Paradoxical thinking as a way of solving theoretical problems




An awareness of the need for paradoxical justification of content thought first came to the Christian theologian Quintus Septimius Florence Tertulian, who lived in Carthage from 160 to 220 AD. In the controversy against abstract theoretical reason, he insisted on the importance of the “organic” practical reason, opposite to theoretical, the idea of which he associated with his paradoxical organization. The peculiarity is this organization of the mind that would allow it to avoid the emergence of problems in the form of a clash of opposing opinions, which Aristotle associated with the need for self-justification of its content. However, to bring it to the consciousness of the scientific community that self-justification of the conceivable follows be considered as a way of solving theoretical problems, requiring the exclusion of thinking from the logic of theoretical reasoning and reorienting it to a strict opposition to the Logos required the efforts of the geniuses of Antiquity and the Renaissance, as well as the best minds of the New time. In the process of searching for a mechanism for realizing self-justification, a paradox was considered a promising construct that posed the subject before the need to understand the object of comprehension based on simultaneously two incompatible, mutually justifying each other logician: the logic of his understanding that has become familiar and other logic into which thinking dissatisfied with its previous reasoning, literally “pushed out” the object of unrealized own cognitive efforts. Enrichment of thinking due to two opposing definitions of the concept object of comprehension ensured the acquisition of new knowledge, inaccessible each logically formed thinking separately and was achieved through the complementary dialogue of two logically incompatible logic justifications. The fundamental possibility of such a dialogue stimulated by the subject setting a task for himself as a situation requiring him to take a certain action in conditions where it is necessary to “find” something “unknown in principle”, the idea of which is what is “given” in a problem is based only on the awareness of the existence some unstructured set of empirical and devoid of any -certain contours and landmarks of its manifestations, which It is impossible to subsume it under any concept or any known theory. This led to the formulation of the “unknown in principle” into the concept of “unknown the “sought” that the task requires “to find.” In the face of uncertainty what needs to be “found”, what is sought is no longer the most “unknown in principle”, but the way of searching for it, resulting in the idea of this very unknown and the definition of its concept directly depend on what is found way of understanding it. Realization of mental action in conditions uncertainty of what is sought is carried out using operating component of thinking, which, using as its own means dialectical-logical concepts and triadic inferences, carries out a categorically unacceptable combination of opposing judgments. This connection, in accordance with the provision on “reflecting the properties of an object in principle of action”, leaves for the categorical component of thinking only a function of the source of the initial premises that are subject to reorganization. As a result of this reorganization, the idea of what needs to be “found” was gradually refined in the process of improving the search method, and its the concept reaches its utmost clarity only after the final complete search. The found method makes sense of the “unknown” sought” in the plane of problematic-dialogical reality, thereby revealing most its own content through a gradual transition from the definition the concept of thinking as “paradoxical”, given to it from a logical point of view, to the definition of his concept as “dialogical”, which corresponds to his natural design. In the process of making this transition the “unknown sought after” gradually becomes known due to the fact that it signs are combined in the process of this transition into a single thought based on which is the logic of the dialogue of two logics or dialogics. Picture of theory of thinking, built based on problem-dialogical it organization, involves the introduction of the concepts of “paradox”, “dialogic,” and “dialogical thinking” into its categorical system, starting with paradoxical design of the initial category with subsequent paradoxical formulation of its theoretical provisions in the form of species and subspecific dialectical-logical concepts, which will theoretically allow justifiably, using as psychological tools of thinking triadic inferences, to cognize the object of comprehension in all its completeness and internal inconsistency. Proposed theoretical understanding an object that is “unknown in principle” raises its understanding above the functional level of finding its place in a separate concept or paradigmatic model and opens up the prospect of objectification at the meta-paradigmatic level in a ompletely exhausted categorical methodological completeness.

Author Biography

  • Oleksandr Samoilov

    Oleksandr Samoilov – Doctor of Psychological Sciences, Professor, Head of the scientific-research laboratory on current problems of jurisprudence and psychology of the private higher educational institution’s Scientific-research institute “Dnipro Humanities University”, Dnipro.

    ORCID: 0009-0003-7644-6623


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How to Cite

Samoilov , Oleksandr. “Paradoxical Thinking As a Way of Solving Theoretical Problems”. Psyhology & Society, vol. 89, no. 1, July 2024, pp. 16-48,