22 March 2010

Problem

  1. Nothing is true.
  2. If nothing is true, the statement 'nothing is true' is not true.
  3. Things that are not true are false.
  4. Therefore, the statement 'nothing is true' is false.

Although this looks good, it is not a valid argument.

'Nothing is true' has to be true in the first half of premise 2 in order to be false in the second half. That is, for the argument to work, 'nothing is true' has to be both true and false.

It's a bit paradoxical.

Unfortunately, it seems that the only way to resolve the paradox is for 'nothing is true' to be always false.

PS If there are any philosophers out there, feel free to point out how I'm talking shit.

4 comments:

Sheridan Fairfield-Wills Dickson said...

this is how our arguments always start! i go for the logic. and ignore the philosophy. of course it's a paradox. regardless, these thoughts of yours merely legitimate the postulation of the past year+. the enigma. the brazen self-contradiction. is it nilhism? you could argue yes (or no). is it a better way of thinking? well then, yes, of course.

David Cauchi said...

Nietzsche: 'That a judgement be false is not, in our opinion, an objection against that judgement.'

stephen said...

Shit.. I hope everything is still permitted, either way.

david said...

Not a philospher but . . .

Perhaps a definition of "nothing" would help. Does "nothing" mean "not a thing" or 'nothing' as in a void? Also definitions of "true" and "false" would help.

If statement 1 is true, then statement 2 must be false, also statements 3 and 4.

Can something be neither true nor false? Your syllogism has an assumption that everything must either be "true" or "false". (hence need definitions of these terms to remove ambiguity).

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