What is the nature of paradoxes

Seven paradoxes and what they reveal about our thinking

  1. Many paradoxes of thought have been the subject of philosophical reflection for centuries. They reveal a lot about the nature of our minds.

  2. While some apparent contradictions are based on the ambiguity or vagueness of terms, others leave our concept of truth

    and falsehood appear questionable.

  3. The principle of "two-valued" valid since antiquity, according to which a statement cannot be both true and false, can probably not be justified logically.

After Socrates, the ancestor of Western philosophy, had been discussing the essence of virtue with Menon of Pharsalus for a while, Menon asked the famous thinker the following question: "In what way do you want to search for what you do not even know what it is? Because what of all that you do not know, do you want to present it to yourself? Or if you find it, how do you know that it is what you did not know? " Socrates realized that Menon was trying to present him with a dilemma. Either you already know what you want to know or you don't know. If you already know, then there is no need to look for it. But if you don't know, the search is impossible; because you can't find anything you don't know

What the Greek philosopher and Socrates student Plato describes here in his dialogue "Menon" has become known as the paradox of knowledge. Paradoxes are statements that, following apparently conclusive arguments, contradict prevailing opinions and run counter to common sense or familiar thought patterns. As in the example given, the devastating finding that one can never gain real knowledge about anything ...

This article is contained in Brain & Mind 7/2018