Sorites paradox (also called Paradox of the heap) is a paradox that arises when unclear terms are used. The name of the paradox is related to the Greek word for heap ('soros'). There are different versions, but a typical one involves a heap of sand. The heap is made of many grains of sand. So if one grain is removed, the structure will still be a heap. This process can be repeated, until only one grain of sand is left. Since the heap never changed to a non-heap, this grain of sand is still a heap.
The paradox works the other way as well. If one begins with one grain of sand and adds another, and then another; when do the grains of sand become a heap?
- Bergmann, Merrie (2008). An Introduction to Many-Valued and Fuzzy Logic: Semantics, Algebras, and Derivation Systems. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. p. 3. ISBN 978-0-521-88128-9.
- Sorensen, Roy A. (2009). "sorites arguments". In Jaegwon Kim; Sosa, Ernest; Rosenkrantz, Gary S. (eds.). A Companion to Metaphysics. John Wiley & Sons. p. 565. ISBN 978-1-4051-5298-3.
- "Sorites Paradox". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philiosophy.