I doubt this could be where I originally came across this quip/joke, but a google search found it in footnote #2 of . The footnote reads:
2 Compare the malicious joke: 'Mr. Z claims to have found a counterexample to my theory. But he has misunderstood me, he has not interpreted my words as I intended. For I intended that there be no counterexamples.'
The author died in 2001; so there's no prospect of a direct inquiry as to the origins of this. Am I right in thinking this must be some kind of old chestnut in logic or philosophy? Would anybody know its provenance?
- Lewis, David. 1984. “Putnam’s Paradox.” Australasian Journal of Philosophy 62(3):221–36. doi: 10.1080/00048408412340013.
Edit: Just a note to underscore that I'm asking here mainly about the origins of this 'joke'. Is it something David Lewis made up on the fly here? Or might it be so widely known in philosophy [an 'old chestnut'] that it need not even be cited? (You could, e.g., make an offhand reference to 'The Cave' without explicitly citing Plato.)