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 ?
From cultivating forgiveness to approaching one's spouse with a request for divorce and handling the fallout from different kinds of reactions, Solve the Divorce Dilemma covers the entire emotional process.
This article reminds us of a dilemma raised by Schneider: If we agree about the need to prepare teachers with the knowledge and skills to enact CR/SP in their classrooms, do we need to focus this work on the specific contexts in which such practices are critical, or take a more general approach?
Nursing Dilemma Test: Nursing Dilemma Test was developed by Patricia Crisham in 1981.
Experiment results suggest that sufficient external information, such as the presence of a camera, can accurately predict the decisions of drivers when they are confronted with the dilemma zone.
Nwokora's contribution creates a typology of nomination pathways, illuminated by miniature case studies, to assess "which route places a candidate in the best position to navigate the leadership dilemma" (p.
Global energy dilemmas; energy security, globalization, and climate change.
Chapter 5 highlights the intra-organisational dilemma discussing the issues of trust, power, and communication, as well as organisational and learning modes.
He begins by defining terms: 'A moral dilemma is any situation in which an agent cannot fulfil all genuine impending moral obligations' (3).
For the most part, Dougherty proceeds by laying out each case of a moral dilemma proposed by his protagonists and then analyzing their philosophical response in detail.
Washington, Sept 23 (ANI): A new research has revealed that men and women cooperate equally, particularly in situations involving a dilemma that pits the interests of an individual against that of a group.
The Doctor's Dilemma was not a great popular or critical success when it was originally produced in 1906, but the play is one of Bernard Shaw's most perplexing, intriguing works and deserves a more prominent place in the Shavian canon.
(http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/articles/169639/20110626/apple-iphone-4-fans-dilemma-iphone-5-verizon-unlimited-data-limited-plan.htm) Apple iPhone fans dilemma: Unlimited Verizon iPhone 4 now or stuck with limited iPhone 5?