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Questions tagged [paradox]

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

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12answers
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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
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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 ...
20
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12answers
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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 ...
19
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7answers
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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
3k views

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, ...
12
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7answers
3k views

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 ...
12
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3answers
5k 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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3answers
949 views

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. ...
11
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3answers
1k 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
376 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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11answers
950 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 ...
10
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3answers
1k views

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
2k views

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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3answers
504 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, ...
9
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3answers
1k views

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
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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 ...
8
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8answers
361 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 ...
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8answers
1k views

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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5answers
173 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 ...
7
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4answers
454 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
469 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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3answers
296 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. ...
7
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1answer
247 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. ...
7
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2answers
154 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). ...
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8answers
700 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 ...
6
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4answers
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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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1answer
268 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 ...
6
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6answers
345 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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5answers
162 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
168 views

Is it provable that epistemically possible (possible for all I know) does not imply possible?

Here is an argument that it is not. Let's start with some equivalences: X is epistemically possible iff X is possible for all I know iff not (X is impossible given what I know) iff X is not ...
6
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1answer
181 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 ...
6
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1answer
278 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 ...
5
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2answers
138 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
616 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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2answers
518 views

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 ...
4
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2answers
451 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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5answers
6k views

If everything is possible, is it possible for something to be impossible?

If everything is possible, is it possible for something to be impossible? Possibility and impossibility are modal notions; and are dual in the usual formulation; the SEP remarks: It would seem to ...
4
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1answer
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Zeno's arrow paradox

Zeno's arrow paradox: Zeno states that for motion to occur, an object must change the position which it occupies. He gives an example of an arrow in flight. He states that in any one (duration-less)...
4
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4answers
746 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
130 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
474 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
344 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
411 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
118 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 ...
4
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1answer
196 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
108 views

Why do “mudslinging” arguments about opponent's morality create a regress?

Consider this situation: Politician A "slings mud" at Politician B. Politician B accuses Politician A of being a mudslinger Politician A accuses B of being a hypocrite since accusing someone of being ...
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2answers
631 views

Can Tao Te Ching be translated using paraconsistent logic?

Lao Tsu's Tao Te Ching is full of paradoxes. Is paraconsistent logic sufficient to translate Tao Te Ching to formal logic? To be specific, how can I get started with the following passage from J....
4
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1answer
184 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 ...
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2answers
177 views

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 ...