What the Tortoise Said to Achilles

  1. "What the Tortoise Said to Achilles"

    "What the Tortoise Said to Achilles" by Lewis Carroll: http://www.ditext.com/carroll/tortoise.html

    What exactly is wrong with the logic here? Is anything wrong at all?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. HallsofIvy

    HallsofIvy 40,675
    Staff Emeritus
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    Re: "What the Tortoise Said to Achilles"

    No error. It is just noting that in order to accept any logical proposition as true, you must first accept the "rules of logic" as true. And, in order to do that, you must accept the rules used to construct those rules, etc.

    That is why mathematical logic (I can't speak for philosophers) always starts with "given" rules and axioms.
     
  4. Re: "What the Tortoise Said to Achilles"

    Also see the Wikipedia article on this topic.
     
  5. Re: "What the Tortoise Said to Achilles"

    I don't understand what makes this story paradoxical. Can anyone enlighten me as to where there is a contradiction or otherwise?
     
  6. HallsofIvy

    HallsofIvy 40,675
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Re: "What the Tortoise Said to Achilles"

    I see nowhere any mention of "paradox". Where did you get the idea that the story was "paradoxical"?
     
  7. Re: "What the Tortoise Said to Achilles"

    Wikipedia refers to it as the Carroll paradox. It is included in Micheal Clark's book Paradoxes from A to Z as the Paradox of Inference. Thus I get the idea that the story was paradoxical.
     
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