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“True statements cannot become false, nor can false statements become true”.

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Introduction

"True Statements Cannot Become False, Nor Can False Statements Become True" At first glance, the title of this essay may very well be seen as a joke. How can the validity of statements change? The fact is, the validity of statements can change entirely, depending on the reader's point of view with regard to the statement. Although the sentence may seem straightforward and not at all complicated, there is much more to the declaration above than meets the eye, as the validity of the statement depends almost wholly on how it is interpreted by the reader. In this essay, I will discuss the validity of this statement based on several different possible interpretations of the title sentence. The first interpretation of the title sentence is that once a statement is made, an identical statement made at a different time cannot be considered to be the same statement. So, the statements "Black is not white" and "Black is not white" are not the same statement, merely duplicates. ...read more.

Middle

However, since the interpretation of the title sentence we are considering says that statements can only be verified by checking them against facts that were true when the statement was said, the statement "I live in Indonesia", uttered by myself during August of 2002, will remain true for eternity. Under this interpretation, the validity of statements cannot change over time, as a statement can only be classified as true or false using the circumstances and facts present at the time that the statement was made. Yet another interpretation of the title is the opposite of the first, saying that identical statements made at different times can be considered as the same. Under this ideology, "Black is not white" and "Black is not white" are one and the same. For this interpretation of the title, we will use the example "Philadelphia is the capital of the United States of America". Were this statement made in 1794, when Philadelphia was indeed the capital of the United States, it would obviously be considered true. ...read more.

Conclusion

Therefore, under this interpretation of the title, the validity of statement can change over time. As is evident, there are many possible interpretations of the title statement, with just a few being discussed here. As one can see, the validity of the title can change drastically, depending on how the reader sees and interprets the statement. Under two of the more pragmatic and realistic interpretations, that identical statements made at different times are not the same, and that the validity of the statements can be considered only using the facts and circumstances that were present at the time the statement was made, true statements cannot become false, nor can false statements become true. Under two other not-as-realistic ideologies, that identical statements made at different times can be considered as the same, and that the validity of a statement can be checked using circumstances from a different time, true statements can become false, as can false statements become true. Therefore, the validity of the title sentence depends entirely on how the reader understands it. 1067 Words Aakash Dheer IB1 TOK 11/3/03 ...read more.

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