The fallacy of self-exclusion

Reader comment on: Postmodern Patriot
in response to reader comment: On Truths

Submitted by Harry Binswanger (United States), Jan 18, 2018 14:17

Ira got it exactly right: the denial of truth is self-refuting, implying: "It is true that there is no truth." All these skeptical, subjectivist doctrines exhibit what Ayn Rand called "the fallacy of self-exclusion" because the speaker is (inconsistently) exempting himself in the act of making the statement from what the statement claims. If the claim were true, it couldn't be made.

The same self-refutation is involved in asserting subjectivism--that's a claim about the way things really, objectively, are.

The subjectivism of these "post-modernists" is as old as the hills. It was already old hat when Aristotle observed that "he who says that everything is true makes even the statement contrary to his own true, and therefore his own not true." [Metaphysics, IV, 8, 1012b14]

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The Future of Capitalism replies:

I always liked that Aristotle.

Other reader comments on this item

Title By Date
Various truths [59 words]Marc SeganJan 13, 2018 14:49
You can have any reality you want, as long as it's mine [312 words]LawrenceJan 12, 2018 18:05
On Truths [111 words]William BrownJan 12, 2018 17:38
⇒ The fallacy of self-exclusion
[w/response] [125 words]
Harry BinswangerJan 18, 2018 14:17

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