Questions tagged [paradox]

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

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Graham Priest's "escape from Hell" puzzle

The gist of the puzzle is that every day, the Devil offers to flip a coin to see if you escape; one loss and you're guaranteed to be stuck forever, but each day the probability of a winning toss ...
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1 vote
7 answers
138 views

How it's possible to describe something if description itself is action that changes universe?

This is some sort of paradox or a fallacy and I want to make sense of it. This is how I would formulate the problem. To describe Universe we need to take an action - to say the description, write it ...
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3 votes
4 answers
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A new challenge to physical reality

So recently I was thinking about Zeno's paradox (of infinite sum of 1/2^n in motion). Although I love calculus, I still don't get how it could possibly solve the paradox in Physical world, because ...
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If something were to happen on a certain day of the year, but it was impossible to know which day, wouldn't it result in it being the first day?

Say something were to happen one day of the year (say the world would explode), but it was impossible to know which day of the year. If so, it couldn't be the last day of the year because you would ...
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How can an omnipotent god ever find out that he is omnipotent? Isn't it logically impossible for him to understand?

Let us assume that an omnipotent god exists. He by definition can do anything that is logically possible. So if it is logically possible to prove that a being is omnipotent then an omnipotent god can ...
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1 answer
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Does the confirmation bias really exist? [closed]

The confirmation bias is said to be the tendency to exclude information that contradicts our belief. But does this bias really exist ? What if the researcher who discovered this bias only gathered ...
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6 answers
935 views

Could everything exist? What would this even mean?

I saw something that said the reason the universe exists is that everything exists, in an infinite multiverse. This then answers why the laws of physics of our universe are the way they are, which is ...
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-4 votes
1 answer
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Problem with infinity? [closed]

Note: See PART 2 for a better question. 1 kg of matter has infinite number of parts. Infinite number of things together can make an infinite amount of matter. 1 kg is not equal to infinite amount. We ...
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2 answers
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How would Nietzsche metaphorically apply the concept of a 'mind control parasite' to human philosophy, in relation to the will to power?

In Frederich Nietzsche's works, when he discusses a 'parasite,' he is indicating the following: a complete lack of nobility of disposition when someone prefers to live in dependency, at the expense ...
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-1 votes
3 answers
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Can you explain the following quote: "All evil is good become cancerous"

I am unable to find illustrative examples to satisfy the above-mentioned quote by Isaac Asimov.
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Levels of truth (is the liar paradox generated by equivocation?)

Strictly, Tarski's notion of truth levels, which is based on truth as a predicate (property), has it so that the liar sentence, "This sentence is false," by trying to attach a truth ...
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How does Yablo's paradox affect the theory of truth?

Question: What does Yablo's paradox tell us about what a theory of truth should look like? I have been reading Leitgeb's What Theories of Truth Should be Like, and he discusses what a 'good' theory of ...
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A "paradox" of coherentism?

This is a follow-up to a question I had about foundationalism, which seems paradoxical inasmuch as it is a thesis that has been argued for (perhaps it is just the historical argumentation that is ...
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1 answer
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A possible solution to Hempel's raven paradox

Has any philosopher proposed the following solution to Hempel's raven paradox? The solution is that even if two statements are logically equivalent, an observation may provide evidence for one but not ...
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Is this why infinite different worlds cannot exist?

I think that there can never be infinite different worlds because they would blow each other up. The logic chain goes something like this: There are infinite different worlds Each world is different ...
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1 answer
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Having finite knowledge, could we prove that God doesn't exist?

It seems to me that in order to prove that God does not exist, we need to be like the God himself: the supreme being, infinite in the knowledge of the universe. If my logic is correct, that sounds ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Paradox of resolving discrimination

I live in India, here at birth we are assigned something called 'caste' based on our genealogy. For a long time in India, it was often that certain castes had access to much more resources than other ...
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Review articles on the rule-following paradox

Except for the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP) article on private language, I am having a hard time finding review articles (or book chapters) on the rule-following paradox. What review ...
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Does this explain the Omnipotence paradox?

About the omnipotence paradox, the 'ability or inability to do something' has a factor of time associated with it. So if i ask an omnipotent being to make a rock it can't lift, "Here. A rock I ...
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1 answer
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Alternativeness... or not?

We recognize as an axiom that events in our reality can occur in different ways. It is about facts, models that combine facts and our reactions. I call it alternativeness. Here I will not ask: whether ...
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6 votes
8 answers
1k views

What the Preface paradox tells us about the principle of explosion

The Preface paradox (adopted on a classical logician): Imagine that a classical logician has just written a textbook (on classical logic). He has included many assertions in it and has thoroughly ...
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Problems with truth value gap theory against Strengthened Liar

I have been reading Burge's Semantical Paradox, Burge explains how gap theorists have trouble handling the Strengthened Liar, i.e. β: β is not true and there are two things I do not understand: ...
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"This sentence doesn't cohere with an ideal set of propositions."

It seems that we can reflect on various theories of truth by using their definitions of truth predicates in the formulation of liar and honest sentences. For example, imagine, "This sentence ...
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Is "the only rule is there are no rules" a paradox?

There is a popular phrase called "the only rule is there are no rules." But if there are no rules, then how could this even be a rule?
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Reference needed: why is the Liar Paradox regarded as not important/fringe by some?

Most people, when first encountering the Liar Paradox, react in one of two ways. One reaction is not to take the Paradox seriously and say they will not reason any more about it. - Dowden, IEP article ...
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1 answer
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Combining the knower with other paradoxes

The knower paradox concerns a sentence such as, "This sentence is unknown." Now liar sentences can be paired with honest sentences, e.g. "This sentence is true." So suppose there ...
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0 answers
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Analysis of Liar-like sentences in fuzzy logic

Let t0 = FALSE and t1 = TRUE. In fuzzy logic, 0 or 1 can be switched out for any real number in the interval [0,1]. This lets us construct all manner of liar/honest-like sentences, ranging from, "...
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1 answer
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"Let this sentence be false."

Oftentimes in arguments, we introduce sentences (or propositions?) via prescriptions like, "Let it be that..." or, "Assume that..." or so on. How would we introduce the liar ...
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-4 votes
4 answers
592 views

What is the proper definition of a truth bearer? [closed]

It seems to me that any expression of language that can possibly be resolved to exactly one of true and false is a truth bearer and any expression of language that cannot possibly be resolved to ...
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how can one distinguish between disorder and the supernatural?

Many strange things happen to us when we are asleep. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleep_paralysis https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Out-of-body_experience https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypnic_jerk ...
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Do not understand Truth value gap theorists' response to the Strengthened Liar

Truth value gap theorists assert that the Liar sentence is neither true nor false - it has no truth value. But here comes my first question: If we take a sentence's meaning to be its truth condition, ...
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3 votes
1 answer
979 views

Has there ever been a successful, philosophically defensible refutation of the Epicurean Paradox?

"God said it, I believe it, and that settles it", is the final refuge of faith-based rhetoric, not a viable philosophical position. Has any significant religious thinker of any stripe ...
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1 answer
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Are dichotomies that refer to real constructs incorrect? from Sorites paradox

The well known paradoxes that arise from defining terms with a strict binary classifications, such as the Sorites paradox (heap/not heap), show the absurdities resulting from a strict seperation ...
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2 answers
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A variant question of the Liar paradox

This question is exercise 1 from Manuel Bremer's An Introduction to Paraconsistent Logics. The question Often the sentence given as the Liar example is "All Cretans are liars." said by a ...
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2 votes
3 answers
224 views

Why should we treat others as *always* rational when they are not?

In Kantian system, murdering is nonrational because it cannot become a universal law. Yet Kant insists that it's immoral to lie to murderers. This is the same with saying they are rational being, ...
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1 answer
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What is the difference between Zeno's "Dichotomy" and Richardson's "Coast of England" paradox?

We assume, though I believe it can be debated, that Zeno's "Dichotomy" paradox is apparently "unreal." We can treat any given distance as the sum of an infinite regress of smaller ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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Experiencing and sensing time dilation when a person dies and the logic of

It is well known that when a person goes to sleep, there are instances when we do not experience time which has phenomenological implications. There is a temporal discontinuity. It is also known that ...
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3 votes
0 answers
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How do dialetheists determine which contradiction is true?

I have been reading a lot about dialetheism lately. I know for a fact that dialetheists do not believe that every contradiction is true. (Surely there is a difference between asserting that Liar is ...
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2 votes
3 answers
256 views

Maximizing expected value - "triple or nothing" on a fair bet

The "triple-or-nothing paradox" is that a game where I expect to increase my money (on average) at each stage ends up bankrupting me with probability 1 if I play long enough. However, the ...
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0 answers
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Is this a solution to one of Zeno's paradoxes?

I was inspired by this wikipedia article invoking a notion of a "Supertask" (informally, an infinite sequence of operations performed in a finite amount of time) to pose Zeno's paradox. To ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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What were the "paradoxes of Rousseau"?

John Stuart Mill (1859, On Liberty): Thus, in the eighteenth century, when nearly all the instructed, and all those of the uninstructed who were led by them, were lost in admiration of what is called ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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How narrow is the Measurement Problem in QM? [closed]

I realize that the "Measurement Problem" is an issue unique to the highly technical field of quantum mechanics. But is it ever discussed in philosophy in relation to more general issues of ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Do all paradoxes of naive set theory have something in common?

If P(x) is the formula "x ∉ x", then ... the assumption that a set h has P(x) purity ... (i.e. the assumption that for all t, if t∈h then P(t)) ... implies that there exists a set k, where ...
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1 vote
3 answers
219 views

Do you create your own thoughts? [closed]

Once upon a time I came up with the following paradox: Statement 1. I have freedom of will. Statement 2. If I have freedom of will, then I create my own thoughts. For example: I'm gonna think about ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Semantic rules overdetermine the truth value of Liar Paradox

I am reading Graham Priest's In Contradiction (p.14) and he mentioned that the semantic rules of 'this sentence' and 'is True' overdetermine and underdetermine the Liar Paradox and its counterpart ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Did the physicist Erwin Schrödinger deny that reality existed?

I was having a conversation with a biographer of Schrödinger about the physicist's works and philosophy. I asked him if he eventually accepted that his "Cat (mental) experiment" could be actually real,...
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How paraconsistent logicians solve the "Geach Paradox"?

Para consistent logic denies explosive law that (t and not-t) implies Y (Y is anything). However,we could construct a sentence,given any sentence Y, C (C is true) implies Y and infering as ...
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2 votes
3 answers
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Paradox: if people are too immoral to be left free in their choice, then why is democracy the solution?

I am asking if there are noted philosophers that have thought about the following paradox before, or something resembling it. Democracy is seen here as a system in which a nation is governed by a ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Paradox of analysis - what's wrong with this solution?

Reading about the paradox of analysis here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox_of_analysis Instead of the brother=male sibling example given in the article, suppose we use "triangle" instead. So ...
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Where is the Liar Paradox?

How would one go about proving that the Liar sentence is paradoxical? I ask because to me it obviously isn't one so I'd need a decent proof to change my mind. I've always been baffled as to why it's ...
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