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dilemma
used in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

17 uses
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Definition
a situation in which a difficult choice must be made between imperfect alternatives
  • What Phaedrus had been presented with by the faculty of the English department of Montana State College was an ancient logical construct known as a dilemma.
    Part 3 (30% in)
  • A dilemma,which is Greek for "two premises," has been likened to the front end of an angry and charging bull.
    Part 3 (30% in)
  • If he accepted the premise that Quality was objective, he was impaled on one horn of the dilemma.
    Part 3 (30% in)
  • Phaedrus, however, because of his training in logic, was aware that every dilemma affords not two but three classic refutations, and he also knew of a few that weren't so classic, so he smiled back.
    Part 3 (30% in)
  • Phaedrus could have told his questioners that the answer to this dilemma was beyond his humble powers of solution, but the fact that he couldn't find an answer was no logical proof that an answer couldn't be found.
    Part 3 (31% in)
  • A third rhetorical alternative to the dilemma, and the best one in my opinion, was to refuse to enter the arena.
    Part 3 (31% in)
  • Why he chose to disregard this advice and chose to respond to this dilemma logically and dialectically rather than take the easy escape of mysticism, I don't know.
    Part 3 (31% in)
  • He knew himself to be a pretty sharp logician and dialectician, took pride in this and looked upon this present dilemma as a challenge to his skill.
    Part 3 (32% in)
  • The first horn of Phaedrus' dilemma was, If Quality exists in the object, why can't scientific instruments detect it?
    Part 3 (32% in)
  • This answer, if valid, certainly smashed the first horn of the dilemma, and for a while excited him greatly.
    Part 3 (32% in)
  • The horn of the dilemma was still there.
    Part 3 (32% in)
  • He turned his attention to the other horn of the dilemma, which showed more promise of refutation.
    Part 3 (32% in)
  • At this point the whole subjective horn of the dilemma looked almost as uninspiring as the objective one.
    Part 3 (35% in)
  • Actually this whole dilemma of subjectivity-objectivity, of mind-matter, with relationship to Quality was unfair.
    Part 3 (36% in)
  • And finally: Phaedrus, following a path that to his knowledge had never been taken before in the history of Western thought, went straight between the horns of the subjectivity-objectivity dilemma and said Quality is neither a part of mind, nor is it a part of matter.
    Part 3 (36% in)
  • Now he had that whole damned evil dilemma by the throat.
    Part 3 (38% in)
  • The dilemma all the time had this unseen vile presumption in it, for which there was no logical justification. that Quality was the effect of subjects and objects.
    Part 3 (38% in)

There are no more uses of "dilemma" in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

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