Contradiction

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This diagram shows the contradictory relationships between categorical propositions in the square of opposition of Aristotelian logic.

Contradiction consists of a logical l incompatibility between two or more propositions. It occurs when the propositions, taken together, yield two conclusions which form the logical, usually opposite inversions of each other. By extension, outside of classical logic, one can speak of contradictions between actions when one presumes that their motives contradict each other.


Alphabetized by author or source
A · B · C · D · E · F · G · H · I · J · K · L · M · N · O · P · Q · R · S · T · U · V · W · X · Y · Z · Anon · External links

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Let us, cautious in diction
And mighty in contradiction,
Love powerfully. ~ Martin Buber
  • ...Erich Fromm wondered why most people did not become insane in the face of the existential contradiction between a symbolic self, that seems to give man infinite worth in a timeless scheme of things, and a body that is worth about 98¢.
  • Everything must be recaptured and relocated in the general framework of history, so that despite the difficulties, the fundamental paradoxes and contradictions, we may respect the unity of history which is also the unity of life.
  • Everything tends to make us believe that there exists a certain point of the mind at which life and death, the real and the imagined, past and future, the communicable and the incommunicable, high and low, cease to be perceived as contradictions.
  • Every morning
    I shall concern myself anew about the boundary
    Between the love-deed-Yes and the power-deed-No
    And pressing forward honor reality.

    We cannot avoid
    Using power,
    Cannot escape the compulsion
    To afflict the world,
    So let us, cautious in diction
    And mighty in contradiction,
    Love powerfully.

C[edit]

Chaplin as the Tramp in 1915
Union with Christ- Deepak Chopra:Enlightened leadership is spiritual if we understand spirituality not as some kind of religious dogma or ideology but as the domain of awareness where we experience values like truth, goodness, beauty, love and compassion, and also intuition, creativity, insight and focused attention.
  • So you're trying to make her happy despite the fact that the reason she'd unhappy in the first place is you," said Simon not very kindly. "That seems contradictory, doesn't it?" "Love is a contradiction," said Jace, and turned back to the window.

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  • Else if you would be a man speak what you think to-day in words as hard as cannon balls, and to-morrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day.
  • Motion itself is a contradiction.
    • Engels, in "Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung On Contradiction".
  • ... one of the basic principles of higher mathematics is the contradiction that in certain circumstances straight lines and curves may be the same.... But even lower mathematics teems with contradictions.
    • Engels, in "Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung On Contradiction".
  • If simple mechanical change of place contains a contradiction, this is even more true of the higher forms of motion of matter, and especially of organic life and its development... life consists precisely and primarily in this--that a being is at each moment itself and yet something else. Life is therefore also a contradiction which is present in things and processes themselves, and which constantly originates and resolves itself; and as soon as the contradiction ceases, life, too, comes to an end, and death steps in. We likewise saw that also in the sphere of thought we could not escape contradictions, and that for example the contradiction between man's inherently unlimited capacity for knowledge and its actual presence only in men who are externally limited and possess limited cognition finds its solution in what is--at least practically, for us--an endless succession of generations, in infinite progress.
    • Engels, in "Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung On Contradiction".

F[edit]

  • Reason is man's faculty for grasping the world by thought, in contradiction to intelligence, which is man's ability to manipulate the world with the help of thought. Reason is man's instrument for arriving at the truth, intelligence is man's instrument for manipulating the world more successfully; the former is essentially human, the latter belongs to the animal part of man.

G[edit]

  • I am human, and I make mistakes. Therefore my commitment must be to truth and not to consistency.
    • Gandhi, in Talking Leaves: A Journal of Spiritual Ecology/activism, Volumes 10-12, Deep Ecology Education Project, 2000, p.20
    • Gandhi addressed them thus when he had organized a very large march, and thousands of people came. After a while he noticed that it had the potential to become violent, so he gathered the people together and told them that he was calling the march off. There was anger. Many people had sacrificed a great deal to be there.
Thomas Aquinas - Greg Graffin:Bad Religion has never been about criticizing people who are Christian. But we've always been about pointing out the irony and contradictions in Christian theology and the more extreme versions of Christians that seek to challenge modern secularism.

H[edit]

Brad Holland: Many of the contradictions in Postmodern art come from the fact that we're trying to be artists in a democratic society. This is because in a democracy, the ideal is compromise. In art, it isn't.
Khaled Hossein: n Afghan society, parents play a central role in the lives of their children; the parent-child relationship is fundamental to who you are and what you become and how you perceive yourself, and it is laden with contradictions, with tension, with anger, with love, with loathing, with angst.
  • Nations without a past are contradictions in terms. What makes a nation is the past, what justifies one nation against others is the past, and historians are the people who produce it.
  • It is also plausible that those movements with the greatest inner contradiction between profession and practice - that is to say with a strong feeling of guilt-are likely to be the most fervent in imposing their faith on others.

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  • All skepticism is a kind of idealism. Hence when the skeptic Zeno pursued the study of skepticism by endeavoring existentially to keep himself unaffected by whatever happened, so that when once he had gone out of his way to avoid a mad dog, he shamefacedly admitted that even a skeptical philosopher is also sometimes a man, I find nothing ridiculous in this. There is no contradiction, and the comical always lies in a contradiction.
    • Soren Kierkegaard, Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments (1846), p. 315, as translated by David F. Swenson and Walter Lowrie (1941)

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  • Dialectics in the proper sense is the study of contradiction in the very essence of objects.
    • Lenin, in "Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung On Contradiction"

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Gandhi with textile workers at Darwen -Mohandas K.Gandhi often changed his mind publicly. An aide once asked him how he could so freely contradict this week what he had said just last week. The great man replied that it was because this week he knew better.
  • Mohandas K.Gandhi often changed his mind publicly. An aide once asked him how he could so freely contradict this week what he had said just last week. The great man replied that it was because this week he knew better.
  • ...it is trite that contradictions per se do not lead to the rejection of a witness’s evidence and what the trier of fact has to take into consideration, are matters such as the nature of the contradictions; their number and importance, and their bearing on other parts of the witness’s evidence. These differences could either be immaterial to the charges the accused is facing or bona fide mistakes made by a witness.
  • I'm fascinated by the ways in which people express themselves, because their responses are often counter to what they're actually feeling. Like when they're frightened, they tend to freeze. When they're angry, it doesn't always come out as volume. There are wonderful contradictions in the way that people express their emotions.

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Leonardo da Vinci's Man - Blaise Pascal: What a chimera then is man! What a novelty! What a monster, what a chaos, what a contradiction, what a prodigy! Judge of all things, feeble earthworm, depository of truth, a sink of uncertainty and error, the glory and the shame of the universe.
  • But when I describe something and you describe another thing, or I say something and you say nothing - Is there any contradiction? How can he who speaks contradict him who speaks not.

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Bertrand Russell:Ever since Plato most philosophers have considered it part of their business to produce ‘proofs’ of immortality and the existence of God. They have found fault with the proofs of their predecessors — Saint Thomas rejected Saint Anselm's proofs, and Kant rejected Descartes' — but they have supplied new ones of their own. In order to make their proofs seem valid, they have had to falsify logic, to make mathematics mystical, and to pretend that deep seated prejudices were heaven-sent intuitions.
  • Part of me is drawn to the nature of sadness because I think life is sad, and sadness is not something that should be avoided or denied. It's a fact of life, like contradictions are.

S[edit]

Andreas Cellarius hypothesis, demonstrating the planetary motions in eccentric and epicyclical orbits.
  • Those laws, being forged for universal application, are in perpetual conflict with personal interest, just as personal interest is always in contradiction with the general interest. Good for society, our laws are very bad for the individuals whereof it is composed; for, if they one time protect the individual, they hinder, trouble, fetter him for three quarters of his life.
  • The major religions on the Earth contradict each other left and right. You can't all be correct. And what if all of you are wrong? It's a possibility, you know. You must care about the truth, right? Well, the way to winnow through all the differing contentions is to be skeptical. I'm not any more skeptical about your religious beliefs than I am about every new scientific idea I hear about. But in my line of work, they're called hypotheses, not inspiration and not revelation.
  • In art, and maybe just in general, the idea is to be able to be really comfortable with contradictory ideas. In other words, wisdom might be, seem to be, two contradictory ideas both expressed at their highest level and just let to sit in the same cage sort of, vibrating. So, I think as a writer, I'm really never sure of what I really believe.

T[edit]

  • Marx believed, the contradictions of capitalism would lead to communism, a classless society that operates on the principle of “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.
    • Alex Thio, Jim Taylor, in Social Problems, Jones & Bartlett Publishers, 11-Feb-2011m p,299
  • I don't think anyone now really understands the planetisation of mankind, really understands the new world order emerging through all this period of strain and pain and contradiction, so more than ever, we need to have an internal sense of navigation.
Mao Tse-tung:Contradiction is present in the process of development of all things; it permeates the process of development of each thing from beginning to end. This is the The universality and absoluteness of contradiction.

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Alfred North Whitehead: My criticism of Hegel procedure is that when in his discussion he arrives at a contradiction, he construes it as a crisis in the universe.

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Anonymous[edit]

External links[edit]

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