Variants On The SEE

 

‘Be so kind as to not interrupt me while I am ignoring you’

Maharani Sita Kumari of Kapurthala [1915-2002], a then permanent resident on the ‘World’s Best Dressed’ list. [Just a little joke, your highness. I’m a die-hard Royalist.]


Finally a note of caution. A Self-Negating Expression is a handrail, an investigative tool meant to be unwound sequentially in the ‘Backward Step’. It is not to be stared at as a static logical complexity [as for example in the contemporary mathematical literature]. That just sinks you deeper into the swamp.

‘Mama, I am dead!’ is conclusive evidence that the kid is very much alive. ‘I don’t Exist!’ unwinds in a negation that throws you into the center of the vortex that is an Infinite Regress.

There are at least three levels of the lingual Self-Negating Expression, a useful distinction. First as the simple self-contradiction as in Aristotle’s ‘Unmover Mover’. These can be intuitively helpful but hard to work with.

Second, again from Aristotle, ‘All Things are False’, a phrase he uses in his celebrated defense of the Principal of Contradiction. Replace it with its legitimate equivalent: ‘All Words are Meaningless’-itself an expression in words, and you have a workable Self-Negating Expression, ready for the ‘Backward Step’.

The most effective lingual Self-Eating Expressions typically include words like: I, Me, All, None, Everything, Nothing, Always, Never. [Nice, slippery, unstable wordsl you wonder why?] The Self-Negating Expression: ‘All statements are false’-itself a statement, is more usable than the expression: ‘This statement is false’. 

Finally, the Popular Variants which tend to be rhetorical devices such as autological ‘Oxymorons’ or literary embellishments [‘Expressive Silence’] or verbal dig [‘Microsoft Works’].

The best of the world’s Mystic Literature is made up of Self-Negating Expressions. The Logical-Form can show-up in many guises. Not all are trekking-aids.