Wednesday, March 01, 2006

This Sentence Is False. True Or false?

Seems like a simple question.

Uh, no. Not really.

Like a dog chasing it’s tail, brushing the bristles of the brush you’re brushing with, seeing your eyes with your own eyes (impossible, unaided), or drawing a circle around all circles on a page (try it!), the first sentence in the title of this post is strange, to say the least.

I’ll repeat the sentence in question, for convenience, immediately below this one.

---

This sentence is false.

---

What makes this so weird is that the sentence in question is “self-reference.” Like a brush brushing itself, eyeballs seeing themselves, or circles circling themselves, the sentence in question “sentences” (i.e. refers to) itself. (“Self reference” is the subject of a wonderful book titled: Godel, Escher, Back: An Eternal Golden Braid, by Douglas Hofstadter. I highly recommend it.)

Is the bold-faced sentence two paragraphs above this one true, or false? That’s the question.

The answer will probably surprise you.

(Click here to go to Part 2.)

-----


Copyright © 2006-present: Christopher R. Borland. All rights reserved.