What is the the truth value, if they have one, of propositions whose subject do not exist? "The current king of France is bald" is the famous example. Is that true or false, or neither? I have a hard time understanding how the current king of France can be neither bald nor not bald, even though I have no trouble understanding that there is no current king of France.

Philosophers have given various answers to questions like yours. See, for example, this SEP entry . Here's one approach: "The current king of France is bald" is false because it implies the existence of a current king of France when in fact there isn't one. "The current king of France is not bald" is likewise false if it's construed as implying the existence of a current king of France (and asserting of him that he's not bald). On a possible but perhaps less likely interpretation, the second quoted sentence is simply the wide-scope negation of the first quoted sentence: i.e., "It's false that the current king of France is bald." On that interpretation, the second quoted sentence comes out true since it simply asserts that the first quoted sentence is false. On neither interpretation is anyone neither bald nor not bald, so that particular claim of classical logic -- everything is either bald or not bald -- is preserved.

They say that relativism can not be affirmed without contradiction because to do so would imply that relativism had truth in an absolute sense. Is this simply an oversimplification or a strawman?

I suspect that one can affirm relativism without contradiction provided one is willing to embrace an endless regress . One can affirm the following statements: (R1) No statement is true except relative to some perspective (or worldview, or standard, or set of assumptions, or conceptual scheme). (R2) Statement R1 is true, but only relative to some perspective (or worldview, or standard, or set of assumptions, or conceptual scheme). (R3) Statement R2 is true, but only relative to some perspective (or worldview, or standard, or set of assumptions, or conceptual scheme). ...and so on without end. The endless regress allows one to postpone indefinitely any commitment to a non-relative truth. To be fair, however, one might wonder whether such a position has any cognitive content and, even if it does, whether our finite minds can truly understand such a position. For more, you might consult the detailed SEP entry on relativism available at this link .

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