The paradox of tolerance

The liberal ideology has a number of paradoxes. One that threatens liberalism at its core is the paradox of tolerance. It is without doubt that liberalism is an ideology of tolerance. The common argument from the liberal front sounds as follows: “I do not agree with what you say, but I will defend your right to say it!” This type of openness towards the other can be parasitic to the polity in question. For, if […]

‘Religion is opium of the people’ paradox

There is a curious case about this much quoted passage. It is almost redundant to point out that this passage has meant for the majority of ‘Marxists’ that religion should be abolished. However, although Marx’ tone may lend to this view, he was also aware of the difficulties inherent to this ‘wish’. In order to understand Marx’ intentions, some context should be provided. To start with, Marx published what was only an introduction to a […]

Death of Marxism paradox – part 1

There is an intense debate on Marxism in the academia, on the validity of Marx’ theories, on the new Left and their use of Marxism, on how much Marx there is left in neo-Marxism, and so on. This debate, it seems, is primarily in the academia – one does not find much Marxism in politics, or public debates, or even worker unions. Is it valid, then, to say that Marxism is dead? And not only […]

Solipsism, or towards a moral framework

After ending one post on solipsism, it seems that some form of qualification is necessary in order for it not to be regarded as paradoxical. A general argument for a solipsist inconsistency is that upon making his (usually his!) statement, the solipsist returns home to his loving wife / children / family. There is, in other words, some paradoxical relation between the statements of a solipsist and his behavior. However, this seems to be an […]

Buridan’s bridge, which makes an ass out of Socrates

After connecting the paradox of choice to Buridan’s ass yesterday (it also connects to Protagoras vs. Euathlus case discussed before that), another one came to mind. Buridan’s bridge, as this paradox is primarily known, although Buridan simply called it ‘You will throw me in the water’, involves Plato, Socrates and a …. bridge. As Buridan recounts the story: “Let us posit the case that Plato is the master of the bridge and that he guards it […]

Paradox of choice, Buridan’s ass, and a recommendation on jeans

Barry Schwartz has recently appeared with an emphatic statement that choice does not make us free, unlike our Western belief system seems to suggest. Quite the opposite, it paralyzes us. And even if we are able to overcome paralysis, we end up less satisfied than we would be (or is it could?). At least, that’s how it works with too much choice, according to Schwartz. This is what he calls the paradox of choice. He […]

The ‘history repeats itself’ paradox – part 1

The popularized proverb ‘history repeats itself’ is somehow paradoxical. On the one hand, most if not all states in the world teach history in progressive terms (i.e. as linear); yet, majority of people actually believe that history repeats itself. How is that possible? We can put the question somewhat differently: If history repeats itself, we should be able to avoid the mistakes from the past; but we do not – and hence we say that history […]

Ship of Theseus paradox

Imagine a ship made of wood. It is so old that each part has undergone some change. All the planks have been replaced; in fact, every single aspect has been replaced. The question many philosophers have bent their heads over, is whether this remains the same ship, and not in a boring philosophical way of what sameness means…. There are many variations to this paradox. Though technically speaking, this is not really a paradox yet, […]

A poor attempt at a joke

A philosopher walks into a bar and asks for the bill. The bartender looks at him in some surprise and say, “but you haven’t ordered yet.” To which the philosopher replies, “you are all blind in not seeing our existence is but a mere debt.” He walks out in regret that it wasn’t that easy.   Not really a paradox, not really funny either, but this philosopher is certainly Christian. [Ok, this was my first […]