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Dialogue and Universalism

Volume 23, Issue 1, 2013

Culture, Communication and Cognition

Jari Palomäki
Pages 143-149
DOI: 10.5840/du201323126

The Word “Word” and the Concept “Word.” Three Solutions to Grelling’s Paradox

In this paper three different solutions to Grelling’s paradox, also called the heterological paradox, are given. Firstly, after given the original formulation of the paradox by Grelling and Nelson in 1908, a solution to this paradox offered by Frank Plumpton Ramsey in 1925 is presented. His solution is based on the different meanings of the word “meaning.” Secondly, Grelling himself advocated the solution proposed by Uuno Saarnio in 1937. Saarnio’s solution is based on the exact definitions of the concept of word, and the concept of denoting. Thirdly, a solution to this paradox was proposed also by Georg Henrik von Wright in 1960, but his solution consists of saying that the word “heterological” does not name a concept—or it names a concept only up to a singular point.

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