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Philosophy and Phenomenological Research

Volume 79, Issue 2, September 2009

Douglas Patterson
Pages 387-422

Inconsistency Theories of Semantic Paradox

It is argued that a certain form of the view that the semantic paradoxes show that natural languages are “inconsistent” provides the best response to the semantic paradoxes. After extended discussions of the views of Kirk Ludwig and Matti Eklund, it is argued that in its strongest formulation the view maintains that understanding a natural language is sharing cognition of an inconsistent semantic theory for that language with other speakers. A number of aspects of this approach are discussed and a few objections are entertained.