Can the ‘paradox mindset’ help you? 「悖論思維」 能幫你更好地看問題嗎?

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我們往往用 「矛盾」 來描述兩個看似互相對立、不應但確實同時存在的現實情況。邏輯學中,亦有 「悖論」  一詞,那你知道什麼是 「悖論思維」 嗎?本期 「隨身英語」 討論這類思維方式如何幫助我們更好地看待問題。

詞彙:mentality 心態

The chicken or the egg – which came first? It’s probably one of the most commonly cited paradoxes – a chicken hatches from an egg, so the egg came first, right? But then what laid the egg? The two ideas seem contradictory, and that’s exactly what a paradox is – a problem that seemingly has no definitive solution and can’t be logically solved.

And paradoxes don’t just exist in philosophical debates but also in our daily lives. How can work be flexible but maintain structure? How can we switch off if we’re working from home? Two contrasting ideas could cause people stress, but what if we accept the contradiction and change the way we look at it? This is what some experts call the 『paradox mindset』.

A paradox consists of two realities that exist at the same time – even though that seems impossible. If you embrace just one of those realities and ignore the other, it can cause problems. For example, embracing change may lead to burn-out, while embracing stability may lead to boredom. Some experts have found the acceptance of both realities and a willingness to embrace them can improve both creativity and productivity by allowing you to navigate a path through the contradictions.

A 1996 study of geniuses by Albert Rothenberg found that those thinkers spent time considering opposites and antitheses. Consider Einstein. The theory of relativity was born out of the paradox that something could be moving and stationary at the same time, depending on perspective.

So, having a 『paradox mindset’ and accepting the bigger picture may help you to better understand problems. It could also make you happier knowing that contradictions exist. As a result, it may lead you to improving your productivity and creativity. If it worked for Einstein, maybe it could be good for you too!

詞彙表

idea 想法
contradictory 自相矛盾的,對立的
paradox 悖論,矛盾的情況
solution 解決辦法
logically 合乎邏輯地
philosophical 哲學的
flexible 靈活變通的
structure 結構,條理
switch off 不再考慮(工作)
contrasting 截然不同的
contradiction 矛盾
mindset 思維方式,思維模式
embrace 欣然接受
burn-out 極度勞累
creativity 創造力
productivity 生產力
navigate 設法應付
antithesis 對立,對立面,複數為 「antitheses」
theory 學說,理論
perspective 思考角度,觀點

測驗與練習

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. What is a paradox, according to the article?

2. What is the paradox created by work being too flexible?

3. True or False? Contradictions that cause stress are examples of the 『paradox mindset’.

4. What were the findings of the 1996 study of geniuses?

5. What contradictions did Einstein consider before creating the theory of relativity?

2.  選擇意思恰當的單字或詞組來完成下列句子。

1. It’s not a reality at the moment – it’s all just _______.

theoretical                    creativity                          logic                          productivity

2. You need to use _______ to solve this problem.

burn out                        solution                           flexible                      logic

3. You need to show a bit of _______ and stop being so rigid.

flexibility                       solve                                theory                       burn out

4. I’m so tired – I feel so _______.

burnt out                      solution                            logically                     solve

5. We need to find a _______ to this problem, now!

flexibility                       logically                            theory                       solution

答案

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。  

1. What is a paradox, according to the article?
A problem that seemingly has no definitive solution and can’t be logically solved.

2. What is the paradox created by work being too flexible?
How can work be flexible, but maintain structure?

3. True or False? Contradictions that cause stress are examples of the 『paradox mindset’.
False. Learning to appreciate contradictions is the paradox mindset.

4. What were the findings of the 1996 study of geniuses?
That the great thinkers tend to look at opposites and contradictions.

5. What contradictions did Einstein consider before creating the theory of relativity?
That something can be moving and stationary at the same time.

2.  選擇意思恰當的單字或詞組來完成下列句子。

1. It’s not a reality at the moment – it’s all just theoretical.

2. You need to use logic to solve this problem.

3. You need to show a bit of flexibility and stop being so rigid.

4. I’m so tired – I feel so burnt out.

5. We need to find a solution to this problem, now!