Berkeley Lecture 2017
One reason why it is so difficult to domesticate truth and to transform it into a philosophically and mathematically useful concept are paradoxes. The most famous paradox is the liar paradox, which can be stated as follows: THE SENTENCE IN CAPITAL LETTERS IS NOT TRUE. It seems that the sentence can neither be true nor not true and a contradiction ensues. Paradoxes like this have vexed logicians since antiquity. I will present further paradoxes and indicate how they can be resolved or blocked. They cannot easily be dismissed as oddities, as I will argue. Reflecting on the paradoxes has lead philosophers and logicians to new mathematical and philosophical insights. Exactly because truth is such a wild notion and prone to paradox, it is a fruitful and intriguing notion.
The Berkeley Lecture is an annual event at Maynooth University in which a talk in the general area of mathematics and philosophy is given by a high-profile visiting speaker. It is sponsored by the Department of Mathematics and Statistics and the Department of Philosophy at Maynooth University.