Grelling's paradox

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A paradox of non-self-descriptive adjectives. Some adjectives are self-descriptive: the adjective short is short, the adjective English is English, and the adjective polysyllabic is polysyllabic, and each of these adjectives is therefore autological, because each is self-descriptive. In contrast, some adjectives are heterological: the adjective long is not long, Russian is not Russian, and monosyllabic is not monosyllabic. Is the adjective heterological autological or heterological? If it is autological, then it is self-descriptive, which means that it must be heterological; and if it is heterological, then it must be non-self-descriptive, in which case it is autological. [Named after the German mathematician Kurt Grelling (1886–1942) who published it in 1908]

Subjects: Psychology.

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