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liar paradox


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A profound and intractable though simple paradox discovered by ancient Greek thinkers. Epimenides, the Cretan, says that all Cretans are liars; if he is telling the truth, then he must be a liar, and if he is lying, then he must be telling the truth. The simplest version of the paradox is the statement This statement is false; if it is true, then it must be false, and if it is false, then it must be true. The paradox was mentioned by St Paul in his epistle to Titus (1 : 12), although Paul evidently failed to grasp its point. See also metalanguage.

Subjects: Philosophy — Psychology.


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