Journal Article

Fibonacci, Yablo, and the Cassationist Approach to Paradox

Laurence Goldstein
Mind
Vol. 115, No. 460 (Oct., 2006), pp. 867-889
Published by: Oxford University Press on behalf of the Mind Association
https://www.jstor.org/stable/4121874
Page Count: 23
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Fibonacci, Yablo, and the Cassationist Approach to Paradox
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Abstract

A syntactically correct number-specification may fail to specify any number due to underspecification. For similar reasons, although each sentence in the Yablo sequence is syntactically perfect, none yields a statement with any truth-value. As is true of all members of the Liar family, the sentences in the Yablo sequence are so constructed that the specification of their truth-conditions is vacuous; the Yablo sentences fail to yield statements. The 'revenge' problem is easily defused. The solution to the semantical paradoxes offered here revives the mediaeval cassatio approach, one that largely disappeared due to its incomprehending rejection by influential contemporary writers such as William Shyreswood and Thomas Bradwardine. The diagnosis readily extends to the set-theoretic paradoxes.