from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of an adjective, not describing itself.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. not corresponding in structure or evolutionary origin


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Grelling-Nelson paradox: Is the word "heterological", meaning "not applicable to itself," a heterological word?

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  • The sources were abundant ” letters, court records, pamphlets, memoirs ” and since Certeau's original French edition was part of a series of primary documents, he could prepare a book with different voices and thereby capture a "heterological" perspective: his own from the present, and those from the past, "each of [the] halves say [ing] what is missing from the other."

    The Quest of Michel de Certeau

  • Both contradictions can be presented as sequences of equivalences, and both sequences share the same structure, as seen below (where "het" abbreviates "heterological"):


  • It should be stressed that Weyl's attitude towards Grelling's antinomy is utterly negative: he considers it pure Scholasticism (Weyl 1918, section 1): there is no way, according to him, of assigning a meaning to ˜heterological™ and one should ultimately resolve these problems by appealing to philosophy.

    Paradoxes and Contemporary Logic

  • To each word there corresponds a concept, that the very word designates, and which applies to it or does not apply; in the first case, we call the word autological, else heterological.

    Paradoxes and Contemporary Logic

  • Now the word ˜heterological™ itself is autological or heterological.

    Paradoxes and Contemporary Logic

  • But if the word is heterological, the designated concept does not apply, so

    Paradoxes and Contemporary Logic

  • In other words, “Is ˜heterological™ heterological?” is ill formed (and so meaningless on syntactic grounds).

    Epistemic Paradoxes

  • The common solution to this puzzle is that ˜heterological™, as defined by Grelling, is not a genuine predicate (Thomson 1962).

    Epistemic Paradoxes

  • Now for the riddle: Is ˜heterological™ heterological or autological?

    Epistemic Paradoxes


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