The articles and essays in this website range from off-the-cuff blogs to worked-out pieces. They also range from the short to the long. Many of these pieces are introductory (i.e., educational) in nature; though, even when introductory, they still include additional commentary. Older material (dating back mainly to 2005) is being added to this blog over time.
Various statements can taken as being either homological or heterological in
predicate, statement or sentence is one that doesn't apply to itself.
The statement “All
truth-claims are relative”, for example, may not (necessarily) be
statements can be taken as being homological in nature.
A homological statement
is one that does apply to itself.
To take statement
“All truth-claims are relative” again: that may (or even must)
itself be relative to context, utterer, etc.
However, the relativist
“All theories and
statements must be open to possible falsification.”
must be verifiable or testable in order to be meaningful.”
may all be heterological
That is, these statements may not be self-applicable.
Why is that?
Primarily because they
can be taken to be second-order (or metalinguistic) statements.
Take the relativist
That claim may be about
(or have) first-order truth-claims in its domain (or in its “object
language”) which aren't themselves (generally speaking) about
truth-claims themselves. They are about objects, events, happenings,
etc. in the world. Of course such second-order (or metalinguistic)
statements can themselves be related to the
metalinguistic frameworks in which they're stated or even to yet
higher-order metalinguistic frameworks.
don't deny that they have the property of being related to
frameworks. The statements may concede (as it were) their own
necessary status vis-à-vis higher metalinguistic languages. They may
also concede that their very own expressions are
self-applicable. That is, they may concede (or admit) their own
self-referentiality or homologicality.
However, Thomas Nagel,
for example, has said that the relativist statement must be a victim
of relativity itself if it's taken as true.
So what Nagel says about relativism generally can, in effect, be said
of the statemental formulation of relativism that's used here. And if
that’s the case, then why should we pay it any attention? Though
isn’t Nagel assuming:
i) He can escape from
ii) That relativists deny
self-relativity? iii) Or, alternatively, that the relativist himself can't escape from relativity?
Not all these
possibilities may actually be the case.