If a person's goal is to fail and if he has succeeded in it, will it be said you have failed?

  • Can you share a little bit more about what might have made this an interesting problem for you?
    – Joseph Weissman
    Commented Dec 20, 2013 at 22:25
  • Just curious to know. Commented Jan 6, 2014 at 17:21

2 Answers 2


To me it sounds like just inaccurate speech, not like a paradox.

I can imagine someone who has the goal to fail his math exam, and succeeds in doing so.

Using "succeed" and "fail" in a general sense makes the sentence not well founded, at least.

  • Right. There is no paradox unless succeed and fail are used in exactly the same sense. If they aren't, it's in equivocation. If they are, it's a contradiction. Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 13:53

This seems to be a variant of the liar paradox, cf. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/liar-paradox

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