1. Skaruts

    Skaruts Member

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    Is there a word for...

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Skaruts, Feb 27, 2017.

    A sort of contradicting thing, but I guess I could describe it as
    a problem for which there is no solution until you actually solve it.

    Or maybe
    a problem for which the result of solving it is the solution itself.

    As an example (maybe not the greatest, but):
    "I need strength to get what I want, but what I want is what would give me strength".

    I might call it a conundrum, but I was wondering if there was a more specific word for it.

    EDIT: Thought I'd include this here. Dnaiel found a term for it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2017
  2. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    It sounds related to "begging the question", where the proof of X being true requires that X be true.

    Example:

    "Everything in the Bible is true."
    "How do you know?"
    "Because God says so."
    "How do you know that God says so?"
    "Because the Bible tells us that he does, and everything in the Bible is true!"

    I realize that it's not the same thing; I just suggest it on the theory that it's a new avenue for Googling that might lead to more phrases or adjectives.
     
  3. Spencer1990

    Spencer1990 Contributor Contributor

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    Contradiction?

    Paradox (bit of a stretch, but kind of)?
     
  4. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    If I were coining a term, I'd say "circular solution." But no one would know what I meant without an explanation.
     
  5. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin A tombstone hand and a graveyard mind Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Conundrum is what I was thinking too. Mainly because it's a cool sounding word. I'm not sure if there's a specific word that describes what you intended. The God and Bible example @ChickenFreak gave is a textbook example of a circular argument, which is one of the most common fallacies in logic and argumentation. Not sure if that's how you intended the question to read, but the framework seems to be the same. I think I might have heard somebody say, "There are no straight answers to circular problems" somewhere, but that might not be what you meant either.
     
  6. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    Catch-22 ?
     
  7. jannert

    jannert Retired Mod Supporter Contributor

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    Conundrum is a good word, but I don't think it quite describes what you're after, @Skaruts . A conundrum can be similar to a riddle, but one that's solved with a pun. Or it can be a problem that is extremely difficult to handle—because no solution will be a good one. The movie Sophie's Choice contained a conundrum. Does Sophie sacrifice her son or her daughter? She has to choose one or the other, or they both die.

    I think @OurJud has come closest to naming your dilemma ...but I also think there's another, more general word to describe it. And I'm danged if I can think of it just now. o_O One of those 4am 'eureka!' moments in my future, no doubt.
     
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  8. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    You're not thinking of Hobson's Choice, are you? It occurred to me, but it's not quite relevant.
     
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  9. SethLoki

    SethLoki Retired Autodidact Contributor

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    self-defeating?

    oo, no maybe not. Subconscious is now whispering 'paradox'
     
  10. Dnaiel

    Dnaiel Senior Member

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    I would just call it an inaccessible solved contradiction.

    Well, maybe I wouldn't...
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2017
  11. Paul Kinsella

    Paul Kinsella Member

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    I don't think there is a word for that, but there should be. Perhaps you should invent the word. Like Tolkien did with "Bewuthered"...
    "How do I get a job without experience?" wined Dave. "And how do I get experience without a job? It is a total combulblock!"
    "That's not a combulblock." scolded Jessica. "What do you think internships are for."
     
  12. Skaruts

    Skaruts Member

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    @Homer Potvin, I don't feel inclined to call it a fallacy, as there are cases where it is (or at least seems to be) a plausible problem. The job experience thing that @Paul Kinsella mentioned is actually a great example that some people actually have felt it in the real world, since most employers ask for experienced workers in their job ads:
    "I need experience to get a job, but I need a job to get experience".

    You kind of need to solve the problem in order to solve the problem... Oh well...

    @ChickenFreak, maybe it's a circulution or something of the sort. ;)
     
  13. Dnaiel

    Dnaiel Senior Member

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    To remove scissors from packaging, cut cord using scissors as shown in diagram...
     
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  14. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin A tombstone hand and a graveyard mind Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I was referring to the example @ChickenFreak gave earlier. Not your OP. Like I said earlier, that was a horse of a different color.
     
  15. ajaye

    ajaye Senior Member

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    lateral thinking?
     
  16. Skaruts

    Skaruts Member

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    @Homer Potvin, yea, I noticed, but I was thinking that it can be a fallacious problem, although I'm not too sure. Sorry, I could've been clear on that.

    Anyway, Joe lost his replacement light bulb and couldn't find it in the dark.
    "I guess I'd need to screw that damn light bulb in order to even see where the hell I put it...", he said.
     
  17. Dnaiel

    Dnaiel Senior Member

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  18. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin A tombstone hand and a graveyard mind Staff Supporter Contributor

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    And BOOM! Give the man a cigar!
     
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  19. Dnaiel

    Dnaiel Senior Member

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    OH YEAH! *rips off shirt* I'm da man! I'm gonna get some tonight. Well, as soon as I buy this stranger here a new shirt. But yeah!
     
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  20. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin A tombstone hand and a graveyard mind Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, let's all rip our shirts off!
     
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  21. Skaruts

    Skaruts Member

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    Brilliant! Thanks. I guess it could also be called "packaged scissors". :)
    Funny that there's no wiki page for it, though...
     
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  22. jannert

    jannert Retired Mod Supporter Contributor

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    I'm not sure. I might be. But the definition of conundrum I looked at included a snippet from one of the Batman movies, where the Joker tells a roomful of people that if they press a button, 500 people in the next building will die in an explosion. However, the Joker also mentions that the people in the next building have also got a button and are also faced with the same choice. So....
     

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