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2014-01-09 10:22 pm (UTC)
Okay, time for lots of questions about Elspeth's truth-telling power!
Let's assume for the purposes of these questions that I care about the things she says deliberately, not the producing-truth-from-nowhere power, which seems like a special case.
So, it seems that a lot of possible sentences do not fall into the two categories of "statements that are both true and known by Elspeth to be true" and "statements that are both false and known by Elspeth to be false," which are the ones I definitely know to trigger reactions in people listening to her. What would the response be to:
1. Statements with a definite truth value, but one that isn't known to anyone in the conversation. ("Goldbach's conjecture follows from the standard axioms of arithmetic.", "The 10^500th digit of pi in base 10 is 6.")
2. Statements with no consistent truth value. ("This sentence is false.")
3. Statements that are false, but Elspeth believes to be true. ("My father is dead." during the period of time that Elspeth believed that.) I assume these must register as true, or Elspeth could produce-truth-from-nowhere much more often than she actually does.
4. Hearsay: "X happened." (When Elspeth only knows this because Person A told her.) Does this register as less true than "Person A told me that X happened?" Then "X happened" when Elspeth observed this firsthand?
5. Figures of speech:
5a. Hyperbole. ("Addy has pestered my mother about getting to taste her power a million times.")
5b. Metaphor. ("My mother's heart was broken when she thought my father died.")
5c. Anthropomorphism/personification. ("Metacausality wanted Harley to suffer.")
5d. Sarcasm or irony.
6. Syntactically correct but semantically meaningless statements. ("Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.")
Thread from start
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