# Can something be true and untrue at the same time ?

I’m doing an intro. to philosopy paper with subject “can something be true and untrue at the same time” The rules of logic do not support such a notion, but, I was was wondering if any papers have been written about this, or, if any philosophers studied this question from a logic perspective?

Have you ever wanted to eat a whole cheese cake, but not? Have you ever loved someone and hated them? Are these opposing truths examples of something being true and untrue at the same time?

The rules of Boolean logic certainly do support the idea that something can be true and untrue at once. Of course, it depends on your inputs.

Proposition: The Last Samurai was a good movie.
True state: X thought it was a good movie.
False state: Y thinks it was a bad movie.

It’s going to depend on your theory of truth.

For example if your theory is a corispondence theory where what makes something true is a corispondence to the real world- then a statement may not be both true and false.

You’ll probably aslo want to muse on what a statment is. For example, “alkjsdf kdjfk woe idslf” is probably not a statment or representive of a statment in any way.

For certian empiricist words commonly used like ‘good’ might be meaningless, or at least not have any truth value.

Of course in such cases, these statment like entities would be neither true or false, because the predicates true and false apply only to statements.

The only statment that is really temepting to call both true and false, is “This statment is false” or something from quantum physics.

In the first case, many people content that statments can’t really refer to themselves and still be statments. I don’t know what I think about that.

In the latter case, your really starting to get into Quine and the idea that our evidence might in some way force us to change our logic. But doesn’t our logic in turn shape our evidence? (If we didn’t have ‘If-then’ statments would we ‘see’ causes?)

I hope that helps.

Try this statement: I am a liar.

If liar means, one who often lies. There is nothing wrong with the statement.

If liar means, one who always makes false statments, then the statment implies the above, this statement is false. So here the self-referntiality is somewhat hidden, but still there.

(“I never tell the truth.” is probably a slightly bettter formulation to avoid confusion.)

No, that one you can simply state is false. It proves itself false because it is a false statement and stops there as it is self referential to the person saying it, not to the statement itself.

The logic to this being that if it is false it proves itself true, therefore proving itself false, therefore proving itself true… (swallows asprin)
Is this either both true and false, or neither true or false?
…it’s not entirely true… …it’s not entirely false…
Aha! It’s not completely false, therefore the statement ‘This statment is false’ is only partially false and therefore must be false, full stop.
Eh? EH? Does that work people?
We probably have to start defining exactly what true and false mean then, huh? Forget this then! I’m going to go get more asprin…

No, nothing can be true and untrue at the same time. Things can be true and yet lack proof in which case people might THINK they were untrue. But otherwise, things cannot be true or untrue at the same time. For example: Let’s say my child lied to me. I know the truth by intuition, but since my child won’t provide proof, so it lacks verification. But this does not mean that the truth becomes untrue, no, it just lacks proof. In the same way we can intuition that God, spirits, souls exist and yet since we cannot prove that, it lacks verification. But that does not mean that God cannot exist. He very well could but we have no proof. Remember Murphy said, ‘what is difficult to understand, is intuitively obvious.’