a chicken and egg situation/problem

(redirected from Chicken-and-egg problem)

a chicken and egg situation/problem

A situation in which it is unknown what happened, or what needs to happen, first. You need experience to get a job, but you need a job to get experience. It's a chicken and egg situation.

chicken and egg

1. If something is a chicken and egg situation, it is impossible to decide which of two related things happened first and caused the other. The link between current global temperature and carbon-dioxide emissions is not a chicken and egg situation. Cause and effect are quite clear. It's a chicken-and-egg argument about which comes first: Do people create a neighborhood lifestyle? Or does a neighborhood environment influence how residents live?
2. If something is a chicken and egg problem, it is impossible to deal with a problem because the solution is also the cause of the problem. Until we get promotion, we won't get the top players. But until we get top players, we won't win promotion. It's a chicken and egg problem. Note: This expression comes from the unanswerable question, `Which came first, the chicken or the egg?'
See also: and, chicken, egg

a chicken-and-egg problem

an unresolved question as to which of two things caused the other.
This expression comes from the traditional riddle: ‘which came first, the chicken or the egg?’
See also: problem

a ˌchicken-and-ˈegg situation

a situation in which you do not know which of two connected events is the cause of the other: Is she unhappy because she gets into debt, or does she get into debt because she’s unhappy? I suppose it’s a chicken-and-egg situation.This comes from the question ‘Which came first — the chicken or the egg?’.
See also: situation
References in periodicals archive ?
(Troen and Boles wrestle with this dilemma partly by proposing intermediate ways to infuse existing schools with some of the characteristics of Millennium Schools.) Moreover, there is a chicken-and-egg problem. We need Millennium Schools to attract more good teachers, but plenty of good teachers are a prerequisite for having many successful Millennium Schools.
In response to Teichmann's article (1991) proposing that the chicken-and-egg problem is no problem since "chicken" is a Sorites term (permitting us to say both that no chicken is born of non-chicken and that chickens have not always existed), Sorensen argues that the chicken egg must have come before the chicken because "a particular organism cannot change its species membership during its lifetime" (Sorensen 1992, p.
Sorensen's attempt to solve the chicken-and-egg problem relies on a simple and atomistic conception of the egg.