dilemma


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Idioms, Wikipedia.
Related to dilemma: False dilemma, Moral dilemma

dilemma

Logic a form of argument one of whose premises is the conjunction of two conditional statements and the other of which affirms the disjunction of their antecedents, and whose conclusion is the disjunction of their consequents. Its form is if p then q and if r then s; either p or r so either q or s

Dilemma

 

a particular form of inference with hypothetical (conditional) and alternative (disjunctive) premises. Two types are distinguished: the constructive (the affirmative form, the modus ponens dilemma) and the destructive (the negative form, the modus tollens dilemma), each of which, in turn, can be simple or complex. Complex constructive dilemmas are of the form “if A, then B; if C, then D; A or C; therefore, B or D” (where A,B,C,D are arbitrary judgments); simple constructive dilemmas are of the form “If A, then B; if C, then B; A or C; therefore, B” (the consequences of the conditional premises coincide). Complex destructive dilemmas are of the form “If A, then B; if C, then D; not-B or not-D; therefore, not-A or not-C”; simple destructive dilemmas are of the form “If A, then B; if A, then C; not-B or not-C; therefore, not-A” (where A, B, C, D are any judgments and the particle “not” negates the judgment before which it stands). The logical form of the dilemma finds an application in debates and discussions; in particular, logical refutations are often constructed according to the form of the simple constructive dilemma. Like any inference in logic, a dilemma guarantees a true consequence only if the premises are true.

In the figurative sense, a dilemma is a difficult situation in which a person finds himself when he must make a choice between two equally unpleasant possibilities.

REFERENCES

Church, A. Vvedenie v matematicheskuiu logiku, vol. 1. Moscow, 1960. Pages 98, 394. (Translated from English.)
Getmanova, A. D. Vyrazhenie deduktivnykh umozakliuchenii traditsionnoi logiki v simvolicheskoi logike. Murmansk, 1962.

B. V. BIRIUKOV

Dilemma

Buridan’s ass
placed exactly between two equal haystacks, could not decide which to turn to in his hunger. [Fr. Philos.: Brewer Dictionary, 154]
References in periodicals archive ?
With this definition in place one can then pose the first question of moral dilemma theory, namely: are moral dilemmas possible?
Yet if Thomas did exclude the possibility of a true moral dilemma--a dilemma simpliciter in medieval terms--he accepted as fact that one might face what he called a dilemma in a qualified sense--secundum quid.
It is a social dilemma because each individual gains more by defecting regardless of what the other person does, but they will both be better off if they both cooperate," Daniel Balliet, the lead author, said.
Because of the direct relationship of The Doctor's Dilemma to Ibsen's drama, Shaw's Quintessence of Ibsenism (1891) is particularly relevant in this context, for it provides the most extensive commentary on the nature of drama that Shaw wrote outside of his plays themselves.
When choosing between options with uncertain outcomes, both groups chose the risky option more often in response to negatively framed dilemmas compared with the positively framed.
Reframing also supported Veronica's critical reflection after she shared a dilemma of practice about pushing a prospective teacher too far in conversations about equity.
Overall The Khan Dilemma is an entertaining page-turner and an above-average entry in the thriller and suspense genre.
The treatment groups were as follows: G1 = face-to-face dilemma discussion, G2 = online threaded dilemma discussion without anonymity, G3 = online threaded dilemma discussion with anonymity, G4 = online dilemma analysis (no discussion).
Their independent review indicated that the dilemma had adequate comprehension and situational relevance.
For theorists, The Security Dilemma assembles and disassembles all previous definitions of the concept, replacing them with a sophisticated "two-level strategic predicament" of interpretation and response.
Speaking on the second day of the universities' international conference on Sahrawi liberated territories' repopulation, Seid pointed out that "the strategy decided by the Polisario at the 12th national congress, will, indirectly, put the Moroccan occupier in a dilemma.
The science of energy input and expending energy or calories in versus calories out will give way to who can society and government blame for our dilemma.