Definition of Paradox

Paradox is understood as a fact, idea or proportion that violates common sense or contradicts logic. It is also labeled under the name of antilogy. Not to be confused with sophistry , which is basic reasoning based on experience.

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In common topics of philosophical debate , since paradoxes often lead to dead ends of logic. It is usually questioned as a way of transmitting some conceptual complexity only in a specific field of knowledge, the resolution of which comes out of the traditional way of thinking.

Types of paradox

  • Antinomies : paradox whose result is opposed to the premises from which it comes, although its deductive methods are perfectly valid.
  • True paradoxes : it refers to those that can be verifiable, but that are formed of an air of contradiction or absurdity to the terms themselves.
  • Definition antinomies : mostly literary use, it is based on ambiguous definitions, or illustrative thought methods according to a key meaning.
  • Conditional paradoxes : propositions that have a paradoxical character while trying to solve them, either because the information for their resolution is scarce and because it is simply improbable.

What is paradoxical?

It refers to all situations, propositions or facts that have insoluble situations inside them, contrary to logic or defying common sense.

We can consider that a situation is paradoxical, for example, when being in it we find ourselves in a conflict whose resolution worsens them, or also when the pursuit of our desires makes them unattainable.

Examples of paradoxes

Paradoxes of life

Usually we speak of the “paradoxes of life” , to refer to the fact that most of us people find ourselves in paradoxical situations, with no apparent or ironic solution . In them, doing the logical complicates even more than it is supposed to solve.

In the points that we will present below, we will find paradoxes from various fields.

Fermi paradoxes

It is known with this title thanks to the obvious contradiction between the great possibilities that other intelligent civilizations exist on other planets and solar systems (due to the dimensions of the universe) and the total lack of evidence in this regard that humanity currently possesses. .

The first to formulate this paradox was the Italian physicist Enrico Fermín, in 1950, being in the middle of an informal conversation, while working in the United States.

Perhaps as a result of the pessimism that he lived in that time of the cold war and probable nuclear conflict, Fermín answered his own question, that together with the technological development that would make space travel effective, other civilizations were also developing the technological potential to kill themselves. In this way, he was vatinising mankind in an unpromising future. Also labeled as the grandfather paradox, it is a very famous paradox. Possibly it was formulated by the science fiction writer Rene Barjael in The Reckless Traveler of 1943, however other authors such as Mark Twain would have already mentioned it previously.

The paradox is based on the fact that a man travels through time, going back to the past and in order to assassinate his mother’s father, that is, his grandfather, before he meets his grandmother and conceives his mother.

In this way, his mother would not have been born and therefore, neither, so he could not go back in time and murder his grandfather, he would have to allow him to meet his grandmother and conceive his mother, who will later conceive him at him, in order to travel back in time and murder his grandfather, and so on.

Epicurus paradox

Also known as the problem of evil, this paradox of a philosophical or religious nature has the difficulty of reconciling the existence of evil, injustice and suffering in the world, with the alleged existence of an all-powerful and all-powerful deity and that added to this, be benevolent as, as posited by classical theism.

This paradoxical approach is based on 4 elementary questions

  • Is it that God is capable of doing it and in the same way he also wants it? Why does evil exist then?
  • Is it that God wants to avoid evil, but cannot? So it is not omnipotent.
  • Is it that God is able to do it, but does not want to? Then it is not benevolent.
  • Is it that God is not able to do it and does not want to? Why call him god then?

The Latin writer apologist Christian Lactantius affirms that the Greek philosopher Epicurus of Samos was the first to formulate this paradox, for this reason it bears his name.

Twin paradox

Also called “clock paradox”, it is based on a purely mental experiment that tries to understand the difference in the perception of time in two observers that it finds in constant movements different from each other. This idea was proposed by Albert Einstein.

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