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Trope Assignment: Paradox

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Cameron Hassibi

on 9 January 2013

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Transcript of Trope Assignment: Paradox

Paradox What is a Paradox? A paradox is a rhetorical device that is seemingly contradictory or against common sense/logic and yet is perhaps true. It is often a tool to provoke deep thought. Paradoxes can be short or long depending on their purpose; which is one reason that a paradox might be difficult to understand. There are many different types of paradoxes spanning from logical to mathematical. “It's weird not to be weird.”
-John Lennon “Life is a preparation for the future; and the best preparation for the future is to live as if there were none.”
-Albert Einstein
“Good judgement is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgement.”
-Mark Twain /par-e-däks/ What's the difference between a paradox and other tropes? Tropes that are similar to paradox: antithesis oxymoron Paradox vs Antithesis Antithesis differs from paradox because a paradox is seemingly opposed to common sense/logic yet is perhaps true, while an antithesis is just a contrast of ideas in a parallel arrangement of words, clauses, or sentences. An antithesis can be simplified to mean the opposite; an antithesis can contradict itself while a paradox will always contradict itself. Lastly, antithesis is used in a balanced structure--a rule paradox does not have to follow. Paradox vs Oxymoron Oxymoron may be confused with paradox because an oxymoron is a compressed paradox where contradictory terms appear next to each other. What makes oxymoron differ from paradox is that an oxymoron has two contradicting terms side by side, while a paradox is a longer contradiction with the all important underlying truth. Examples of Paradox "I can resist anything but temptation."
-Oscar Wilde Wilde states that he can resist anything but temptation. However, temptation is the center of everything irresistible. So by being able to resist anything but temptation, he cannot resist anything. Could there be something irresistible that is not a temptation which Wilde can resist? I always lie and never tell the truth. In this statement, I stated that I always lie and never tell the truth, but by saying I always lie, I am being truthful. However, I stated that I always lie and never tell the truth, so I am not being truthful because I always lie. This is another example of an infinite regress paradox because it can continue in a never ending circle of lies and truths. Video #1 Video #2 "Spies do not look like spies."
-G.K. Chesterton "I know that I know nothing at all."
-Socrates This is a paradox because if you know nothing, you cannot know that you do not know anything. This is an example of an infinite regress paradox which is a paradox where the application of logic travels in a never ending circle. "Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it."
-Mahatma Gandhi How can spies not look like spies? A janitor looks like a janitor. However, in order to be a spy, you cannot be recognizable, so you cannot look like a spy. Gandhi reveals how insignificant one person's actions are yet how vital and necessary they are at the same time. So in order to have good judgement one must experience bad judgement. This is a perfect example of how a paradox holds an underlying truth. In order to have good judgement you must first experience the consequences of bad judgement. This statement is a paradox because how can someone prepare for the future by living as if there were none? The point of preparing for anything is so one is ready when the time comes for it. So by not preparing for the future, how can you prepare? How can not being weird be weird if most people today think being weird is weird. The underlying truth of this paradox is that it's weird to be normal.
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