Yablo's paradox and referring to infinite objects

Otavio Bueno, Mark Colyvan

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Abstract

The blame for the semantic and set-theoretic paradoxes is often placed on self-reference and circularity. Some years ago, Yablo [1985; 1993] challenged this diagnosis, by producing a paradox that's liar-like but does not seem to involve circularity. But is Yablo's paradox really non-circular? In a recent paper, Beall [2001] has suggested that there are no means available to refer to Yablo's paradox without invoking descriptions, and since Priest [1997] has shown that any such description is circular, Beall concludes that Yablo's paradox itself is circular. In this paper, we argue that Beall's conclusion is unwarranted, given that (i) descriptions are not the only way to refer to Yablo's paradox, and (ii) we have no reason to believe that because the description involves self-reference, the denotation of that description is also circular. As a result, for all that's been said so far, we have no reason to believe that Yablo's paradox is circular.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)402-412
Number of pages11
JournalAustralasian Journal of Philosophy
Volume81
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy

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