AskDefine | Define despite

Dictionary Definition



1 lack of respect accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike; "he was held in contempt"; "the despite in which outsiders were held is legendary" [syn: contempt, disdain, scorn]
2 contemptuous disregard; "she wanted neither favor nor despite"

User Contributed Dictionary






  1. in spite of
  • 1592–1609: So thou through windows of thine age shall see / Despite of wrinkles this thy golden time. — William Shakespeare, Sonnet III
  • 1592–1609: Yet, do thy worst, old Time: despite thy wrong, / My love shall in my verse ever live young. — William Shakespeare, Sonnet XIX

Derived terms


Extensive Definition

In logic, a contradiction consists of a logical incompatibility between two or more propositions. It occurs when the propositions, taken together, yield two conclusions which form the logical inversions of each other. Illustrating a general tendency in applied logic, Aristotle’s law of noncontradiction states that “One cannot say of something that it is and that it is not in the same respect and at the same time.”
By extension, outside of formal logic, one can speak of contradictions between actions when one presumes that their motives contradict each other.

Contradiction in formal logic

In formal logic, particularly in propositional and first-order logic, a proposition \varphi is a contradiction if and only if \varphi\vdash\bot. Since for contradictory \varphi it is true that \vdash\varphi\rightarrow\psi for all \psi (because \varphi\rightarrow\bot\rightarrow\psi), one may prove any proposition from a set of axioms which contains contradictions.

Contradictions and philosophy

Adherents of the epistemological theory of coherentism typically claim that as a necessary condition of the justification of a belief, that belief must form a part of a logically non-contradictory (consistent) system of beliefs. Some dialetheists, including Graham Priest, have argued that coherence may not require consistency.

Pragmatic contradictions

Pragmatic contradictions often occur in philosophy that the very presence of the argument contradicts the claims of the argument. An inconsistency arising because of the normal implications of saying something, rather than because of the content of what is said. For examples, Heraclitus’s proposition that knowledge is impossible; or, arguably, Nietzsche’s statement that one should not obey others, or moore's paradox. These are self-refuting statements and performative contradictions.

Contradiction outside formal logic

Colloquial usage can label actions or statements (or both) as contradicting each other when due (or perceived as due) to presuppositions which are contradictory in the logical sense.
In dialectical materialism, contradiction, as derived by Karl Marx from Hegelianism, usually refers to an opposition of social forces. Most prominently (according to Marx), capitalism entails a social system that has contradictions because the social classes have conflicting collective goals. These contradictions stem from the social structure of society and inherently lead to class conflict, economic crisis, and eventually revolution, the existing order’s overthrow and the formerly oppressed classes’ ascension to political power.
Mao Zedong's philosophical essay furthered Marx and Lenin's thesis and suggested that all existence is the result of contradiction.


External links

despite in Persian: تناقض
despite in German: Kontradiktion
despite in French: Contradiction
despite in Korean: 모순
despite in Icelandic: Mótsögn
despite in Lithuanian: Prieštaravimas
despite in Macedonian: Контрадикција
despite in Dutch: Contradictie
despite in Japanese: 矛盾
despite in Norwegian: Selvmotsigelse
despite in Polish: Sprzeczność
despite in Portuguese: Contradição
despite in Russian: Противоречие
despite in Swedish: Motsägelse
despite in Chinese: 矛盾

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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