Statments - What are They?

We discuss logics all around, including contradiction logics if one so wishes.

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Purple Knight
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Statments - What are They?

Post #1

Post by Purple Knight »

Question for debate: What is a statement?

We've all seen this one:

"This statement is false."

Or this one:

"The following statement is false."
"The previous statement is true."

Now what we have here are paradoxes where the statements cannot have definite truth values. However, any statement being unable to have a definite truth value ruins the concept of a truth value.

The resolution is simple: None of these are statements.

Why not? Well, because statements must refer, ultimately, to facts which exist in the real world, not to other statements or to themselves. Statements that do not refer ultimately to facts can't be checked and don't have truth values, so they can't be statements, because a statement must be true or false.

Now, you can have a chain, but at the end of that chain must be a reference to a real fact, which can (at least, in theory) be checked.

"The next statement is true."
"The next statement is true."
"The next statement is true."
"It rained on Saturday."

Notice that all of these statements are reducible to, "It rained on Saturday." and whether it rained on Saturday or not is what we would check, to check the truth value of the statement.

You can also reference what someone said, which is different than referencing a statement.

"I ate the four horsemen of the apocalypse last Wednesday."
"Purple Knight said he ate the four horsemen of the apocalypse!"

When someone says something, makes that utterance, or puts those words down, that is now a fact that can be checked, a thing that happened (or didn't), not just a statement. I can type or utter that this statement is a lie, and then I did in fact say it, and then saying I said it is true. If, however, you say that what I said was true, you're reducing it to a statement again, removing from it the fact that I uttered it and addressing its truth value, and it can't have a truth value unless it refers to a fact that can, at least in theory, be checked.

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Re: Statments - What are They?

Post #11

Post by Gracchus »

[Replying to Purple Knight in post #7]
In a logical argument, every premise has the implied protasis: "If this statement is true..."
If a valid argument then leads to a false conclusion one or more of the premises must be false. (Modus tollens, Argumentum ad absurdum)
We are not considering content here, we are considering logical (mathematical) analysis.

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Re: Statments - What are They?

Post #12

Post by nobspeople »

[Replying to Purple Knight in post #1]

A statement can simply be one's written or spoken account of something or opinion of something.
It can be true or not and shouldn't be confused with a 'statement of fact' which, itself, should include something that can be verified and checked.
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Re: Statments - What are They?

Post #13

Post by Aetixintro »

[Replying to Purple Knight in post #1]

May I turn the attention to "On Denoting" by Bertrand Russell, here on Wikipedia:

Then some info on logics and philosophy of language:

And an excellent resource book: The Philosophy of Language, Sixth Edition, Edited by A.P. Martinich and David Sosa, here on OUP: ... 0199795154.
Which includes "On Denoting" as well.

The implications are so many and many good papers are written on it so see these instead if you want to go beyond the dictionary. Best wishes. :thanks:
I'm cool! :) - Stronger Religion every day! Also by "mathematical Religion", the eternal forms, God closing the door on corrupt humanity, possibly!

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