I stumbled upon the quotation

Intelligence is to spot paradoxes. Wisdom is to live by them.

from Raheel Farooq according to goodreads.com.

I am here not so much interested in the difference between intelligence and wisdom as seems to be the main point of the quote. I am here rather interested about the concept that it is wise, or good to live by paradoxes and more particularly about whether paradoxes are a necessary element of our representation of the world and set of values.


Are paradoxes a necessary element of everyone representation of the world and/or everyone set of values? Is it (theoretically or practically) possible to be a philosopher and yet be free from any paradox in the logical interaction between elements we believe in? Are we condemn to live with paradoxes?

  • 1
    Can you give an example or clarify what you mean by "living with paradoxes"?
    – Franz
    May 30, 2017 at 12:00
  • 2
    This is a loose generalization and I hope you don't take it as a golden rule, but continental philosophers in general embrace paradoxes as a natural and important part of life while analytic philosophers usually view them as things that need to be solved or argued away. See this quote by Kierkegaard on wikipedia's article on paradox for a continental argument about why paradoxes are necessary and unavoidable. The analytic school thought (thinks) that through careful analysis and definition making paradoxes can be done away with.
    – Not_Here
    May 30, 2017 at 13:15
  • @Franz I did not write "living with paradoxes" myself, it comes the quote. My questions are defined under Question. I hope that under this section my question is clearly defined. Let me know if it is not. Not_Here hit the sweet spot with his quote from Søren Kierkegaard.
    – Remi.b
    May 30, 2017 at 14:47
  • 2
    Analytic and continental philosophers largely mean different things by "paradox", which largely explains their attitudes. To analytics "paradox" is a formal logical contradiction, and to have it in one's philosophical system is an intellectual embarrassment to be avoided. To continentals it is an opposition, intellectual tension, etc., out of which new thought and change springs, "the principle of all self-movement", "of all natural and spiritual life" as Hegel put it. Hence, to live is tautologically to live by paradoxes.
    – Conifold
    May 31, 2017 at 0:06


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