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2015-2016 Catalog

FYS 146 Paradoxes

Paradoxical statements are heard every day. Some are logically unsound; others are surprisingly true. How can the two be distinguished? In this seminar, students examine some paradoxes that are important rhetorical devices (yet lack significance) and others that have proved formative in the development of certain bodies of knowledge (Arrows theorem, the paradoxes of Galileo, Simpson, and Zeno, and the cause/effect paradoxes of quantum mechanics, for instance). Oral presentations are fundamental to the student-centered class structure.