If the statement is true, then it is false, whereas if it is false, then it is true. The Cretan poet Epimenides was the inventor of the notorious Liar’s Paradox. It takes on many forms such as, “This sentence is fake,” or aAll Cretans are liars.” It has been the downfall of many a philosopher, and today continues to vex neuro-linguists and grammarians and it might even spell the end of a presidency.
The latest version is: “This sentence contains fake news.” The most ardent apostle of this updated Liar is Donald Trump, who has turned the paradox into an art form. Are we becoming more comfortable living in a postmodern world with this kind of logical and epistemological ambiguity? Though it seems contrary to western psyches, there are those who do quite well in a world of paradox, finding no contradiction with conflicting and opposite conclusions. Called Dialetheists (Trump’s base), these postmodern troopers love their Trump, who seems to have embraced the paradox with alacrity. Just how many times do we need to listen to this man say one thing and the next day declare it’s opposite. And one need only look at White House staff nominations to get some understanding of his use the paradox as a rationalist paradigm for policy. Trump seems to think that these so-called “outsider“ nominees who utterly lack qualifications should paradoxically ipso facto make the nominee qualified. Welcome to Trump’s paradox: It’s neither true nor false.
Greg Hauss, Bakersfield