dilemma


dilemma
dilemmatic /dil'euh mat"ik/, dilemmatical, dilemmic, adj.dilemmatically, adv.
/di lem"euh/, n.
1. a situation requiring a choice between equally undesirable alternatives.
2. any difficult or perplexing situation or problem.
3. Logic. a form of syllogism in which the major premise is formed of two or more hypothetical propositions and the minor premise is a disjunctive proposition, as "If A, then B; if C then D. Either A or C. Therefore, either B or D."
[1515-25; < LL < Gk dílemma, equiv. to di- DI-1 + lêmma an assumption, premise, deriv. of lambánein to take]
Syn. 1. See predicament. 2. question, difficulty.

* * *

logic
      in syllogistic, or traditional, logic, any one of several forms of inference in which there are two major premises of hypothetical form and a disjunctive (“either . . . or”) minor premise. For example:

      If we increase the price, sales will slump.

      If we decrease the quality, sales will slump.

      Either we increase the price or

      we decrease the quality.

      Therefore, sales will slump.

      In logic ⊃ signifies “if . . . then”; ∨ signifies “either . . . or”. Symbolically, therefore, a dilemma is an argument of the form AC, BC, AB, therefore C.

      It is not necessary that a dilemma should have an unwelcome conclusion; but from its use in rhetoric the word has come to mean a situation in which each of the alternative courses of action (presented as the only ones open) leads to some unsatisfactory consequence. To take a familiar example, a person who is asked, “Have you stopped beating your wife?” is presented with a rhetorical dilemma. In this more complicated version of the dilemma, however, two unwelcome results are presented instead of one (C, above). Thus, the conclusion itself becomes a disjunction:

      Either you have been beating your wife or you are continuing to beat her.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Dilemma — Dilemma …   Deutsch Wörterbuch

  • dilemma — is now more usually pronounced with the first syllable rhyming with die. The correct meaning is ‘a choice between two undesirable alternatives’ and has its origin in rhetoric and logic, where it relates to a special kind of argument involving two …   Modern English usage

  • Dilemma — «Dilemma» Сингл Нелли Келли Роуленд Выпущен Июль 2002r. Формат CD • Download Жанр Ритм н блюз Композитор …   Википедия

  • Dilemma — Sn Zwangslage erw. fremd. Erkennbar fremd (16. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus l. dilēmma Doppelsatz , dieses aus gr. dilẽmma, zu gr. lẽmma Einnahme, Annahme aus gr. lambánein nehmen, ergreifen und gr. di . Zunächst ein Wort der Logik. Es… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • Dilemma — Di*lem ma, n. [L. dilemma, Gr. ?; di = di s twice + ? to take. See {Lemma}.] 1. (Logic) An argument which presents an antagonist with two or more alternatives, but is equally conclusive against him, whichever alternative he chooses. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Dilemma — Single par Nelly extrait de l’album Nellyville Sortie 2002 Enregistrement 2002 Durée 4:49 (version album) 3:55 (version radio) Genre …   Wikipédia en Français

  • dilemma — /di lɛm:a/ s.m. [dal lat. dilemma ătis, gr. dílēmma atos ] (pl. i ). 1. (filos.) [forma di argomentazione, nella quale si stabilisce un alternativa tra due ipotesi equivalenti: proporre, risolvere un d. ] ▶◀ antinomia. 2. (estens.) [necessità di… …   Enciclopedia Italiana

  • dilemma — 1520s, from L.L. dilemma, from Gk. dilemma double proposition, a technical term in rhetoric, from di two + lemma premise, anything received or taken, from root of lambanein to take (see ANALEMMA (Cf. analemma)). It should be used only of… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Dilemma — (v. gr., Doppelsatz), eine Art der hypothetischen Schlüsse, bei welcher der Obersatz hypothetisch u. disjunctiv zugleich ist, im Untersatz aber die Disjunction im Hinterglied aufgenommen wird, um im Schlußsatz die Hypothese im Vorderglied (des… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Dilemma — »Zwangslage«: Das Fremdwort wurde Ende des 16. Jh.s aus lat. dilemma bzw. griech. di lēmma »Doppelsatz« (eigentlich »Doppelfang, Zwiegriff«) entlehnt. Dieser ursprünglich der Logik zugehörige Terminus bezeichnet eigentlich eine Art »Fangschluss« …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch

  • dilemma — [di lem′ə; ] also [ dīlem′ə] n. [LL < LGr(Ec) dilēmma < di , two + lēmma, proposition: see LEMMA1] 1. an argument necessitating a choice between equally unfavorable or disagreeable alternatives 2. any situation in which one must choose… …   English World dictionary


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.