Jakub Gomułka

"The Question of Heterologicality in Papers of Nathaniel Lawrence and Gilbert Ryle"

In my paper I present and discuss two attempts to dismiss the so called Grelling Paradox taken at the beginning of 1950's by two representatives of Oxford analytic philosophy: Nathaniel Lawrence and Gilbert Ryle. The Grelling Paradox is a semantic self-referential paradox and is built on the general dichotomy of adjectives: every adjective is either autological or heterological; the former means that an adjective can be described by itself, the latter means that it cannot. Since 'autological' and 'heterological' are also adjectives, the question raises whether they are autological or homological.

According to Lawrence there is a hierarchy of levels of the meaning of the word 'word'. Ryle suggests that both Grelling's predicates belong to the specific kind of linguistic adjectives: they are in a sense incomplete symbols. I find Lawrence's solution inadequate and present an argument against it. On the other hand, Gilbert Ryle's idea seems to be correct.

Keywords: Kurt Grelling, Bertrand Russell, Nathaniel Lawrence, Gilbert Ryle, Grelling Paradox, analytic philosophy, adjectives