Read e-book online The Paradox of the Liar PDF

By Robert L. Martin

ISBN-10: 0300013558

ISBN-13: 9780300013559

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Sample text

Can all infl uence the set of possible answers associated with such a question. Second, once we have determined the range of possible answers in a case like this, there are further questions about how, in context, a particular answer should be expressed. Effective eliciting of information and inquiry will be hindered if w e lack the capacity to identify ho w answ ers should be formulated. But, third, who-questions (especially pr edicate-wanting ones) intr oduce a further level of context relativity.

In many cases, my answer will not succeed in picking out a unique individual y et will not be an evasion of the question. I may tell y ou that it is a J ehovah’s witness, that it is one of the children from next door, that it was a postman, that it was someone asking for directions and so on. The characterisation I offer is an indefinite one, but is exactly what is required. Other examples are: Who is Peter? Peter is a bricklayer. (Belnap 1982, 195) Who is Tully? A Roman statesman and orator. (Stampe 1974, 168–9) Denis Stampe calls such questions ‘ predicate-wanting’, and he follo ws Belnap in thinking that ther e is a syntactic ambiguity in who-questions, even if it is not evident from surface grammar.

Thus, it is fi rst of all the speaker who has the main responsibility: it is his task to eliminate any imprecision that might be an obstacle to communication.

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The Paradox of the Liar by Robert L. Martin

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