Philosophical quote of the day, courtesy of the 11th century Persian philosopher Avicenna (ibn Sina): "Anyone who denies the law of non-contradiction should be beaten and burned until he admits that to be beaten is not the same as not to be beaten, and to be burned is not the same as not to be burned."
In classical logic, the law of non-contradiction refers to the rule that something cannot be both something and not that thing at the same time. In other words, "A is B" and "A is not B" cannot both be true at the same time (assuming the meaning of A and B is constant). "Jimmy is a fox" and "Jimmy is not a fox" cannot both be true at the same time, assuming what is meant by "Jimmy" and "a fox" is the same in both cases. Not all philosophical traditions hold with the law of non-contradiction, instead arguing that things can contain their opposite. This is especially true in some Eastern philosophy. For example, Zen Buddhist koans often involve seemingly illogical paradoxes. (“Without words, without silence, will you tell me the truth?”)
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