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Re: Self-referential Statements

Aug 26, 1997 01:10 AM
by kymsmith

Tom Robertson wrote:

>> This is like the liar's paradox, which says something like "this
>> statement is a lie."  The problem with statements such as these is
>> that they have no definite referent.  To which sentence are you
>> referring?  If the sentence in "the last word in this sentence is
>> sentence" to which you are referring is "the last word in this
>> sentence is sentence," then the sentence must be changed to read "the
>> last word in the sentence "the last word in this sentence is sentence"
>> is sentence.  But then you have the same problem all over again, and,
>> in an attempt to have a definite referent, you must add another "the
>> last word in this sentence is sentence," only to have the same
>> problem, infinitely, always having the same part of it being
>> indeterminate.  There is no such thing as a completely
>> self-referential statement.

Vincent responded:

>It is painfully obvious that you understood fully that the sentence
>referred to the last word in itself. I really don't understand why you
>pretend to be so confused. The sentence could be modified so it would
>read "The last word, here typed, in this sentence is sentence." It all
>goes to show that being shown the truth is not gauranteed to make you

The desire to dash, shrieking, stark-naked down my dusty old street is
almost overwhelming right now.  Maybe I was involved in a ten-car pile-up on
the way home tonight, croaked, and now. . .ta da. . .I discover there really
is a hell.

I feel so all alone.


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