Definition of Paradox

What is a Paradox?

A paradox is a curious thing that seems to be contradictory, but actually makes sense when you think about it. It’s like having two opposite ideas that somehow work together. Paradoxes are fascinating puzzles that challenge our understanding of how things should be.

Where did the Paradox come from?

The word “paradox” comes from the Greek words “para” meaning “against” and “doxa” meaning “opinion”. It was first introduced by the ancient Greek philosopher Zeno of Elea, who used paradoxes to question the beliefs and knowledge of his time. Since then, many great philosophers and thinkers have used paradoxes to explore deeper meanings and expand our understanding of the world.

Paradoxes in Everyday Life

Paradoxes can be found in many aspects of our everyday lives. Here are a few examples:

The Bootstrap Paradox

Have you ever thought about time travel? Well, the bootstrap paradox is a paradox that occurs when an object or information is sent back in time and becomes its own source of creation. It’s like a never-ending loop where the cause and effect are impossible to distinguish.

The Grandfather Paradox

Imagine if you could go back in time and meet your own grandfather when he was a child. What would happen if you did something that prevented him from meeting your grandmother? It’s a paradox because if your grandfather never met your grandmother, then your parent would never be born, which means you wouldn’t exist to go back in time! It’s a mind-boggling contradiction.

Synonyms and Comparisons

A paradox is often confused with other similar concepts, so here are some synonyms and comparisons to help you understand:


Irony is when something happens in a way that is the opposite of what you expect. It’s like a funny twist or a surprising outcome. Paradoxes can be ironic, but not all ironies are paradoxes.


An oxymoron is a figure of speech that combines contradictory terms. For example, “jumbo shrimp” is an oxymoron because jumbo means big, while shrimp means small. Paradoxes are similar to oxymorons, but they are not just limited to language.

The Definition of Paradox

In conclusion, a paradox is a puzzling statement or situation that seems self-contradictory but reveals a deeper truth when you think about it. It challenges our assumptions and expands our understanding of how things work in the world. Paradoxes can be found in many aspects of life, from time travel conundrums to philosophical debates. They make us think outside the box and question what we consider to be logical or possible.


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