What is a paradox? (Meaning and examples)
A paradox is a statement or concept that is, or appears to be, self-contradictory.
Easy Examples of Paradox
- I always lie.
(This statement is absolutely self-contradictory. If it’s true, then it’s not true. This would be accepted as a paradox in the field of Logic.)
- You can save money by spending it.
(The idea seems self-contradictory, but it’s possibly true. For example, spending money insulating your roof would reduce heating bills.)
Real-Life Examples of“Everyday“Paradox
The following examples seem contradictory, but they are not. (Paradoxical expressions that appear self-contradictory but are not are often described as“everyday paradox“instead of“logical paradox“.) These are examples of“everyday paradox“:
- To shut down your computer, first click Start.
- You have to be cruel to be kind.
- Less is more.
- When you increase your knowledge, you understand how little you know.
(In essence, your unknown unknowns become known unknowns.)
Real-Life Examples of“Logical“Paradox
The following examples are absolutely contradictory. Are examples of“logical paradox“.
- My nose will grow. (Pinocchio)
- If you didn’t get this message, call me.
- Your mission is to not accept this mission? Do you accept?
- No keyboard detected. Press F1 to continue.
- Youth would be an ideal state if it came a little later in life. (Prime Minister Herbert Asquith)
An Oxymoron Is a Paradox
Un oxímoron (un término aparentemente contradictorio) es una paradoja (normalmente una paradoja“everyday“).
- female gunman
- fresh raises
- escaped prisoner
Why Should I Care About Paradoxes?
A paradoxical expression that seems contradictory but isn’t can be powerful and memorable, forcing readers to discover for themselves why its seemingly contradictory idea is true.
- We must go backwards to go forwards.
(This is a memorable way of delivering a message like“we must align our old processes to the new methodology“or“we must rethink our strategy“.)
- Stating your idea as a seemingly contradictory concept will make it more memorable by forcing your readers to think about why your idea isn’t one.“logical paradox“.