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By Hilary Lawson

Lawson presents a entire examine the background of western concept, the evolution of technological know-how and its makes an attempt to supply us with a ''theory of everything'' and an evaluate of the relativist a number of truths.

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E. 29 Other attempts to limit the extent of the Great Project by making the goal of a complete and true account an unattainable ideal to which nevertheless progress can be made fall to similar self-referential paradox. If the goal of the Great Project is an ideal how can we know this to be the case, for such knowledge would be an example of a truth the possibility of which is seemingly denied? Either we take the claim that ‘the Great Project is an unattainable ideal’ as a truth, in which case this element of knowledge is not ideal and has been attained, or we do not take it as truth in which case it falls to reflexive paradox.

The evasion becomes more apparent if we revise the example so that the sentence is more explicitly self-referential: (I) The sentence (I) is not true-in-this-language. Tarski’s proposal that no language is allowed to contain its own truthpredicate is precisely designed to make this example impossible. The hierarchy of languages succeeds therefore only by providing an account of truth which makes genuine self-reference impossible. It can hardly be regarded therefore as a solution to the paradox of self-reference, since if xxxvi P RO L O G U E all that was required to solve the paradox was to ban it, this could have been done at the outset.

These reasons are not intended to function as a proof, but rather to indicate why such a starting point might be productive. A more powerful reason for adopting such a stance is to be found in the capacity of the theory of closure to account for our circumstances, but that reason will only become apparent as the theory itself unfolds. The first reason for holding the world as not-thing is that the ubiquity of the paradoxes of self-reference can be seen not as some strange and inexplicable accident but the outcome of a mistake.

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