So the definition of truth is that p is true if and only if p.

However, since the Liar Paradox states that p is true if and only if p is false, this is a contradiction.

So the words truth and falsity are basically both poorly defined, and as such those words "don't exist" in a sense.

However, one caveat is that changing definitions do not change the world. You cannot make Pluto bigger by calling it a planet. You cannot make slavery intrinsically good by calling it moral.

So really, its not like the alethic nihilist denies things like snow is white.

They just think we shouldn't use the word true, since it doesn't really have a proper defintion.

Some believe that truth can be used in general but just not in certain scenarios where contradictions run.

Alethic nihilists believe truth shouldn't be used at all because restricting in certain scenarios seems ad hoc.

They think truth's poor definition and falsity's poor definition is proof enough that those words don't accurately exist in a sense.

Am I correct?

  • that's great, but not really a question
    – user67302
    Commented Aug 19, 2023 at 4:23
  • more like an epiphanic repetition of some stuff you already knew. anyway, good luck in having more
    – user67302
    Commented Aug 19, 2023 at 4:31
  • 1
    What else can we do?
    – Hudjefa
    Commented Aug 19, 2023 at 5:19
  • I was asking to see if im right cuz im not sure Commented Aug 19, 2023 at 6:30
  • Yes, this is, roughly, Liggins's position. There are motivations besides the Liar paradox, but he makes it the centerpiece. The more modest deflationists you allude to restrict the use of T-schema in paradoxical situations, but do not reject it completely (e.g. Horwich), so they are not nihilists.
    – Conifold
    Commented Aug 19, 2023 at 8:03

1 Answer 1


You are correct that there are reasons to believe in counter intuitive conclusions, and it must be reassuring that you can believe in those conclusions without obviously contradicting yourself, internally or in speech, though of course, nothing you say is true.

  • 1
    Wait so am I right then? Cuz im not sure Commented Aug 19, 2023 at 6:30
  • 1
    I have no idea what that means @legoman Commented Aug 19, 2023 at 10:53
  • i have no idea what anything means, sorry @HelpMePlease lol
    – user67302
    Commented Aug 19, 2023 at 11:33
  • It's more felicitous to say 'i have no true idea what anything means', people mostly care about the so called 'true' ideas but the deeper meaning is really consistent ideas. Thus alethic nihilists must be coherentists lol... Commented Jan 13 at 5:00

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