Absence paradox

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The absence paradox, while named a paradox, is more precisely an informal fallacy and humorous misuse of language which results in the conclusion that "No one is ever present." The statement of the argument is some formulation of the following:

  • No person is ever present because he is either not in Rome or alternatively is not in Beijing.
  • Therefore, he must be somewhere else.
  • If he is somewhere else he is not here.

But this does not make sense. The use of this fallacy dates from the 19th century. The fallacy in the argument is that it interprets the relative adverb "else" in an absolute sense.[1]


  1. ^ Bothamley, Dictionary of theories