Talk:paradox

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War is peace, Freedom is slavery, Ignorance is strength

I don't think these are the best examples of paradoxes, but of doublespeak (so named by Orwell himself). A better example of a paradox would be Every sentence on this page is false.

I agree. For instance, it claims that This is not a sentence is a paradox. This is not the case - it is merely a false statement. I have changed it to This sentence is false.

Also, I'm not convinced that the definition goes far enough to illustrate the entangling nature of paradoxes. There should at least be an alternate, more technical definition, describing how a proposition implied by a paradox necessarily leads logically to the opposite conclusion.

Tea room discussion[edit]

Note: the below discussion was moved from the Wiktionary:Tea room.

Did some work on this in response to WT:FEED#paradox.

  • Is the Pirates of Penzance quote correctly filed, or is it too ambiguous for use here? Are senses 2 and 3 actually distinct?
  • Is this a viable format for usage notes?
  • Any thoughts on the implementation of {{jump}}? This is still experimental, please undo if it's too noisy. -- Visviva 07:03, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
We would really need quite a few entries done this way to have a valid test of {{jump}}. This entry is short enough that it might not show off the method to best advantage. Something like head#Noun is better in that regard, IMO. It seems fairly time-consuming to configure an entry in such a way. Is it? DCDuring TALK 09:15, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Re need to test in more/longer entries: Yep, just thought I'd ask since I had some other questions about the entry anyway. Being cautious with {{jump}} until the layout issues have been sorted out more satisfactorily (subscripts and floating tables have been on my mind). -- Visviva 13:02, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Re "is it?": Somewhat. Actually the primary headache is syncing all the sections (so that the translations section, for example, links to synonyms and usage notes if it should, and doesn't if it shouldn't). Hope to get that bot script written this weekend, at least partially; if the heavy lifting can be done by bot, this will be much more workable. -- Visviva 14:56, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
A test on perhaps 50 or 100 entries would be good. The feedback from our regulars seems a bit tentative. We can probably get used to it. CM anticipated maintenance problems with syncing, which certainly seems a valid concern, resolvable only with long-term tests. Is the bot aimed at maintenance or at entry creation (or both)? If {{jump}} is deployed initially only for really large PoSs, that would be very common words that don't seem to be that fascinating a target for vandals or even contributors. It would be nice to have a list of entries grouped by the number of senses in their most polysemic PoS, excluding the ones with fewer than, say, 4. Where and when do you want to have broader discussion of {{jump}} ? DCDuring TALK 15:30, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Anywhere, anytime.  :-) But if it's up to me, probably in another week or so after I (and any others with an interest) have tested it in a few more entries, some bot code has been drafted, and I've done a bit more work on the JS/CSS tweaks needed for optimal rendering. In the meantime, feedback is welcome at Template talk:jump. -- Visviva 16:22, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

{{jump}} - wow. Didn't know about this. Possibilities are v exciting....should citations be linked that way too?? Widsith 09:42, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

The template doesn't currently support linking to a Quotations subsection or Citations page, but easily could (though I am skeptical that this is a good idea for most entries). -- Visviva 13:02, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
  • One more question: is the obsolete sense added (currently #6, I moved it down) distinct from #2? I don't see the difference, but an example might help. -- Visviva 16:22, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
As a fallibilist, I have a great deal of trouble accepting the possibility of sense 2 inasmuch as it depends on the actual truth of the paradoxical statement and the falsity of common sense. I find 6, which depends only on the clash between common sense and the paradoxical statement much more congenial. OTOH, my experience tells me that folks are often very sure they can determine the truth and falsity of common sense and what they believe, so 2 might well be more common. I would have thought that overconfidence in one's ability to know truth would have been relatively constant over time. Perhaps 6 should be {{rare}}. DCDuring TALK 21:42, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Well, even if it may not be True, surely you can accept that the speaker considers it to be true at the time of speaking. -- Visviva 01:04, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Both the example sentences from #2 appear to belong to #3. So #2 could be the same as #6, in which case it should be marked obsolete. This is the way the word was originally used in English - so a paradox in this obsolete sense would be for example the fact that non-oxygenated human blood is dark red. That is, it's true, even though many people think it's blue. This is the sense in which Hamlet uses it (Act III, scene 1) when he says: "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." (ie people used not to believe it, but now they do). When you consider similar statements like "a koala bear is not a bear", you can see how that sense evolved into the idea of something which is self-contradictory. Widsith 00:01, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
Huh... the Reagan quote doesn't seem self-contradictory to me, at least not in the same way as "I'm 5 years old and 21 years old" is. But I did actually have them the other way around at first ... I'm thinking now that in common use, among non-logicians, there is no substantial distinction between 2 and 3; whether something is self-contradictory or simply counterintuitive isn't a distinction that people spend a lot of time on.
I've reworded sense 6 somewhat in light of your helpful explication; think the distinction between common sense and general belief is key here. -- Visviva 01:04, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
I've rewritten 2 and 3 to clarify what seems (to me, anyway) to be distinct about them. Feedback sought. (I tried merging at first, but had a difficult time coming up with a definition that accounted smoothly for all the examples.) -- Visviva 15:36, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

In this quotation, should the fourth line be repeated? - stevo How quaint the ways of Paradox! / At common sense she gaily mocks! / Though counting in the usual way years twenty-one I've been alive, / Yet reck'ning by my natal day, / Yet reck'ning by my natal day, / I am a little boy of five!

'Fraid so. [1] However, there is probably a better quotation; that was just the first one that came to mind. -- Visviva 02:17, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
The second line is not repeated in the libretto copy I have, and there is a comma and line break before "Years". I'll check the DVD recording I've got... --EncycloPetey 02:36, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
The DVD recording repeats the line, and I can't imagine it being given just once with the accompanying music. The line is indeed repeated. --EncycloPetey 02:43, 12 May 2008 (UTC)