Skip to content

The Original Cretan Liar Paradox

February 9, 2013
File:Epimenides-poet.jpg

The Cretan, Epimenides

The Cretan poet, Epimenides (circa 600 BC), famously wrote that Cretans are “always liars.”

Paradoxically, it would seem that if he was telling the truth, then he was lying. And if he was lying, he only confirmed that he was telling the truth! Well, not exactly.

It turns out that there are many possible narratives that would be logically consistent with the original scenario. Epimenides’ famous rant could, for example, have been the only lie ever told by  a Cretan. Or, at the other extreme, all but one statement ever made by a Cretan was lie. All that is required is that Epimenides’ statement be a lie and that at least one Cretan once told the truth.

For a formal proof, see The Original Cretan Liar Paradox.

Advertisements

From → Uncategorized

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: