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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’s In Sight series, 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.

Interviewer: Nigel Warburton

Producer: Kellen Quinn

Editor: Adam D’Arpino

Assistant Editor: Alyssa Pagano

6 July 2016

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