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Quine:The Ways of Paradox(蒯因:悖论的方式)

哲学园  · 公众号  · 哲学  · 2021-07-29 00:00
本文来源于哲学门在最短时间内饱览人类知识精华《牛津通识读本》长按二维码了解The Ways of ParadoxW.V. QuineFrederic, protagonist of The Pirates of Penzance, has reached the age of 21 after passing only five birthdays. Several circumstances conspire to make this possible. Age is reckoned in elapsed time, whereas a birthday has to match the date of birth; and February 29 comes less frequently than once a year.Granted that Frederic's situation is possible, wherein is it paradoxical? Merely in its initial air of absurdity. The likelihood that a man will be more than n years old on his nth birthday is as little as 1 to 1,460, or slightly better if we allow for seasonal trends; and this likelihood is so slight that we easily forget its existence.May we say in general, then, that a paradox is just any conclusion that at first sounds absurd but that ha



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