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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Bones 6.20: This Very Statement Is a Lie

Bones 6.20 flirted with the dizzying, irresistible paradox of the liar, as the case at hand takes the team to a group dedicated to radical honesty, or always telling the unvarnished truth, no matter what.

This would rule out or not permit any lies, of any sort, including the white lie, which serves as a social lubricant in our world.  Actually, more than that.   Would you tell someone that he or she had only three months to live, if you were 100% sure that there was absolutely nothing that could change that? Perhaps yes, if you wanted the victim to have the opportunity to make the most of each remaining day.  Perhaps no, if you didn't want to put a pall over the remaining days.  It's complicated, and great books have been written about it, ranging from James Morrow's City of Truth novel to Sissela Bok's nonfiction Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life.

On Bones 6.20, the fun begins with Bones asking Booth if he's ever lied to her.  "No," he replies.  Sweets, who has previously introduced us to the radical honesty program - which is real, check it on Wikipedia, which I assume presents a truthful account - says he thinks that very statement by Booth to Bones is a lie.   That is, Booth lied to Bones when he said he never lied to her.  Or at least, Bones and Sweets think so.

That part is easy, non-paradoxical.  But consider the following:  "This very statement is a lie."   If the statement is true, that means that the statement is indeed a lie, which means ... we can't or shouldn't believe it ... which means it's not true.    But if the statement is not true, or false, that means the statement is not a lie, which means the statement is true, which means the statement is indeed a lie ...

That's why it pitches us into a paradox ... because, whichever interpretation we take, that the statement is true or false, leads us to the opposite view, and back and forth, forever.  Sort of like infinite regress, and one of the reasons I chose that name for this blog.

On Bones, Booth does divulge that he sometimes goes commando, and he does admit to Bones that he committed a lie of omission, when he didn't tell her how much he appreciated Bones' support when he and Hannah split up.  But is a lie of omission really a lie, or the same as a lie of commission?

Well, I can go into that, if you like ...

See also Bones 6.1: The Linchpin ... Bones 6.2: Hannah and her Prospects ... Bones 6.3 at the Jersey Shore, Yo, and Plymouth Rock ... Bones 6.4 Sans Hannah ... Bones 6.5: Shot and Pretty ... Bones 6.6: Accidental Relations ... Bones 6.7:  Newman and "Death by Chocolate" ... Bones 6.8: Melted Bones ... Bones 6.9: Adelbert Ames, Jr. ... Bones 6.10: Reflections ... Bones 6.11: The End and the Beginning of a Mystery ... Bones 6.12 Meets Big Love ... Bones 6.13: The Marrying Kind ... Bones 6.14: Bones' Acting Ability ... Bones 6.15: "Lunch for the Palin Family" ... Bones 6.16: Stuck in an Elevator, Stuck in Times ... Bones 6.17: The 8th Pair of Feet ... Bones 6.18: The Wile E. Chupacabra ... Bones 6.19 Test Runs The Finder

And see also Bones: Hilarity and Crime and Bones is Back For Season 5: What Is Love? and 5.2: Anonymous Donors and Pipes and 5.3: Bones in Amish Country and 5.4: Bones Meets Peyton Place and Desperate Housewives and Ancient Bones 5.5 and Bones 5.6: A Chicken in Every Viewer's Pot and Psychological Bones 5.7 and Bones 5.8: Booth's "Pops" and Bones 5.9 Meets Avatar and Videogamers ... Bad Santa, Heart-Warming Bones 5.10 ... Bones 5.11: Of UFOs, Bloggers, and Triangles ... Bones 5.12: A Famous Skeleton and Angela's Baby ... Love with Teeth on Bones 5.13 ... Faith vs. Science vs. Psychology in Bones 5.14 ... Page 187 in Bones 5.15 ... Bones 100: Two Deep Kisses and One Wild Relationship ... Bones 5.17: The Deadly Stars ... Bones Under Water in 5.18 ... Bones 5.19: Ergo Together ...  Bones 5.20: Ergo Together ...  Bones 5.21: The Rarity of Happy Endings ... Bones Season 5 Finale: Eye and Evolution

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The Plot to Save Socrates

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