| John Spacey, April 19, 2016 updated on September 10, 2017
A catch-22 is a type of self contradictory rule and logical paradox. The term was first defined in the 1953 novel Catch 22 by Joseph Heller. It is a reference to a fictional military rule that states that you can apply for a medical discharge due to insanity but that the act of applying proves that you're sane.
The term catch-22 has become associated with paradoxical rules that are difficult to challenge. Specifically, situations in which to fight a rule is to accept it.
|Definition (1)||A self contradictory rule. |
|Definition (2)||A rule that is a logical paradox because to fight it is to accept it. |
|Definition (3)||A brilliantly absurd bureaucratic rule or procedure.
|Examples||In order to get a job, you need work experience."Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing."~ Catch-22, Joseph Heller"Catch-22. Anyone who wants to get out of combat duty isn't really crazy."~ Catch-22, Joseph Heller"They don't have to show us Catch-22," the old woman answered. "The law says they don't have to." "What law says they don't have to?""Catch-22."~ Catch-22, Joseph Heller|
|Related Concepts||Abilene ParadoxDouble Barreled Question|
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