The cat is sitting on the mat. The cat isn’t sitting on the mat. It’s a contradiction, and one of those ‘facts’ has to go (even for you quantum physicists, the cat is either sitting on the mat or not once the wave function collapses).
For philosophers adept at logic, a contradiction is the result of an invalid, or ‘bad’, argument. An argument looks something like this: All men are mortal (P1), Socrates is a man (P2), Therefore, Socrates is mortal (C), with P standing for Premise, and C for Conclusion. If there’s a contradiction, one or both premises are false.
So far, so what? Let’s forget cats, and talk about you, because you’re a contradiction, too. As the contradictory cat is both sitting, and not sitting, on the mat, so you are angry and not angry, optimistic and pessimistic, happy and sad, in love and out of love, and so on, and so on.
The logicians might claim that they don’t like where my argument is going. After all, the contradiction is because the cat is, and isn’t, sitting on the mat at the same moment.
But we can hold contrary states at the same time. I am happy (because I have a new job) and sad (because my wife has just been made redundant), I am angry (because someone has just driven into the back of my car) and calm (because nobody has been hurt), and so on.
So, if I am happy and I am sad at the same moment, there’s something wrong with the premises. But I am happy and sad, so where’s the mistake. It’s the one we all miss because we take it for granted: it’s the I that begins almost every sentence we utter. The mistaken premise is that I am a never-changing constant.
We’re not. As the central koan of my book, The Untrue Story of You, suggests: The thought thinks the thinker. The sense of ‘I’ is created after the fact by thoughts and emotions. In truth, the valid sentences, or premises, should be: There is anger, there is calmness; or There is happiness, there is sadness.
Premises now correct, contradiction disappears!
If you have yet to read my book, you can find information on where to purchase a copy here: https://time-light.co.uk/