ORIGINAL

The Liar Paradox

6 minutes

Western logic has held contradictions as false for centuries. Is that wrong?

Since Aristotle’s Metaphysics, Western philosophers and logicians have, with few exceptions, viewed contradictions as unacceptable, simply incapable of being true. But certain logical paradoxes demonstrate that some contradictions aren’t so easily dismissed as merely false, an idea that some Eastern philosophical traditions have grappled with more successfully. In this instalment of Aeon In Sight, the US-based British philosopher Graham Priest explains how the Liar Paradox – debated since antiquity – can upend the traditional Western view that all contradictions must be false.

Producer: Kellen Quinn

Interviewer: Nigel Warburton

Editor: Adam D’Arpino

Assistant Editor: Alyssa Pagano

Get Aeon straight
to your inbox
Join our newsletter Sign up
Follow us on
Facebook
Like

‘Aeon, for me, continues to be one of the best places to spend a quiet afternoon, in the company of some of the most brilliant minds around.’

Shivam C, India, Friend of Aeon

‘Every morning I look forward to seeing what’s in your email and there isn’t a day that goes by without reading or watching something you guys have published.

It’s like an oasis of sanity in a world gone mad.’

Jack D, USA, Friend of Aeon

‘Aeon is always providing great, thought-provoking content, and it would be a crime for me to not donate to a service that I use daily.’

Jarry A, Canada, Friend of Aeon

‘Aeon is my favourite online magazine.

I have found no other place that so regularly provides interesting, clear and informative articles across academic disciplines on topics that matter.’

Dr Robert J. Hartman, University of Gothenburg

‘I believe it’s increasingly important to support accessible scholarship and aspirational ideas.

Thinking people can no longer afford to be alone.’

Christine T, USA, Friend of Aeon

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.
But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
But we can’t do it without you.

Essay/
Philosophy of Religion
What is nirvana?

Liberating oneself from rebirths might seem irrelevant to the non-believer. But nirvana is also a profound psychological goal

Robert Wright

Essay/
Beauty & Aesthetics
The puzzle of beauty

Rather than a golden ratio or a moral judgment, beauty is more like a radical jolt that awakens us to the world

Shahidha Bari