“But why dad?” The tortoise and Achilles and the foundations of logic

But why Dad? Isn’t that the question? The one we ask our dads when we’re young and our Father as we get older. I’ve just found Lewis Carroll’s (yes, Alice’s Lewis Carroll) 1895 very short and very readable paper in a very significant philosophical journal, showing that not even the most obvious of logical arguments can prove its own reliability. It may seem obvious to you that if all dogs have four legs and Spot is a dog then Spot has four legs. But why? See what the Tortoise said to Achilles after Achilles caught up to him. Here’s the pdf. Don’t be put off by Euclid’s theorem: substitute dogs and legs if you like.
|Difficulty: Medium |Tag: Philosophy | Time: 10 min |

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