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Joachim Bromand

Pages 397 - 399

In a wider sense, a paradox is a counterintuitive discovery that throws light on fundamental questions. This reading is in accordance with the word’s etymology (para: contrary to; doxa: belief, conviction). In a narrower, philosophical sense, a paradox is “an apparently unacceptable conclusion derived by apparently acceptable reasoning from apparently acceptable premises” (Sainsbury 1995: 1). Thus, a paradox can be dissolved either by making plausible which of the apparently acceptable premises or inference rules are not acceptable, upon closer examination, or else by showing that the apparently unacceptable conclusion is acceptable after all. Paradoxes often appear in connection with fundamental concepts or principles and are regarded as symptoms of a deficient (vague or erroneous) understanding of these concepts.


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