Arguments about (paradoxical) arguments

As regular readers know, I understand paradoxes to be a particular type of argument. The post Arguments about (paradoxical) arguments appeared first on
As regular readers know, I understand paradoxes to be a particular type of argument. The post Arguments about (paradoxical) arguments appeared first on [More]

Graphs and paradoxes

A directed graph is a pair where N is any collection or set of objects (the nodes of the graph) and E is a relation on N (the edges). Intuitively speaking, we can think of a directed graph in terms
A directed graph is a pair where N is any collection or set of objects (the nodes of the graph) and E is a relation on N (the edges). Intuitively speaking, we can think of a directed graph in terms [More]

Really big numbers

What is the biggest whole number that you can write down or describe uniquely? Well, there isn’t one, if we allow ourselves to idealize a bit. Just write down “1”, then “2”, then… you’ll never find
What is the biggest whole number that you can write down or describe uniquely? Well, there isn’t one, if we allow ourselves to idealize a bit. Just write down “1”, then “2”, then… you’ll never find [More]

The logic of unreliable narrators

In fiction, an unreliable narrator is a narrator whose credibility is in doubt – in other words, a proper reading of a narrative with an unreliable narrator requires that the audience question the
In fiction, an unreliable narrator is a narrator whose credibility is in doubt – in other words, a proper reading of a narrative with an unreliable narrator requires that the audience question the [More]

A person-less variant of the Bernadete paradox

Before looking at the person-less variant of the Bernedete paradox, lets review the original: Imagine that Alice is walking towards a point – call it A – and will continue walking past A unless
Before looking at the person-less variant of the Bernedete paradox, lets review the original: Imagine that Alice is walking towards a point – call it A – and will continue walking past A unless [More]

Periphrastic puzzles

Let us say that a sentence is periphrastic if and only if there is a single word in that sentence such that we can remove the word and the result (i) is grammatical, and (ii) has the same truth
Let us say that a sentence is periphrastic if and only if there is a single word in that sentence such that we can remove the word and the result (i) is grammatical, and (ii) has the same truth [More]

Paradoxes logical and literary

For many months now this column has been examining logical/mathematical paradoxes. Strictly speaking, a paradox is a kind of argument. In literary theory, some sentences are also called paradoxes,
For many months now this column has been examining logical/mathematical paradoxes. Strictly speaking, a paradox is a kind of argument. In literary theory, some sentences are also called paradoxes, [More]

The television paradox

Imagine that we have a black and white monitor, a black and white camera, and a computer. We hook up the camera and monitor to the computer, and we write a program where, for some medium-ish shade
Imagine that we have a black and white monitor, a black and white camera, and a computer. We hook up the camera and monitor to the computer, and we write a program where, for some medium-ish shade [More]

Temporal liars

One of the most famous, and most widely discussed, paradoxes is the Liar paradox. The Liar sentence is true if and only if it is false, and thus can be neither (unless it can be both). The variants
One of the most famous, and most widely discussed, paradoxes is the Liar paradox. The Liar sentence is true if and only if it is false, and thus can be neither (unless it can be both). The variants [More]

The consistency of inconsistency claims

A theory is inconsistent if we can prove a contradiction using basic logic and the principles of that theory. Consistency is a much weaker condition that truth: if a theory T is true, then T
A theory is inconsistent if we can prove a contradiction using basic logic and the principles of that theory. Consistency is a much weaker condition that truth: if a theory T is true, then T [More]