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Book Information


Title: Unity, Truth and the Liar
Subtitle: The Modern Relevance of Medieval Solutions to the Liar Paradox
Edited By: Shahid Rahman
Tero Tulenheimo
Emmanuel Genot
Series Title: Logic, Epistemology, and the Unity of Science

> Provides a formal reconstruction of several medieval theories of truth,
demonstrating their relevance to modern research
> Approaches the discussion about truth theory and paradoxes from a
semantical, logical and a historical perspective
> Contains critical editions of the medieval sources of the insolubilia,
such as Heytesbury’s treatise on Insolubles (14th century), with
introduction and notes
> Revives the debate on the Liar Paradox
> Entirely written in dispute style

The Liar Paradox challenges logicians’ and semanticists’ theories of truth
and meaning. Modern accounts of paradoxes in formal semantics offer
solutions through the hierarchy of object language and metalanguage. Yet
this solution to the Liar presupposes that sentences have unique meaning.
This assumption is non-controversial in formal languages, but an account of
how “hidden meaning” is made explicit is necessary to any complete analysis
of natural language. Since the Liar Paradox presents itself as a sentence
uniting contradictory meanings, appreciating how they can be united in a
single sentence may provide new insights into this and other paradoxes.

This volume includes a target paper, taking up the challenge to revive,
within a modern (formal) framework, a medieval solution to the Liar Paradox
which did not assume Uniqueness of Meaning. Stephen Read, author of the
target paper, attempts to formally state a theory of truth that dates back
to the 14th century logician Thomas Bradwardine; the theory offers a
solution to the Liar Paradox in which the Liar sentence turns out to be
false. The rest of the volume consists of papers discussing and/or
challenging Read’s – and Bradwardine’s -- views one the one hand, and
papers addressing the doctrinal and historical background of medieval
theories of truth on the other hand. It also includes a critical edition of
Heytesbury’s treatise on insolubles, closely related to Bradwardine’s view.

Including formal, philosophical and historical discussions, this volume
intends to renew the debate about paradoxes and theory of truth, and to
show that the interest of earlier medieval work is not merely historical
but, on the contrary, still relevant for modern, formal semantic theory. It
is of interest for both professional philosophers and advanced students of

Publication Year: 2008
Publisher: Springer
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Linguistic Field(s): Philosophy of Language
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 1402084676
ISBN-13: 9781402084676
Pages: 360
Prices: U.S. $ 229.00
U.K. £ 113.00
Europe EURO 149.95