This Sentence is False
Combining the notions from the last two posts — we understand only through models, and our models are mainly metaphorical — we can shed light on some of the most profound and durable philosophical and scientific debates. One such debate, that of free will versus determinism, brings with it a host of other paradoxes, including personal identity, intentionality, and the existence of a God/god/gods. Without going into the details of these conundrums, it is safe to say that our models/metaphors of such sticky concepts as “free will” are fundamentally flawed. They are shortcuts that serve useful purposes when speaking plainly about everyday occurrences, but which belie a much subtler and more complex reality when pressed upon. The idea that there even exists something real called a “will” not only begs the question of whose will it is (personal identity), but also should make us question whether it is a useful and accurate concept to describe anything in the world. I would claim that long-standing paradoxes exist because we reify a concept by creating a phrase to describe something we care about (i.e. we create a new metaphor/model) and then we either never question the existence of the thing being described or we forget that our phrase is indeed a model/metaphor which should not be confused with the thing itself.