Abharī’s Solution to the Liar Paradox: A Logical Analysis

History and Philosophy of Logic 42 (1):1-16 (2021)
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The medieval Islamic solutions to the liar paradox can be categorized into three different families. According to the solutions of the first family, the liar sentences are not well-formed truth-apt sentences. The solutions of the second family are based on a violation of the classical principles of logic (e.g. the principle of non-contradiction). Finally, the solutions of the third family render the liar sentences as simply false without any contradiction. In the Islamic tradition, almost all the well-known solutions of the third family are inspired by the solution proposed by At_īr al-Dīn al-Abharī (d. 1265). Providing a logical analysis of his discussion of the liar paradox, I show that his solution is based on a conception of truth according to which every sentence signifies, usually among other things, its own truth. This makes Abharī’s solution of the same spirit as certain solutions that were later developed in the Latin tradition, in particular by John Buridan (d. 1358) and Albert of Saxony (d. 1390).



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Mohammad Saleh Zarepour
University of Manchester

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Insolubles.Paul Vincent Spade - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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