Added to Favorites

Related Searches

Definitions

Nearby Words

or **judgment tale**

Typical African form of short story. Its ending is open to conjecture or is morally ambiguous, allowing the audience to comment or speculate on the correct solution to the problem posed, whether a conflict of loyalty, the need to choose a just response to a difficult situation, or the laying of blame when several parties seem equally guilty. Dilemma tales function both as instruction and entertainment and help establish social norms.

Learn more about dilemma tale with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.

A dilemma (Greek δί-λημμα "double proposition") is a problem offering at least two solutions or possibilities, of which none are practically acceptable; one in this position has been traditionally described as being impaled on the horns of a dilemma, neither horn being comfortable.

The dilemma is sometimes used as a rhetorical device, in the form "you must accept either A, or B"; here A and B would be propositions each leading to some further conclusion. Applied in this way, it may be a fallacy, a false dichotomy.

In formal logic, the definition of a dilemma differs markedly from everyday usage. Two options are still present, but choosing between them is immaterial because they both imply the same conclusion. Symbolically expressed thus:

$A\; vee\; B,\; A\; Rightarrow\; C,\; B\; Rightarrow\; C\; vdash\; C$

Which can be translated informally as "one (or both) of A or B is known to be true, but they both imply C, so regardless of the truth values of A and B we can conclude C."

Horned dilemmas can present more than two choices. The number of choices of Horned dilemmas can be used in their alternative names, such as two-pronged (two-horned) or dilemma proper , or three-pronged (three-horned) or trilemma, and so on.

Constructive dilemmas--

- 1. (If X, then Y) and (If W, then Z).

- 2. X or W.

- 3. Therefore, Y or Z.

Destructive dilemmas--

- 1. (If X, then Y) and (If W, then Z).

- 2. Not Y or not Z.

- 3. Therefore, not X or not W.

- Cornelian dilemma
- Euthyphro dilemma
- Hedgehog's dilemma
- Platonia dilemma
- Prisoner's dilemma
- Scylla and Charybdis
- Security dilemma
- Stagflation
- Traveler's dilemma
- Warnock's Dilemma

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia © 2001-2006 Wikipedia contributors (Disclaimer)

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.

Last updated on Sunday October 05, 2008 at 09:46:20 PDT (GMT -0700)

View this article at Wikipedia.org - Edit this article at Wikipedia.org - Donate to the Wikimedia Foundation

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.

Last updated on Sunday October 05, 2008 at 09:46:20 PDT (GMT -0700)

View this article at Wikipedia.org - Edit this article at Wikipedia.org - Donate to the Wikimedia Foundation

Copyright © 2015 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.