Truth and Paradox: Solving the Riddles

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Truth and Paradox offers a comprehensive account of truth values and the norms governing claims about truth, based on a new approach to logic and semantics. Since the seminal work of Tarski in the mid-twentieth century, the Liar paradox and other related paradoxes have stood in the way of a precise philosophical account of truth. Tim Maudlin draws on analogies from mathematical physics to explicate the origin of classical truth-value gaps, and to provide an account of truth that avoids any hierarchy of languages or of truth predicates. He also closely investigates our reasoning about truth, including apparently unobjectionable reasoning about the paradoxical sentences. The fallacies in that reasoning are located not in any inferences concerning truth, but in the foundations of standard logic. Blocking the paradoxical arguments requires emendation of classical logic, and the requisite emendations call into question the existence of any a priori logical truths. Maudlin also includes a discussion of facts and factuality, most particularly the question of whether there are any facts about truth. All philosophers interested in logic and language will find this a stimulating read.