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Questions tagged [paradox]

This tag is for arguments that produce an inconsistency with common sense.

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Isn't the sorites paradox predicated on a non-understanding of what a heap is?

Under the assumption that removing a single grain does not turn a heap into a non-heap, the paradox is to consider what happens when the process is repeated enough times: is a single remaining grain ...
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A Problem With Kripke's Rule-Following Paradox Example?

It seems that there is a problem with the example that Saul Kripke gives in "Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language" to explain Wittgenstein's rule-following paradox. I'm not asking about the ...
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Is it possible that a question has only two answers?

□ yes □ no "no" implies that a closed system with only two options like the one above is impossible. If you accept that such a system is possible by the way, it generates paradoxical results, since ...
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What are some true paradoxes in philosophy?

Some logical paradoxes are known to be invalid arguments, so I want to know what are some of the paradoxes based on valid logic in philosophy. So could you identify some of them?
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A difficulty I've had with this “This sentence is false” and Russell's Paradox [closed]

I'm not sure if I'm engaging in some sort of circular logical trap but I don't really think "this sentence is false" is all that logically problematic. But it would be helpful if someone could fix up ...
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Is there a natural example of a non-self-referential semantic paradox in philosophy?

A commonly studied paradox is the liar's paradox. The liar's paradox is to determine whether "this statement is false". The usual resolution is to state this the sentence is not actually a statement ...
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If time is discrete, does moving means teleporting?

Please follow this thought experiment: 1) A ball moves one centimeter in one unit of time. 2) A ball disappears. Then, after a unit of time, it reappears one centimeter far away. By now we don't ...
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Grandfather Paradox and Causal Loop

How does the grandfather paradox cause a causal loop (and therefore a bootstrap paradox)? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grandfather_paradox
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Is Ross' paradox really a paradox?

Consider the following disjunction introduction: Your room is clean. Therefore, your room is clean or your house is burnt down. Ross' paradox allegedly arises when applying this inference to ...
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free will without evil

If God is omnibenevolent and omnipotent could not we say God is capable of giving us free will without the existence of evil based on the same logic as Descartes described God's ability to lift an ...
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What's wrong with the logic in the following ''paradox''?

The apparent paradox pertains to the homesteading principle. This isn't a question about the morality/immorality of homesteading, or ownership, or use, etc, just the logic behind it. The concept: ...
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Correcting a causal paradox via “simulating the cause?”

Firstly, this is a thought experiment -- I am aware that time is a "one way street." I think this question may be inappropriate for the forum, so I would greatly appreciate a referral to a more ...
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unanswerable questions

Let me define "unanswerable question" as one that must use at least one term whose definition depends on the answer to the question. Let me define "a ranking" as a sequence by which priority is ...
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Does relationism resolve the Sorites paradox?

The ancient Sorites paradox, 1 grain of wheat does not make a heap. If 1 grain doesn’t make a heap, then 2 grains don’t. If 2 grains don’t make a heap, then 3 grains don’t. … If 999,999 grains ...
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Is there a solution of this time-travel enigma? [closed]

Mary is a supporter of free will. Thanks to a time machine, she travels five minutes into the future and finds out that she will quietly drink a coffee. She goes back and decides not to drink it, to ...
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Is there a theory about time traveling without paradox or multiple universes? [closed]

If you think about time travel you will quickly come to problems like the time paradox. In order to avoid a solution of the question about the paradox, the theory of multiple universes is used. Is ...
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Paradoxical definition? [closed]

I recall reading once that the name of the numbers in the set {1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9} is related to the number of angles people in antiquity used to trace while drawing them: Does not it strike you as a ...
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Do Alexius Meinong's impossible worlds describe all impossible worlds/things? [duplicate]

Does his impossible worlds category include (and can describe) literally all impossible things/worlds? Inconsistencies, paradoxes, impossible solutions to problems (and impossible problems); really ...
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Is this a paradox about clairvoyance?

You play a game with a fortune teller. There are two cards with the face down on the table; he wins if you raises the card's suit he foresees, you win if his prediction turns out to be wrong. Suppose ...
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What paradox/fallacy is this?

This is a striped down version of a thought prompted by am item in today's news. The scenario is fictional. I'm fairly sure that it is essentially some kind of paradox/fallacy, probably a well known ...
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Is a set containing itself already a paradox?

This is inspired by Russel's paradox stating there is not set of all sets. It uses the presupposition that set can contain itself. However, this already seems paradoxical. Suppose a set A = {}. Then ...
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1answer
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Understanding Curry's Paradox

I was trying to understand Curry's Paradox on wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curry%27s_paradox The example given is: To produce Curry's paradox, as described in the two steps above, ...
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Is atheism about the existence of Deities or a personal perception of Sacredness?

Wikipedia on atheism: Atheism is, in the broadest sense, the absence of belief in the existence of deities. Now what about deities? A deity is a supernatural being considered divine or sacred. ...
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Half Full/Empty Paradox

The famous liar's paradox hinges on the word "false." This sentence is false. Now consider the famous example of a glass that can be perceived as either half full or half empty. Does that qualify ...
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How do mathematicians reconcile that an infinite set does not have to be larger than its proper subset?

If we imagine an infinite number of fractions and, within them, an infinite number of integers, doesn't the former constitute a "larger" infinite set of numbers? This has always been paradoxical for ...
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Is a barber a barber if he doesn't get paid?

For reference: The Barber Paradox. The Barber is he who shaves all those, and only those, who doesn't shave themselves. Now the question is: Who shaves the Barber? The paradox being that if ...
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Can you divide the natural numbers in half sequentially? [closed]

My brief stint on SE has been quite interesting because it forced me to make the premises of my inquiry more explicit. I resisted this initially simply for reasons of economy, but economy proved to be ...
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What logic does Fitch's paradox use?

So I have been looking into Modal Logic as well as epistemic logic (and its dynamic versions) with the hopes of studying their applications to Fitch's paradox. Fitches paradox refers to the proof ...
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Is “Forever falling to the bottom” a paradox? [closed]

Writing an English paper that requires a paradox. Is the above a paradox?
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Does the uncertainty principle resolve Zeno’s arrow paradox?

Zeno’s arrow paradox says that motion is impossible. Does quantum mechanics say that the underlying assumption is wrong? Assumption: in any given moment, an arrow in flight is motionless. Then it ...
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Is this really an omniscience vs free-will paradox?

Thought experiment: let there be an omniscient being who knows the future and an agent with free will. They are playing a simple game: there is a table with 2 cards and the free agent asks the ...
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Why does Newcomb's paradox seem to have different solutions depending on when the choice is made despite determinism?

I believe the Newcomb's paradox is a significant problem in philosophy, since I regard it as a well formulated version of the lazy argument (under certain conditions) with real life implications. ...
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Paradoxes and inconsistent set of sentences

Let's define logic as: A statement and it's opposite, obtained by applying the "not" operator, both cannot be true. The not operator is applied to the part of the sentence describing action or ...
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Are paradoxes counterarguments?

Sometimes I hear examples of paradoxes, like The Grandfather Paradox: if you went back in time and killed your grandfather then you wouldn't have been born, so you couldn't go back to kill your ...
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Worldview hierarchy. Epistemology or ontology more fundamental?

When evaluating a worldview and checking for coherence, is one's ontology or epistemology a more fundamental building block? Could anything be more fundamental? I ask because I heard a criticism ...
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Historical Knowledge Paradox, how do you characterize the epistemology of it?

I have become aware of what Yuval Noah Harari calls the "Historical Knowledge Paradox", in which the utility of knowing the past is placed in conflict with itself. Can somebody please help me to see ...
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How can the finite contain the infinite?

This article claims that all finite things are actually infinite, however it doesn't explain how this can possibly work only that it is the way the world really works. Numbers and lines are finite, ...
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How to construct a proposition about God (which is not a thing, nor a non-thing)?

I am reading a paper right now by Andrey V. Smirnov, published in the journal Philosophy East and West, Vol. 43, No. 1 titled Nicholas of Cusa and Ibn Arabi: Two Philosophies of Mysticism. Both ...
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Basic question regarding the “Liar Paradox”

I know that the Liar Paradox has been discussed a fair bit on here, but I have a question about it that seems a bit more fundamental. Perhaps it has been asked and answered here in more proper ...
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Why can't we just say the Liar Sentence doesn't express a proposition?

It seems to me and many others that can we solve the Liar's Paradox by saying that the Liar Sentence "This sentence is false" doesn't express a proposition. However, both the IEP and the SEP claim ...
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Russell's Paradox and the Law of Non-Contradiction

I am going to look at the barber version of Russell's paradox but same argument will work for sets version as well. The barber version goes as: A barber cuts hair of only those people who do not ...
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Is “Intolerance of intolerance” equivalent to the Liar's Paradox?

A commentator wrote: "Intolerance of intolerance" == Liar's Paradox/Halting problem. Language is a map, not the territory. Don't tolerate racism. Period. I'm struggling to make the jump from the ...
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Does anyone know of a philosophy which rectifies or considers the following question?

Let's imagine that I began to doubt the validity of one of my arguments, which leads me to question my ability to make rational arguments. And so begin to distrust my intuitive ideas about logic, then ...
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Will uncertainty always have one exception?

Uncertainty discerns that one is always uncertain about everything. For instance, 1+1 may not necessarily equal 2, and our existence may be figments of imagination. Would this theory always have one ...
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Shouldn't Last Thurdayism be able to be proved wrong by Physics?

From what I understand, Last Thursdayism is the belief that the universe was created last thursday. Supposing Last Thursdayism is true, if you consider going at a really fast speed when Thursday ...
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Do Hume’s Problem and Zeno’s Arrow Paradox have the same solution?

Both Hume’s Problem and Zeno’s Arrow Paradox freeze an observation in time. Do they have the same solution? To show that the future may not be predicted from the past, the test that David Hume ...
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A Version of the Liar Paradox in Russell's paper “On the Nature of Knowledge”

I just finished reading Russell's paper "On the Nature of Truth", in which appears a form of the well-known Liar's Paradox. Here is the passage I am interested in: This argument would be conclusive,...
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Unexplained paradox

According to Wikipedia, a paradox is: a statement that, despite apparently sound reasoning from true premises, leads to an apparently self-contradictory or logically unacceptable conclusion. A ...
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What are possible resolutions of the length unit paradox stemming from Zeno's Paradoxes?

The paradox in question: If every unit of length is made up of smaller units of length, it seems that you need to have units of length before a unit of length can come into existence. But this is ...
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Zeno's “Stadium” with the same metaphysical assumptions as his other paradoxes

“The Stadium” paradox is described by Aristotle as follows: The fourth argument is that concerning the two rows of bodies, each row being composed of an equal number of bodies of equal size, ...