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Date: 05/07/2001 at 17:31:55
From: Ariel Klugman

What is a paradox? How does it work? Is it right?
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```
Date: 05/08/2001 at 14:33:33
From: Doctor Twe

Hi Ariel - thanks for writing to Dr. Math.

According to the Merriam-Webster OnLine Dictionary at:

http://www.m-w.com/home.htm

1:  a tenet contrary to received opinion

2a: a statement that is seemingly contradictory or opposed to
common sense and yet is perhaps true

b: a self-contradictory statement that at first seems true

c: an argument that apparently derives self-contradictory
conclusions by valid deduction from acceptable premises

3:  one that possesses seemingly contradictory qualities or phases

In math, we usually use the term in the context of definition 2a. The
key is that a paradox *seems* to be contradictory, but is in fact true
or valid.

Here is an entry from our Ask Dr. Math archives that discusses the
difference between a paradox and a fallacy:

http://mathforum.org/dr.math/problems/lee.01.25.01.html

http://mathforum.org/dr.math/problems/weibel7.2.96.html
http://mathforum.org/dr.math/problems/mcallister3.25.98.html

http://mathforum.org/dr.math/problems/bearclaw.8.22.96.html
http://mathforum.org/dr.math/problems/gut10.19.html

http://mathforum.org/dr.math/problems/evening.9.15.99.html

http://mathforum.org/dr.math/problems/mcdaniel3.26.98.html

http://mathforum.org/dr.math/problems/krasik.05.09.99.html

I hope this helps. If you have any more questions, write back.

- Doctor TWE, The Math Forum
http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
```
Associated Topics:
High School Logic

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