contradiction

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NickJunior

Senior Member
Khmer
Hi everyone,

I have a question concerning the term contradiction. Which statement below would you consider as a contradiction? Here is the context:

"The prosecutors thought the defendant was at the spot the crime was committed. The lawyer argued that the defendant would then have had to be in two places at the same time because the witnesses and telephone records demonstrate the defendant was on a farm 15 miles away; therefore, the defendant could not be at the scene of the crime."
 
  • MrPedantic

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    Hello Nick,

    Think of it like this:

    1. The prosecutors say X.
    2. The lawyer says that if X is true, then Y is also true, because of Z.
    3. But Y is not possible. Therefore X is not true.

    Which one of these would you call a "contradiction"?

    All the best,

    MrP
     

    chauncy

    Member
    English; Australia
    The basic issue here is that 'contradiction' is a property of two statements taken together, not just one. One statement contradicts the other.

    To ask which of two statements is the contradiction is like asking which of two hands is doing the clapping.
     

    MrPedantic

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    That's a good point. Though sometimes the word "contradiction" is used to mean "a statement that contradicts another statement".

    All the best,

    MrP
     

    nichec

    Senior Member
    Chinese(Taiwan)/English(AE)
    Hi everyone,

    I have a question concerning the term contradiction. Which statement below would you consider as a contradiction? Here is the context:
    "The witnesses and telephone records demonstrate the defendant was on a farm 15 miles away" is a contradiction to "The prosecutors thought the defendant was at the spot the crime was committed".


    3.a statement or proposition that contradicts or denies another or itself and is logically incongruous.
     
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