Cook.
All three of these articles about the Liar and the Revenge problems. In case anyone is unclear, the Liar is a famous paradox in semantics. You’ve probably heard it before: “This sentence is false.” If it’s true, then it’s false. But if it’s false, then it’s true. So it’s a contradiction however you look at it; a paradox. The Revenge is a response to an attempt to solve this paradox. Revenge, as Cook writes it, works like this: “Given any account that purports to deal adequately with a particular paradox, that account will rely on concepts… which, if allowed into the object language, generate new paradoxes that cannot be dissolved by the account in question” (33). So basically, whatever you do to solve the Liar, there is another, stronger Liar that your solution can’t defeat. (more…)