The Obscure Origins of True Contradictions

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Bastiras, Demetrios
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Flinders University Department of Languages - Modern Greek
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Advances in modern logic have provided grounds for a review of Herakleitan fragments. Focusing on fragments that are indeed explicitly contradictory, we suggest that true contradictions play an important part in Herakleitos’ theories. It turns out that this analysis is much simpler than the traditional modern alternatives and more faithful to the ancient interpretations of the fragments. Significantly, we can better analyse Herakleitos’ theories ex post facto by using modern logical techniques. Herakleitos, nicknamed “The Obscure” for his style of writing (full of puns and hidden meanings) may thus be better understood as the first philosopher to believe in true contradictions. It seems that modern logic has found the key to unlock some of the Herakleitan riddles.
Greek Research, Greece, Australia, language, literature, Demetrios Bastiras
Bastiras, Demetrios 2005. The Obscure Origins of True Contradictions. In E. Close, M. Tsianikas and G. Frazis (eds.) "Greek Research in Australia: Proceedings of the Biennial International Conference of Greek Studies, Flinders University April 2003", Flinders University Department of Languages - Modern Greek: Adelaide, 53-64.