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Imagine someone who had mastered the technical aspects of the theory of types but who was unaware of the contradiction (‘Russell’s paradox’) which prompted it, or someone who knew Tarski’s theory of truth while knowing nothing of the Liar’s paradox. Would we be willing to credit them with an understanding of these theories? Surely something fundamental is missing, and yet what is missing is not strictly part of the theory itself. It concerns, rather, the theory’s context, its author’s rationale of putting it forth; we might even say, the theory’s whole point.