Questions tagged [paradox]

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

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22
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12answers
4k views

Are there any philosophy books for an intelligent nine-year-old?

I would like to buy some books on philosophy for the child of a friend. He is very intelligent and mathematically able and clever for a nine-year-old. I remember near that age really enjoying the idea ...
22
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6answers
4k views

Why is Aristotle's objection not considered a resolution to Zeno's paradox?

It seems to me, perhaps naïvely, that Aristotle resolved Zenos' famous paradoxes well, when he said that, Time is not composed of indivisible nows any more than any other magnitude is composed of ...
21
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12answers
2k views

Motivations for dialetheism?

At the request of the moderators, I've reformulated this question to change the emphasis of the question to something perhaps a little more broad-ranging: Question. What are the major modern ...
21
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8answers
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What formal logical systems “resolve” the Liar Paradox?

Short version of my question. What formal logical systems can represent, and seem robust against, the Liar Paradox? N.B. I would like to avoid reference to truth-values, except inasmuch as they ...
16
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7answers
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Are all paradoxes reducible to one “fundamental” paradox?

I may need to refine this question, since I am mostly grappling with a murky intuition and haven't yet done the real work. When I encounter many of the well-known paradoxes, such as Zeno's dichotomy, ...
13
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7answers
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Could it be possible that the universe doesn't exist?

Could it be possible that the universe doesn't exist? That nothing exists, not even you or me? And by not existing, I mean totally not existing, as in not even existing as a computer simulation, or a ...
13
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3answers
6k views

What is the difference between Law of Excluded Middle and Law of Non Contradiction?

In spite of reading the SEP entry under Contradiction several times I have difficulty distinguishing between the two. We can translate the Aristotelian language, with some loss of faithfulness, ...
11
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3answers
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Does thermal time hypothesis finally resolve Zeno's paradox?

Is Time Just A Trick Of The Mind? (read article) Carlo Rovelli, one of the founder of Loop Quantum Gravity theory likes to think so. Furthermore wikipedia entry highlights: This position has lead ...
11
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5answers
2k views

What is the main message Kierkegaard is trying to deliver in his suicidal quote?

In his journal Kierkegaard wrote: I have just now come from a party where I was its life and soul; witticisms streamed from my lips, everyone laughed and admired me, but I went away — yes, the dash ...
11
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2answers
412 views

What are the dialetheist semantics for logical negation?

This question is in a sense a follow-up, or elaboration, of the question "What are the motivations for Dialetheism?". Reflecting on the way I phrased that question, and the way I remarked on answers, ...
10
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3answers
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Are there rules for dealing with self-reference “paradoxes” in logic?

My favorite paradox that leads to an endless regress, and also leads to a question: The sentence after this is true. The sentence before this is false. When contradictions appear in proofs, ...
10
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3answers
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Can a “real” paradox exist?

Given a statement, S: "S is not true." We arrive at a paradoxical solution whether or not we assume S to be true or false. Does this automatically imply that we have made an error in logic, ...
9
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11answers
1k views

Limitless Space

I know many talked about this, however I am not a professional philosopher, rather a mathematician. In mathematics we have the concept of infinity, so we speak about infinitely big things, we compare ...
9
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5answers
587 views

A Question Regarding Russell's Paradox

Consider the 'set' behind Russell's Paradox: R = { x | x is a set and x ∉ x } in light of Cantor's definition of set ("aggregate"/Menge) in his CONTRIBUTIONS TO ...
9
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3answers
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Was Kant anticipating Gödel's incompleteness in his antinomies?

Kant's attempts to prove that there's a limit to pure reason based on the existence of antinomies, i.e. pairs of propositions where each one is rational, but the propositions contradict each other. ...
9
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7answers
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Why isn't Cantor's diagonal argument just a paradox?

Cantor's diagonal argument concludes the cardinality of the power set of a countably infinite set is greater than that of the countably infinite set. In other words, the infiniteness of real numbers ...
8
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3answers
531 views

Does God have the power to make identical universes through different means?

The easiest way to explain this question is with a thought experiment: Consider God, the ultimate of everything, who is wholly omnipotent (all-powerful) and omniscient (all-knowing). Let's just say, ...
8
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3answers
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What's the current status of the “paradox of analysis”? And are there any strong and widely accepted resolutions?

It would seem that figuring out a solution to the paradox of analysis would be of prime importance to philosophers, especially considering the fact that conceptual analysis seems central to ...
8
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8answers
382 views

What name or label applies to a statement the very act of making which contradicts its truth?

Consider a proposition stating something to be true that by the very act of stating denies truth to the speaker. This is not a fallacy, which is an argument incorrect by virtue of its form. But I am ...
7
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8answers
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Why would this not resolve the Sorites paradox?

Bear with me here, I know nothing about philosophy that I haven't read on Wikipedia. I don't understand why the Sorites paradox is considered an unsolved problem in philosophy (according to Wikipedia)...
7
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8answers
840 views

Is the human mind immune to paradox?

In the sense of why the Barber in the Barber Paradox doesn't go mad or enter an infinite decision loop. What makes our minds paradox proof? Can an artificial intelligence be made paradox proof? I ...
7
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4answers
470 views

Are there borderline cases of existence?

Metaphysical/ontological vagueness, classically understood, can be summed up as the problem of borderline cases of some thing x. Clouds are the standard examples of vague objects. If posit that our ...
7
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3answers
579 views

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 ...
7
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2answers
168 views

Dialetheias in the absence of contraction/absorption?

One of the arguments given for dialetheism is that the paradoxes of self-reference, such as the Liar paradox and Russell's paradox, are most naturally regarded as dialetheias (both true and false). ...
6
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8answers
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Is finding truth possible?

Consider the following argument: If want to know that something is true, I need to first know what is truth. If I need to know what is true, I need to find the truth. (Is there ...
6
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4answers
13k views

What's the difference between a contradiction and a paradox?

Why can't we just claim a paradox invalid, just as the way we treat contradiction in mathematical proof? (i.e. if we arrive at the proposition inconsistent with the assumption, then we can immediately ...
6
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5answers
150 views

Paradox of compromise illustrated by neighbours painting houses

If I remember correctly, there was a problem illustrating the paradox of compromise (and to some extent democracy?) where there are two neighbours that want to paint their houses. They both want ...
6
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1answer
82 views

Can it be rational to have beliefs one knows to be inconsistent?

It seems that the answer would be yes, especially when we think about the example of the preface paradox (authors stating in prefaces "the errors that are found herein are mine alone", i.e. believing ...
6
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6answers
409 views

Does the logical tautology “what will happen, will happen” imply the impossibility of free will?

The statement what will happen, will happen is true by definition (right?). But to me that also implies that as long as time is linear, the future is predetermined (and hence there is no free ...
6
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3answers
309 views

What is the best philosophical expression for the “mutual containment” of mind and body?

The old "ouroboros" of mind and body reappears in various forms. Basically, the world is formed within consciousness; consciousness is formed within the brain; the brain is formed within the world. ...
6
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2answers
275 views

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 ...
6
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5answers
169 views

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 ...
6
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1answer
319 views

Is Belnap's four-valued logic technically a relevance logic?

Belnap, the American Logician, constructed a four-valued logic which is a form of relavance logic; interestingly the truth-values it takes are: true false both true & false neither ...
6
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2answers
257 views

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 ...
5
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5answers
189 views

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 ...
5
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1answer
307 views

What is the “simple logical truth” that makes omniscience self-contradictory?

Patrick Grim claims in "Problems with Omniscience" that there is a "simple truth well established as a logical theorem", which shows that omniscience is a contradictory concept. I am failing to see ...
5
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1answer
317 views

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. ...
5
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1answer
342 views

Is a paradox a concept?

Obviously 'paradox' is a concept, we name certain things to be so. We share the knowledge of those things through the use of language. But those things, "in themselves", those particular "instances of ...
5
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2answers
168 views

Self-referring propositions

This proposition is false As you can see in the proposition above, there is a problem. This sentence can't be true, but it can't be false either. I believe that this issue comes from the fact that ...
4
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5answers
633 views

If I am infinitely old , can I have a father?

If I am infinitely old , can I have a father ? And can I have a brother that is infinitely older than me but younger than my dad ?
4
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3answers
579 views

What qualifies as the solving of a paradox?

How/when and by what criteria is a paradox considered to be solved? EDIT I understand that rejecting a premise and/or finding a flaw in reasoning can be wholly subjective. Considering the "this page ...
4
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3answers
430 views

How did Aristotle or St. Thomas resolve the liar's paradox?

How did Aristotle or St. Thomas Aquinas (such as in one of his commentaries on Aristotle) resolve the liar's paradox?
4
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2answers
491 views

Self referential paradoxial statement with a twist

Self referential statements can be paradoxical as known since ancient times. (Some of this basic paradoxes had immense impact on my own field -mathematics.) Of course, paradoxical self-referential ...
4
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4answers
814 views

How can I demonstrate that a grammatical sentence lacks logical value?

To begin with, consider Chomsky famous construction: "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously". All the words respect a grammatical construction. But "colorless green" seems like a contradiction. If ...
4
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2answers
203 views

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 ...
4
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5answers
517 views

Epimenides paradox

So today I am in my Theory of knowledge class at my high school and my teacher presents Epimenides paradox. At first I was excited but then I noticed something. the statement that he put up was "All ...
4
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2answers
365 views

Is Vallicella's argument that the future tense cannot generate the Liar paradox valid?

The Pinocchio paradox arises when Pinocchio says: "My nose grows" From Wikipedia, Pinocchio is known for having a short nose that becomes longer when he is under stress, especially while telling a ...
4
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7answers
456 views

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. ...
4
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1answer
235 views

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 ...
4
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1answer
131 views

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 ...