## Yablo’s Paradox

All the statements below this one are false.

All the statements below this one are false.

All the statements below this one are false.

All the statements below this one are false.

All the statements below this one are false.

…

These statements can’t all be false, because that would make the first one true, a contradiction. But neither can any one of them be true, as a true statement would have to be followed by an infinity of false statements, and the falsity of any one of them implies the truth of some that follow. Thus there’s no consistent way to assign truth values to all the statements.

This is reminiscent of the well-known liar paradox (“This sentence is false”), except that none of the sentences above refers to itself. MIT philosopher Stephen Yablo uses it to show that circularity is not necessary to produce a paradox.

February 22, 2013 | Science & Math