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paradox

Definition from Dictionary, a free dictionary
People who are sensible about love are incapable of it.
Douglas Yates
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See also Paradox

English

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Etymology

From Middle French paradoxe and [[w:Template:lang:la language|Template:lang:la]][[Category:Template:lang:la derivations]] paradoxum, from Ancient Greek παράδοξος (paradoxos), unexpected, strange)

Pronunciation

Noun

Singular
paradox

Plural
es

paradox (es)
  1. (logic) A self-contradictory statement, which can only be true if it is false, and vice versa. transl. usage
    "This sentence is false" is a paradox.
    • 1962, Abraham Wolf, Textbook of Logic[1], page 255,  
      According to one version of an ancient paradox, an Athenian is supposed to say "I am a liar." It is then argued that if the statement is true, then he is telling the truth, and is therefore not a liar []
  2. A counterintuitive conclusion or outcome. usage syn.
    It is an interesting paradox that drinking a lot of water can often make you feel thirsty.
  3. A claim that two apparently contradictory ideas are true. transl.
    Not having a fashion is a fashion; that's a paradox.
  4. A person or thing having contradictory properties. syn. transl.
    He is a paradox; you would not expect him in that political party.
    • 1999, Virginia Henley, A Year and a Day[2], ISBN 0440222079, page 315,  
      You are a paradox of bitch and angel.
  5. An unanswerable question or difficult puzzle, particularly one which leads to a deeper truth. usage syn.
    • 1994, James Joseph Pirkl, Transgenerational Design[3], ISBN 0442010656, page 3,  
      And only by dismantling our preconceptions of age can we be free to understand the paradox: How young are the old?
  6. (obsolete) A statement which is difficult to believe, or which goes against general belief.
    • 1594, William Shakespeare, The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, Act III,  
      Ay, truly; for the power of beauty will sooner / transform honesty from what it is to a bawd than the / force of honesty can translate beauty into his / likeness: this was sometime a paradox, but now the / time gives it proof.
  7. (literature, Template loop detected: Template:context 1) The use of counterintuitive or contradictory statements (paradoxes) in speech or writing.
    • 1906, Richard Holt Hutton, Brief Literary Criticisms[4], page 40,  
      The need for paradox is no doubt rooted deep in the very nature of the use we make of language.
  8. (philosophy, Template loop detected: Template:context 1) A state in which one is logically compelled to contradict oneself.
    • 1866, Edward Poste, Aristotle on Fallacies, Or, The Sophistici Elenchi[5], original by Aristotle, page 43,  
      Thus, like modern disputants, they aimed either to confute the respondent or to land him in paradox.
  9. (psychotherapy, Template loop detected: Template:context 1) The practice of giving instructions that are opposed to the therapist's actual intent, with the intention that the client will disobey or be unable to obey. syn.
    • 1988, Martin Lakin, Ethical Issues in the Psychotherapies[6], ISBN 0195044460, page 103,  
      Defiance-based paradox is employed so that the family will actively oppose and deliberately sabotage the prescription.

Usage notes

  • (self-contradictory statement def. transl.): A statement which contradicts itself in this fashion is a paradox; two statements which contradict each other are an antinomy.
  • (counterintuitive outcome def. syn.): This use may be considered incorrect or inexact.
    • 1995 January 14, Ian Stewart, “Paradox of the Spheres”, New Scientist, 
      Banach and Tarski's theorem (commonly known as the Banach-Tarski paradox, though it is not a true paradox, being counterintuitive rather than self-contradictory) []
    • 1998, Encyclopedia of Applied Physics[7], page 270,  
      It is not a true paradox, merely highly nonintuitive behavior, if one accepts the realistic and local assumptions of EPR.
  • (unanswerable question def. syn.): This use may be considered incorrect or inexact.
    • 1917, George Crabb, “ENIGMA, PARADOX, RIDDLE”, in Crabb's English Synonymes, Centennial ed.,  
      An enigma, therefore, is not a paradox, but a paradox, not being intelligible, may seem like an enigma.

Synonyms

Derived terms

Translations


Romanian

Etymology

From [[w:Template:lang:la language|Template:lang:la]][[Category:ro:Template:lang:la derivations]] paradoxum, Greek παράδοξος

Pronunciation

  • IPA: [paraˈdoks]

Noun

paradox n. (plural paradoxuri)

  1. paradox

Declension

Elsewhere on the web

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