Call me S, and solve me!

Call me S, and solve me!
I don't have truth value
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Posted Oct 9, 2012 - 5:09 PM:
Subject: Call me S, and solve me!
supose we construct a sentence S like this: S="S is nonsense"; it means that S doesn't have truth-value, like the sentence A = "7489njukvhw89r42f3w", or B = "the dad of number 7 is not a thing"

all such sentences are nonsense, and if we say it is true to say "A and B are nonsense", now S should be true as well, but if its true, it cannot be true

how do you solve it?
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Posted Oct 29, 2012 - 1:28 AM:

I don't have truth value wrote:
supose we construct a sentence S like this: S="S is nonsense"; it means that S doesn't have truth-value, like the sentence A = "7489njukvhw89r42f3w", or B = "the dad of number 7 is not a thing"

all such sentences are nonsense, and if we say it is true to say "A and B are nonsense", now S should be true as well, but if its true, it cannot be true

how do you solve it?

The supposed problem is that the sentence "S is nonsense" is not true or false, because by definition "S" is nonsense, and if it IS nonsense, it cannot be true. However, it is S's referent that is nonsense, i.e., all sentences of the form A or B are nonsense. Thus it is true that sentences of the form A and B, which is what S is referring too, are nonsense. Another way to say it is - S is not referring to S, S is referring to A, B, and all sentences of the form A and B. So "S is nonsense" is true, and not nonsense.
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Posted Oct 29, 2012 - 2:51 AM:
Subject: Pontius Pilate had the right idea
The solution is to realise that the naive word 'true' has no meaning here. You need to try to define 'true'. Whatever definition you come up with will yield a solution to the alleged paradox. Different definitions will yield different solutions.
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Posted Oct 29, 2012 - 3:01 AM:

andrewk wrote:
The solution is to realise that the naive word 'true' has no meaning here. You need to try to define 'true'. Whatever definition you come up with will yield a solution to the alleged paradox. Different definitions will yield different solutions.

Actually, what is naive, is thinking that the word true is naive, or that true has no meaning in this situation.
On Oct 29, 2012 - 3:42 PM, andrewk responded: Then it should be easy for you to provide a definition. I breathlessly await it.
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Posted Oct 29, 2012 - 7:41 AM:

I think we can avoid a lot of muddle if we construe "true" and "false" as judgments about whether or not a predicate applies to a subject. Thus true and false are not predications, they are secondary level judgments about predications.

So, to say "The cat is on the mat" is to assert that the predicate (is on the mat) applies to the subject (cat). And to say that "'The cat is on the mat' is true" is a judgment of agreememt with the predication.

But in construction such as "S is nonsense" (where S is defined as the statement itself) or in constructions such as "This sentence is false"--there is no predication. Thus such statements are not the kind of thing that "true" and "false" are meaningfully applied to.
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Posted Oct 29, 2012 - 3:34 PM:

Sam26 wrote:

Actually, what is naive, is thinking that the word true is naive, or that true has no meaning in this situation.




It has lots of meanings, which is the problem.
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Posted Oct 29, 2012 - 4:43 PM:

Landru Guide Us wrote:




It has lots of meanings, which is the problem.

This response is a general one Landru, not necessarily pointed at you. However, it does answer some of the implications of what you are saying.


So let me see if I understand this, since truth has different meanings, then it follows that we don't know if a statement is true or false. So if you're taking a true and false quiz in school you wouldn't know how to answer the questions? And if someone asks you if it is true that the earth has one moon, you would reply "I don't know." Meanings aren't the be all and end all of how words are used. Just because one can't find a definition that fits every possible scenario, that doesn't mean that we don't know how to use the word truth, or words like it. There is no one definition that fits every use of the word game, but that doesn't mean I don't know how to use the word, and use it correctly. After all, that is what we are talking about, using words correctly.

Most of what passes in here as good philosophy is just confusion. In fact, it's not just this philosophy forum, but it's most philosophical forums on the internet. People ramble on about a particular idea they have, and they think their doing good philosophy. People seem to think that their opinions are just as good, if not better than, well thought out arguments.

Take Care,
Sam
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Posted Oct 29, 2012 - 5:41 PM:

I'm not sure I understand. Is the sentence "This sentence is nonsense"? Because there's no paradox there. That's a clearly false sentence. Why? Because it's intelligible. There's no liar-type issue going on just because you've substituted "nonsense" for "false".
On Oct 29, 2012 - 6:53 PM, brainpharte responded: By golly, I think you've nailed it!
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Posted Oct 29, 2012 - 6:43 PM:

Sam26 wrote:
So let me see if I understand this, since truth has different meanings, then it follows that we don't know if a statement is true or false.

That doesn't follow. All it says is that first you have to carefully choose what you mean by truth, then (and only then) you can start to answer questions about what is true.

For example, many people like to use a correspondence theory of truth - roughly that a proposition is true if it corresponds to some observable fact about the physical world (many people would omit the "observable" from that, but that's a separate discussion). With such a definition, most questions can be determined to be true or false. But the above sentence is neither true nor false on this definition, because it doesn't correspond to any fact about the physical world.

Another potential definition is to define true to mean that which can be proven. That leads to mostly similar conclusions about what is true, but different conclusions for some propositions.

This is no different from the fact that the word 'normal' has at least four different meanings within mathematics. In order to interpret a mathematical sentence containing the word 'normal', we need to know which meaning of the word is intended. Often that will be clear from the context, but not always.

The example of the word 'game' is a good one. It's a classic example of a word whose meaning has fuzzy boundaries. Everyone would agree that tennis is a game, and that sleeping is not. So we all know how to use the word correctly in those instances. But there are enormous grey areas where there is no clear correct use of the word. Is Russian Roulette a game? What about twiddling my thumbs? Doing a cross-word? Singing? Running a 1500 m race? The Tour de France? Skipping along the footpath? Telling a joke? Reciting tongue-twisters?

We know we are using a word correctly when we use it away from those grey areas. The point about sentences like 'this statement is false' is that they deliberately target the greyest part of the greyest area, so that there is no clear meaning of the key word available. Hence a precise definition becomes critical, in a way that it doesn't when we are asking whether tennis is a game.



Edited by andrewk on Oct 29, 2012 - 6:56 PM
On Oct 30, 2012 - 12:13 AM, Sam26 responded: You need to read what I say more carefully.
On Oct 30, 2012 - 2:35 PM, andrewk responded: If you can show where I have misinterpreted you, I will be happy to address it.
On Oct 31, 2012 - 11:31 AM, brainpharte responded: Lame, Sam. Be specific so the discussion can advance and address your point.
On Oct 31, 2012 - 2:48 PM, Sam26 responded: I think I will stay lame.
On Oct 31, 2012 - 5:13 PM, brainpharte responded: Not explaining what one means is an odd way to act in a discussion.
I don't have truth value
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Posted Nov 1, 2012 - 4:19 AM:

Now, lighting a fire out of my personal brainpharte, I had thought your hypothesis would be a contradiction, that is, that the falsity of S="S is nonsense" is a contradiction, for if we deny it, it is clearly a tautology. Is this a reductio of the hypothesis of the falsity of S? Or is it a plain recognition of a true contradiction?

ps: it should be clear that here we are treating "nonsense" as the absence of truth-value. Hope we are not fart away from the truth.

Schlitz wrote:
I'm not sure I understand. Is the sentence "This sentence is nonsense"? Because there's no paradox there. That's a clearly false sentence. Why? Because it's intelligible. There's no liar-type issue going on just because you've substituted "nonsense" for "false".

On Nov 1, 2012 - 7:03 AM, brainpharte responded: I suspect that you think this post demonstrates wit. Well, you're half right.
On Nov 1, 2012 - 10:43 AM, I don't have truth value responded: is this a freudian slipt?
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