(p. 31) 5. Self‐Reference: What is this Chapter About? 

(p. 31) 5. Self‐Reference: What is this Chapter About?

Graham Priest


Sometimes things seem easy when we consider normal cases. This can be deceptive. If we consider more unusual cases, the simplicity can disappear. This is what happens with self-reference. ‘Self-Reference: What is this Chapter About?’ examines the concept of self-reference in a number of examples such as: ‘This very sentence that I am now uttering is false’. It is possible for a name to refer to something of which it, itself, is part. Some of the most ancient paradoxes fall into this area of logic, such as the liar paradox. They challenge the assumption that every sentence is either true or false, but not both. What does this tell us about validity? Sentences can be true, false, both, but never neither.

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