Thursday, April 24, 2008

Another Paradox

I found this in an article at everything2.com.

All adjectives may be divided into two types:
self-descriptive and non-self-descriptive.

Here are some self-descriptive adjectives:
English
short
polysyllabic

Here are some non-self-descriptive adjectives:

German
long
monosyllabic

So, to which type does the following adjective belong?

non-self-descriptive

If the word is really non-self-descriptive, then it applies to itself. But that would make it self-descriptive. And if it's self-descriptive, then it is describing itself as being non-self-descriptive.

10 comments:

  1. Why do paradoxes exist? Why are they possible? What do they reveal about the nature of God? What do they tell us about the limitations of our nature?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Those are good questions. In the strictest sense, this example is not really a paradox. It's just a plain old contradiction. I would call it a "shifting contradiction" since the first statement is asked to change its meaning since it refers to itself.

    It's very similar to the statement, "I always lie." Or, "This barber shaves only those who do not shave themselves." If he shaves himself, then he doesn’t shave himself. This sounds like a paradox, but it's really just a contradiction.

    However, that doesn't really answer your question, since there are real paradoxes. A paradox is an apparent contradiction, not a real one. And I suppose their existence illustrates our inability as humans to understand many things.

    And it highlights the difference between man and God, who never contradicts Himself, or He wouldn't be God.

    ReplyDelete
  3. So is every statement either true or false?

    ReplyDelete
  4. I mean in general. Anytime someone makes a statement can it be said to be either true or false?

    ReplyDelete
  5. No, many statements are neither true nor false. They're just nonsense. Possibly the most famous academic example is Noam Chomsky's, "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously." Of course, he should know since most of what he said was nonsense. Now look what you've started ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Lee Harvey Oswald shot John F. Kennedy.

    Is this statement true, false, or nonsense.

    ReplyDelete
  7. ?

    I forgot the question mark.

    ReplyDelete
  8. That statement would be either true or false. Not sure which. But not nonsense. Of course, many false statements could also be considered nonsense, but in another sense.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Bạn muốn chuyển hàng từ đức về việt nam? Bạn đang cần dịch vụ nhận order hàng đức? Hãy đến với chúng tôi với những dịch vụ mua hàng ở nước ngoài của chúng tôi sẽ giúp bạn sở hữu hàng Đức dễ dàng tại Việt Nam. Có thể kể đến như dịch vụ Nhận mua hộ, đặt hàng, chuyển hàng xách tay từ Đức về Việt Nam, chuyển hàng đi campuchia, van chuyen hang di duc, ship hàng mỹ,... Còn vô số các dịch vụ vận chuyển hàng từ nước ngoài về việt nam và ngược lại đang chờ để phục vụ bạn. Hãy liên hệ với chúng tôi khi bạn có nhu cầu nhé. Xem thêm bruno

    ReplyDelete