The paradox as a figure of speech can fulfill all kinds of different functions. It may be intended as a play on words, such as:
“Nothing makes such a lively impression as sudden death”.
But a paradox can also serve as a serious stylistic tool to convey an important message. The usage is in general literary
Some paradoxes By Marinus Jan Marijs
1 How long does half of eternity last?
2 If a rotating wheel is the only thing in existence, is it still rotating?
3 The paradox of multiple value systems:
Oscar Wilde: “A cynic is someone who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing”
4 The paradox of multiple validity claims:
a Facts don’t care about your feelings.
b Neither do sociopaths.
Cognitive vs. social validity claims.
5 Satisfied: Urgently requires medical attention.
6 Blunder: A glorious monument of human achievement.
7 Personality: The totality of a person’s shortcomings.
8 When one becomes older, time seems to go faster.
(Or perhaps one just walks slower).
9 The paradox of intuition, why is something that is
processless more insightful than algorithmic processes?
10 I’m no longer who I never was.
11 Retro causal: Memoires prove that you can change the past
after it did happen.
12 If you know everything, than you know also what you
13 Is Infertility hereditary?
14 Dogmatism: Rules for the fools.
15 Can I ask you a question?
You just did.
16 a: Which direction is to Paris?
b: Any direction is to Paris, but some directions are
40.000 kilometer long.
17 I forgot what I forgot
18 What is longer, an hour of a kilometer?
19 The colour television showed the shades of gray of mediocrity
20 Silence is a word of comfort
21 The meshes of the net of the law catch the small, but let the big through.
22 The lonely are the largest group of people.
23 Nothing is more impure than the Puritan.
24 One is never too old to die.
25 At the top of the mountain is the deepest abyss.
26 Violence is the most extreme form of cowardice.
27 Two half-truths add up to a whole lie.
28 He’s too stupid to be wrong.
29 There is no shortage of shortcomings.
30 “Those that know don’t speak, those that speak don’t know.” Did Lao say that? How did he know that?
31 Through the land of never is the road to nowhere.
32 Nobody speaks more, than those who have mothing to say.
33 No genuine company than jealousy.
34 The shadow of the depravities reaches beyond the light of the virtues.
35 Someone who cannot laugh, lacks seriousness.
36 In case of doubt, choose certainty.
37 I never smile when I am happy, because then I can keep going.
38 Selflessnessis an article with a limited circulation.
39 Breathing: I also have to do everything myself.
40 Always: An extremely short period of time in which we experience adversity.
41 Arrogance: Vanity that gets a lift from stupidity.
42 Politeness: A form of insincerity that is socially acceptable.
43 Promise: Half of nothing divided by two.
44 A foreigner is someone who thinks that we are foreigners.
45 A cylinder is a round square and a rectangular circle.
46 Politicians are in danger of losing their jobs within the foreseeable future, now that American companies are developing a computer that can lie.
47 Dollar: Unit in which respect is measured.
48 Ego: system administrator.
49 Misery: Travel companion.
50 Festivity: I found it already boring before I knew it.
51 Philosophy as such cannot be rejected, because rejecting philosophy is a philosophical position.
52 Philosophizing: Trying to catch the ocean in a net.
53 Political: The capacity to accept bribes.
54 Academician: A meta-theorist who deals with the swindle of idealistic abstractions.
55 Frustration: A term with great applicability.
56 Genius: Someone who understands that he didn’t understood it .
57 Conscientious Objections: Outdated nineteenth century technology.
58 Common sense: Excluded from participation.
59 Good intentions: Short-lived impulse with little chance of survival.
60 Greed: Persistent and chronic fungal infection on the conscience.
61 Greed: Noble romantic affection between observer and object.
62 Memories: Certain kinds of mental injuries.
63 Courtesy: Surface texture.
64 Hope: Source of all disappointments.The wreckage on the stream of time.
65 Horizon: The faster one moves towards it. the faster it recedes.Can therefore serve as an excellent metaphor for the human pursuit of happiness.
66 Helpfulness: Procedure to generate ungratefulness.
67 Ideal: In the typology of the manifestations of mental contents: The joke article.
68 Everyone: Name of a very small group of people who despise working.
69 alone or all onesolitary or solidary.
solitary or solidary.
70 An intellectual is someone who knows everything but understands nothing.
71 Today’s youth has not been virtuous for more than 5000 years.
72 Youth Movement: Supreme council of the provisional revolution.
73 Juvenile: A far-reaching state of insignificance.
74 Logic: The unreasonable effectiveness of reason.
75 Character flaws: An extensive assortment of shortcomings. “Le convoi exceptionnel.”
76 Lamentation: Classical composition of one melodic line.
77 Chastity: A certain quality, which is not within our sphere of interest.
78 Vanished: An unpleasant quality of something pleasant.
A pleasant quality of something unpleasant.
79 Latin: Language, not spoken in Latin America.
80 If in the future cars can run on water, then a liter of water will cost two dollars.
81 Homage: Careless use of language.
82 Logic: It is a quarter more than before, when it was a fifth less.
83 Walking distance: …. At least if you want to walk for three days.
84 A man sees a philosopher standing on the side of the road and asks him, “How far is it to walk to the town?”To which the philosopher says: “Ah man, walk on!”The man thinks as he walks on, that wasn’t very polite either.To which the philosopher says, “If you walk at that speed, it’s two hours.”
85 If a man stands in the middle of a forest, and he says something and there isn’t a woman within 10 kilometer distance, is re still wrong?
But what if he says: “I’m always wrong?” Is he still wrong?
86 Destiny: Is so coincidental that it cannot be a coincidence.
87 Geometry: is one of the oldest branches of mathematics. It is concerned with properties of space that are related with distance, shape, size, and relative position of figures, which threatens to become redundant now that it has been experimentally proven that a meter of elastic rubber band is as long as a two meter of elastic rubber band.
88 sdrawkcab is backwards, backwards.
89 Necessary: A parachute on a submarine.
90 Normality: Leaving the fertile land of to settle in the inhospitable landscape of the bourgeoisie.
91 Flood: Courtesy visit of the sea to us.
92 Personality: Archipelago in the nefarious sea of selfishness.
93 Pyramid: Failed attempt to pave the Nile shore.
94 Poetry: A description of the silence, with the aim to disturb it.
95 Archaeologist: Grave desecrator.
96 Psychotherapy: Analysis in Wonderland.
97 Quadratic: The way how our problems grow.
98 Quantity: In-law of quality.
99 One must keep the windows closed in winter, otherwise it will get too hot outside.
100 Racist: Someone who wanders in the shadowy swamp of prejudices.
101 Wealth: Something you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy.
102 Skeptic: Septic.
103 Skeptic: Someone who prides himself on having both feet on the ground.Hence, that he doesn’t get one step ahead.
104 Sarcasm: Big brother of cynicism.
105 Modern painting: A certain amount of paint arranged in such a way that it evokes the most annoyance.
106 Snobbery: Tournament with hot air balloons.
107 Success: Raw material for jealousy.
108 Disappointment: The grim grin on the weathered face of time.
109 Repayment: Procedural insignificant detail.
110 Explain: Formulate in such a way that it will be misunderstood.
111 Confuse: Follower of Confucius.
112 Some people still have the last word at an echo well.
113 A positive self-image indicates an extremely inadequate memory.
114 Scum: People whose philosophical world orientation, which seems to indicate that it is by no means supported by a high conception of human dignity.
115 Insane: Somewhere between anarchist and antichrist.
116 Ultra-thin: Miserable liaison between a front side and a back side.
117 Laziness: Aristocratic attitude to life.
118 Far: Can’t be far enough.
119 Far away: Place where we are appreciated.
120 Lost: Arrive at a place where everything is all right.
121 Forgetfulness: An ailment from which some noble souls come to suffer when they owe a sum of money to others.
122 Forgiveness: Presumably this concerns an Italian pasta dish, the etymology is unclear in this ,,,.
123 Traffic light: What a crazy totem pole (Ethnologist).
If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all (Art critic).
Stopping for of a red light, what a retarded superstition (Skeptic).
Stopping in for a red light when no one is coming, is too abstract for me (Logician).
When will it turn blue? (Hippie).
Isn’t red the complementary colour of green? (Neurophysiologist).
124 Ingenuity: Setting the bar so high that you can walk underneath it.
125 Boredom: Country of origin,
Current state of affairs,
The promised land,
A true story,
The torments of riches,
Relating to existence as such,
The window to eternity,
126 Blaming: A chronological reconstruction of the events.
127 Platypus: A mammal that lays eggs, so a kind of Easter bunny.
128 Football: Pseudo-religion, stands in the hierarchy of magisterial stupidities in an undivided second place after warfare. See further: “The Rise and Fall of Western Civilization.” (Bound in donkey leather).
129 Friendly: Changed beyond recognition.
130 Stinginess: The virtue of frugality.
131 Generosity: Is not in itself conclusive evidence of a mental illness.
132 Freedom: The most exotic of all illusions.
133 Truth: An article that is in low demand.
134 Truth: Landscape in which the topography is usually painted with a loose brushwork.
135 Truth: The veiled dancer on the stage of life.
136 Water: A transparent liquid that is used for the cleansing ritual called “washing”. It is also said that one can drink water, but that is utter nonsense because water contains no alcohol.
137 Altruism: Limited Edition.
138 Certainty: An improbably high degree of probability.
139 Self-reflection: A navigation system that provides directions from despair to resignation.
140 Self-respect: Error of judgment.
141 Complaining: To perform variations on one theme.
142 Peace of mind: Has a delivery time of 80 years and a shelf life of 2 minutes.
143 Carefreeness: You are approaching the French sector.
144 He was so slow that he was run over by a stationary car.
145 The only place he ever left a positive impression, was with the doping control.
146 If you are looking for history books in the library, check the crime section. Autobiographies can be found in the fiction section.
147 Eccentric: He is standing in the shower wearing a rain suit.Walks across the ceiling.Falls upwards.Opened a cafe on Pluto.
148 The invention of the wheel was not made by a genius, but by someone who was still too bloody lazy to carry anything.
149 The future is an amalgam of open threats and hidden promises.
150 Lack of understanding is an extensive landscape.
151 No, your hearing has not improved, your exhaust is leaking.
152 If your passport has expired, you no longer exist.
153 Is someone who is satisfied with nothing, easily satisfied or never satisfied?
154 Which question has been forgotten here?
155 Ballerinas dance on their toes, why not get taller girls?
156 In many countries it is custom among religious people to kneel, why don’t they raise the ground level with a meter?
157 Is Megawati de prime minister of Oppervolta?
158 Suspicious: The Art of methodical doubt, the method of suspended judgment, systematic scepticism.
159 Altruism: Is not compatible with our technology.
160 Anachronism: Courtesy in the 21st Century.
161 Artificial Intelligence: Distinguished itself from human Intelligence because it is algorithmic and not neurotic.
162 Basalt: Two singing voices in one stone.
163 Criticize: The talent of the talentless.
164 Blundering: Perhaps requires us to place some question marks on your alleged excellence.
165 Blundering: Modus operandi
166 Boomerang: piece of wood with nostalgia.
167 Bungee jumping: Human yo-yo.
168 Cafe visit: In the context of drought prevention.
169 Cliché: The main ingredient of the conversation,The essence of argumentation,
The quintessence of popular literature,
The core of the argument,
The echo of the void.
170 Consensus gentium: “Life sucks.”
171 Happiness’ is inversely proportional to self-centeredness.
172 Consumer: Shopaholic, cash and carry harry.
173 cult: Diffi
174 Debacle: Not entirely successful in the pursuit of perfection.
175 Defect: The fact.
176 Disastrous: As usual.
177 Detention: Replacement housing.
178 Virtue: A certain quality that is not within our sphere of interest.
179 Death: Travel destination.
180 Appetite: Like a circular saw through the pie.
181 Eternal: For the time being definitive.
182 Wife: Stunt coordinator,
An integral part of the complot.
183 Selfishness: The active ingredient,
Highest advisory commission.
184 Self-interest: Route principale,
Activated navigation system,
185 Egoism: Anchorage, home port.
186 Ego: Supreme god in the pantheon of the gods.
187 Enthusiasm: Youthful hubris and other related articles.
188 Annoyance: Free delivery at home.
189. Erudition: Being well-read, that which we do know without understanding it.
190 Happiness: Where is the refill package located?
191 Lucky bird: Endangered species.
192 Like-minded: Fellow patient.
193 Generalization: When generals have their way, you were born before the war.
194 Unscrupulousness: Entered into the ranks of nations.
195 Conscientious objections: Hostile infiltration,
the rebels are advancing to the capital.
196 Habits: The chains by with which a mortal is chained to the transience.
197 Common sense: Abolished by decree.
198 Stinginess: Not plagued by the sin of prodigality.
199 Good resolutions: And other short stories.
200 Good intentions: Article with a limited sustainability.
201 Goodness: Is a necessary evil.
202 Saint: Has enough Air Miles to go to heaven.
203 Memories: Permanent injury.
204 Remarriage: Recycling for repeat offenders.
205 Hilarious: Believing that sincerity is a virtue.
206 Self-pity: Meusered in square miles.
207 Courtesy: Has been taken out of production in the past year.
208 Hope: A commodity from which disappointment is manufactured.
209 Helpfulness A procedure by which one generates ingratitude.
210 Humour: The madness under control.
211 Integrity: Extinct bird species.
212 Intelligence: The missing ingredient.
213 Salary: Recovery payments for deprivations suffered.
214 Laziness: To maintain a respectful distance between intention and action.
215 Laziness: Not exactly high in the performance index.
216 Laziness: Strategic deliberation.
217 Monday morning: Where do I begin to articulate this great injustice ……..
Collapse of the wave function,Maximum entropy.
218 Mephisto: The patron saint of advertisement companies.
219 Megalomania: Superiority complex.Modesty whispered through a megaphone.
220 Environmental pollution: Is not our fault, is the Eskimo’s fault.
221 General: If God is omnipresent, then he is everywhere and therefore also on our side.
222 Failure: An event that meets the scientific requirement for experimental repeatability.
223 Stone-dead: Stubborn phlegmatic attitude to life.
224 Narcissism: The mirror hall of Vanity.
225 Nothing: Improved and expanded implementation of too little.
226 Nomenclature: Scientific naming, such as “Significant” for dumb coincidence.
227 Nonchalance: The French enclave.
228 Nonsense: The architecture of the logical foundation was somewhat ramshackle.
229 Never: For an indefinite period of time.
230 Carelessness: An art form that enjoys widespread popularity among all walks of life.
231 Insignificant: Anonobody.
232 Rudeness: A form of sincerity that does not get the appreciation it deserves.
233 Nonexistent: Something that is, without being there.
234 Inhumanity: The eminently human quality.
235 Inattention: Are you worried that your glasses will wear out when you look through them?
236 Deprivation: The Master of Ceremonies, concerning Life.
237 Awakening: Land in sight.
238 Irreconcilability: The virtue of perseverance.
239 Unwillingness: The desolate landscape of the human mind.
240 War Time: On the flight path to total madness.
241 Get lost: Your absence would be a worthy gift to those in attendance here.
242 Go away: It would be greatly appreciated if you could run an evacuation protocol.
243 Forthrightness: The most repelling form of shamelessness.
244 Paradox: The majority of people belong to a minority.
245 Bad luck: Significant coincidence.
246 Periodically: Ravages us at regular intervals.
247 Pessimism: A reliable route planner for the future.
248 Pyramid: A pimple on the face of eternity.
249 Politician: The lowest beast of the field.
250 Popularity: A particular event that has a half-life of three weeks.
251 Pragmatic: Not bothered by considerations of a moral nature.
252 Prudishness: The jailer of the prison that is called life.
253 Product specifications: “Do you want sugar and milk in your coffee, and if so in what quantities.”
254 Public opinion: Distribution system for recycled utter nonsense.
255 Public opinion: a contagious condition that disturbs the brain functions.
256 Advertising: Promoting the unnecessary and superfluous with suggestive superlatives.
257 Advertiser: Soap bubble seller.
258 Frame of reference: The sum of a person’s prejudices.
259 Relativizing: Indifference for the advanced.
260 Resolute: Stubbornly persevering in an error.
261 Rudeness: We’re busy developing an experimental technology called politeness, maybe something for you?
262 Rock star: Someone who sings about his loneliness in front of fifty thousand listeners.
263 Rubbish: You have even more stuff than the American army.
264 Quarrel: The usual formalities.
265 Wealthy: Beyond suspicion.
266 Wealthy: “Why did this have to happen to you?”
267 Wealthy: A certain quality that can be perfectly combined with laziness.
268 Boring: A festival of recognition.
269 Saboteur: Someone who in an elegant way expresses his discontentment.
270 Salary: Dispensation for the wrongs that has been done to you.
271 Sauce: The sign of an inner civilization.
272 Skeptic: One who is skeptical of everything, except to the idea of his own excellence.
273 Chess computer: Chess for computers is like the Tour de France for motorcycles and weightlifting for forklift trucks.
274 Shamelessness: The Foundation of Our Civilization.
275 Snow: Colour of the day is white.
276 Mocking: Tourist route from irony through cynicism to sarcasm.
277 Regret: A rendezvous with the transience.
278 Statistics: The art of the methodical swindles.
279 Cupid: Pronounce: “Stupid.”
280 Stupidly drunk, “The sleep of the righteous.”
281 Audacity: Definitely not a bureaucratic procedure.
282 Stupidity: Is also in the conspiracy.
283 Success: Pretend that it was meant to be.
284 Surrealistic: “Johnny, wake up, you forgot to take your sleeping pills!”
285 System: Something that doesn’t work either.
286 Tabloid: A journey through the landscape of insignificance.
287 Disappointing: In contrast to previous reporting.
288 Disappointment: An eminent evaluation of the current state of affairs.
289 Disappointment: The sediment in the crucible of existence.
Realising the scale of the disaster.
290 Disappointment: Vehicle of aspirations in collision with reality.
291 Disappointment: To become aware of the changeability of processes through external circumstances.This by an advancing insight.
292 Disappointment: The course of events.
293 Disappointment: The current state of affairs.
294 Disappointment: Permanent residence.
295 Decency: 19th century technology.
Is no longer in production.
296 Satisfied: Still in the phase of denial.
297 Satisfaction: Will pass by itself.
298 Gratitude: Has a Long delivery time.
299 Future: The sarcophagus of the hope.
300 Future Vision: The brilliant insight one has, after the events have taken place.
301 Totalitarian state: A form of government in which everything is prohibited, and what is not prohibited, is mandatory.
302 Trivialities: The main component of the conversation.
303 Wedding rings: Two rings to find them, Two rings to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them, In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
304 Explaining: You can better try to teach a block of concrete how to swim.
305 Insulting: A performance appraisal.
306 Insulting: Evaluation Procedure.
307 Insulting: A communicative interaction that aims to provide third parties with psychological insights with regard to their functioning.
308 Postpone: Bring about immediately. 309 Ultra-consumer: Just give me everything.
310 Unique: Solvency.
311 Up’s and down’s: The events in chronological order.
312 Patriotism: At the top of the suspect list.
313 Vandalism: Issuing a statement of intent.
314 Alteration: Change, not to be confused with improvement, which is a fundamentally different concept.
315 Improvement: If you want to improve the world, start with yourself, then you don’t have to walk that far.
316 Bewilderment: Crash course panic.
317 Suspicious: The joy of life.
318 Intellect: Limited edition.
319 Boredom: A true story.
320 Boredom: Final destination.
321 Boredom: Cause of Death.
322 Boredom: Abridged but not improved version of Eternity.
323 Boredom: The metaphysical fabric of time.
324 Answering machine: Doesn’t give an answer.
325 Dry wine: is wet.
326 “The black box” is orange.
327 Peace: Pre-war quality.
328 Friendly: Changed beyond recognition.
329 Friendship: Not entirely seaworthy lifeboat.
330 Friendship: I’ll go through fire for you,
but when it rains I’m not coming.
331 Generosity: Morbid inclination.
332 Freedom: The fact that you are still at large indicates a deplorable gap in the legislation.
333 Madness: Sublime sovereign attitude to life.
334 Insane: The ultimate nonconformist.
335 Truth: Is not on the guest list.
336 Weekend: Convalescent resort, rehabilitation center.
337 Weekend: The Land of the Living.
338 Disposable product: It already rusts in the brochure,
fraying before it is washed,
if it is too big it expands,
if it is too small it shrinks,
wears out when it lies still,
is already mouldy when dry,
discolours in the dark,
dries under water,
when it must be cold it gets warm
and when it must be warm it freezes.
339 Reality: An existential illusion.
340 Work: At the time it seemed like a good idea.
341 Work: Disproportionate intemperance.
342 Willing to work: Joke of three words.
343 Knowing: Understanding the incomprehensible.
344 Profit-seeking: Lux perpetua, the eternal burning light.
345 Resentment: A product with high durability.
346 Changing: Not to be confused with improving.
347 Critic: Someone who does not get further than his front garden and still wants to write travel stories.
348 Xenophobic: A blind person who is afraid of the dark.
349 A plastic glass.
350 Lost: A camel at the North Pole.
351 A rowboat in the desert.
352 A fish with an outboard motor.
353 Business Associates: Accomplices.
354 Narcissist: The abject subject.
355 Self-Deception The most beautiful of all fine arts.
356 Self-pity: Only available in industrial quantities.
357 Self-interest: Equipped with rocket propulsion.
358 Self-knowledge: apparently not entirely an exact science.
359 Self overestimation: The Royal Road to Success.
360 Self-mockery: Excessive inappropriate and disrespectful humour.
361 Illness: Deaths pesky great-nephew.
362 Question of meaning : Why do we exist?
What are we supposed to do?
What is the significance of all this?
And who’s going to pay for it all?
363 The philosophical question is, “Why are we here?”That’s because we are not somewhere else.
364 Allusion: Artificial insinuation.
365 Sun-drenched: The first day AFTER the holiday.
366 How much of what do you need to have where to be what and why?
367 White flag: Important military equipment.
368 It is the intention that you enter this building through the artist entrance.
369 A successful failure.
370 A great detail.
371 The double-decker and the viaduct.
372 The politician and the lie detector.
373 The kite and the high voltage pylon.
374 The snail and the speed limiter.
375 Egocentrism: Reduced visibility.
376 From jackpot to crackpot.
377 From measurable to miserable.
378 Fantasy: Aviation fuel.
379 Others: The gravitas of our discontent.
389 Popular culture: A continuum of uninterrupted trivialities.
390 Changing perspective: Reach the horizon, tomorrow at Hilbert’s hotel.
391 Doomsday: Don’t be happy, worry.
392 That’s not a nose that’s an extractor hood.
393 That is not an automobile, but a pedal bucket.
394 That is not a moustache, but an embarrassment.
395 That’s not a comment, that’s a declaration of war.
396 That’s not unscrupulousness, that’s government policy.
397 That’s not writer’s block, that’s Korsakov syndrome.
398 Extroversion: A special kind of shamelessness.
399 Time flies without a pilot ‘s license.
400 It is that it is you(Otherwise it was someone else).
401 Annoyance: While the storage last.
402 Tomorrow is another day (Optimist).
403 A fishing rod is an object with a hook on one side and a sucker on the other.
404 Opinion: Organised ignorance.
405 Helpfulness: Obsessive compulsive meddlesomeness.
While there usage is in general literary, paradoxes are also in the fields of logic and science
For example Russell’s paradox:
Russell’s paradox is the most famous of the logical or set-theoretical paradoxes. Also known as the Russell-Zermelo paradox, the paradox arises within naïve set theory by considering the set of all sets that are not members of themselves. Such a set appears to be a member of itself if and only if it is not a member of itself. Hence the paradox.
Some sets, such as the set of all teacups, are not members of themselves. Other sets, such as the set of all non-teacups, are members of themselves. Call the set of all sets that are not members of themselves “R
.” If R is a member of itself, then by definition it must not be a member of itself. Similarly, if R is not a member of itself, then by definition it must be a member of itself.
Although also noticed by Ernst Zermelo, the contradiction was not thought to be important until it was discovered independently by Bertrand Russell in the spring of 1901. Since then, the paradox has prompted a great deal of work in logic, set theory and the philosophy and foundations of mathematics.
The mathematical argument Russell developed but that turned out to be different in small but significant ways from Russell’s argument (Linsky 2013, 11). In any case, the arguments were thought to be of minor importance until it was realized how detrimental they were to Gottlob Frege’s foundations for arithmetic.
Russell wrote to Frege with news of his paradox on June 16, 1902. The paradox was of significance to Frege’s logical work since, in effect, it showed that the axioms Frege was using to formalize his logic were inconsistent.
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
1. Kurt Gödel the Austrian-born mathematician, logician, and philosopher who obtained what may be the most important mathematical result of the 20th century: his famous incompleteness theorem, which states that within any axiomatic mathematical system there are propositions that cannot be proved or disproved on the basis of the axioms within that system; thus, such a system cannot be simultaneously complete and consistent. This proof established Gödel as one of the greatest logicians since Aristotle, and its repercussions continue to be felt and debated today.
Roughly speaking, this theorem established the result that it is impossible to use the axiomatic method to construct a mathematical theory, in any branch of mathematics, that entails all of the truths in that branch of mathematics. (In England, Alfred North Whitehead and Bertrand Russell had spent years on such a program, which they published as Principia Mathematica in three volumes in 1910, 1912, and 1913.) For instance, it is impossible to come up with an axiomatic mathematical theory that captures even all of the truths about the natural numbers (0, 1, 2, 3,…). This was an extremely important negative result, as before 1931 many mathematicians were trying to do precisely that—construct axiom systems that could be used to prove all mathematical truths. Indeed, several well-known logicians and mathematicians (e.g., Whitehead, Russell, Gottlob Frege, David Hilbert) spent significant portions of their careers on this project. Unfortunately for them, Gödel’s theorem destroyed this entire axiomatic research program. (Encyclopaedia Britannica)
The mathematical argument Kurt Gödel developed was based upon the liar paradox.
Quantum mechanical paradoxes
all of them proposed as thought experiments relevant to the discussions of the correct interpretation of quantum mechanics.
These thought experiments try to use principles derived from the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics to derive conclusions that are seemingly contradictory. In the case of Schrödinger’s cat this takes the form of a seeming absurdity. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_paradox
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
A paradox, also known as an antinomy, is a logically self-contradictory statement or a statement that runs contrary to one’s expectation. It is a statement that, despite apparently valid reasoning from true premises, leads to a seemingly self-contradictory or a logically unacceptable conclusion. A paradox usually involves contradictory-yet-interrelated elements that exist simultaneously and persist over time.
In logic, many paradoxes exist which are known to be invalid arguments, but which are nevertheless valuable in promoting critical thinking while other paradoxes have revealed errors in definitions which were assumed to be rigorous, and have caused axioms of mathematics and logic to be re-examined One example is Russell’s paradox, which questions whether a “list of all lists that do not contain themselves” would include itself, and showed that attempts to found set theory on the identification of sets with properties or predicates were flawed. Others, such as Curry’s paradox, cannot be easily resolved by making foundational changes in a logical system.
Examples outside logic include the ship of Theseus from philosophy, a paradox which questions whether a ship repaired over time by replacing each and all of its wooden parts, one at a time, would remain the same ship. Paradoxes can also take the form of images or other media. For example, M.C. Escher featured perspective-based paradoxes in many of his drawings, with walls that are regarded as floors from other points of view, and staircases that appear to climb endlessly.
In common usage, the word “paradox” often refers to statements that are ironic or unexpected, such as “the paradox that standing is more tiring than walking”.
Patrick Hughes outlines three laws of the paradox.
An example is the statement “This statement is false”, a form of the liar paradox. The statement is referring to itself. Another example of self-reference is the question of whether the barber shaves himself in the barber paradox. Yet another example involves the question “Is the answer to this question ‘No’?”
“This statement is false”; the statement cannot be false and true at the same time. Another example of contradiction is if a man talking to a genie wishes that wishes couldn’t come true. This contradicts itself because if the genie grants his wish, he did not grant his wish, and if he refuses to grant his wish, then he did indeed grant his wish, therefore making it impossible either to grant or not grant his wish without leading to a contradiction.
Vicious circularity, or infinite regress
“This statement is false”; if the statement is true, then the statement is false, thereby making the statement true. Another example of vicious circularity is the following group of statements:
“The following sentence is true.”
“The previous sentence is false.”
Other paradoxes involve false statements and half-truths (“impossible is not in my vocabulary”) or rely on a hasty assumption. (A father and his son are in a car crash; the father is killed and the boy is rushed to the hospital. The doctor says, “I can’t operate on this boy. He’s my son.” There is no paradox if the boy’s mother is a surgeon.)
Paradoxes which are not based on a hidden error generally occur at the fringes of context or language, and require extending the context or language in order to lose their paradoxical quality. Paradoxes that arise from apparently intelligible uses of language are often of interest to logicians and philosophers. “This sentence is false” is an example of the well-known liar paradox: it is a sentence which cannot be consistently interpreted as either true or false, because if it is known to be false, then it can be inferred that it must be true, and if it is known to be true, then it can be inferred that it must be false. Russell’s paradox, which shows that the notion of the set of all those sets that do not contain themselves leads to a contradiction, was instrumental in the development of modern logic and set theory.
Thought-experiments can also yield interesting paradoxes. The grandfather paradox, for example, would arise if a time-traveler were to kill his own grandfather before his mother or father had been conceived, thereby preventing his own birth. This is a specific example of the more general observation of the butterfly effect, or that a time-traveller’s interaction with the past—however slight—would entail making changes that would, in turn, change the future in which the time-travel was yet to occur, and would thus change the circumstances of the time-travel itself.
Often a seemingly paradoxical conclusion arises from an inconsistent or inherently contradictory definition of the initial premise. In the case of that apparent paradox of a time-traveler killing his own grandfather, it is the inconsistency of defining the past to which he returns as being somehow different from the one which leads up to the future from which he begins his trip, but also insisting that he must have come to that past from the same future as the one that it leads up to.
See also: Veridicality
According to Quine’s classification of paradoxes:
- A veridical paradox produces a result that appears absurd, but is demonstrated to be true nonetheless. The paradox of Frederic’s birthday in The Pirates of Penzance establishes the surprising fact that a twenty-one-year-old would have had only five birthdays had he been born on a leap day. Likewise, Arrow’s impossibility theorem demonstrates difficulties in mapping voting results to the will of the people. One version of the Monty Hall paradox demonstrates that a decision which has an intuitive fifty–fifty chance is in fact heavily biased towards making a decision which, given the intuitive conclusion, the player would be unlikely to make. In 20th-century science, Hilbert’s paradox of the Grand Hotel and Schrödinger’s cat are famously vivid examples of a theory being taken to a logical but paradoxical end.
- A falsidical paradox establishes a result that not only appears false but actually is false, due to a fallacy in the demonstration. The various invalid mathematical proofs (e.g., that 1 = 2) are classic examples of this, often relying on a hidden division by zero. Another example is the inductive form of the horse paradox, which falsely generalises from true specific statements. Zeno’s paradoxes are ‘falsidical’, concluding, for example, that a flying arrow never reaches its target or that a speedy runner cannot catch up to a tortoise with a small head-start. Therefore, falsidical paradoxes can be classified as fallacious arguments.
- A paradox that is in neither class may be an antinomy, which reaches a self-contradictory result by properly applying accepted ways of reasoning. For example, the Grelling–Nelson paradox points out genuine problems in our understanding of the ideas of truth and description.
A fourth kind, which may be alternatively interpreted as a special case of the third kind, has sometimes been described since Quine’s work:
- A paradox that is both true and false at the same time and in the same sense is called a dialetheia. In Western logics, it is often assumed, following Aristotle, that no dialetheia exist, but they are sometimes accepted in Eastern traditions (e.g. in the Mohists, the Gongsun Longzi, and in Zen) and in paraconsistent logics. It would be mere equivocation or a matter of degree, for example, to both affirm and deny that “John is here” when John is halfway through the door, but it is self-contradictory simultaneously to affirm and deny the event.
Frank Ramsey (mathematician) drew a distinction between logical paradoxes and semantical paradoxes, with Russell’s paradox belonging to the former category, and Liar’s paradox and Grelling’s paradoxes to the latter. Ramsey introduced the by-now standard distinction between logical and semantical contradictions. While logical contradictions involve mathematical or logical terms, like class, number, and hence show that our logic or mathematics is problematic, semantical contradictions involve, besides purely logical terms, notions like “thought”, “language”, “symbolism”, which, according to Ramsey, are empirical (not formal) terms. Hence these contradictions are due to faulty ideas about thought or language and they properly belong to “epistemology”(semantics). 
- Impossible object – Type of optical illusion
- Paradox of value
- Paradoxes of material implication
- Plato’s beard – Example of a paradoxical argument
- Revision theory
- Self-refuting ideas
- Syntactic ambiguity – Sentences with structures permitting multiple possible interpretations
- Temporal paradox
- Twin paradox
- Zeno’s paradoxes – Set of philosophical problems
- I myself find the division of the world into an objective and a subjective side much too arbitrary. The fact that religions through the ages have spoken in images, parables, and paradoxes means simply that there are no other ways of grasping the reality to which they refer. But that does not mean that it is not a genuine reality. And splitting this reality into an objective and a subjective side won’t get us very far.
- It seems a little paradoxical to construct a configuration space with the coordinates of points which do not exist.
- The more I know, the more sure I am I know so little. The eternal paradox.
- The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. (Multiple perspectives)
- A logical theory may be tested by its capacity for dealing with puzzles, and it is a wholesome plan, in thinking about logic, to stock the mind with as many puzzles as possible, since these serve much the same purpose as is served by experiments in physical science.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This is a list of paradoxes, grouped thematically. The grouping is approximate, as paradoxes may fit into more than one category. This list collects only scenarios that have been called a paradox by at least one source and have their own article on Wikipedia. Although considered paradoxes, some of these are simply based on fallacious reasoning (falsidical), or an unintuitive solution (veridical). Informally, the term paradox is often used to describe a counter-intuitive result.
However, some of these paradoxes qualify to fit into the mainstream perception of a paradox, which is a self-contradictory result gained even while properly applying accepted ways of reasoning. These paradoxes, often called antinomy, point out genuine problems in our understanding of the ideas of truth and description.
- Barbershop paradox: The supposition that, ‘if one of two simultaneous assumptions leads to a contradiction, the other assumption is also disproved’ leads to paradoxical consequences. Not to be confused with the Barber paradox.
- What the Tortoise Said to Achilles: If a presumption needs to be made that a specific result can be deduced from premises, then the result can never be deduced. Also known as Carroll’s paradox and is not to be confused with the “Achilles and the tortoise” paradox by Zeno of Elea.
- Catch-22: A situation in which someone is in need of something that can only be had by not being in need of it. A soldier who wants to be declared insane to avoid combat is deemed not insane for that very reason and will therefore not be declared insa
- Unexpected hanging paradox: The day of the hanging will be a surprise, so it cannot happen at all, so it will be a surprise. The surprise examination and Bottle Imp paradox use similar logic.
These paradoxes have in common a contradiction arising from either self-reference or circular reference, in which several statements refer to each other in a way that following some of the references leads back to the starting point.
- Barber paradox: A male barber shaves all and only those men who do not shave themselves. Does he shave himself? (Russell’s popularization of his set theoretic paradox.)
- Crocodile dilemma: If a crocodile steals a child and promises its return if the father can correctly guess exactly what the crocodile will do, how should the crocodile respond in the case that the father guesses that the child will not be returned?
- Paradox of the Court: A law student agrees to pay his teacher after (and only after) winning his first case. The teacher then sues the student (who has not yet won a case) for payment.
- Epimenides paradox: A Cretan says: “All Cretans are liars”. This paradox works in mainly the same way as the liar paradox.
- Grelling–Nelson paradox: Is the word “heterological”, meaning “not applicable to itself”, a heterological word? (A close relative of Russell’s paradox.)
- Knower paradox: “This sentence is not known.”
- Liar paradox: “This sentence is false.” This is the canonical self-referential paradox. Also “Is the answer to this question ‘no’?”, and “I’m lying.”
- I know that I know nothing: Purportedly said by Socrates
- Ship of Theseus: It seems like one can replace any component of a ship, and it is still the same ship. So they can replace them all, one at a time, and it is still the same ship. However, they can then take all the original pieces, and assemble them into a ship. That, too, is the same ship they began with.
(Matter vs. structure dictomy)
See also List of Ship of Theseus examples
- Sorites paradox (also known as the paradox of the heap): If one removes a single grain of sand from a heap, they still have a heap. If they keep removing single grains, the heap will disappear. Can a single grain of sand make the difference between heap and non-heap?
Infinity and infinitesimals
- Hilbert’s paradox of the Grand Hotel: If a hotel with infinitely many rooms is full, it can still take in more guests.
- Zeno’s paradoxes: “You will never reach point B from point A as you must always get half-way there, and half of the half, and half of that half, and so on.” (This is also a physical paradox.)
- Newcomb’s paradox: How do you play a game against an omniscient opponent?
- Paradox of tolerance: Should one tolerate intolerance if intolerance would destroy the possibility of tolerance?
- Paradox of voting: Also known as the Downs paradox. For a rational, self-interested voter the costs of voting will normally exceed the expected benefits, so why do people keep voting?
- Parrondo’s paradox: It is possible to play two losing games alternately to eventually win.
- Prevention paradox: For one person to benefit, many people have to change their behavior – even though they receive no benefit, or even suffer, from the change.
- Prisoner’s dilemma: Two people might not cooperate even if it is in both their best interests to do so.
- Irresistible force paradox: What would happen if an unstoppable force hit an immovable object?
- Paradox of place: If everything that exists has a place, that place must have a place, and so on ad infinitum.
- Paradox of the grain of millet: When a grain of millet falls it makes no sound, but when a thousand grains fall they do, thus many of nothing become something.
- Algol paradox: In some binary star systems the partners seem to have different ages, even though they are thought to have formed at the same time.
- Faint young Sun paradox: The contradiction between existence of liquid water early in the Earth’s history and the expectation that the output of the young Sun would have been insufficient to melt ice on Earth.
- Achilles and the tortoise: If the tortoise is ahead of Achilles, by the time Achilles reaches the tortoise’s current position, the tortoise will have moved a bit further ahead, which goes on indefinitely.
- Archer’s paradox: An archer must, in order to hit his target, not aim directly at it, but slightly to the side. Not to be confused with the arrow paradox.
- Arrow paradox : If we divide time into discrete 0-duration slices, no motion is happening in each of them, so taking them all as a whole, motion is impossible.
- Dichotomy paradox: To reach its target, an airborne arrow must first reach an infinite number of midpoints between its current position and the target.
- Norton’s dome: Are there non-deterministic systems in Newtonian mechanics?
- Tea leaf paradox: When a cup of tea is stirred, the leaves assemble in the center, even though centrifugal force pushes them outward.
- Upstream contamination: When a fluid is poured from a higher container onto a lower one, particles can climb up the falling water.
- Bentley’s paradox: In a Newtonian universe, gravitation should pull all matter into a single point.
- Boltzmann brain: If the universe we observe resulted from a random thermodynamic fluctuation, it would be vastly more likely to be a simple one than the complex one we observe. The simplest case would be just a brain floating in vacuum, having the thoughts and sensations you have.
- Fermi paradox: If there are, as various arguments suggest, many other sentient species in the Universe, then where are they? Should not their presence be obvious?
(They don’t have coins for the parking metres)
- Heat death paradox: If the universe were infinitely old, it would be in thermodynamical equilibrium, which contradicts what we observe.
(The Big Bang model did replace the steady state model)
- Olbers’ paradox: Why is the night sky dark if there is an infinity of stars, covering every part of the celestial sphere?
- Faraday paradox: An apparent violation of Faraday’s law of electromagnetic induction.
- Aharonov–Bohm effect: A charged particle is affected by an electromagnetic field even though it has no local contact with that field
- Bell’s theorem: Why do measured quantum particles not satisfy mathematical probability theory?
- Double-slit experiment: Matter and energy can act as a wave or as a particle depending on the experiment.
- Einstein–Podolsky–Rosen paradox: Can far away events influence each other in quantum mechanics?
The existence of non-local effects)
- Hardy’s paradox: How can we make inferences about past events that we haven’t observed while at the same time acknowledge that the act of observing it affects the reality we are inferring to?
- Quantum pseudo-telepathy: Two players who can not communicate accomplish tasks that seemingly require direct contact.
- Quantum Zeno effect: (Turing paradox) echoing the Zeno paradox, a quantum particle that is continuously observed cannot change its state
- Schrödinger’s cat paradox: According to the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, a cat could be simultaneously alive and dead, as long as it remains unobserved.
- Uncertainty principle: There is a fundamental limit to the precision with which certain pairs of physical properties of a particle, known as complementary variables, such as position and momentum can be known. This is often confused with a similar effect in physics called the observer effect
- Bell’s spaceship paradox: About the stress on a rope under the effects of length contraction.
- Black hole information paradox: Black holes violate a commonly assumed tenet of science that information cannot be destroyed.
- Tachyonic antitelephone: Einstein’s thought experiment about how faster-than-light communication could cause a causality paradox.
- Twin paradox: The theory of relativity predicts that a person making a round trip will return younger than his or her identical twin who stayed at home.
- Gibbs paradox: In an ideal gas, is entropy an extensive variable?
- Loschmidt’s paradox: Why is there an inevitable increase in entropy when the laws of physics are invariant under time reversal? The time reversal symmetry of physical laws appears to contradict the second law of thermodynamics.
- Maxwell’s demon: The second law of thermodynamics seems to be violated by a cleverly operated trapdoor.
- Mpemba effect: Hot water can, under certain conditions, freeze faster than cold water, even though it must pass the lower temperature on the way to freezing.
- C-value enigma: Genome size does not correlate with organismal complexity. For example, some unicellular organisms have genomes much larger than that of humans..
- Gray’s paradox: Despite their relatively small muscle mass, dolphins can swim at high speeds and obtain large accelerations.
- Hormesis: Exposure to small doses of toxins can have beneficial effects.
- Lek paradox: Persistent female choice for particular male trait values should erode genetic variance in male traits and thereby remove the benefits of choice, yet choice persists.
- Paradox of enrichment: Increasing the food available to an ecosystem may lead to instability, and even to extinction.
- Temporal paradox (paleontology): When did the ancestors of birds live?
Health and nutrition
- French paradox: The observation that the French suffer a relatively low incidence of coronary heart disease, despite having a diet relatively rich in saturated fats, which are assumed to be the leading dietary cause of such disease.
- Hispanic paradox: The finding that Hispanics in the United States tend to have substantially better health than the average population in spite of what their aggregate socio-economic indicators predict.
- Israeli paradox: The observation that Israelis suffer a relatively high incidence of coronary heart disease, despite having a diet very low in saturated fats, which are assumed to be the leading dietary cause of such disease.
- Mexican paradox: Mexican children tend to have higher birth weights than can be expected from their socio-economic status.
- Obesity paradox: In some medical conditions, obesity is associated with increased survival, although there is a strong association with shortened lifespan in the general population.
- Peto’s paradox: Humans and other small-to-medium-sized mammals get cancer with high frequency, while larger mammals, like whales, do not. If cancer is essentially a negative outcome lottery at the cell level, and larger organisms have more cells, and thus more potentially cancerous cell divisions, one would expect larger organisms to be more predisposed to cancer.
- Faraday paradox (electrochemistry): Diluted nitric acid will corrode steel, while concentrated nitric acid will not.
- Levinthal paradox: The length of time that it takes for a protein chain to find its folded state is many orders of magnitude shorter than it would be if it freely searched all possible configurations.
- SAR paradox: Exceptions to the principle that a small change in a molecule causes a small change in its chemical behavior are frequently profound.
- Bootstrap paradox (also ontological paradox): You send information/an object to your past self, but you only have that information/object because in the past, you received it from your future self. This means the information/object was never created, yet still exists.
- Predestination paradox: A man travels back in time to discover the cause of a famous fire. While in the building where the fire started, he accidentally knocks over a kerosene lantern and causes a fire, the same fire that would inspire him, years later, to travel back in time. The bootstrap paradox is closely tied to this, in which, as a result of time travel, information or objects appear to have no beginning.
- Temporal paradox: What happens when a time traveler does things in the past that prevent them from doing them in the first place?
- Grandfather paradox: If one travels back in time and kill their grandfather before he conceives one of their parents, which precludes their own conception and, therefore, they couldn’t go back in time and kill their grandfather.
- Polchinski’s paradox: A billiard ball can be thrown into a wormhole in such a way that it would emerge in the past and knock its incoming past self away from the wormhole entrance, creating a variant of the grandfather paradox.
- Hitler’s murder paradox: One can travel back in time and murder Adolf Hitler before he can instigate World War II and the Holocaust; but if he had never instigated that, then the murder removes any reason for the travel.
Linguistics and artificial intelligence
- Moravec’s paradox: Logical thought is hard for humans and easy for computers, but picking a screw from a box of screws is an unsolved problem.
- Movement paradox: In transformational linguistics, there are pairs of sentences in which the sentence without movement is ungrammatical while the sentence with movement is not.
- Paradox of analysis: It seems that no conceptual analysis can meet the requirements both of correctness and of informativeness.
- Buridan’s bridge: Plato says: “If your next statement is true, I will allow you to cross, but if it is false, I will throw you in the water.” Socrates responds: “You will throw me in the water.” Whatever Plato does, he will seemingly break his promise. Similar to the crocodile dilemma.
- Paradox of free will: If God knows in advance how we will decide, how can there be free will?
- Paradox of hedonism: When one pursues happiness itself, one is miserable; but, when one pursues something else, one achieves happiness.
- Liberal paradox: “Minimal Liberty” is incompatible with Pareto optimality.
- Meno’s paradox: (Learner’s paradox) A man cannot search either for what he knows or for what he does not know.
- Moore’s paradox: “It’s raining, but I don’t believe that it is.”
- Newcomb’s paradox: A paradoxical game between two players, one of whom can predict the actions of the other.
- Paradox of nihilism: Several distinct paradoxes share this name.
- Omnipotence paradox: Can an omnipotent being create a rock too heavy for itself to lift?
- Polanyi’s paradox: “We know more than we can tell”, Polanyi’s paradox brings to attention the cognitive phenomenon that there exist tasks which we, human beings, understand intuitively how to perform but cannot verbalise the rules behind.
- Problem of evil: (Epicurean paradox) The existence of evil seems to be incompatible with the existence of an omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect God.
See the Theodicy:
- When a white horse is not a horse: White horses are not horses because white and horse refer to different things.
- Zeno’s paradoxes: “You will never reach point B from point A as you must always get half-way there, and half of the half, and half of that half, and so on …” (This is also a paradox of the infinite)
- Maya (illusion): Our illusions are not real, yet it’s real that illusion itself exists.
(Two different meanings of the term illusion:
Illusion as something that not exist, and
Illusion as something that is not correctly perceived or interpreted)
- Tzimtzum: In Kabbalah, how to reconcile self-awareness of finite Creation with Infinite Divine source, as an emanated causal chain would seemingly nullify existence. Luria’s initial withdrawal of God in Hasidic panentheism involves simultaneous illusionism of Creation (Upper Unity) and self-aware existence (Lower Unity), God encompassing logical opposites.
See also: Category:Paradoxes in economics.
One class of paradoxes in economics are the paradoxes of competition, in which behavior that benefits a lone actor would leave everyone worse off if everyone did the same. These paradoxes are classified into circuit, classical and Marx paradoxes.
- Allais paradox: A change in a possible outcome that is shared by different alternatives affects people’s choices among those alternatives, in contradiction with expected utility theory.
- The Antitrust Paradox: A book arguing that antitrust enforcement artificially raised prices by protecting inefficient competitors from competition.
- Arrow information paradox: To sell information you need to give it away before the sale.
- Bertrand paradox: Two players reaching a state of Nash equilibrium both find themselves with no profits gained via exploitation.
- Braess’ paradox: Adding extra capacity to a network can reduce overall performance.
- Deaton paradox: Consumption varies surprisingly smoothly despite sharp variations in income.
- Demographic-economic paradox: nations or subpopulations with higher GDP per capita are observed to have fewer children, even though a richer population can support more children.
- Downs–Thomson paradox: Increasing road capacity at the expense of investments in public transport can make overall congestion on the road worse.
- Easterlin paradox: For countries with income sufficient to meet basic needs, the reported level of happiness does not correlate with national income per person.
- Edgeworth paradox: With capacity constraints, there may not be an equilibrium.
- European paradox: The perceived failure of European countries to translate scientific advances into marketable innovations.
- Gibson’s paradox: Why were interest rates and prices correlated?
- Giffen paradox: Increasing the price of bread makes poor people eat more of it.
- Icarus paradox: Some businesses bring about their own downfall through their own successes.
- Jevons paradox: Increases in efficiency lead to even larger increases in demand.
- Lucas paradox: Capital is not flowing from developed countries to developing countries despite the fact that developing countries have lower levels of capital per worker, and therefore higher returns to capital.
- Mandeville’s paradox: Actions that may be vicious to individuals may benefit society as a whole.
- Metzler paradox: The imposition of a tariff on imports may reduce the relative internal price of that good.
- Paradox of prosperity: Why do generations that significantly improve the economic climate seem to generally rear a successor generation that consumes rather than produces?
- Paradox of thrift: If everyone saves more money during times of recession, then aggregate demand will fall and will in turn lower total savings in the population.
- Paradox of toil: If everyone tries to work during times of recession, lower wages will reduce prices, leading to more deflationary expectations, leading to further thrift, reducing demand and thereby reducing employment.
- Paradox of value, also known as diamond-water paradox: Water is more useful than diamonds, yet is a lot cheaper.
- Paradox of plenty: Countries with an abundance of natural resources tend to have less economic growth and worse development outcomes than countries with fewer natural resources.
Further information: Perceptual paradox
- Optical illusion: A visual illusion which suggests inconsistency, such as an impossible cube or the vertical-horizontal illusion, where the two lines are exactly the same length but appear to be of different lengths.
- Stability–instability paradox: When two countries each have nuclear weapons, the probability of a direct war between them greatly decreases, but the probability of minor or indirect conflicts between them increases
Psychology and sociology
- Gender-equality paradox: Countries which promote gender equality tend to have less gender balance in some fields.
- Identical twins paradox: While many studies suggest IQ to be inheritable to a large degree, the Flynn effect seems to indicate large environmental influence on IQ.
- Ironic process theory: Ironic processing is the psychological process whereby an individual’s deliberate attempts to suppress or avoid certain thoughts (thought suppression) renders those thoughts more persistent.
- Moral paradox: A situation in which moral imperatives clash without clear resolution.
- Paradox of suspense: Sometimes, retelling of familiar stories appears to still induce suspense, despite the fact that the audience already knows how the story will unfold.
- Region-beta paradox: People can sometimes recover more quickly from more intense emotions or pain than from less distressing experiences.
- Self-absorption paradox: The contradictory association whereby higher levels of self-awareness are simultaneously associated with higher levels of psychological distress and with psychological well-being.
- The Paradox of Choice: A book arguing that eliminating consumer choices can greatly reduce anxiety for shoppers.
- Buttered cat paradox: Humorous example of a paradox from contradicting proverbs.
- Intentionally blank page: Many documents contain pages on which the text “This page intentionally left blank” is printed, thereby making the page not blank.
- Observer’s paradox: The outcome of an event or experiment is influenced by the presence of the observer.