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Situations which defies intuition

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Contents

Articles

Introduction

Paradox List of paradoxes Paradoxical laughter 1 1 5 16 17 17 19 22 31 33 35 35 38 48 49 52 53 54 56 59 61 61 66 67 69 70 74 77 81 88 88

Decision theory

Abilene paradox Chainstore paradox Exchange paradox Kavka's toxin puzzle Necktie paradox

Economy

Allais paradox Arrow's impossibility theorem Bertrand paradox Demographic-economic paradox Dollar auction Downs–Thomson paradox Easterlin paradox Ellsberg paradox Green paradox Icarus paradox Jevons paradox Leontief paradox Lucas paradox Metzler paradox Paradox of thrift Paradox of value Productivity paradox St. Petersburg paradox

Logic

All horses are the same color

Barbershop paradox Carroll's paradox Crocodile Dilemma Drinker paradox Infinite regress Lottery paradox Paradoxes of material implication Raven paradox Unexpected hanging paradox What the Tortoise Said to Achilles

89 92 93 94 96 97 99 102 114 118 122 122 124 126 134 136 140 144 155 157 162 163 164 166 167 169 171 172 174 179 196 197 198 199 200 202 207

Mathematics

Accuracy paradox Apportionment paradox Banach–Tarski paradox Berkson's paradox Bertrand's box paradox Bertrand paradox Birthday problem Borel–Kolmogorov paradox Boy or Girl paradox Burali-Forti paradox Cantor's paradox Coastline paradox Cramer's paradox Elevator paradox False positive paradox Gabriel's Horn Galileo's paradox Gambler's fallacy Gödel's incompleteness theorems Interesting number paradox Kleene–Rosser paradox Lindley's paradox Low birth weight paradox Missing square puzzle Paradoxes of set theory Parrondo's paradox

Russell's paradox Simpson's paradox Skolem's paradox Smale's paradox Thomson's lamp Two envelopes problem von Neumann paradox

212 217 225 228 230 232 241 244 244 245 247 248 249 252 254 255 257 259 260 260 263 267 270 273 275 279 286 288 290 291 297 304 304 304 305

Miscellaneous

Bracketing paradox Buridan's ass Buttered cat paradox Lombard's Paradox Mere addition paradox Navigation paradox Paradox of the plankton Temporal paradox Tritone paradox Voting paradox

Philosophy

Fitch's paradox of knowability Grandfather paradox Liberal paradox Moore's paradox Moravec's paradox Newcomb's paradox Omnipotence paradox Paradox of hedonism Paradox of nihilism Paradox of tolerance Predestination paradox Zeno's paradoxes

Physics

Algol paradox Archimedes paradox Aristotle's wheel paradox

Bell's spaceship paradox Bentley's paradox Black hole information paradox Braess's paradox Cool tropics paradox D'Alembert's paradox Denny's paradox Ehrenfest paradox Elevator paradox EPR paradox Faint young Sun paradox Fermi paradox Feynman sprinkler Gibbs paradox Hardy's paradox Heat death paradox Irresistible force paradox Ladder paradox Loschmidt's paradox Mpemba effect Olbers' paradox Ontological paradox Painlevé paradox Physical paradox Quantum pseudo-telepathy Schrödinger's cat Supplee's paradox Tea leaf paradox Twin paradox

306 311 311 315 319 321 329 329 335 336 345 348 368 371 374 376 376 377 385 387 391 396 398 399 403 406 412 413 415 425 425 427 429 432 432 434 437

Self-reference

Barber paradox Berry paradox Epimenides paradox Exception paradox Grelling–Nelson paradox Intentionally blank page Liar paradox

Opposite Day Paradox of the Court Petronius Quine's paradox Richard's paradox Self-reference Socratic paradox Yablo's paradox

443 444 446 449 450 453 457 457 458 458 458 459 459

Vagueness

Absence paradox Bonini's paradox Code-talker paradox Ship of Theseus

References

Article Sources and Contributors Image Sources, Licenses and Contributors 466 477

Article Licenses

License 480

1

Introduction

Paradox

Further information: List of paradoxes A paradox is a seemingly true statement or group of statements that lead to a contradiction or a situation which seems to defy logic or intuition. Typically, however, quoted paradoxical statements do not imply a real contradiction and the puzzling results can be rectified by demonstrating that one or more of the premises themselves are not really true, a play on words, faulty and/or cannot all be true together. But many paradoxes, such as Curry's paradox, do not yet have universally accepted resolutions. The word paradox is often used interchangeably with contradiction. Literary and other artistic uses of paradoxes imply no contradiction and may be used to describe situations that are ironic.[1] Sometimes the term paradox is used for situations that are merely surprising. An example of a paradox is "This statement is false.", and is explained below. The logician Willard V. O. Quine distinguishes: • Falsidical paradoxes, which are seemingly valid, logical demonstrations of absurdities, from • Veridical paradoxes, such as the birthday paradox, which are seeming absurdities that are nevertheless true because they are perfectly logical.[2] Paradoxes in economics tend to be the veridical type, typically counterintuitive outcomes of economic theory, such as Simpson's paradox. In literature a paradox can be any contradictory or obviously untrue statement, which resolves itself upon later inspection.

Logical paradox

Common themes in paradoxes include self-reference, infinite regress, circular definitions, and confusion between different levels of abstraction. Patrick Hughes outlines three laws of the paradox:[3] Self reference An example is "This statement is false", a form of the liar paradox. The statement is referring to itself. Another example of self reference is the question of whether the barber shaves himself in the barber paradox. One more example would be "Is the answer to this question no?" In this case, if you replied no, you would be stating that the answer is not no. If you reply yes, you are stating that it is no, because you said yes. But because you answered yes the answer is not no. However you could reply "It isn't." indicating a negative response without saying the word "no". Contradiction "This statement is false"; the statement cannot be false and true at the same time. Vicious circularity, or infinite regress "This statement is false"; if the statement is true, then the statement is false, thereby making the statement true. Another example of vicious circularity is the following group of statements: "The following sentence is true." "The previous sentence is false." "Everything I say is a lie." "What happens when Pinocchio says, 'My nose will grow now'?"

Paradox Other paradoxes involve false statements or half-truths and the resulting biased assumptions. For example, consider a situation in which a father and his son are driving down the road. The car crashes into a tree and the father is killed. The boy is rushed to the nearest hospital where he is prepared for emergency surgery. On entering the surgery suite, the surgeon says, "I can't operate on this boy. He's my son." The apparent paradox is caused by a hasty generalization; if the surgeon is the boy's father, the statement cannot be true. The paradox is resolved if it is revealed that the surgeon is a woman, the boy's mother. Paradoxes which are not based on a hidden error generally happen at the fringes of context or language, and require extending the context or language to lose their paradoxical quality. Paradoxes that arise from apparently intelligible uses of language are often of interest to logicians and philosophers. This sentence is false is an example of the famous liar paradox: it is a sentence which cannot be consistently interpreted as true or false, because if it is known to be false then it is known that it must be true, and if it is known to be true then it is known that it must be false. Therefore, it can be concluded that it is unknowable. Russell's paradox, which shows that the notion of the set of all those sets that do not contain themselves leads to a contradiction, was instrumental in the development of modern logic and set theory. Thought experiments can also yield interesting paradoxes. The grandfather paradox, for example, would arise if a time traveler were to kill his own grandfather before his mother or father was conceived, thereby preventing his own birth. W. V. Quine (1962) distinguished between three classes of paradoxes: • A veridical paradox produces a result that appears absurd but is demonstrated to be true nevertheless. Thus, the paradox of Frederic's birthday in The Pirates of Penzance establishes the surprising fact that a twenty-one-year-old would have had only five birthdays, if he was born on a leap day. Likewise, Arrow's impossibility theorem demonstrates difficulties in mapping voting results to the will of the people. • A falsidical paradox establishes a result that not only appears false but actually is false due to a fallacy in the demonstration. The various invalid mathematical proofs (e.g., that 1 = 2) are classic examples, generally relying on a hidden division by zero. Another example is the inductive form of the Horse paradox, falsely generalizes from true specific statements. • A paradox which is in neither class may be an antinomy, which reaches a self-contradictory result by properly applying accepted ways of reasoning. For example, the Grelling–Nelson paradox points out genuine problems in our understanding of the ideas of truth and description. A fourth kind has sometimes been described since Quine's work. • A paradox which is both true and false at the same time in the same sense is called a dialetheism. In Western logics it is often assumed, following Aristotle, that no dialetheia exist, but they are sometimes accepted in Eastern traditions and in paraconsistent logics. An example might be to affirm or deny the statement "John is in the room" when John is standing precisely halfway through the doorway. It is reasonable (by human thinking) to both affirm and deny it ("well, he is, but he isn't"), and it is also reasonable to say that he is neither ("he's halfway in the room, which is neither in nor out"), despite the fact that the statement is to be exclusively proven or disproven.

2

Paradox in literature

The paradox as a literary device has been assigned as an anomalous juxtaposition of incongruous ideas for the sake of striking exposition or unorthodox insight. It functions as a method of literary analysis which involves examining apparently contradictory statements and drawing conclusions either to reconcile them or to explain their presence.[4] Literary or rhetorical paradoxes abound in the works of Oscar Wilde and G. K. Chesterton; other literature deals with paradox of situation. Rabelais, Cervantes, Sterne, and Borges, for instance, are all concerned with episodes and narratives designed around paradoxes. Two of literature's arguably most famous paradoxes is the Miltonic narrator's statement in Book One of 'Paradise Lost', that the fires of hell emit 'no light, but darkness visible.' Statements such as Wilde's "I can resist anything except temptation", Chesterton's "Spies do not look like spies"[5] and Polonius'

Paradox observation in Hamlet that "though this be madness, yet there is method in't" [4] are examples of rhetorical paradox.

3

Paradox in philosophy

A taste for paradox is central to the philosophies of Laozi, Heraclitus, Meister Eckhart, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche, among many others. [Elaboration needed]

Moral paradox

In moral philosophy, paradox in a loose sense plays a role in ethics debates. For instance, it may be considered that an ethical admonition to "love thy neighbour" is not just in contrast with, but in contradiction to armed neighbors actively intending murder. If the hostile neighbors succeed, it is impossible to follow the dictum. On the other hand, to attack, fight back, or restrain them is also not usually considered 'loving'. This might be better termed an ethical dilemma rather than a paradox in the strict sense. However, for this to be a true example of a moral paradox, it must be assumed that "loving" and restraint cannot co-exist. In reality, this situation occurs often, notably when parents punish children out of love .

Paradox in media

Another example is the conflict between a moral injunction and a duty that cannot be fulfilled without violating that injunction. For example, take the situation of a parent with children who must be fed (the duty), but cannot afford to do so without stealing, which would be wrong (the injunction). Such a conflict between two maxims is normally resolved through weakening one or the other of them: the need for survival is greater than the need to abide by the law. However, as maxims are added for consideration, the questions of which to weaken in the general case and by how much pose issues related to Arrow's impossibility theorem; it may not be possible to formulate a consistent system of ethics rules with a definite order of preference in the general case, a so-called "ethical calculus". Paradoxes in a more strict sense have been relatively neglected in philosophical discussion within ethics, as compared to their role in other philosophical fields such as logic, epistemology, metaphysics, or even the philosophy of science. Important book-length discussions appear in Derek Parfit's Reasons and Persons and in Saul Smilansky's 10 Moral Paradoxes. (paradox in time travel) a paradox will disorient the space time continuim - Dr.Emmet L. Brown also known as 'Doc"

Paradoxology

Paradoxology, "the use of paradoxes".[6] "As a word it originates from Thomas Browne in his book Pseudodoxia Epidemica."[7] [8] Alexander Bard and Jan Söderqvist developed a "paradoxology" in their book Det globala imperiet ("The Global Empire").[9] The authors emphasize paradoxes between the world as static and as ever-changing, while leaning on loose allegories from quantum mechanics. One may also include the philosopher Derrida in a list of users of paradoxes. Derrida's deconstructions attempt to give opposing interpretations of the same text by rhetoric arguments, similar to how lawyers in a court case may argue from the same text, the same set of laws that is, to reach opposite conclusions.

.Paradox 4 Footnotes [1] http:/ / dictionary. 2000 Sturm. com/ work/ 3399093) ( WebCite (http:/ / www. . wordpress. and should smel of oyl.stanford. . (http:/ / penelope.stanford. OCLC 1586291. 5. .edu/entries/insolubles)" – by Paul Vincent Spade.com. Willard (1966). Sean (5 September 2009).com (http:/ / www. Range.Escribir es nacer (to write is to be born). [4] [5] [6] [7] Rescher. p. . "Paradox". Alexander.). kb. Archived from the original (http:/ / seansturm.com/rr/s3-07/3-07. Pond. Archived from the original (http:/ / www. org/ 5minMTvXZ). "Paradoxology" (http:/ / www. reference. or unavoidable paradoxology must often put upon the Attemptor. Jan (2002) (in Swedish). librarything. eudoxa. Vicious Circles and Infinity . [8] Browne." [9] Bard.. webcitation. Te ipu Pakore . p.mathpages. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 74-17611. Retrieved 12 January 2010. com/ browse/ irony [2] Van Orman Quine. • Paradoxes (http://www. The Ways of Paradox and Other Essays. 1–8. "Although whoever shall indifferently perpend the exceeding difficulty. html) on 12 January 2010.). . Cambridge University Press. wordpress. "The Ways of Paradox". se/ bib/ 8814548?language=en) ( WebCite (http:/ / www. Stockholm: Bonnier Fakta. Det globala imperiet: informationsålderns politiska filosofi [The Global Empire]. Patrick. George (1975). [3] Hughes. ISBN 91-85015-03-2. Webster's Revised Unabridged. se/ content/ archives/ 2003/ 05/ informationsald. uchicago. Paradoxes: Their Roots. webcitation. ed (1911). 8814548 (http:/ / libris. • " Insolubles (http://plato. "Informationsålderns politiska filosofi [Political Philosophy of the Information Age]" (http:/ / www.A Panoply of Paradoxes. Waldemar (2003). if duly and deservedly handled. he will easily discern. org/ 5miuoDqyd) (in Swedish).edu/entries/paradoxes-contemporary-logic/)" – by Andrea Cantini. ISSN 0039-677X. a work of this nature is not to be performed upon one legg. Pseudodoxia Epidemica or Enquries into very many received tenets and commonly presumed truths. Random House.dmoz. Söderqvist. Retrieved 12 January 2010. org/ 5miwMwGj9) 12 January 2010) and lybrarything. webcitation. ISBN 0812694368. which either the obscurity of the subject. reviewed in Ingdahl. org/ 5miwNAQBh) 12 January 2010) External links • Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: • " Paradoxes and Contemporary Logic (http://plato. Svensk Tidskrift (Stockholm: Nordstedts Tryckeri) (2). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed. bibliographic entries at LIBRIS No. Nicholas (2001). From "A Tall Story" in The Paradoxes of Mr. Brecht.org/Society/Philosophy/Philosophy_of_Logic/Paradoxes//) at the Open Directory Project • "MathPages – Zeno and the Paradox of Motion" (http://www. New York: Doubleday. Retrieved 12 January 2010. Hugh. html) (6th ed. com/ tag/ erratology/ #post-411) on 12 January 2010.htm) Chisholm.. webcitation. edu/ pseudodoxia/ pseudodoxia. Garden City. Chicago: Open Court. ISBN 0-385-09917-7. Thomas (1672) [first published 1646]. and Resolution.

• Crocodile Dilemma: If a crocodile steals a child and promises its return if the father can correctly guess what the crocodile will do. then every rule must have at least one exception.. • Curry's paradox: "If this sentence is true. then Santa Claus exists. Although considered paradoxes. It is reasonable to believe of a particular lottery ticket that it is not the winning ticket. as paradoxes may fit into more than one category. not to be confused with the physical paradox of the same name. • Lottery paradox: There is one winning ticket in a large lottery." "There's always an exception to the rule... but it is not reasonable to believe that no lottery ticket will win. except to the exception of the rule — which is. The grouping is approximate. so it will be a surprise. or incomplete/faulty analysis. The teacher then sues the student (who has not yet won a case) for payment. everybody in the pub drinks. • Horse paradox: All horses are the same color. This list is incomplete. Self-reference These paradoxes have in common a contradiction arising from self-reference. • Drinker paradox: In any pub there is a customer such that. This list collects only those instances that have been termed paradox by at least one source and which have their own article. • Raven paradox (or Hempel's Ravens): Observing a green apple increases the likelihood of all ravens being black. Because of varying definitions of the term paradox." Ashtray with a No Smoking symbol. • Barber paradox: A male barber shaves all and only those men who do not shave themselves. Logic • Barbershop paradox: The supposition that if one of two simultaneous assumptions leads to a contradiction.List of paradoxes 5 List of paradoxes This is a list of paradoxes. some of these are based on fallacious reasoning. the other assumption is also disproved leads to paradoxical consequences." • Epimenides paradox: A Cretan says: "All Cretans are liars". if he or she drinks. This paradox works in mainly the same way as the Liar paradox. • Exception paradox: "If there is an exception to every rule. • Paradox of the Court: A law student agrees to pay his teacher after winning his first case. Does he shave himself? (Russell's popularization of his set theoretic paradox. some of the following are not considered to be paradoxes by everyone. grouped thematically. ." also known as Carroll's paradox. • Paradox of entailment: Inconsistent premises always make an argument valid. so it cannot happen at all.) • Berry paradox: The phrase "the first number not nameable in under eleven words" appears to name it in nine words. • Unexpected hanging paradox: The day of the hanging will be a surprise. the exception to this one being that it has no exception. in of itself. an accepted exception of the rule. since the probability that it is the winner is so very small. The surprise examination and Bottle Imp paradox use similar logic. how should the crocodile respond in the case that the father guesses that the child will not be returned? • Catch-22 (logic): In need of something which can only be had by not being in need of it. • What the Tortoise Said to Achilles "Whatever Logic is good enough to tell me is worth writing down.

one dollar at a time." a heterological word? (Another close relative of Russell's paradox. untyped lambda calculus is shown to be inconsistent. Then no number of grains of sand will make a heap. no matter how much you obtain. you will never become rich. That. • Sorites paradox (also known as the paradox of the heap): One grain of sand is not a heap. • Richard's paradox: We appear to be able to use simple English to define a decimal expansion in a way that is self-contradictory. If you don't have a heap. each of which says that all following sentences are false. Also similar. But then if you remove one hair at a time. for it to be more understandable it must be less complete and therefore less accurate. too.a. Uses neither self-reference nor circular reference." Shows that a sentence can be paradoxical even if it is not self-referring and does not use demonstratives or indexicals. is the same ship with which you started. . including moderation" (unsourced quotation sometimes attributed to Petronius). When the model becomes accurate. and it will still be the same ship. The previous statement is false. one at a time. • The Pinocchio paradox: What would happen if Pinocchio said "My nose will be growing"?[1] • Quine's paradox: "'Yields a falsehood when appended to its own quotation' yields a falsehood when appended to its own quotation. so if you keep this up. • Russell's paradox: Does the set of all those sets that do not contain themselves contain itself? • Socratic paradox: "I know that I know nothing at all." • Card paradox: "The next statement is true. • Opposite Day: "It is opposite day today. it is just as difficult to understand as the real-world processes it represents. and it will still be the same ship.) • Kleene–Rosser paradox: By formulating an equivalent to Richard's paradox." 6 Vagueness • Bonini's paradox: models or simulations that explain the workings of complex systems are seemingly impossible to construct: As a model of a complex system becomes more complete. one dollar will not make you rich. But then you can take all the original pieces. Similarly." This is the canonical self-referential paradox." A variant of the liar paradox that does not use self-reference. then adding only one grain of sand won't give you a heap. and assemble them into a ship. you will never become bald.k. • Code-talker paradox: how can a language both enable communication and block communication? • Ship of Theseus (a. it becomes less understandable. one hair can't make the difference between being bald and not being bald. Also "Is the answer to this question no?" And "I'm lying. • Yablo's paradox: An ordered infinite sequence of sentences. • Liar paradox: "This sentence is false. George Washington's axe or Grandfather's old axe): It seems like you can replace any component of a ship.List of paradoxes • Grelling–Nelson paradox: Is the word "heterological". So you can replace them all." • Petronius's paradox: "Moderation in all things. meaning "not applicable to itself.

and C. but low birth weight babies born to smokers have a lower mortality rate than other low birth weight babies. which is not an integer.) • Will Rogers phenomenon: The mathematical concept of an average. Very similar in essence to the Two-envelope paradox. B.[2] • Elevator paradox: Elevators can seem to be mostly going in one direction. leading to false but highly statistically significant results. but the probability that you actually have it could still be tiny. B is likely to win in a roll against C. and C is likely to win in a roll against A. whether defined as the mean or median. such that A is likely to win in a roll against B. • Necktie Paradox : A wager between two people seems to favour them both. • Interesting number paradox: The first number that can be considered "dull" rather than "interesting" becomes interesting because of that fact. The Monty Hall paradox: which door do you choose? . • Bertrand's paradox: Different common-sense definitions of randomness give quite different results. • The infinite sum of alternating integers 1 − 2 + 3 − 4 + · · · can be said to equal .List of paradoxes 7 Mathematics • Cramer's paradox: the number of points of intersection of two higher-order curves can be greater than the number of arbitrary points needed to define one such curve. • Nontransitive dice: You can have three dice. • Freedman's paradox describes a problem in model selection where predictor variables with no explanatory power can appear artificially important • Friendship paradox: For almost everyone. • Russell's paradox: Does the set of all those sets that do not contain themselves contain itself? Statistics • Accuracy paradox: predictive models with a given level of accuracy may have greater predictive power than models with higher accuracy. • Birthday paradox: What is the chance that two people in a room have the same birthday? • Borel's paradox: Conditional probability density functions are not invariant under coordinate transformations. What is the probability that it has a girl? • False positive paradox: A test that is accurate the vast majority of the time could show you have a disease. their friends have more friends than they do. • Berkson's paradox: a complicating factor arising in statistical tests of proportions. • Boy or Girl paradox: A two-child family has at least one boy. (A special case of Simpson's paradox. as if they were being manufactured in the middle of the building and being disassembled on the roof and basement. leads to apparently paradoxical results — for example. • Inspection paradox: Why one will wait longer for a bus than one should. Babies of smokers have lower average birth weight. • Monty Hall problem: An unintuitive consequence of conditional probability. • Lindley's paradox: Tiny errors in the null hypothesis are magnified when large data sets are analyzed. Probability • Bertrand's box paradox: A paradox of conditional probability closely related to the Boy or Girl paradox. called A. • Low birth weight paradox: Low birth weight and mothers who smoke contribute to a higher mortality rate. it is possible that moving an entry from an encyclopedia to a dictionary would increase the average entry length on both books.

• Three cards problem: When pulling a random card. • Missing square puzzle: Two similar-looking figures appear to have different areas while built from the same pieces. • Galileo's paradox: Though most numbers are not squares. . You may open one envelope.) Geometry and topology • Banach–Tarski paradox: Cut a ball into a finite number of pieces. and then. there must be at least two people in London with the same number of hairs on their heads • Russell's paradox: Does the set of all those sets that do not contain themselves contain itself? • Skolem's paradox: Countably infinite models of set theory contain uncountably infinite sets. This can be represented by a Klein bottle. each of which is equivalent to the original. they support the opposite hypothesis. without opening the other. The von Neumann paradox is a two-dimensional analogue. and half of that half. it can still take in more guests. how do you determine the color of the underside? • Three Prisoners problem: A variation of the Monty Hall problem. • Coastline paradox: the perimeter of a landmass is in general ill-defined." (This is also a physical paradox. both of equal size to the first. • Sleeping Beauty problem: A probability problem that can be correctly answered as one half or one third depending on how the question is approached. • Simpson's paradox: An association in sub-populations may be reversed in the population. • Two-envelope paradox: You are given two indistinguishable envelopes and you are told one contains twice as much money as the other. there are no two distinct points on the boundary of the Mandelbrot set that can be reached from one another by moving a finite distance along that boundary. (See also Cantor's diagonal argument) • Hilbert's paradox of the Grand Hotel: If a hotel with infinitely many rooms is full. • Supertasks can result in paradoxes such as the Ross-Littlewood paradox and Benardete's paradox.g. It appears that two sets of data separately support a certain hypothesis. • Zeno's paradoxes: "You will never reach point B from point A as you must always get half-way there. the Mandelbrot set and various other fractals are covered by a finite area.List of paradoxes • Proebsting's paradox: The Kelly criterion is an often optimal strategy for maximizing profit in the long run. • Cantor's paradox: There is no greatest cardinal number. choose which envelope to take. Also. but. examine its contents. when considered together. but have an infinite perimeter (in fact. The Banach–Tarski paradox: A ball can be decomposed and reassembled into two balls the same size as the original. and so on. • Pigeonhole Principle: E. • Hausdorff paradox: There exists a countable subset C of the sphere S such that S\C is equidecomposable with two copies of itself. which also implies that in a sense you go no further if you walk "the wrong way" around the set to reach a nearby point). it would be an ordinal number that is smaller than itself. re-assemble the pieces to get two balls. there are no more numbers than squares. 8 Infinity and infinitesimals • Burali-Forti paradox: If the ordinal numbers formed a set. Proebsting's paradox apparently shows that the Kelly criterion can lead to ruin. • Paradoxical set: A set that can be partitioned into two sets. and half of the half. • Gabriel's Horn or Torricelli's trumpet: A simple object with finite volume but infinite surface area.

if the intention is the only thing needed to get the reward? • Morton's fork: Choosing between unpalatable alternatives. • Paradox of tolerance: Should one tolerate intolerance. . many people have to change their behavior — even though they receive no benefit. be turned inside out. • New states paradox: Adding a new state or voting block might increase the number of votes of another. • Kavka's toxin puzzle: Can one intend to drink the non-deadly toxin. • Arrow's paradox: Given more than two choices. self-interested voter the costs of voting will normally exceed the expected benefits. if intolerance would destroy the possibility of tolerance? • Paradox of voting: Also known as the Downs paradox. • Inventor's paradox: It is easier to solve a more general problem which covers the specifics of the sought after solution. or even suffer. topologically. • Smale's paradox: A sphere can. For a rational.List of paradoxes • Nikodym set: A set contained in and with the same Lebesgue measure as the unit square. but only what they thought that everybody else wanted to do. with the result that everybody decides to do something that nobody really wants to do. • Navigation paradox: Increased navigational precision may result in increased collision risk. A group of separately rational individuals may have preferences that are irrational in the aggregate. • Apportionment paradox: Some systems of apportioning representation can have unintuitive results due to rounding • Alabama paradox: Increasing the total number of seats might shrink one block's seats. when one pursues something else. yet for every one of its points there is a straight line intersecting the Nikodym set only in that point. 9 Decision theory • Abilene paradox: People can make decisions based not on what they actually want to do. • Population paradox: A fast-growing state can lose votes to a slow-growing state. • Fenno's paradox: The belief that people generally disapprove of the United States Congress as a whole. so why do people keep voting? • Parrondo's paradox: It is possible to play two losing games alternately to eventually win. but support the Congressman from their own Congressional district. • Prevention paradox: For one person to benefit. • Newcomb's paradox: How do you play a game against an omniscient opponent? • Paradox of hedonism: When one pursues happiness itself. but. • Prisoner's dilemma: Two people might not cooperate even if it is in both their best interests to do so. • Voting paradox: Also known as Condorcet's paradox and paradox of voting. but on what they think that other people want to do. one achieves happiness. one is miserable. no system can have all the attributes of an ideal voting system at once. • Relevance paradox: Sometimes relevant information is not sought out because its relevance only becomes clear after the information is available. from the change. • Buridan's ass: How can a rational choice be made between two outcomes of equal value? • Chainstore paradox: Even those who know better play the so-called chain store game in an irrational manner. • Green paradox: Policies intending to reduce future CO2 emissions may lead to increased emissions in the present.

• The GZK paradox: High-energy cosmic rays have been observed that seem to violate the Greisen-Zatsepin-Kuzmin limit. a hydrometer will not indicate changes of fluid density caused by changing atmospheric pressure. • Faint young Sun paradox: The apparent contradiction between observations of liquid water early in the Earth's history and the astrophysical expectation that the output of the young sun would have been insufficient to melt ice on earth. • The holographic principle: The amount of information that can be stored within a given volume is not proportional to the volume but rather to the area bounding that volume. • Archimedes paradox: A massive battleship can float in a few litres of water. in order to hit his target. but slightly to the side. but is not. even though centrifugal force pushes them outward. • Denny's paradox: Surface-dwelling arthropods (such as the water strider) should not be able to propel themselves horizontally. even though they're thought to have formed at the same time. • Carroll's paradox: The angular momentum of a stick should be zero. ice-free periods of the Cretaceous and Eocene. the leaves assemble in the center. • Elevator paradox: Even though hydrometers are used to measure fluid density. • Irresistible force paradox: What would happen if an unstoppable force hit an immovable object? Astrophysics • Algol paradox: In some binaries the partners seem to have different ages.List of paradoxes 10 Physics • Cool tropics paradox: A contradiction between modelled estimates of tropical temperatures during warm. • Feynman sprinkler: Which way will a sprinkler rotate when it is submerged in a tank and made to suck in the surrounding fluid? • Painlevé paradox: Rigid-body dynamics with contact and friction is inconsistent. • D'Alembert's paradox: Flow of an inviscid fluid produces no net force on a solid body. not aim directly at it. • Aristotle's wheel paradox: Rolling joined concentric wheels seem to trace the same distance with their circumferences. and the colder temperatures which proxies suggested were present. which is a consequence of special relativity. but perpetual motion machines cannot exist. even though the circumferences are different. Robert Boyle's self-flowing flask fills itself in this diagram. Classical mechanics • Archer's paradox: An archer must. . • Tea leaf paradox: When a cup of tea is stirred.

• Black hole information paradox: Black holes violate a commonly assumed tenet of science — that information cannot be destroyed. • Fermi paradox: If there are. • Schrödinger's cat paradox: A quantum paradox — Is the cat alive or dead before we look? Relativity • Bell's spaceship paradox: concerning relativity. it cannot be infinite in extent. then where are they? Shouldn't their presence be obvious? • Heat death paradox: Since the universe is not infinitely old. Does a torque arise in static systems when changing frames? • Twin paradox: The theory of relativity predicts that a person making a round trip will return younger than his or her identical twin who stayed at home. Quantum mechanics • Bell's theorem: Why do measured quantum particles not satisfy mathematical probability theory? • Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox: Can far away events influence each other in quantum mechanics? • Extinction paradox: In the small wavelength limit. • Quantum pseudo-telepathy: Two players who can not communicate accomplish tasks that seemingly require direct contact. as probability would suggest.List of paradoxes 11 Cosmology • Bentley's paradox: In a Newtonian universe. gravitation should pull all matter into a single point. . • Supplee's paradox: the buoyancy of a relativistic object (such as a bullet) appears to change when the reference frame is changed from one in which the bullet is at rest to one in which the fluid is at rest. • Trouton-Noble or Right-angle lever paradox.[3] • Hardy's paradox: How can we make inferences about past events that we haven't observed while at the same time acknowledge that the act of observing it affects the reality we are inferring to? • Klein paradox: When the potential of a potential barrier becomes similar to the mass of the impinging particle. the total scattering cross section of an impenetrable sphere is twice its geometrical cross-sectional area (which is the value obtained in classical mechanics). many other sentient species in the Universe. when observed. • Mocanu's velocity composition paradox: a paradox in special relativity. • Quantum LC circuit paradox: Energies stored on capacitance and inductance are not equal to the ground state energy of the quantum oscillator. • Ehrenfest paradox: On the kinematics of a rigid. • Olbers' paradox: Why is the night sky black if there is an infinity of stars? Electromagnetism • Faraday paradox: An apparent violation of Faraday's law of electromagnetic induction. • Ladder paradox: A classic relativity problem. • The Mott problem: spherically symmetric wave functions. rotating disk. produce linear particle tracks. it becomes transparent.

and thus more potentially cancerous cell divisions. • Gray's Paradox: Despite their relatively small muscle mass. • Levinthal paradox: The length of time in which a protein chain finds its folded state is many orders of magnitude shorter than it would be if it freely searched all possible configurations. don’t. both the hamstrings and quadriceps contract at the same time. under certain conditions. tend to have substantially better health than the average population in spite of what their aggregate socio-economic indicators predict. even though competition for the same resources tends to reduce the number of species? • Peto's paradox: Humans gets cancer with high frequency. freeze faster than cold water. Biology • Paradox of enrichment: Increasing the food available to an ecosystem may lead to instability. . despite having a diet relatively rich in saturated fats. while larger mammals. like whales. If cancer is essentially a negative outcome lottery at the cell level. despite their being antagonists to each other.[5] • Sherman paradox: An anomalous pattern of inheritance in the fragile X syndrome. dolphins can swim at high speeds and obtain large accelerations.[4] • Mpemba paradox: Hot water can. • Pulsus paradoxus: Sometimes. • Glucose paradox: The large amount of glycogen in the liver cannot be explained by its small glucose absorption. you would expect larger organisms to be more predisposed to cancer. even though it must pass the lower temperature on the way to freezing. • Maxwell's Demon: The second law of thermodynamics seems to be violated by a cleverly operated trapdoor. and larger organisms have more cells.S. and even to extinction. while concentrated nitric acid doesn't. • Lombard's Paradox: When rising to stand from a sitting or squatting position. • SAR paradox: Exceptions to the principle that a small change in a molecule causes a small change in its chemical behaviour are frequently profound. • Mexican paradox: Mexican children tend to have higher birth weights than can be expected from their socio-economic status. • Hispanic Paradox: The finding that Hispanics in the U. it is possible to detect heartbeats during inhalation using a stethoscope which can't be felt at the wrist.List of paradoxes 12 Thermodynamics • Gibbs paradox: In an ideal gas. • Temporal paradox (paleontology): When did the ancestors of birds live? Chemistry • Faraday paradox (electrochemistry): Diluted nitric acid will corrode steel. • Paradox of the plankton: Why are there so many different species of phytoplankton. is entropy an extensive variable? • Loschmidt's paradox: Why is there an inevitable increase in entropy when the laws of physics are invariant under time reversal? The time reversal symmetry of physical laws appears to contradict the second law of thermodynamics. • Paradox of the pesticides: Applying pesticide to a pest may increase the pest's abundance. • French paradox: the observation that the French suffer a relatively low incidence of coronary heart disease.

one of whom can predict the actions of the other. but I don't believe that it is. information or objects appear to have no beginning. • Problem of evil (Epicurean paradox): The existence of evil seems to be incompatible with the existence of an omnipotent. • Bootstrap paradox: Can a time traveler send himself information with no outside source? • Predestination paradox[6] : A man travels back in time to discover the cause of a famous fire. at the same time believing that at least one of them is incorrect. the same fire that would inspire him." (This is also a paradox of the infinite) . but not to confirm that things are "grue"? • Paradox of hedonism: In seeking happiness. • Buridan's bridge: Will Plato throw Socrates into the water or not? • Chicken or the egg: Which came first. the chicken or the egg? • Fitch's paradox: If all truths are knowable. happy population? • Moore's paradox: "It's raining." • Newcomb's paradox: A paradoxical game between two players. • Paradox of free will: If God knew how we will decide when he created us.. to travel back in time. you couldn't go back in time and kill your grandfather. • Hutton's Paradox: If asking oneself "Am I dreaming?" in a dream proves that one is.. then all truths must in fact be known. and morally perfect god. what does it prove in waking life? • Liberal paradox: "Minimal Liberty" is incompatible with Pareto optimality. While in the building where the fire started. one does not find happiness. • Paradox of nihilism: Several distinct paradoxes share this name. he accidentally knocks over a kerosene lantern and causes a fire. and half of that half. • Omnipotence paradox: Can an omnipotent being create a rock too heavy for itself to lift? • Preface paradox: The author of a book may be justified in believing that all his statements in the book are correct. therefore. • Zeno's paradoxes: "You will never reach point B from point A as you must always get half-way there. which precludes your own conception and. in which as a result of time travel. • Mere addition paradox: Also known as Parfit's paradox: Is a large population living a barely tolerable life better than a small. years later. how can there be free will? • Goodman's paradox: Why can induction be used to confirm that things are "green".List of paradoxes 13 Time • Grandfather paradox: You travel back in time and kill your grandfather before he conceives one of your parents. and half of the half. and so on. The bootstrap paradox is closely tied to this. omniscient. • Temporal paradox: What happens when a time traveler does things in the past that prevent him from doing them in the first place? Philosophy • Paradox of analysis: It seems that no conceptual analysis can both meet the requirement of correctness and of informativeness.

in contradiction with Heckscher–Ohlin theory. • Braess's paradox: Adding extra capacity to a network can reduce overall performance. lower wages will reduce prices. even though a richer population can support more children. Petersburg paradox: People will only offer a modest fee for a reward of infinite expected value. • Edgeworth paradox: With capacity constraints. • Paradox of toil: If everyone tries to work during times of recession.List of paradoxes 14 Mysticism • Tzimtzum: In Kabbalah. • European paradox: The perceived failure of European countries to translate scientific advances into marketable innovations. • Demographic-economic paradox: nations or subpopulations with higher GDP per capita are observed to have fewer children. in contradiction with expected utility theory. • Leontief paradox: Some countries export labor-intensive commodities and import capital-intensive commodities. yet is a lot cheaper. • Bertrand paradox: Two players reaching a state of Nash equilibrium both find themselves with no profits. as an emanated causal chain would seemingly nullify existence. an allocation A may be more efficient than allocation B. there may not be an equilibrium. • St. • Paradox of thrift: If everyone saves more money during times of recession. in contradiction with expected utility theory. leading to more deflationary expectations. • Lucas paradox: Capital is not flowing from developed countries to developing countries despite the fact that developing countries have lower levels of capital per worker. • Service recovery paradox: Successfully fixing a problem with a defective product may lead to higher consumer satisfaction than in the case where no problem occurred at all. • Ellsberg paradox: People exhibit ambiguity aversion (as distinct from risk aversion). • Icarus paradox: Some businesses bring about their own downfall through their own successes. • Mandeville's paradox: Actions which may be qualified as vicious with regard to individuals may have benefits for society as a whole. • Downs–Thomson paradox: Increasing road capacity at the expense of investments in public transport can make overall congestion on the road worse. • Diamond-water paradox (or paradox of value) Water is more useful than diamonds. • Metzler paradox: The imposition of a tariff on imports may reduce the relative internal price of that good. then aggregate demand will fall and will in turn lower total savings in the population. reducing demand and thereby reducing employment. while at the same time B is more efficient than A. • Arrow information paradox: To sell information you need to give it away before the sale. • Gibson's paradox: Why were interest rates and prices correlated? • Giffen paradox: Increasing the price of bread makes poor people eat more of it. Economics • Allais paradox: A change in a possible outcome that is shared by different alternatives affects people's choices among those alternatives. • Productivity paradox (also known as Solow computer paradox): Worker productivity may go down. how to reconcile self-awareness of finite Creation with Infinite Divine source. • Jevons paradox: Increases in efficiency lead to even larger increases in demand. God encompassing logical opposites. and therefore higher returns to capital. . despite technological improvements. Luria's initial withdrawal of God in Hasidic panentheism involves simultaneous illusionism of Creation (Upper Unity) and self-aware existence (Lower Unity). • Scitovsky paradox: Using the Kaldor–Hicks criterion. • Easterlin paradox: For countries with income sufficient to meet basic needs. the reported level of happiness does not correlate with national income per person. leading to further thrift.

madetomeasure. that must appear paradoxical" [3] Newton. pdf)..when it is said that the sum of this series 1−2+3−4+5−6 etc. [2] Euler. Eldridge-Smith.4 + 5 . . com/ books?id=R3Eek_YZdRUC). ISBN 0486425355. com/ text. is ¼.. Journal of Postgraduate Medicine (Mumbai . Lectures on the Philosophy of History. Computing (http:/ / web... Dover Publications. google. Memoires de l'academie des sciences de Berlin 17: 83–106. ". p. A. . ISBN 0-7503-0759-5. Retrieved 23 July 2010. OCLC 477206415. The Refrigerator and The Universe (http:/ / books.400 012.. Retrieved 21 March 2010. doi:10. ISSN 0022-3859. edu/ ~euler/ docs/ originals/ E352. On page 36. google. asp?2002/ 48/ 1/ 46/ 153#Pulsus paradoxus: what is the paradox?). [5] Khasnis. Google image search (http:/ / www. (2002). Harvey S. p. in Leff. Inge F.. Analysis 70 (2): 212–215. India: 49) 48 (1): 46. "The Pinocchio paradox" (http:/ / analysis. archive.. com/ search?q="pinocchio+ paradox"). [4] Carnap is quoted as saying in 1977 ". est ¼. oxfordjournals. but the probability of minor or indirect conflicts between them increases. ISBN 9788173710858. (1993).6 &c. Leff and Rex also quote Goldstein and Goldstein as saying "Smoluchowski fully resolved the paradox of the demon in 1912" in Goldstein.1093/analys/anp173. History • Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel: We learn from history that we do not learn from history. . 19. F. Veronique (13 January 2010). the situation with respect to Maxwell’s paradox". PMID 12082330. Roger G. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich (1832). Lokhandwala. Leonhard (1768). . . Martin.. Peter. 228. "Remarques sur un beau rapport entre les séries des puissances tant directes que réciproques" (http:/ / www. . an image of Pinocchio with a speech bubble "My nose will grow now!" has become a minor Internet phenomenon ( Google search (http:/ / www. quand on dit que la somme de cette série 1 . org/ web/ 20051109101141/ http:/ / vlatko. Ltd. eds (2003). It seems likely that this paradox has been independently conceived multiple times.. dartmouth. com/ images?q="pinocchio+ paradox")).List of paradoxes 15 Perception • Tritone paradox: An auditory illusion in which a sequentially played pair of Shepard tones is heard as ascending by some people and as descending by others. pdf). biz/ Papers/ maxwell2. Y. "The “paradox” refers to the fact that heart sounds may be heard over the precordium when the radial pulse is not felt. Scattering Theory of Waves and Particles. second edition. cela doit paroitre bien paradoxe" The quote from page 84 translates as ". the probability of a direct war between them greatly decreases. Maxwell's Demon 2: Entropy. google. org/ cgi/ content/ short/ 70/ 2/ 212). Rex. ISSN 1467-8284. 68. A. p. (Jan-Mar 2002). Goldstein. "Clinical signs in medicine: pulsus paradoxus" (http:/ / www. As of 2010." [6] See also Predestination paradoxes in popular culture [7] Hegel. Classical and Quantum Information. Institute of Physics. jpgmonline. Retrieved 15 March 2010. Politics • Stability-instability paradox: When two countries each have nuclear weapons. Universities Press (India) Pvt. Retrieved 15 March 2010.2 + 3 . math.[7] (paraphrased) Notes [1] Eldridge-Smith.

com/books?id=QkNuuVf-pBMC&pg=PA52& lpg=PA52&dq="paradoxical+laughter"). Retrieved 14 November 2009. ( French biobliographical record (http://cat.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=16370783) with French translation of abstract) . It may be uncontrollable laughter which may be recognised as inappropriate by the person involved.Paradoxical laughter 16 Paradoxical laughter Paradoxical laughter is an exaggerated expression of humour which is unwarranted by external events. p. (1986). 52. It is associated with abnormal mental states or mental illness.inist. Paradoxical laughter is indicative of an unstable mood. International Review of Social Psychology 17 (4): 5–11. Rijsman. Cambridge University Press. Gergen. which can quickly change to anger and back again.. on minor external cues. Retrieved 2009-11-14.google. References • Frijda. such as mania or schizophrenia. John B.nl/iPort?request=full_record&db=wo&language=eng& query=142993).uvt. • Rutkowski. ISSN 0992-986X. "Paradoxical Laughter at a Victim as Communication with a Non-victim" (http://dbiref. Nico H. Anne-Françoise. The Emotions (http://books. Mary (2004). ISBN 0521316006.

she would rather have stayed home. It is easily explained by social psychology theories of social conformity and social influence which suggest that human beings are often very averse to acting contrary to the trend of the group. Origins The Abilene paradox was introduced by management expert Jerry B." The father-in-law then says that he only suggested it because he thought the others might be bored. Likewise. This observation rings true among many researchers in the social sciences and tends to reinforce other theories of individual and group behavior. . thinks that his preferences must be out-of-step with the group and says. They arrive back home four hours later. but went along since the other three were so enthusiastic. but did not admit to it when they still had time to enjoy the afternoon." The mother-in-law then says. it can be observed in psychology that indirect cues and hidden motives often lie behind peoples' statements and acts. wasn't it?" The mother-in-law says that.[4] The name of the phenomenon comes from an anecdote in the article which Harvey uses to elucidate the paradox: On a hot afternoon visiting in Coleman.17 Decision theory Abilene paradox The Abilene paradox is a paradox in which a group of people collectively decide on a course of action that is counter to the preferences of any of the individuals in the group." The wife says. They each would have preferred to sit comfortably. I would have had to be crazy to want to go out in the heat like that. therefore. A common phrase relating to the Abilene paradox is a desire to not "rock the boat".[1] [2] [3] It involves a common breakdown of group communication in which each member mistakenly believes that their own preferences are counter to the group's and. I haven't been to Abilene in a long time. actually. despite having reservations because the drive is long and hot. frequently because social disincentives discourage individuals from openly voicing their feelings or pursuing their desires. exhausted. the food is as bad as the drive." The husband. "Sounds like a great idea. Harvey in his article The Abilene Paradox: The Management of Agreement. When they arrive at the cafeteria. "It was a great trip. "I wasn't delighted to be doing what we were doing. The wife says. The Abilene Paradox is related to the concept of groupthink in that both theories appear to explain the observed behavior of groups in social contexts. perplexed that they together decided to take a trip which none of them wanted. One of them dishonestly says. The group sits back. and long. Texas. "I just went along to keep you happy. until the father-in-law suggests that they take a trip to Abilene [53 miles north] for dinner. the family is comfortably playing dominoes on a porch. does not raise objections. Groupthink The phenomenon may be a form of groupthink. "Sounds good to me. I just hope your mother wants to go. The crux of the theory is that groups have just as many problems managing their agreements as they do their disagreements." The drive is hot. I only went to satisfy the rest of you. "Of course I want to go. dusty. The husband says.

1). inderscience. Baltimore. • Harvey.012.issue. This anecdote was also made into a short film[5] for management education. Jerry B. . doi:10. when the time comes for a group to make decisions. 1996. (Summer 1974). especially notions of the superiority of "rule by committee. The Abilene Paradox. References [1] McAvoy.3. crmlearning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. (2006). Butler.1:119857. com/ abilene-paradox Further reading • Harvey. (1988). T. International Journal of Information Systems and Change Management 1 (1): 48–61. asp?referrer=linking& target=contribution& id=6320WJ2DUYA6N0XQ& backto=contribution.linkingpublicationresults.1016/0090-2616(74)90005-9. External links • The Abilene Paradox website by Dr.infsof. Harvey (http://www.journal.18.1504/IJISCM. metapress. MD: Otter Bay Books.18. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.008286. as well as practical guidance by consultants. com/ search/ index.1. . "The Abilene Paradox: The Management of Agreement". My Fingerprints Are on The Knife?. Information and Software Technology 49 (6): 552–563. doi:10. J. (2011).1. [5] http:/ / www. Organizational Dynamics 3 (1): 63. ISBN: 0787902772 • Harvey. "Are we going to Abilene?" to determine whether their decision is legitimately desired by the group's members or merely a result of this kind of groupthink. [2] Mcavoy. Jerry B. Jerry B.2007.2006. Jerry B.6. doi:10. is that group members. (1999). Butler.008286.02. [4] Harvey. doi:10. com/ app/ home/ linking.. International Journal of Information Systems and Change Management 1 (1): 48–61. Mass: Lexington Books. John. • Harvey. should ask each other. "Resisting the change to user stories: a trip to Abilene" (http:/ / www. Jerry B. "Resisting the change to user stories: a trip to Abilene" (http:/ / inderscience. "The impact of the Abilene Paradox on double-loop learning in an agile team". [3] John McAvoy and Tom Butler (2006).Abilene paradox 18 Applications of the theory The theory is often used to help explain extremely poor business decisions. How Come Every Time I Get Stabbed In The Back. Lexington.2006. Tom (2007). Jerry B." A technique mentioned in the study and/or training of management.com) .abileneparadox. The Abilene Paradox and Other Meditations on Management.1504/IJISCM. php?action=record& rec_id=8286). Swatting Flies and Telling Lies: Stories of a Mad Organizational Consultant.1016/j.

both player A and the competitor receive a payoff of 2.Chainstore paradox 19 Chainstore paradox Chainstore paradox (or "Chain-Store paradox") is a concept that purports to refute standard game theory reasoning. there are no longer any future competitors whom Player A needs to intimidate from the market. and see that they are greeted with the aggressive strategy. If a few do test the chain store early in the game. Each potential competitor chooses IN. each player receives a payoff of 0. Player A will still receive a payoff of 41 (7×5 + 2×3). Now consider period 19. . Thus. He faces 20 potential competitors. The chain store game A monopolist (Player A) has branches in 20 towns. he will receive a payoff of either 2 or 0. depending on the response of Player A to his action. COOPERATIVE or AGGRESSIVE. it is unlikely potential competitors 1-17 will bother the chain store. he receives a payoff of 1. A receives a payoff of 40 (2×20) and each competitor receives 2. which is better than the induction (game theoretically correct) payoff. must choose one of two pricing strategies. and the potential competitor's decision. the 20th competitor enters the market. Player A chooses cooperate. Even if as many as 10 competitors enter and test Player A's will. Player A. He knows that if he chooses IN. and Player A always cooperates. In periods 1-17. The outcome in the final period is set in stone. this process of backwards induction holds all the way back to the first competitor. Knowing this. Player A receives 91 (17×5 + 2×3). the induction (game theoretically correct version) and the deterrence theory (weakly dominated theory): Induction theory Consider the decision to be made by the 20th and final competitor. If he chooses IN. of whether to choose IN or OUT. he will decide to always be aggressive against the choice of IN. Suppose Player A finds the induction argument convincing. If all of the potential competitors know this. Assuming all 17 are deterred. and if A chooses AGGRESSIVE. Player A receives a higher payoff from choosing cooperate than aggressive. They do so in sequential order and one at a time. If he chooses COOPERATIVE. thus risking a the safe payout of 1 ("A" will not retaliate if they choose "OUT"). These outcomes lead to two theories for the game. in response to a choice of IN. Deterrence theory This theory states that Player A will be able to get payoff of higher than 40. if player 19 enters. the rest of the competitors are likely not to test any further. so to speak. one in each town. He will decide how many periods at the end to play such a strategy. He knows that A will cooperate in the next period. and being the last period of the game. If a potential competitor chooses OUT. say 3. and Player A will cooperate (receiving a payoff of 2 instead of 0). while A receives a payoff of 5. Player 19 knows this and chooses IN. Of course. an aggressive strategy will be unable to deter player 20 from entering. who will be able to choose IN or OUT. regardless of what happens in period 19.

Selten argues that individuals can make decisions of three levels: Routine. by doubling the size of the payoff matrix on each round (or. Complete Information? If we stand by game theory. but it looks like "deterrence strategy" is optimal instead. Selten's Response Reinhard Selten's response to this apparent paradox is to argue that the idea of "deterrence". In this case. Player A's competitors look at Player A's actions in previous game rounds to determine what course of action to take . This level employs the routine level within the procedural decisions. (Selten) The imagination level The individual tries to visualize how the selection of different alternatives may influence the probable course of future events. they will have a lower payoff than with the "deterrence" strategy. but it is missing in the initially presented payoff matrix. we can find the optimal strategy for all players before the first round is played.there are two choices and four possibilities per round). then the initial description given for the game theory payoff matrix in the chain store game is not in fact the complete payoff matrix. quadrupling the amount of choices -. is in fact an acceptable idea by the rationality that individuals actually employ. while irrational by the standards of Game Theory. Game theory is based on the idea that each matrix is modeled with the assumption of complete information: that "every player knows the payoffs and strategies available to other players. "The underlying criteria of similarity between decision situations are crude and sometimes inadequate". backwards induction seems like it will fail. This method is similar to a computer simulation." The initially presented payoff matrix is written for one payoff round instead of for all rounds in their entirety. The "deterrence strategy" is a valid strategy for Player A.this information is missing from the payoff matrix. because each individual round payoff matrix is dependent on the previous round. and Reasoning. Imagination. . This creates an apparent game theory paradox: game theory states that induction strategy should be optimal. In fact. As described in the "deterrence strategy" section (but not in the induction section).Chainstore paradox 20 The chain store paradox If Player A follows the game theory payoff matrix to achieve the optimal payoff. Selten's levels of decision making The routine level The individuals use their past experience of the results of decisions to guide their response to choices in the present.

are generally made on the level of Imagination. due to the complexity of Reasoning.the Final Decision. sagepub. Here. yet is not convincing "towards the end". and is the only method of reasoning permitted and expected by game theory. where deterrence is a reality. but perhaps not the higher levels. especially Reasoning. The final decision is made on the routine level and governs actual behavior. Reinhard (1978). since it is reasonable "in the beginning". The economy of decision effort Decision effort is a scarce commodity. but makes serious computational mistakes on higher levels. like those made by the monopolist in the chainstore paradox. com/ cgi/ content/ abstract/ 11/ 1/ 5 . doi:10. Theory and Decision 9 (2): 127–159. Reasoning is more costly than Imagination. Selten finally argues that strategic decisions. imagination or reasoning) to use for the problem. References • Selten.Chainstore paradox 21 The reasoning level The individual makes a conscious effort to analyze the situation in a rational way. Further reading • Relation of Chain Store Paradox to Constitutional Politics in Canada [1] References [1] http:/ / jtp. they can decide which answer to use. Decision-making process The predecision One chooses which method (routine.1007/BF00131770. The highest level activated is not always the most accurate since the individual may be able to reach a good decision on the routine level.. and this decision itself is made on the routine level. we would arrive at a routine decision and possible and imagination decision). being both time consuming and mentally taxing. in turn is more costly than Routine. Since Imagination cannot be used to visualize more than a few stages of an extensive form game (like the Chain-store game) individuals break down games into "the beginning" and "towards the end".. The final decision Depending on which level is selected. This mode of decision uses simplified models whose assumptions are products of imagination. using both past experience and logical thinking. The individual then arrives at a (possibly different) decision for each level available (if we have chosen imagination. deterrence is a reality. Once the individuals have all their levels of decision. "The chain store paradox". and the great inferiority of Routine (it does not allow the individual to see herself in the other player's position). which. the individual begins the decision procedure. Selten argues that individuals can always reach a routine decision. ISSN 0040-5833.

of special interest in decision theory and for the Bayesian interpretation of probability theory. 3. You may pick one envelope and keep whatever amount it contains. even elementary. It is quite common for authors to claim that the solution to the problem is easy. Thus the other envelope contains 2A with probability 1/2 and A/2 with probability 1/2. so I gain on average by swapping. To be rational. 10.[2] Problem The basic setup: You are given two indistinguishable envelopes. puzzle or paradox in logic. Currently. but then some other writer discovers that by altering the problem a little the paradox is brought back to life again. 5. This is greater than A.[3] The switching argument: Now suppose you reason as follows: 1. each of which contains a positive sum of money. 7. So the expected value of the money in the other envelope is 8. One envelope contains twice as much as the other. You pick one envelope at random but before you open it you are offered the possibility to take the other envelope instead. . The other envelope may contain either 2A or A/2. You pick one envelope at random but before you open it you are offered the possibility to take the other envelope instead'. If A is the larger amount the other envelope contains A/2. when investigating these elementary solutions they are not the same from one author to the next. The probability that A is the smaller amount is 1/2. In this way a family of closely related formulations of the problem is created which are then discussed in the literature. I can denote that content by B and reason in exactly the same manner as above. is a brainteaser. 4. I denote by A the amount in my selected envelope. and that it is the larger amount is also 1/2. A large number of different solutions have been proposed. After the switch.[1] However. 9. One envelope contains twice as much as the other. If A is the smaller amount the other envelope contains 2A. each of which contains a positive sum of money. 2. 6. A statement of the problem starts with: 'Let us say you are given two indistinguishable envelopes. Historically.Exchange paradox 22 Exchange paradox The two envelopes problem. It is possible to give arguments that show that it will be to your advantage to swap envelopes by showing that your expected return on swapping exceeds the sum in your envelope. I will conclude that the most rational thing to do is to swap back again. it arose as a variant of the necktie paradox. also known as the exchange paradox. at least a couple of new papers are published every year. probability and recreational mathematics. This leads to the logical absurdity that it is beneficial to continue to swap envelopes indefinitely. I will thus end up swapping envelopes indefinitely. The usual scenario is that one writer proposes a solution that solves the problem as stated. philosophy. 11. You may pick one envelope and keep whatever amount it contains.

Thus step 6 of the argument which leads to always switching is a non-sequitur. This essentially invalidates step 8 above. if the envelope you hold has more than half the maximum value allowed. thereby appearing to support exchange of the envelopes without inspecting the amount in the first. as between 1/2 and 1. positive or negative. where n is any whole number.. Yet the smaller amount of money in the two envelopes must have probability larger than zero to be in at least one of the just mentioned ranges! To see this. In other words the expected sum in the other envelope cannot be calculated without taking account of how the probability of doubling your money varies with the sum that you originally hold. suppose that the chance that the smaller of the two envelopes contains an amount between is and . contain half as much. and for definiteness we include the lower limit but and . However.. First resolution Blachman.. As it seems more rational to open just any envelope than to swap indefinitely. 23 Introduction to resolutions of the paradox Some of the paradox results from the incomplete description of the money that is in the envelopes. This has to be true for all n. whatever a might be. of course) to do so. then it is simply impossible that whatever the amount A=a in the first envelope. is exclude the upper in each interval. . Thus you are more likely to lose by swapping if you have a larger sum in your envelope making it. in fact. given that its contents are between . Applying this restriction results in a simple resolution of the problem. If this is equal to 1/2. It follows that the conditional probability that the envelope in our hands contains the smaller amount of money of the two. In other words how is the money in the envelopes determined or what is its probability distribution? In the real world there must be some upper limit on the sum possible in an envelope. Christensen and Utts (1996). But there is no way to divide total probability 1 into an infinite number of pieces which are both equal and larger than zero. with unrestricted sums in the envelopes. it follows by simple algebra that ..[6] and many later authors working in probability theory. on average. we have a contradiction. as between 1/4 and 1/2 . The puzzle: The puzzle is to find the flaw in the very compelling line of reasoning above. an impossibility. the paradox can be resolved by noting that the expected sums in the originally chosen envelope and the alternative envelope are both infinite.[4] Mathematicians have generally concerned themselves with theoretical cases in which the possible sums in the envelopes are unrestricted. In all these cases. pointed out that if the amounts of money in the two envelopes have any proper probability distribution. it is equally likely that the second contains a/2 or 2a. With some upper limit for the money. and for that matter. or .Exchange paradox 12. In fact in order for step 6 to be true. One resolution is to note that there is no proper probability distribution of sums in the envelopes that can simultaneously satisfy all the basic setup conditions exactly. not to your advantage (nor disadvantage. as between 2 and 4. the smaller amount of money in the two envelopes must be equally likely to be between 1 and 2. the other envelope cannot contain twice as much and must.[5] These cases are discussed in detail below. as between 4 and 8 . there still are proper probability distributions such that the expected amount in the second envelope given what is in the first is always larger than what is in the first. step 7 in the above argument fails because.

denote by x the amount found where x = 2n for some n ≥ 1. he should not switch. such that the expected value of the amount in the second envelope given that in the first does exceed the amount in the first. Now. 2} pair given the first envelope contains 2 is . Therefore the conditional probability that and consequently the probability it's the {2. Note that except for the case that the first envelope contains 1. given A=a. Notice that once we have fixed a probability distribution for X then the joint probability distribution of A. The bad step 6 in the "always switching" argument led us to the finding for all a. and the probability the pair is {2. but it true that whatever a. then the other envelope contains x/2 with probability 3/5 and 2x with probability 2/5. We think of these as random. The probability the pair is {1. independently of X. it turns out that one can quite easily invent proper probability distributions for X. yet as far as probabilities are concerned . it turns out that examples can still easily be found of proper probability distributions. the player should switch in all cases. In this case there are only two possibilities. whether or not we know a. since A. It cannot be true that whatever a. 2} or {2. . B is larger in expected value than a. whatever it might be.B = X.2} and the first envelope contains 2 is . Let X be the smaller of the two amounts and Y=2X be the larger. the envelope pair in front of us is either {1.[8] Suppose that the envelope with the smaller amount actually contains 2n dollars with probability p(n)=2n/3n+1 where n = 0.Y or Y. given the first envelope contains x.Y. 2. B is equally likely to be a/2 or 2a. Now suppose the first envelope contains 2.[7] Denote again the amount of money in the first envelope by A and that in the second by B.B is fixed.4} and the first envelope contains 2 is it's the {1.… These probabilities sum to 1. the smaller of the two amounts of money. the second envelope is more likely to be smaller than larger. yet its conditionally expected amount is larger: the expected gain by switching is which is more than x.Exchange paradox 24 Second variant Though probability theory can defuse the original paradox. It turns out that these proportions hold in general unless the first envelope contains 1. 4} pair is 2/5 since all other envelope pairs have zero conditional probability.X each with probability 1/2. Example Here we present some details of a famous example due to John Broome of a proper probability distribution of the amounts of money in the two envelopes. unless he happens first of all to get an envelope containing 1. given A=a. such that this bad conclusion is still true! (One example is analysed in more detail below). for which for all a. hence the distribution is a proper prior (for subjectivists) and a completely decent probability law also for frequentists. 1. A sensible strategy is certainly to swap when the first envelope contains 1. 4}. and hence to the recommendation to switch. as the other must then contain 2. Thus. This means that as far as expected values are concerned.

we are exchanging an unknown amount of money whose expectation value is infinite for another unknown amount of money with the same distribution and the same infinite expected value. the chance that the second envelope contains more money than the first decreases as the amount a in the first envelope gets larger and larger.e. which decides. it follows either that . then. that it is actually the correct reasoning in a slightly modified version of the game. because of that. These are the facts of life. Probability theory tells us why and when the paradox can occur and explains to us why it gives no cause for worry. in fact. why it is hard to find the error in the above reasoning is. and hence the same expectation value. But A and this is possible for some probability distributions of X (the smaller amount of money in the two envelopes). To determine what to put into the envelope F. and you should swap. that the reason why the puzzle is hard. . correct. In a real-life situation. a fair coin toss is made. so the expectation of the amount of money under this distribution cannot be infinity. why the puzzle is hard The authors of [10] mention. and it is indifferent whether to swap or not.Exchange paradox 25 Second resolution Fortunately. if the host gives you the envelope F. Thus both have infinite expectation values. however. if the host gives you the envelope E. or alternatively that for all a. Typically. The larger the amount of money in the first envelope.[9] Suppose Averaging over a. whether the envelope F will contain A/2 or 2A. i. the new paradox can be defused again. B have the same probability distribution. And enough resolution of the paradox for those working in probability theory. Their modification is as follows: the game sponsor decides what he wants to put into the envelope E. the host uses a fair coin toss to decide which envelope he gives you. As remarked before. Alternatively. the more likely this is the larger amount of the pair. The average amount of money in both envelopes is infinite. The reason. Let's denote this amount A. Exchanging one for the other simply exchanges an average of infinity with an average of infinity. you can actually use the same reasoning to find out that you should keep the envelope F. since the total amount of money in the world is bounded. Now. provided that you do not know which envelope is E and which is F. If. therefore any probability distribution describing the real world would have to assign probability 0 to the amount being larger than the total amount of money on the world. . The resolution of the second paradox is that the postulated probability distributions cannot arise in a real-life situation. the above reasoning is. whatever that might be. the expectation of the amount of money in an envelope cannot be infinity. the situation is symmetric. Thus if we switch for the second envelope because its conditional expected value is larger than what actually is in the first. and hence so must X too. by symmetry (each envelope is equally likely to be the smaller of the two). even if the other has a larger expectation value given the specific quantity in the first.

Now by swapping. for instance. This dismissive attitude is common among writers from probability and economics: Smullyan's paradox arises precisely because he takes no account whatever of probability or utility. Let the amount in the envelope chosen by the player be A. On the other hand Byeong-Uk Yi (2009) argues that comparing the amount you would gain if you would gain by switching with the amount you would lose if you would lose by switching is a meaningless exercise from the outset. counterfactually. the other envelope is filled (arbitrarily or randomly) either with double or with half of that amount of money. and Schaafsma (2005) consider that without adding probability (or other) ingredients to the problem. This comparison is uniquely indicated by the problem description. In the second argument. This would only be a reasonable counterfactual world if in reality the envelopes had been filled as follows: first. By swapping. Albers. Rather careful and often highly technical analyses have been made by many authors from the field of logic. the counterfactual world in which the player. He did this by expressing the problem in a way which doesn't involve probabilities. we cannot both gain and lose by switching at the same time. the other in which we lose) which is preferably indicated by the problem description. the player may gain B/2 or lose B. In the first argument. James Chase (2002). we consider the amounts of money in the two envelopes as being fixed.[11] Also Bernard Katz and Doris Olin (2007) argue this point of view. got the other envelope to the one he was actually (factually) given is a highly meaningful counterfactual world and hence the comparison between gains and losses in the two worlds is meaningful. We want to compare the amount that we would gain by switching if we would gain by switching. and only after that is one chosen arbitrarily and given to the player. showing that intermediate steps are being taken. who was the first to publish a solution of the paradox. incidentally. argues that the second argument is correct because it does correspond to the way to align two situations (one in which we gain. (Actually Smullyan only mentioned arguments 1 and 2. Let the amount in the envelope not chosen by the player be B. So the potential gain is strictly greater than the potential loss. and pinpointing exactly where an incorrect inference is made. who first added argument number 3 to the arguments 1 and 2 originally compared by Smullyan. by James Chase. by some arbitrary process. Though solutions differ. however. Kooi. in which two amounts of money are put in the two envelopes first.Exchange paradox 26 Non-probabilistic variant The logician Raymond Smullyan questioned if the paradox has anything to do with probabilities at all. we must give them some definite points in common. However. what varies is which one is first given to the player. He analyses Smullyan's arguments in detail. . all three conclusions are false (or meaningless). 2. 3. with the amount we would lose by switching if we would indeed lose by switching. some amount of money is placed in the specific envelope which will be given to the player. We are asked to compare two incompatible situations. the other will be a counterfactual situation. the player may gain A or lose A/2. we consider the amount of money in the envelope first given to the player as fixed and consider the situations where the second envelope contains either half or twice that amount. Thus there is no paradox. argument 3 was added later. Let the amounts in the envelopes be Y and 2Y. they all pinpoint semantic issues concerned with counterfactual reasoning. see below). and secondly. So the potential gain is equal to the potential loss. we must somehow "align" the two situations.[12] It was James Chase. Only one of them can factually occur. By swapping. So the potential gain is strictly smaller than the potential loss. Because that was an arbitrary and physical choice. in any case. In order to compare them at all. somehow imaginary.[13] According to his analysis. The following plainly logical arguments lead to conflicting conclusions: 1. Solutions to Smullyan's non-probabilistic variant A number of solutions have been put forward. Smullyan's arguments do not give any reason to swap or not to swap. the player may gain Y or lose Y.

which explains economic behaviour in terms of expected utility. there remains a problem to be resolved.[15] Chalmers suggests that decision theory generally breaks down when confronted with games having a diverging expectation. They provide a simple example of a pair of random variables both having infinite mean but where one is always better to choose than the other. the more is in his possession. which shows that decision theory doesn't necessarily break down when confronted with infinite expectations. However. McDonnell and Abbott represent the values in the two envelopes by two random variables. Either way. and compares it with the situation generated by the classical St. Some try to generalise some of the existing theory to allow infinite expectations. We can pretend that the amount of money in the whole world is as large as we like. its utility to the owner increases less and less. so fortunately there is no need to build a decision theory which allows unbounded utility. However. the two envelope paradox illustrates that unbounded utility does not exist in the real world. Yet the expected utility based theory of economic behaviour says (or assumes) that people do in practice make economic decisions by maximizing expected utility. one only needs to know the prior density of X up to . In their analyses.Exchange paradox 27 Foundations of mathematical economics In mathematical economics and the theory of utility.[16] This is the best thing to do at every instant as well as on average. Controversy among theoretical economists As mentioned above. with the smaller amount given with probability p and the larger amount with probability . neither in the single case nor the averaged case. which is not defined. hence excluding the paradox altogether. So before the player opens an envelope the expected gain from switching is "∞ − ∞". since in the Bayesian calculations. the lower amount of money X. They are stuck with the paradoxical example just given. For decision theory and utility theory. and ultimately there is a finite upper bound to the utility of all possible amounts of money. Clark and Shackel argue that this blaming it all on "the strange behaviour of infinity" doesn't resolve the paradox at all. is thought of as drawn from some probability distribution. where one wants to condition on the observed value of the amount of money in one of the two envelopes. Many mathematical economists are happy to exclude infinite expected utility by assumption. as in the original problem. This can be done. Extensions to the Problem McDonnell and Abbott analyze a modified problem in which the player is allowed to look in the first envelope before deciding whether to switch or to stay. McDonnell and Abbott do work first formally with the situation that X is drawn from a uniform distribution over the interval and .[14] In the real world we presumably wouldn't indefinitely exchange one envelope for the other (and probability theory. there is no uniform probability distribution over all the real numbers. as just discussed. the strange behaviour of infinity".[17] They also allow the arranger of the game to decide which amount will be given to the player. In the words of Chalmers this is "just another example of a familiar phenomenon. Petersburg paradox. Thus corresponds to the case when the player is given one of the two envelopes completely at random. Fortunately for mathematical economics and the theory of utility. explains quite well why calculations of conditional expectations might mislead us). and hence predicts that people would switch indefinitely. any distribution producing this variant of the paradox must have an infinite mean. and the second amount is then 2X. let alone utility of infinite expectation. This could either express the subjective beliefs of the player concerning the unknown values in the two envelopes in just one play of the game. it is generally agreed that as an amount of money increases. In fact. or it could express a frequentist model where we imagine the game played many times and the numbers in the envelopes being fixed by a physical randomization procedure. yet the owner of all that money will not have more and more use of it.

is attributed by McDonnell and Abbott to information theorist Thomas M. that means to say. and that neither envelope is empty. in the case where . This variant of the problem. we are not told the joint probability distribution of the two numbers. However. there is a way that the player can decide whether to switch or to stay so that he has a larger chance than 1/2 of finishing with the bigger sum of money. The threshold between "small" and "large" is subjective and can be fixed at different values.Exchange paradox proportionality. puts the problem into the range of game theory. it is also possible to increase our expectation by switching when we observe small amounts of money in the envelope and keeping the envelope when it contains a large amount. Counter-intuitive though it might seem. If probability is taken in the subjectivist sense. We are not asking for a subjectivist solution. However. but in Bayesian statistics it is called an improper prior distribution. so one can formally go through the usual calculations with a uniform prior density. in other words. Think of each envelope as simply containing a positive number and such that the two numbers are not the same. he would likely limit the distribution of X to the range . Cover. It should thus be advantageous to keep the larger values when there is a greater likelihood that they come from the range . however the two numbers are chosen by the arranger of the game. This is one popular way to mathematically represent subjectivist total ignorance of the amounts of money in the two envelopes. it is only possible with a so-called randomized algorithm. As a practical matter. We must think of the two numbers in the envelopes as chosen by the arranger of the game according to some possibly random procedure. the player needs himself to be able to generate random numbers. Is it possible for the player to make his choice in such a way that he goes home with the larger amount of money with probability strictly greater than half? We are given no information at all about the two amounts of money in the two envelopes. both amounts of money are strictly greater than zero. In particular. Suppose he is able to think up a random amount of . The player's strategy consists of a probability of switching for each possible amount of money he sees in the envelope he opens. by definition. and so is known. as these are drawn from a larger domain over . the probability distribution of X. There is no constant switching strategy that will improve the player's expectations. A player can take advantage of different probability distributions for X. Note that this prior distribution implies that for any number x. 28 Randomized solutions As mentioned before. Thinking of the arranger of the game and the player as two parties in a two person game. and it is well known that use of such non-normalizable prior densities can lead to incorrect deductions. the prior for a completely unknown positive number is actually conventionally more often taken as the improper prior density 1/x). In this case. but it should be possible to take advantage of the fact that some of the larger values seen in the game can only be the 2X amount. completely unknown to us. and fixed. then he can compute his optimal switch-or-stay strategy by application of Bayes' theorem. except that they are different. even though there is no uniform prior distribution over the whole real line. the player finds it infinitely more likely that the smaller amount of money is larger than x than that it is smaller than x! (In Bayesian statistics. The job of the player is to end up with the envelope with the larger number. As such. what if he doesn't know the arranger's strategy? This connection is further explored in the next section. McDonnell and Abbott consider the situation in which the player is allowed to look in the first envelope before deciding whether to switch or to stay. if he would know this distribution.[17] The player is allowed either to keep this amount. whatever it might be. the player can improve his expectation by always switching (when ) or never switching (when ). Obviously if the player knows the arranger's strategy. The arranger's strategy consists of a choice of a probability distribution of X. However. where K is some fixed limit. or to switch and take the amount of money in the other envelope. not surprisingly. as well as its solution. then the distribution of X simply represents the player's initial beliefs as to the prior likelihood of different values of x. the arranger of the game will likely have a limit on the amount of money he can put in the envelopes.

depending on whether the player ends up with the lower or higher amount of money. when Belgian mathematician Maurice Kraitchik proposed a puzzle in his book Recreational Mathematics concerning two equally rich men who meet and compare their beautiful neckties.ln (1-y). by symmetry. who credited it to the physicist Erwin Schroedinger. tending to zero as z tends to infinity. If both amounts of money are larger than Z his strategy does not help him either. equally rich. So we only ever need to toss the coin a finite number of times. So the chance is 0 that Z is exactly equal to any particular amount of money. then his strategy leads him correctly to keep the first envelope if its contents are larger than those of the second. Therefore the game is favourable to me. let's call it Z. in the form of a wallet game: Two people. and the other player chooses the distribution of Z. and convert the sequence of heads and tails into a binary fraction: HTHHTH.. this means that he ends up with the envelope with the larger amount of money with probability strictly larger than 1/2. If both amounts of money are smaller than the player's Z then his strategy does not help him. If it is small compared to Z he will switch.. Think of the two amounts of money in the envelopes as fixed (though of course unknown to the player). of some number y. The particular probability law (the so-called standard exponential distribution) used to generate the random number Z in this problem is not crucial. The game does not have a "solution" (or saddle point) in the sense of game theory. Note that we just need to toss the coin long enough that we can see for sure whether Z is smaller or larger than the number in the first envelope. This is an infinite game and von Neumann's minimax theorem does not apply. However if Z happens to be in between the two amounts. If Z is larger he switches to the other envelope. he ends up with the first envelope. Each is ignorant of the contents of the two wallets. to any required degree of accuracy. Then Z = . where we make the game a two-person zero-sum game with outcomes win or lose. if it is large compared to Z he will stay. Toss a fair coin many times.5). If I win (probability 0. which again is equally likely to be the larger or the smaller of the two. That's the maximum that I could lose. wondering which tie actually cost more money. Martin Gardner popularized Kraitchik's puzzle in his 1982 book Aha! Gotcha. Where is the mistake in the reasoning of each man? . One of the two men can reason: "I have the amount A in my wallet. In fact. Note that exp(-z) starts off equal to 1 at z=0 and decreases strictly and continuously as z increases. the number Z we have described could be determined. the probability that he ends with the "winning envelope" is 1/2 + Prob(Z falls between the two amounts of money)/2. but to switch to the second if the first envelope has smaller contents than the second. and there is a positive probability that Z lies between any two particular different amounts of money. such that the probability that Z is larger than any particular quantity z is exp(-z)." The other man can reason in exactly the same way. This problem can be considered from the point of view of game theory. nothing happens).. Altogether. the game is fair. If Z is smaller he keeps the envelope.Exchange paradox money. as follows. he ends up with the second envelope. Think of the player's random Z as a probe with which he decides whether the number in the first envelope is small or large.101101. meet to compare the contents of their wallets. One player chooses the joint distribution of the amounts of money in both envelopes. In practice. the amount that I'll have in my possession at the end of the game will be more than A. The player compares his Z with the amount of money in the envelope he is given first. which is equally likely to be the larger or the smaller of the two. Any continuous probability distribution over the positive real numbers which assigns positive probability to any interval of positive length will do the job. To be precise.[18] 29 History of the paradox The envelope paradox dates back at least to 1953. becomes the binary representation 0. It is also mentioned in a 1953 book on elementary mathematics and mathematical puzzles by the mathematician John Edensor Littlewood. The game is as follows: whoever has the least money receives the contents of the wallet of the other (in the case where the amounts are equal. presents from their wives.

50. Southwest Philosophy Review 25 (2). D. Doris (2007).1. html .2.M.1093/analys/62. Teaching Statistics 30 (3): 86–88. "A tale of two envelopes". 47. mit. vol. "The Non-Probabilistic Two Envelope Paradox". Analysis 55 (1): 6–11. pdf). doi:10. M.. "The Two-envelope Paradox". [17] McDonnell. Mark D. 267). Derek. Christensen.155. (1996).2008. 98-99) [8] Broome. vol. Analysis 62 (2): 155–157. Abott. Shackel. M. pitt. (2009). Abbott. 3. Grant. doi:10. Ken (2011)... R. [13] Byeong-Uk Yi (2009). doi:10. JSTOR 1942970.1098/rspa.x. published online (http:/ / consequently. (1992). doi:10. nr.M. pdf). D. John (1998). N. James (2002).1093/mind/fzm903. 5.157. R. N. p. [4] Norton. M. p. Blachman. 2. (2000). Land. Envelopes and Indifference. . Binder (1993. (1993). [16] Clark. "The St. doi:10. "The Two-Envelope Paradox".Exchange paradox In 1989.2009. "When the sum of our expectations fails us: The exchange paradox" (http:/ / www.1093/analys/62. ca/ people/ linked-documents-people/ c two envelope with no probability. Barry (1989). vol. [5] Nalebuff. D.1098/rspa.1467-9639. Martin Gardner independently mentioned this version in his 1989 book Penrose Tiles to Trapdoor Ciphers and the Return of Dr Matrix. Barry Nalebuff presented the modern two-envelope (one containing twice what's in the other) exchange form. [7] Christensen.. (2009). Mind 109 (435): 415–442. D.415..00318.6. J. comment on Christensen and Utts (1992) [10] Graham Priest. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 79 (1): 38–54.1111/1468-0114. [9] Binder. "Taking the Two Envelope Paradox to the Limit".. the paradox has been most commonly presented in the two-envelopes form. [12] Katz. The American Statistician 47 (2): 160.0312. Utts. [15] Chalmers. John (1995).. Proceedings of the Royal Society A 465 (2111): 3309–3322. The American Statistician 50 (1): 98–99. A to appear. pp. utoronto. edu/ ~emin/ writings/ envelopes. doi:10. Bernard. Lever. .0541. (2002). Mind 116 (464): 903–926. Alex J.435. Proceedings of the Royal Society. Greg Restall (2007). [14] Fallis.1111/j. doi:10. 48. A. [18] http:/ / www. eq. org/ papers/ envelopes. R. Analysis 62 (2): 157–160. "Gain from the two-envelope problem via information asymmetry: on the suboptimality of randomized switching".. along with the computation of the expectation value 5A/4. The Two-envelope Paradox With No Probability (http:/ / philosophy. doi:10. nr. Petersburg Two-Envelope Paradox". [6] Blachman. (letters to the editor. 30 Notes and references [1] McDonnell. 1.00049. The American Statistician 46 (4): 274–276. edu/ ~jdnorton/ papers/ Exchange_paradox. "The other person's envelope is always greener". doi:10. Utts (1996. J. Vellambi. "The Unrelenting Exchange Paradox". See also letters to editor and responses by Christensen and Utts by D.1093/mind/109. Christensen and J. The journal of economic perspectives 3 (1): 171–181.1093/analys/55. Ruma (2008). [2] A complete list of published and unpublished sources in chronological order can be found here [3] Falk. Utts. Badri N. and letter with correction to original article by N.A. pdf) [11] Chase. David J. Ingmar. nr. Since then. "Randomized switching in the two-envelope problem". 160) and Ross (1994.2. Olin.2010.

. Pay-offs (Initial analysis) Intend Drink Do not drink 90 100 Do not intend −10 0 According to Kavka: Whether you are paid or not. Since the pain caused by the poison would be more than off-set by the money received. in fact. • There are two decisions for one event with different pay-offs. You are perfectly free to change your mind after receiving the money and not drink the toxin. but will not threaten your life or have any lasting effects. following from reason. if you know you do not have to? The paradox The paradoxical nature can be stated in many ways. is an action one would not actually perform. All you have to do is. It was presented by moral and political philosopher Gregory S. Kavka's claim. will make you painfully ill for a day. we can sketch the pay-off table as follows. intend at midnight tonight to drink the stuff tomorrow afternoon. The puzzle Kavka's original version of the puzzle is the following: An eccentric billionaire places before you a vial of toxin that. A rational person would know he would not drink the poison and thus could not intend to drink it. of free will.Kavka's toxin puzzle 31 Kavka's toxin puzzle Kavka's toxin puzzle is a thought experiment about the possibility of forming an intention to perform an act which. .[1] A possible interpretation: Can you intend to drink the toxin. • Similarly in line with Newcomb's paradox. which may be useful for understanding analysis proposed by philosophers: • In line with Newcomb's paradox. The billionaire will pay you one million dollars tomorrow morning if. if you drink it. if you succeed. but it is also assumed that the person may change his decision afterwards. that one cannot intend what one will not do. . an omniscient pay-off mechanism makes a person's decision known to him before he makes the decision. and grew out of his work in deterrence theory and mutual assured destruction. drinking the poison would leave you worse off. • Pay-off for decision to drink the poison is ambiguous. He emphasizes that you need not drink the toxin to receive the money. you intend to drink the toxin tomorrow afternoon. Kavka in "The Toxin Puzzle" (1983). makes pay-off mechanism an example of reverse causation. at midnight tonight. the money will already be in your bank account hours before the time for drinking it arrives.

since some reward may be obtained. Pay-offs (According to Gauthier) Intend Drink Do not drink 90 Do not intend −10 Impossible 0 One of the central tenets of the puzzle is that for a reasonable person • There is reasonable grounds for that person to drink the toxin. Thus a reasonable person must intend to drink the toxin by the first argument. References [1] Kavka.1. 33–34]. "The Toxin Puzzle".[2] The rational outcome of your deliberation tomorrow morning is the action that will be part of your life going as well as possible. • Having come to the above conclusion there is no reasonable grounds for that person to drink the toxin. he is being irrational by the second argument. yet if that person intends to drink the toxin. And so the rational action is to drink the toxin. compatible with the sincere intention that you form today to drink the toxin. Ethics 104 (4): 690–721.Kavka's toxin puzzle 32 Pay-offs (According to Kavka) Intend Drink Do not drink Do not intend Impossible −10 Impossible 0 David Gauthier argues once a person intends drinking the poison one cannot entertain ideas of not drinking it. [2] Gauthier. David (1994). subject to the constraint that it be compatible with your commitment-in this case. . doi:10. JSTOR 2382214. and no reasonable person would partake in self-harm for no benefit. "Assure and Threaten". Gregory (1983). since no further reward may be obtained. Analysis 43 (1): 33–36 [pp.33.1093/analys/43.

and a 25% chance of losing a necktie worth $30. the price his wife actually paid for it is fixed.Necktie paradox 33 Necktie paradox The necktie paradox is a puzzle or paradox within the subjectivistic interpretation of probability theory. what goes wrong is that when the first man is imagining the scenario that his necktie is actually worth less than the other. and the explanation of "what goes wrong" is essentially the same. then it is true that he has gained more than the value of his necktie. Over drinks they start arguing over who has the cheaper necktie. as when it is worth more than the other. . and doesn't change if it is revealed which tie is worth more. and if he gains $30. then I lose the value of my necktie. then four outcomes (all equally likely) are possible: Price of 1st man's tie $20 $20 $30 $30 Price of 2nd man's tie $20 $30 $20 $30 1st man's gain/loss 0 gain $30 lose $30 0 We see that the first man has a 50% chance of a neutral outcome. then knowing which is worth the most changes one's expected value of both (one goes up. This is obviously not possible. Therefore the wager is to my advantage. Of course. it seems both men have the advantage in the bet. and that a man has equal chances of having a $20 or $30 necktie. paradoxically. The win and the loss are equally likely. They agree to have a wager over it. the origin) of the two-envelope paradox. The terms of the bet are that the man with the more expensive necktie has to give it to the other as the prize. if one is 100% certain that neither tie can be worth more than. Two men are each given a necktie by their respective wives as a Christmas present. The paradox can be resolved by giving more careful consideration to what is lost in one scenario ("the value of my necktie") and what is won in the other ("more than the value of my necktie"). whatever it was. If we assume for simplicity that the only possible necktie prices are $20 and $30. On a technical note. The second man can consider the wager in exactly the same way. And it is on the basis of his prior beliefs about the prices that he has to make his decision whether or not to accept the wager. a 25% chance of gaining a necktie worth $30. This paradox is a rephrasing of the simplest case of the two envelopes problem. then I win more than the value of my necktie. he is behaving as if his necktie is worth the same when it is worth less than the other. but what we call the value of his necktie in the losing scenario is the same amount as what we call more than the value of his necktie in the winning scenario. is unknown to him. then it is true that he has lost the value of his necktie. thus. If I lose. It is his beliefs about the price which could not be the same if he was given further information as to which tie was worth more. It is a variation (and historically. neither man has the advantage in the wager. They will consult their wives and find out which necktie is more expensive. his beliefs as to its value have to be revised (downwards) relatively to what they are a priori. then it is possible to have beliefs about their values. The point is that this price. say $100. such that learning which was the larger would not cause any change to one's beliefs about the value of one's own tie. if the prices of the ties could in principle be arbitrarily large. Yet in the apparently logical reasoning leading him to take the wager. However. In general. Accordingly. the other goes down). Turning to the losing and winning scenarios: if the man loses $30. without such additional information. The first man reasons as follows: winning and losing are equally likely. But if I win.

Mathematical Recreations. Aaron C. George Allen & Unwin. and money for nothing.2 (1995): 116–122. wallets." Journal of Recreational Mathematics 27. • Maurice Kraitchik.Necktie paradox 34 References • Brown. "Neckties. London 1943 .

. The payoffs for each gamble in each experiment are as follows: Experiment 1 Gamble 1A Gamble 1B Experiment 2 Gamble 2A Gamble 2B Winnings Chance Winnings Chance Winnings Chance Winnings Chance $1 million 100% $1 million 89% Nothing 1% Nothing 89% Nothing 90% $1 million 11% $5 million 10% $5 million 10% Several studies involving hypothetical and small monetary payoffs. The inconsistency stems from the fact that in expected utility theory. Allais further asserted that it was reasonable to choose 1A alone or 2B alone. Hence. and recently involving health outcomes. In the same manner. 1A and 2A should also now be seen as the same choice. the person should choose either 1A and 2A or 1B and 2B. Likewise. If this 89% ‘common consequence’ is disregarded. However. equal outcomes added to each of the two choices should have no effect on the relative desirability of one gamble over the other. then the gambles will be left offering the same choice. choice 1B and 2B can be seen as the same choice. and both 2A and 2B give an outcome of nothing). when presented with a choice between 2A and 2B. most people would choose 2B. A and B.35 Economy Allais paradox The Allais paradox is a choice problem designed by Maurice Allais to show an inconsistency of actual observed choices with the predictions of expected utility theory. both 1A and 1B give an outcome of $1 million. Statement of the Problem The Allais paradox arises when comparing participants' choices in two different experiments. each of which consists of a choice between two gambles. while 2B is also left offering a 1% chance of winning nothing and a 10% chance of winning $5 million. According to expected utility theory. that the same person (who chose 1A alone or 2B alone) would choose both 1A and 2B together is inconsistent with expected utility theory. have supported the assertion that when presented with a choice between 1A and 1B. It may help to re-write the payoffs. After disregarding the 89% chance of winning — the same outcome — then 1B is left offering a 1% chance of winning nothing and a 10% chance of winning $5 million. Each experiment gives the same outcome 89% of the time (starting from the top row and moving down. equal outcomes should "cancel out". most people would choose 1A.

effect). Because the typical individual prefers 1A to 1B and 2B to 2A. and thus is a poor judge of our rational action (1B cannot be valued independently of 1A as the independence or sure thing principle requires of us).e. However. a surgery with a 70% survival rate vs. the feeling of certainty). this overlooks the notion of complementarities. or.e. we can demonstrate exactly how the paradox manifests. is contingent on the outcome in the other portion of the gamble (i. Violating this principle is known as the "common consequence" problem (or "common consequence" increases. Difficulties such as this gave rise to a number of alternatives to. Hence. The independence axiom states that two identical outcomes within a gamble should be treated as irrelevant to the analysis of the gamble as a whole. however. the theory. where W is wealth. we can write conclude that the expected utilities of the preferred is greater than the expected utilities of the second choices. Independence means that if an agent is indifferent between simple lotteries between probability mixed with an arbitrary simple lottery with probability and and . and the agent will modify preferences between the two lotteries so as to minimize risk and disappointment in case they do not win the higher prize offered by . Also relevant here is the framing theory of Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. We don't act irrationally when choosing 1A and 2B. Allais argues that it is not possible to evaluate portions of gambles or choices independently of the other choices presented. Identical items will result in different choices if presented to agents differently (i. 1B. a 30% chance of death). rather expected utility theory is not robust enough to capture such "bounded rationality" choices that in this case arise because of complementarities. In the above choice. developed by Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. as the independence axiom requires. and rank-dependent expected utility by John Quiggin. Mathematical proof of inconsistency Using the values above and a utility function U(W). there is a 1% chance of getting nothing. the agent is also indifferent mixed with with the same and . The point of these models was to allow a wider range of behavior than was consistent with expected utility theory. notably including prospect theory. However.Allais paradox 36 Experiment 1 Gamble 1A Gamble 1B Experiment 2 Gamble 2A Gamble 2B Winnings Chance Winnings Chance Winnings Chance Winnings Chance $1 million 89% $1 million 11% $1 million 89% Nothing 1% Nothing 89% Nothing Nothing 89% 1% $1 million 11% $5 million 10% $5 million 10% Allais presented his paradox as a counterexample to the independence axiom. knowing you could have won with 100% certainty if you had chosen 1A. the fact your choice in one part of a gamble may depend on the possible outcome in the other part of the gamble. The idea of the common consequence problem is that as the prize offered by become consolation prizes. This feeling of disappointment. Experiment 1 . and generalizations of. The main point Allais wished to make is that the independence axiom of expected utility theory may not be a valid axiom. this 1% chance of getting nothing also carries with it a great sense of disappointment if you were to pick that gamble and lose. weighted utility (Chew).

"Preference for longshot: An Experimental Study of Demand for Sweepstakes" [1] • Kahneman. • Chew Soo Hong. Daniel and Tversky. pp. htm [2] http:/ / cat.. html . Jennifer Mao and Naoko Nishimura. Econometrica 47. Econometrica 21.Allais paradox 37 Experiment 2 We can rewrite the latter equation (Experiment 2) as which contradicts the first bet (Experiment 1). Journal of Economic Psychology 2003. 503-546. review [3] References [1] http:/ / cebr. no 1. 1993. "Le comportement de l’homme rationnel devant le risque: critique des postulats et axiomes de l’école Américaine". uq. 35-48 • Quiggin. References • Allais. 24. 263-291 • Oliver. which shows the player prefers the sure thing over the gamble. 2003. Kluwer-Nijhoff. hk/ conference/ 2ndconference/ nishimura. ust. Generalized Expected Utility Theory:The Rank-Dependent Expected Utility model. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk". M. fr/ ?aModele=afficheN& cpsidt=14428559 [3] http:/ / www. J. edu. 1979. 1953. Amsterdam. Amos. inist.. "A quantitative and qualitative test of the Allais paradox using health outcomes" [2]. Adam. vol. au/ economics/ johnquiggin/ Books/ Machina.

There are several voting systems that side-step these requirements by using cardinal utility (which conveys more information than rank orders) and weakening the notion of independence (see the subsection discussing the cardinal utility approach to overcoming the negative conclusion). then the group prefers X over Y.[1] Arrow was a co-recipient of the 1972 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics. In short.[2] Statement of the theorem The need to aggregate preferences occurs in many different disciplines: in welfare economics. and most naturally in voting systems. It cannot simply mimic the preferences of a single voter. rejected cardinal utility as a meaningful tool for expressing social welfare. Arrow. . We are searching for a preferential voting system. the approach is qualitatively different from the earlier one in voting theory. Each individual in the society (or equivalently. assumed to be reasonable requirements of a fair voting method: Non-dictatorship The social welfare function should account for the wishes of multiple voters. the General Possibility Theorem. or Arrow’s paradox. in which rules were investigated one by one. the theorem proves that no voting system can be designed that satisfies these three "fairness" criteria: • If every voter prefers alternative X over alternative Y. These criteria are called unrestricted domain. in decision theory. states that. or Z and W change). like many economists. who demonstrated the theorem in his Ph. Thus: • It must do so in a manner that results in a complete ranking of preferences for society. the social welfare function should yield a unique and complete ranking of societal choices. which transforms the set of preferences (profile of preferences) into a single global societal preference order. and independence of irrelevant alternatives. called a social welfare function (preference aggregation rule). where a person has to make a rational choice based on several criteria. In that sense. and so focused his theorem on preference rankings. which are mechanisms for extracting a decision from a multitude of voters' preferences. The theorem is named after economist Kenneth Arrow. then the group's preference between X and Y will also remain unchanged (even if voters' preferences between other pairs like X and Z. Unrestricted domain (or universality) For any set of individual voter preferences. The framework for Arrow's theorem assumes that we need to extract a preference order on a given set of options (outcomes). when voters have three or more distinct alternatives (options). One can therefore say that the contemporary paradigm of social choice theory started from this theorem. The axiomatic approach Arrow adopted can treat all conceivable rules (that are based on preferences) within one unified framework. Y and Z. The theorem considers the following properties. no voting system can convert the ranked preferences of individuals into a community-wide (complete and transitive) ranking while also meeting a certain set of criteria. • There is no "dictator": no single voter possesses the power to always determine the group's preference. Arrow’s impossibility theorem. non-dictatorship. The original paper was titled "A Difficulty in the Concept of Social Welfare".Arrow's impossibility theorem 38 Arrow's impossibility theorem In social choice theory. each decision criterion) gives a particular order of preferences on the set of outcomes. thesis and popularized it in his 1951 book Social Choice and Individual Values. The theorem is often cited in discussions of election theory as it is further interpreted by the Gibbard–Satterthwaite theorem.D. Pareto efficiency. • If every voter's preference between X and Y remains unchanged. where one attempts to find an economic outcome which would be acceptable and stable.

say. 39 . and independence of irrelevant alternatives together do not imply monotonicity. The IIA condition can be justified for three reasons (Mas-Colell. y} in case of Pairwise Independence) but two profiles. A later (1963) version of Arrow's theorem can be obtained by replacing the monotonicity and non-imposition criteria with: Pareto efficiency (or unanimity) If every individual prefers a certain option to another. it requires this: Suppose an aggregation rule satisfying IIA chooses b from the agenda {a. say. 2. 2 prefers c to b to a. page 26) suggests that the agenda (the set of feasible alternatives) shrinks from. again. c} to S = {a. The later version of this theorem is stronger—has weaker conditions—since monotonicity. Though the strategic property is conceptually different from IIA. individual 1 prefers c to a to b. An individual should not be able to hurt an option by ranking it higher. Arrow's death-of-a-candidate example (1963. If the condition is applied to this confusing example. it is closely related. Whinston. is a demand that the social welfare function will be minimally sensitive to the preference profile. and Green. cba) or (abc. Remarks on IIA 1. then the societal preference order should respond only by promoting that same option or not changing. whereas Pareto efficiency. it must still choose b from {a. More generally. non-imposition. (abc. Arrow's theorem says that if the decision-making body has at least two members and at least three options to decide among. non-imposition. page 794): (i) normative (irrelevant alternatives should not matter). (ii) practical (use of minimal information). Non-imposition (or citizen sovereignty) Every possible societal preference order should be achievable by some set of individual preference orders. b} when the profile is given by (cab. and (iii) strategic (providing the right incentives for the truthful revelation of individual preferences).) Positive association of social and individual values (or monotonicity) If any individual modifies his or her preference order by promoting a certain option. never by placing it lower than before. (See Remarks below. cba). changes in individuals' rankings of irrelevant alternatives (ones outside a certain subset) should have no impact on the societal ranking of the subset. then it is impossible to design a social welfare function that satisfies all these conditions at once. Independence of irrelevant alternatives (IIA) The social preference between x and y should depend only on the individual preferences between x and y (Pairwise Independence). cba). This example is misleading since it can give the reader an impression that IIA is a condition involving two agenda and one profile.Arrow's impossibility theorem • It must deterministically provide the same ranking each time voters' preferences are presented the same way. bac) or (acb. 1995. Then. bca) or (acb. that is. then so must the resulting societal preference order. b} if the profile were. The fact is that IIA involves just one agendum ({x. b} because of the death of a candidate c. This means that the social welfare function is surjective: It has an unrestricted target space. and independence of irrelevant alternatives together imply Pareto efficiency. This. X = {a. b.

On the other hand. By unanimity. since we know it eventually ends up at the top. call them A. Specifically.e. there must be some point at which B moves off the bottom of society's preferences as well. by . consider what would happen if it were not true. we call that voter as pivotal voter. independence of irrelevant alternatives For two preference profiles and b have the same order in as in and as in . leaving B preferred to C. That is. if everyone preferred B to everything else. But moving C above A should not change anything about how B and C compare.Arrow's impossibility theorem 40 Formal statement of the theorem Let be a set of outcomes. and independence of irrelevant alternatives (IIA) is a dictatorship. unanimity. when voters have B at the top and voters still have B at the bottom) society would have some option it prefers to B. by independence of irrelevant alternatives. Then. Call this situation Profile 1.. and C. Now if each person moves his preference for C above A. alternatives a . there is no . then society would have to prefer B to everything else by unanimity. since B is either at the very top or bottom of each person's preferences. In its strongest and most simple form. Informal proof Based on the proof by John Geanakoplos of Cowles Foundation. or Pareto efficiency If alternative a is ranked above b for all orderings non-dictatorship There is no individual i whose preferences always prevail. say C. Suppose first that everyone prefers option B the least. at the point when the pivotal voter n moves B off the bottom of his preferences to the top. When it happens. Arrow's impossibility theorem states that whenever the set of possible alternatives has more than 2 elements. not to an intermediate point. .[3] The a number of voters or decision criteria. by independence of irrelevant alternatives society still prefers A to B because the changing of C and A does not affect how A and B compare. B. (Note that unanimity implies non-imposition). Yale University. then society would prefer C to A by unanimity. So it is clear that. That is. move B from the bottom of each person's preference list to the top. which of voters' . Similarly. We now want to show that. That is. if we take Profile 1 and.[4] We wish to prove that any social choice system respecting unrestricted domain. then a is ranked higher than b by . the society's B moves to the top of its preferences as well. Part one: there is a "pivotal" voter for B Say there are three choices for society. alternatives a and b have the same order in such that . after n has moved B to the top (i. society must prefer every option to B. say A. society prefers A and C to B. such that for all individuals i. then the following three conditions become incompatible: unanimity. To prove this. running through the members in the society in some arbitrary but specific order. everyone prefers every other option to B. We shall denote the set of all full linear orderings of A (strict) social welfare function (preference aggregation rule) is a function aggregates voters' preferences into a single preference order on -tuple preferences is called a preference profile. moving C or A around does not change how either compares with B. and one less preferable than B.

• If i. B} and over {B. That is. for Profile 1' . construct two profiles from p1 by changing the position of B as follows: In Profile 2. To show that. j. This was just a way of finding out. all voters up to (not including) n have B at the top of their preferences and the rest (including n) have B at the bottom. and A is above B. who the dictator over A and C was. But all we need to know is that he exists. preference in the pair should be unchanged. then the society prefers C to A.Arrow's impossibility theorem Since C is above A. preferences in the pair are unchanged whether we start from Profile 1 and Profile 1' for every person. C} is a (global) dictator: he also dictates over {A. j prefers B to C and k prefers C to A. We show that society prefers A to C. we conclude that society puts A above C at p1. a contradiction. Part three: there can be at most one dictator Finally. We have proved in Part two that there are (local) dictators i over {A. • If one of i. C}. Now consider the profile p4 obtained from p1 as follows: everyone up to n ranks B at the top. In Profile 3. If we concentrate on a pair of B and one of other choices. Therefore by IIA. Therefore. n ranks A above B above C. In other words. which we proved has B above C (B is actually at the top). Consider any profile in which i=j prefers A to B to C and k prefers C to A. and everyone else ranks B at the bottom. we can show that if q1 is any profile in which voter n prefers C to A. We have reached an absurd conclusion. j over {B. Similarly. the position of B remains at bottom before n and remains at top after and including n. C} in the following sense: if n prefers A to C. the pivotal voter remains n. then the society prefers A to C and if n prefers C to A. establishing that the local dictator over {A. Likewise. k is different and the other two are equal. by example. which we proved puts A above B (in Profile 2. It follows that person n is a (local) dictator over {A. then it contains no cycles such as . C}. Let p1 be any profile in which voter n prefers A to C. B is actually at the bottom of the social ordering). not some intermediate point. We will use the fact (which can be proved easily) that if is a strict linear order. p4 has a relationship between B and C that is just as in Profile 3. the pivotal voter is determined only by the moving order. Part two: voter n is a dictator for A–C We show that voter n dictates society's decision between A and C. the fact that we assumed particular profiles that put B in particular places does not matter. k are all distinct. we show that the (local) dictator over {A. and k over {A. a contradiction. then society prefers C to A. society 41 moves B from the bottom all the way to the top. It can be seen as following. Since B is irrelevant (IIA) to the decision between A and C. all voters up to (and including) n have B at the top and the rest have B at the bottom. say Profile 1' . when the voters have moved B from the bottom of their preferences to the top. during each step on the process. consider any profile in which i prefers A to B. Since it applies to every other choices. j. It follows that i=j=k. C} is a global one. and not by the starting profile. C}. if the order of moving preference of B is unchanged. just as Profile 1. we show that n is a (local) dictator over the set {A. B}. Remark. Since the relative rankings of A and C are the same across p1 and p4. . C}. C's new position is irrelevant to the B–A ordering for society because of IIA. Note that even with a different starting profile. We can conclude from these two observations that society puts A above B above C at p4. C must be above B in the social preference ranking. assume i=j without loss of generality. Then the society prefers A to B to C to A. p4 is just as in Profile 2. Then the society prefers A to B to C to A. As far as the A–B decision is concerned.

. what Arrow's theorem really shows is that any majority-wins voting system is a non-trivial game. if social preference is required to be transitive (or acyclic).g.[5] This could be seen as a discouraging result.g. and that game theory should be used to predict the outcome of most voting mechanisms. Proponents of ranked voting methods contend that the IIA is an unreasonably strong criterion. The IIA property might not be satisfied in human decision-making of realistic complexity because the scalar preference ranking is effectively derived from the weighting—not usually explicit—of a vector of attributes (one book dealing with the Arrow theorem invites the reader to consider the related problem of creating a scalar measure for the track and field decathlon event—e. any aggregation rule that satisfies the very basic majoritarian requirement that a candidate who receives a majority of votes must win the election. So. and C to A. a ballot could result in an alternative nobody really wanted in the first place. or "The only voting method that isn't flawed is a dictatorship". Remark: Scalar rankings from a vector of attributes and the IIA property. B to C.that is. Since majority preferences are respected. how does one make scoring 600 points in the discus event "commensurable" with scoring 600 points in the 1500 m race) and this scalar ranking can depend sensitively on the weighting of different attributes. "Every ranked voting method is flawed". e. B wins over C. It is the one breached in most useful voting systems. . These statements are simplifications of Arrow's result which are not universally considered to be true. because a game need not have efficient equilibria. as well as the demand for non-imposition. one where a preference order is the only information in a vote. Thus a cycle is generated.Arrow's impossibility theorem 42 Interpretations of the theorem Arrow's theorem is a mathematical result. suppose that such a rule satisfies IIA.cannot comply with all of the conditions given above simultaneously. What Arrow's theorem does state is that a deterministic preferential voting mechanism . yet everybody voted for. Advocates of this position point out that failure of the standard IIA criterion is trivially implied by the possibility of cyclic preferences. In this circumstance. Indeed. and any possible set of votes gives a unique result . and C wins over A: these yield rock-paper-scissors preferences for any pairwise comparison. If voters cast ballots as follows: • 1 vote for A > B > C • 1 vote for B > C > A • 1 vote for C > A > B then the pairwise majority preference of the group is that A wins over B. Arrow did use the term "fair" to refer to his criteria. which contradicts the assumption that social preference is transitive. with the tacit weighting itself affected by the context and contrast created by apparently "irrelevant" choices. will fail the IIA criterion. the society prefers A to B (two votes for A>B and one for B>A). but it is often expressed in a non-mathematical way with a statement such as "No voting method is fair". To see this. Edward MacNeal discusses this sensitivity problem with respect to the ranking of "most livable city" in the chapter "Surveys" of his book MathSemantics: making numbers talk sense (1994). seems acceptable to most people. Pareto efficiency. Various theorists have suggested weakening the IIA criterion as a way out of the paradox.

since they are based on ultrafilters. and C to A) will arise. highly nonconstructive mathematical objects. since for some profile a voting paradox (a cycle such as alternative A socially preferred to alternative B. social choice theorists have investigated various possibilities ("ways out"). we discuss them at the same time. Approaches investigating functions of preference profiles This section includes approaches that deal with • aggregation rules (functions that map each preference profile into a social preference). It establishes that if the number of alternatives is less than a certain integer called the Nakamura number. Since these two approaches often overlap. then the rule in question will identify "best" alternatives without any problem. Kirman and Sondermann. On the other hand. such aggregation rules are practically of limited interest. one can conclude from Nakamura's theorem that majority rule can deal with up to two alternatives rationally. As tempting as this mechanism seems at first glance. whenever more than two alternatives should be put to the test. Why is there such a sharp difference between the case of less than three alternatives and that of at least three alternatives? Nakamura's theorem (about the core of simple games) gives an answer more generally. Since the Nakamura number of majority rule is 3 (except the case of four individuals). B to C.[7] 1999[8] ) shows that such a rule violates algorithmic computability. but such rules violate other conditions given by Arrow.. such as functions that map each preference profile into an alternative.[9] These results can be seen to establish the robustness of Arrow's theorem. What is characteristic of these approaches is that they investigate various possibilities by eliminating or weakening or replacing one or more conditions (criteria) that Arrow imposed.Arrow's impossibility theorem 43 Other possibilities In an attempt to escape from the negative conclusion of Arrow's theorem. if the number of alternatives is greater or equal to the Nakamura number. These investigations can be divided into the following two: • those investigating functions whose domain. it seems very tempting to use a mechanism that pairs them and votes by pairs.g. then the rule will not always work. Arrow's theorem points out the difficulty of collective decision making. This is not necessarily a bad feature of the mechanism.[11] Remark. Kirman and Sondermann argue that there is an "invisible dictator" behind such a rule. equal treatment of individuals and of alternatives. This means that the person controlling the order by which the choices are paired (the agenda maker) has great control over the outcome.g. • those investigating other kinds of rules.. Thus. This gives considerable opportunity for weaker teams to win. consists of profiles of preferences. like that of Arrow's social welfare functions. May's theorem shows that only simple majority rule satisfies a certain set of criteria (e. when there are at least three alternatives. The specific order by which the pairs are decided strongly influences the outcome. one can find aggregation rules that satisfy all of Arrow's other conditions. Mihara (1997.[10] Limiting the number of alternatives When there are only two alternatives to choose from. Infinitely many individuals Several theorists (e. However. In any case. it is generally far from meeting even the Pareto principle. when . and • other functions. Some super-majority rules (such as those requiring 2/3 of the votes) can have a Nakamura number greater than 3. 1972[6] ) point out that when one drops the assumption that there are only finitely many individuals. increased support for a winning alternative should not make it into a losing one). A common way "around" Arrow's paradox is limiting the alternative set to two alternatives. In particular. thus adding interest and tension throughout the tournament. not to mention IIA. Many sports use the tournament mechanism—essentially a pairing mechanism—to choose a winner.

If the domain is restricted to profiles in which every individual has a single peaked preference with respect to the linear ordering. An individual's preference is single-peaked with respect to this ordering if he has some special place that he likes best along that line. Duncan Black has shown that if there is only one dimension on which every individual has a "single-peaked" preference. then the society prefers x to y). One can give a definite answer for that case using the Nakamura number. Under single-peaked preferences.[12] In particular. Suppose that there is some predetermined linear ordering of the alternative set. by . which means restricting the domain of aggregation rules. if voters were voting on where to set the volume for music. First. an aggregation rule satisfying Arrow's other conditions is collegial (Brown. we can find aggregation rules that satisfy Arrow's other conditions. then the society cannot prefer y to x). one can identify the "median" of the peaks only in exceptional cases. If there is someone who has a veto. but such rules are oligarchic (Gibbard. the majority rule is in some respects the most natural voting mechanism. This means that there exists a coalition L such that L is decisive (if every member in L prefers x to y. .[] Finally. then the social preference becomes transitive. If the rule is assumed to be neutral. have an acyclic (defined below) social preference. Domain restrictions Another approach is relaxing the universality condition.. Arrow's theorem still applies. Brown's theorem left open the case of acyclic social preferences where the number of alternatives is less than the number of individuals. which includes majority rule. suppose that a social preference is quasi-transitive (instead of transitive). 1975[15] ). by y. See #Limiting the number of alternatives. then . . 1969). However. and his dislike for an alternative grows larger as the alternative goes further away from that spot (i. So the possibility provided by this approach is also very limited. hence "best" alternatives. The best-known result along this line assumes "single peaked" preferences. this means that the strict preference ("better than") is transitive: if and . 44 . This means that there are individuals who belong to the intersection ("collegium") of all decisive coalitions. For example. then he belongs to the collegium. it would be reasonable to assume that each voter had their own ideal volume preference and that as the volume got progressively too loud or too quiet they would be increasingly dissatisfied. we typically have the destructive situation suggested by McKelvey's Chaos Theorem (1976[14] ): for any x and y. when there are odd number of individuals. then simple ([] ) aggregation rules. and each member in L has a veto (if she prefers x to y. If we impose neutrality (equal treatment of alternatives) on such rules. ). . Relaxing transitivity By relaxing the transitivity of social preferences. suppose that a social preference is acyclic (instead of transitive): there does not exist alternatives that form a cycle ( . provided that there are at least as many alternatives as individuals. there exists an individual who has a "veto". One can define the notion of "single-peaked" preferences on higher dimensional sets of alternatives. one can find a sequence of alternatives such that x is beaten by by a majority. there do exist non-dictatorial aggregation rules satisfying Arrow's conditions. Second. and the socially "best" alternative is equal to the median of all the peaks of the individuals (Black's median voter theorem[13] ). then it does have someone who has a veto. Then. . then all of Arrow's conditions are met by majority rule. the graph of his utility function has a single peak if alternatives are placed according to the linear ordering on the horizontal axis). however. Instead.e.Arrow's impossibility theorem viewing the entire voting process as one game. Then.

having ordinal utilities of 4. which precludes interpersonal comparisons of utility. However. (See liberal paradox for details). where the utility has a meaning beyond just giving a ranking of alternatives. which states that if a social choice function whose range contains at least three alternatives is strategy-proof. 98. 1. known as the "impossibility of the Paretian Liberal". we should assume there is a social preference behind them. The assumption of ordinal preferences.01. 100. Amartya Sen offered both relaxation of transitivity and removal of the Pareto principle. respectively. Social choice instead of social preference In social decision making. See Nakamura number for details of these two approaches. The set of maximal elements of a social preference is called the core. which in turn is the same as having 99. originating from Jeremy Bentham. is not common in contemporary economics. Here.Arrow's impossibility theorem Relaxing IIA There are numerous examples of aggregation rules satisfying Arrow's conditions except IIA. is the same as having 1000. and examine conditions for the social preference to have a maximal element. then it is dictatorial. Relaxing the Pareto criterion Wilson (1972) shows that if an aggregation rule is non-imposed and non-null. These rules. then the society prefers y to x. The first approach assumes that preferences are at least acyclic (which is necessary and sufficient for the preferences to have a maximal element on any finite subset). . It often suffices to find some alternative. 1 for alternatives a. across different individuals. As for social choice rules. c. 2. They make a more direct assumption that individual preferences have maximal elements. Hammond (1976) gives a justification of the maximin principle (which evaluates alternatives in terms of the utility of the worst-off individual). is an integral part of Arrow's theorem. Remark. That is. 45 Rated voting systems and other approaches Arrow's framework assumes that individual and social preferences are "orderings" (i. an inverse dictator is an individual i such that whenever i prefers x to y. This means that if the preferences are represented by a utility function. one can take intensities of preferences into consideration. 100. . See also Interpretations of the theorem below. Harsanyi (1955) gives a justification of utilitarianism (which evaluates alternatives in terms of the sum of individual utilities). then there is either a dictator or an inverse dictator. The approach focusing on choosing an alternative investigates either social choice functions (functions that map each preference profile into an alternative) or social choice rules (functions that map each preference profile into a subset of alternatives). once one adopts that approach. it is closely related to #Relaxing transitivity. are susceptible to strategic manipulation by individuals (Blair and Muller. 3. 1983[16] ).[17] He demonstrated another interesting impossibility result. They all represent the ordering in which a is preferred to b to c to d. The Borda rule is one of them. For this reason. the Gibbard–Satterthwaite theorem is well-known. The second approach drops the assumption of acyclic preferences. originating from John Rawls. For instance. b. we should regard a rule as choosing the maximal elements ("best" alternatives) of some social preference. 0.e. Conditions for existence of an alternative in the core have been investigated in two approaches. Kumabe and Mihara (2011[18] ) adopt this approach. Sen went on to argue that this demonstrates the futility of demanding Pareto optimality in relation to voting mechanisms. to rank all alternatives is not usually a goal. satisfy completeness and transitivity) on the set of alternatives. provided that Arrow's conditions other than Pareto are also satisfied. As for social choice functions..997. an approach based on cardinal utility. In particular. or one can compare (i) gains and losses of utility or (ii) levels of utility. however. For various reasons. its value is an ordinal utility in the sense that it is meaningful so far as the greater value indicates the better alternative. d.

Chapter 8) answers this sort of criticisms seen in the early period. 689–700. "Arrow's theorem. Duncan (1968). it is not surprising if some of them satisfy all of Arrow's conditions that are reformulated. [15] Brown. 2f0022-0531. 2010. [8] Mihara. 2002. ISBN 0-521-00883-2.1007/s001990050157. (1999).). Aggregation of Preferences. J. Eng.008 This citation will be automatically completed in the next few minutes.[19] Methods which don't. Jeffrey S. then the majority rule will adhere to Arrow's criteria. (1983). htm). Social choice and the mathematics of manipulation. Amsterdam. "A simple characterization of majority rule". Even if the restriction is relaxed. Amartya. (1976). [4] Three Brief Proofs of Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem (http:/ / ideas. [6] doi: 10. uky. Arrow. R. Chapter 6) for a concise discussion of social choice for infinite societies. Personal Utilities and Public Judgements: Or What's Wrong With Welfare Economics. as input. only an ordering of all candidates. so the informal dictum that "no voting system is perfect" still has a mathematical basis. R. ISBN 0-89838-189-4. [2] Suzumura. It has been proved.. and more visible invisible dictators" (http:/ / econpapers. pp. Kōtarō. Sen. 1950). org/ wiki/ Template:cite_doi/ _10. edu/ Faculty/ hoytw/ 751/ articles/ arrow. "Essential aggregation procedures on restricted domains of preferences*1". Alan D. . J.S. (1997). or "preferential") voting systems. html) [5] This does not mean various normative criteria will be satisfied if we use equilibrium concepts in game theory. a social welfare function as defined here satisfies the Unrestricted domain condition.1016/0022-0531(72)90106-8 This citation will be automatically completed in the next few minutes. "Arrow's Theorem and Turing computability" (http:/ / econpapers.Arrow's impossibility theorem Not all voting methods use. repec. See Austen-Smith and Banks (1999Austen-Smith. [3] Note that by definition.Suzumura. if there exists any social welfare function that adheres to Arrow's criteria. "Intransitivities in multidimensional voting models and some implications for agenda control". Netherlands: Elsevier. New York: Cambridge University Press. 1016. 2872. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. google. 008?preload=Template:Cite_doi/ preload& editintro=Template:Cite_doi/ editintro& action=edit) . [17] Sen. doi:10. Buchanan and others. K.. David. Journal of Economic Theory 12 (3): 472–482. pdf)".1016/S0304-4068(98)00061-5. however. [18] doi: 10.J. Quarterly Journal of Economics 89: 456-469. Handbook of social choice and welfare. Kelly. Economic Theory 15 (2000).Taylor.06. [14] McKelvey. that under any such restriction. The Economic Journal. the impossibility result will persist. It argues that it is silly to think that there might be social preferences that are analogous to individual preferences.1016/0022-0531(83)90092-3. Indeed. [9] Mihara's definition of a computable aggregation rule is based on computability of a simple game (see Rice's theorem). which come at least partly from misunderstanding. 2fj. Amartya Kumar (2002). geb. Restricting the range to the social preferences that are never indifferent between distinct outcomes is probably a very restrictive assumption. D. Positive political theory I: Collective preference (http:/ / books. 1979.2010. can be viewed as using information that only cardinal utility can convey. Economic Theory 10 (2): 257–276. . repec. " A Difficulty in the Concept of Social Welfare (http:/ / gatton. D.[21] [22] Whether such a claim is correct depends on how each condition is reformulated. 1016. the Gibbard–Satterthwaite theorem still does: no system is fully strategy-free. 328–346. many different social welfare functions can meet Arrow's conditions under such restrictions of the domain. doi:10.1016/0022-0531(76)90040-5.. though not an approach investigating some kind of rules. [16] Blair. "ordinal". com/ books?id=nxXDn3nPxIAC& q="nakamura+ number").1016/j. pp.: University Press. Banks. Introduction. countably many agents. ISBN 978-0-444-82914-6. Journal of Mathematical Economics 32: 267–277. Arrow (1963. D. page 10. Cambridge. (1975). Note that although Arrow's theorem does not apply to such methods. org/ wiki/ Template:cite_doi/ _10. Kenneth Joseph. 06. [10] See Taylor (2005. (1999). wikipedia. vol 1. org/ paper/ wpawuwppe/ 9408001. The theory of committees and elections.2.[23] Other rated voting systems which pass certain generalizations of Arrow's criteria include Approval voting and Majority Judgment. Journal of Political Economy 58(4) (August. [12] Indeed. the mapping from profiles to equilibrium outcomes defines a social choice rule. whose performance can be investigated by social choice theory. You can jump the queue or expand by hand (http:/ / en. wikipedia. H. there is a criticism by James M.E. doi:10. 2990106-8?preload=Template:Cite_doi/ preload& editintro=Template:Cite_doi/ editintro& action=edit) [7] Mihara. repec. often called "rated" or "cardinal" (as opposed to "ranked". 537-588. org/ paper/ wpawuwppe/ 9705001. org/ p/ cwl/ cwldpp/ 1123r3. [11] Austen-Smith and Banks (1999. Finally. (2005). [13] Black. htm). Section 7. Journal of Economic Theory 30: 34–00. doi:10. 89. You can jump the queue or expand by hand (http:/ / en. R. 46 Notes [1] Arrow. H. ISBN 978-0-472-08721-1. but the goal here is to give a simple statement of the theorem.geb.Campbell.[20] Warren Smith claims that range voting is such a method. Chapter 3) gives a detailed discussion of the approach trying to limit the number of alternatives. In that case.

then xF(u)y iff xF(u')y. Theorem 4. 2007.org/p/cwl/cwldpp/1123r3. Elsevier. J. ISBN 978-0-444-85127-7.Arrow's impossibility theorem [19] It is sometimes asserted that such methods may trivially fail the universality criterion. y. 537-558.. it is more appropriate to consider that such methods fails Arrow's definition of an aggregation rule (or that of a function whose domain consists of preference profiles). Lewis. u' and for all alternatives x. page 129). volume 1. a weakened notion of IIA is proposed (e. [20] However. Gives explicit examples of preference rankings and apparently anomalous results under different voting systems. [22] New Scientist 12 April 2008 pages 30-33 [23] No voting method that nontrivially uses cardinal utility satisfies Arrow's IIA (in which preference profiles are replaced by lists of ballots or lists of utilities). a social welfare functional F is a function that maps each list of utility functions into a social preference. 1979. References • Campbell.g. D. (More formally. Arrow.html) • A Pedagogical Proof of Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem (http://repositories. Sen and Kotaro Suzumura). by Kenneth J. States but does not prove Arrow's theorem. 2002. Brams and Fishburn. 1997.org/9780521850124) • Why flip a coin? : the art and science of good decisions by Harold W.E. • The Mathematics of Behavior by Earl Hunt. "How can range voting accomplish the impossible?" (http:/ / rangevoting. John Wiley. Collective choice and social welfare. For this reason. Surveys many of approaches discussed in #Approaches investigating functions of preference profiles. pages 35–94. arguing that Arrow's theorem was wrong because it did not incorporate non-utility information and the utility information it did allow was impoverished http://www.repec. (1979) “Personal utilities and public judgements: or what's wrong with welfare economics?” The Economic Journal. (2002) Impossibility theorems in the Arrovian framework.S.cdlib. and Kelly. Sen. . Chapter 4.. org/ ArrowThm. Amartya K. ISBN 0-471-29645-7 • Sen. Amsterdam: North-Holland. The chapter "Defining Rationality: Personal and Group Decision Making" has a detailed discussion of the Arrow Theorem. if preference orderings cannot uniquely translate into a ballot.cambridge..org/stable/1183438) .jstor. [21] Warren D. URL to CUP information on this book (http://www. et al. html). However.) 47 Many cardinal voting methods (including Range voting) satisfy the weakened version of IIA. F satisfies IIA (for social welfare functionals) if for all lists u. Amartya Kumar (1979). Smith. 89.Sen.org/stable/ 2231867 External links • Three Brief Proofs of Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem (http://ideas. A.2). K. with proof. The notion requires that the social ranking of two alternatives depend only on the levels of utility attained by individuals at the two alternatives.org/ucsdecon/1999-25/) • Another Graphical Proof of Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem (http://www. if and for all i. a modified version of Arrow's theorem may still apply to such methods (e.g.jstor. in Handbook of social choice and welfare (ed. Cambridge University Press.

a small number of firms (oligopoly) earn positive profits by charging prices above cost. Joseph Bertrand—describes a situation in which two players (firms) reach a state of Nash equilibrium where both firms charge a price equal to marginal cost. they will each try to undercut their competitor until the product is selling at zero economic profit. and so on (only in repeated games. sell an identical commodity. • More money for higher price–It follows from repeated interaction: If one company sets their price slightly higher. • Oligopoly If the two companies can agree on a price. . so that customers choose the product solely on the basis of price. Solutions to the Paradox attempt to derive solutions that are more in line with solutions from the Cournot model of competition. Recent work has shown that there may be an additional mixed-strategy Nash equilibrium with positive economic profits (see Kaplan & Wettstein.Bertrand paradox 48 Bertrand paradox In economics and commerce. and lasts only until the other firm cuts its own prices. it is in their long-term interest to keep the agreement: the revenue from cutting prices is less than twice the revenue from keeping the agreement. the Bertrand paradox—named after its creator. even a little. Typically. Suppose two firms. If they set the same price. otherwise the price dynamics are in the other direction). The Bertrand paradox rarely appears in practice because real products are almost always differentiated in some way other than price (brand name. This is not very realistic. and two firms rarely have identical costs. This is the pure-strategy Nash equilibrium. Since both A and B know this. it would gain the whole market and substantially larger profits. so the other company will raise their price. The empirical analysis shows that in most industries with two competitors. it usually takes a large number of firms to ensure that prices equal marginal cost. each with the same cost of production and distribution. On the other hand. A and B. positive profits are made. then consumers may not switch completely to the product with lower price • Dynamic competition–Repeated interaction or repeated price competition can lead to the price above MC in equilibrium. Some reasons the Bertrand paradox do not strictly apply: • Capacity constraints–Sometimes firms do not have enough capacity to satisfy all demand • Product differentiation–If products of different firms are differentiated. markets featuring a small number of firms with market power typically charge a price in excess of marginal cost. where two firms in a market earn positive profits that lie somewhere between the perfectly competitive and monopoly levels. and Baye & Morgan. if nothing else). if either firm were to lower its price. The paradox is that in reality. It follows that neither A nor B will set a higher price than the other because doing so would yield the entire market to their rival. Bertrand's result is paradoxical because if the number of firms goes from one to two. as in reality. 2000. the price decreases from the monopoly price to the competitive price and stays at the same level as the number of firms increases further. then they will still get about the same amount of buys but more profit for each buy. 1999). firms have limitations on their capacity to manufacture and distribute. the companies will share both the market and profits.

T. References [1] http:/ / www.Bertrand paradox 49 References • Baye. • Kaplan. com/ content/ wuu31dtnc7d6rpty/ Demographic-economic paradox The demographic-economic paradox is the inverse correlation found between wealth and fertility within and between nations. GDP per capita of the corresponding country. what he called "moral restraint" (which included abstinence) was required. from famine for example. springerlink. Spanish Economic Review. subpopulation or social stratum. and D.R. The higher the degree of education and GDP per capita of a human population. 2009. even though a richer population can support more children. the fewer children are born in any industrialized country. (2000) "The Possibility of Mixed-Strategy Equilibria with Constant-Returns-to-Scale Technology under Bertrand Competition". T.[3] consistent with the demographic transition model. • Kaplan. In a 1974 UN population conference in Bucharest. a former minister of population in India."[1] The term "paradox" comes from the notion that greater means would necessitate the production of more Graph of Total Fertility Rate vs. • Baye. nations or subpopulations with higher GDP per capita are observed to have fewer children.R." Economics Letters. • Bertrand. J. Wettstein (1997) "Mixed strategy equilibria with constant-returns-to-scale technology. see List of countries and territories by fertility rate influential Thomas Malthus. 2(1):65-71. It is hypothesized that the observed trend has come about as a response to increased life expectancy. Discussion Paper in Economics. (1883) "Book review of theorie mathematique de la richesse sociale and of recherches sur les principles mathematiques de la theorie des richesses". Journal des Savants 67: 499–508. M. 186. Wettstein [1]. and J. The demographic-economic paradox suggests that reproductive restraint arises naturally as a consequence of economic progress. Karan Singh. to reduce outliers. Malthus held that in order to prevent widespread suffering. Only countries with over 5 Million population were plotted. M. illustrated this trend by stating "Development is the best contraceptive. Morgan (1997) "Necessary and sufficient conditions for existence and uniqueness of Bertrand paradox outcomes" Princeton Woodrow Wilson School. 65:1. Sources: CIA offspring as suggested by the [2] World Fact Book. and J. reduced childhood mortality.R. For details. improved female literacy and independence. 59-65. ." Monaster Center Discussion Paper 97–4. and urbanization that all result from increased GDP per capita. and D. Roughly speaking. Morgan (1999) "A folk theorem for one-shot Bertrand games.R.

economic growth in Spain. it follows that nations that lag behind in wealth also lag behind in this demographic transition. Religious societies tend to have higher birth rates than secular ones. For example. resulting in slow population growth. This suggests that the demographic-economic paradox applies more strongly in Catholic countries.5 The role of different religions in determining family size is complex. higher than in most other developed countries. in the 17th century in York. Religion Another contributor to the demographic-economic paradox may be religion. as urbanization and female employment rose. and life expectancies were short even for those who reached adulthood. Recent data suggests that once a country reaches a certain level of human development and economic prosperity the fertility rate stabilizes and then recovers slightly to replacement rates.[6] [7] This may be due to the United States having a high percentage of religious followers compared to Europe as a whole.09. more educated nations tend to advance secularization.67 1.23 2. will follow a similar pattern. For example. has been accompanied by a particularly sharp fall in the fertility rate. a minority of children would survive to the age of 20.[5] This may help explain the Israeli and Saudi Arabian exceptions. Poland etc. The current fertility rate in America is 2. The developing world's equivalent Green Revolution did not begin until the mid-twentieth century. Cultural value changes were also contributors.Demographic-economic paradox Current information suggests that the demographic-economic paradox only holds up to a point though.[3] Birth rates were correspondingly high. birth rates of industrialized countries began to fall. England 15% of children were still alive at age 15 and only 10% of children survived to age 20. . However. the Catholic countries of southern Europe traditionally had a much higher fertility rate than was the case in Protestant northern Europe. This creates the existing spread in fertility rates as a function of GDP per capita.[4] 50 Demographic transition Before the 19th century demographic transition of the western world.[8] Church service attendance and number of offspring according to the World Value Survey 1981-2004[9] Church service attendance Number of offspring never only on holidays once per month once per week more frequently 1.01 2. the two notable outliers in the graph of fertility versus GDP per capita at the top of this article.78 2. to a level below that of the Protestant north. Since wealth is what drives this demographic transition. Italy. although Catholic fertility started to fall when the liberalizing reforms of Vatican II were implemented.S. initially without affecting birth rates. The agricultural revolution and improvements in hygiene then brought about dramatic reductions in mortality rates in wealthy industrialized countries. In American media it is widely believed that America is also an exception to global trends. It remains to be seen if the fertility rate among (mostly Catholic) Hispanics in the U. and richer. In the 20th century. as societies became accustomed to the higher probability that their children would survive them..

1. com/ wp-dyn/ content/ article/ 2007/ 05/ 04/ AR2007050401891. Consequences A reduction in fertility can lead to an aging population which leads to a variety of problems. com/ nature/ journal/ v460/ n7256/ full/ nature08230. 2008. Giorgina Brown. de/ artikel/ 982875).Rank Order . Peter. Volume 3. pdf) (PDF). September 2006. sciencedirect. the countries with the highest assessed economic freedom. 111.Demographic-economic paradox 51 United States Another possible explanation for the "American exception" is its much higher rate of teenage pregnancies. html EconLib-1826: An Essay on the Principle of Population. uwc.The World Factbook -. in countries with a high burden of this kind. [15] An Estimate of the Long-Term Crude Birth Rate of the Agricultural Population of China (http:/ / links. This may account for their very low birth rates despite high economic freedom. heritage.Rank Order .[17] Also. org/ library/ Malthus/ malPlong. cia.[10] particularly in the southern US. p.washingtonpost.FPRI (http:/ / www. html) [7] CIA . pdf) (PDF). have significantly lower birthrates than the United States. econlib. the United States ranks 180 out of 241 countries and dependencies by population density. eberstadt. Consequently. Published July 30. demography. John Micklewright and Anna Wright (July 2001).S. Hong Kong is the most economically free country in the world. . Journal of Urban Economics. In his book America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It.America the Fertile . http:/ / www. org/ publications/ pdf/ repcard3e. ISBN 0201680262.[13] Fertility and population density Studies have also suggested a correlation between population density and fertility rate. com/ science?_ob=ArticleURL& _udi=B6WMG-4KW5W75-3& _user=10& _rdoc=1& _fmt=& _orig=search& _sort=d& view=c& _acct=C000050221& _version=1& _urlVersion=0& _userid=10& md5=149bb91c9e66f19e5400e9ac1f5c4317) Yasuhiro Sato.com May 6. 32 . Last accessed . 2007 (http:/ / www. inequality lowers average education and hampers economic growth. [11] "National and State Trends and Trends by Race and Ethnicity" (http:/ / www. By contrast. see for example the Demographics of Japan. org/ index/ country. ISBN 88-85401-75-9. No. html) [6] Watch on the West: Four Surprises in Global Demography . However. unicef-icdc.Total fertility rate (https:/ / www.[12] Hong Kong also has the world's lowest birth rate. html) [8] Nicholas Eberstadt . uni-marburg. org/ sici?sici=0070-3370(1966)3:1<204:AEOTLC>2.41. cfm?id=HongKong) [13] CIA . U. uwmc. pp. guttmacher. a reduction in fertility can hamper economic growth as well as the other way around. Teenage Pregnancy Statistics (Guttmacher Institute). de/ religionswissenschaft/ journal/ mjr/ art_blume_2006. [10] Adamson. Hong Kong and Singapore. fertility and migration (http:/ / www. html) [14] Economic geography. 2006. Last accessed March 31. wissenschaft-online. Demography. html?hpid=opinionsbox2) [9] Michael Blume (2008) "Homo religiosus" (http:/ / www. Economic Growth. fpri.[18] References [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] David N. 200407. According to the Index of Economic Freedom. [12] Index of Economic Freedom (http:/ / www. demographic transition (http:/ / www. nature.2-L) Chia-lin Pan. Addison-Wesley. Gehirn und Geist 04/2009. Weil (2004). jstor. org/ pubs/ 2006/ 09/ 12/ USTPstats. this does not contradict the religious-beliefs hypothesis. "A League Table of Teenage Births in Rich Nations" (http:/ / www.[14] [15] [16] Hong Kong and Singapore have the third and fourth-highest population densities in the world. html) Marburg Journal of Religion (June 2006) "Religiousity as a demographic factor" (http:/ / web. org/ ww/ 0505. Published 1966.[11] compared to other countries with effective sexual education. cia. edu/ geography/ Demotrans/ demtran. CO. . htm) (http:/ / www.Birth rate (https:/ / www. Innocenti Report Card (Unicef) (3). A related concern is that high birth rates tend to place a greater burden of child rearing and education on populations already struggling with poverty. 0. gov/ library/ publications/ the-world-factbook/ rankorder/ 2127rank.The World Factbook . gov/ library/ publications/ the-world-factbook/ rankorder/ 2054rank. Mark Steyn asserts that the United States has higher fertility rates because of its greater economic freedom compared to other industrialized countries. washingtonpost.

houstonstrategies. However. After this point the two players continue to bid the value up well beyond the dollar. Martin (1971). unfpa. and the Puzzle of the Bomb. Tory Gattis.01. 2003. ucla.Demographic-economic paradox March 31. New York: Oxford University Press. a series of bids is maintained. Published January 15. In this way. (http:/ / www. and neither stands to profit. com/ 2006/ 01/ high-density-smart-growth-population. . making a 97 cent profit. Game Theory. pdf) [18] UNFPA: Population and poverty. but gets nothing in return. which would make their profit zero. (http:/ / www. 8. edu/ workingpapers/ wp803. org/ upload/ lib_pub_file/ 191_filename_PDS08.1177/002200277101500111. Alternatively. doi:10. "The Dollar Auction". another bidder may bid 3 cents. Prisoner's Dilemma: John Von Neumann. ISBN 019286162X. they now have the choice of losing the 98 cents or bidding a dollar even. References [1] Shubik. He will quickly be outbid by another player bidding 2 cents. Achieving equity. html). Supposing that the other player had bid 98 cents.com. econ. The second-highest bidder also must pay the highest amount that he bid. equality and sustainability. who pays the amount he bids. William (1993).[1] Setup The setup involves an auctioneer who volunteers to auction off a dollar bill with the following rule: the dollar goes to the highest bidder. a problem becomes evident as soon as the bidding reaches 99 cents. as a 98 cent profit is still desirable. Similarly. and only losing one cent. [17] de la Croix. the original player has a choice of either losing 99 cents or bidding $1. 2006. pdf) 52 Dollar auction The dollar auction is a non-zero sum sequential game designed by economist Martin Shubik to illustrate a paradox brought about by traditional rational choice theory in which players with perfect information in the game are compelled to make an ultimately irrational decision based completely on a sequence of rational choices made throughout the game. David and Matthias Doepcke: Inequality and growth: why differential fertility matters. 2008. Suppose that the game begins with one of the players bidding 1 cent. Population and development series no. the first bidder may attempt to convert their loss of 1 cent into a gain of 96 cents by bidding 4 cents. Last accessed March 31. "The Dollar Auction Game: A Paradox in Noncooperative Behavior and Escalation". 2008.blogspot. [16] (http:/ / houstonstrategies. hoping to make a 99 cent profit. American Economic Review 4 (2003) 1091-1113. Further reading • Poundstone. blogspot. After that. Journal of Conflict Resolution 15 (1): 109–111.

This shifts additional passengers into cars. M. This is also known as Lewis-Mogridge Position and was extensively documented by Martin Mogridge with the case-study of London on his book Travel in towns: jam yesterday. Ultimately the system may be eliminated and congestion on the original (expanded) road is worse than before." . but often counterproductive. Downs (1992) formulated this theory to explain the difficulty of removing peak-hour congestion from highways. also referred to as the Pigou–Knight–Downs paradox (after Arthur Cecil Pigou and Frank Knight). then the travel time required for any given trip is roughly equal on both modes. states that the equilibrium speed of car traffic on the road network is determined by the average door-to-door speed of equivalent journeys by (rail-based or otherwise segregated) public transport. is that expanding a road system as a remedy to congestion is not only ineffective. The general conclusion. In response to a capacity addition three immediate effects occur.DownsThomson paradox 53 Downs–Thomson paradox Downs-Thomson paradox (named after Anthony Downs and J. can in some cases reduce overall performance. When peak-hour travel equilibrium has been reached between the subway system and the major commuting roads. Increasing the size of the network is characterized by behaviors of users similar to that of travelers on transportation networks. since in 2001 around 85 percent of all morning peak-period commuters into that area used public transit (including 77 percent on separate rights of way) and only 11 percent used private cars. Central London is an example. those previously traveling at off-peak times (either immediately before or after the peak) shift to the peak (rescheduling behavior as defined previously). This is an extension of the induced demand theory and consistent with Downs (1992) theory of "triple convergence".the Braess' paradox states that adding extra capacity to a network. if the paradox applies. and public transport users shift to driving their vehicles. This occurs when the shift from public transport causes a disinvestment in the mode such that the operator either reduces frequency of service or raises fares to cover costs. jam today and jam tomorrow? An article of 1968 from Dietrich Braess now at the Faculty of Mathematics in Ruhr University. It follows that increasing road capacity can actually make overall congestion on the road worse. Thomson). Drivers using alternative routes begin to use the expanded highway. when the moving entities selfishly choose their route. Restrictions on validity According to Downs this link between average speeds on public transport and private transport "only applies to regions in which the vast majority of peak-hour commuting is done on rapid transit systems with separate rights of way. already pointed out the existence this counter-intuitive occurrence on networks . There is a recent interest in the study of this phenomenon since the same may happen in computer networks and not only in traffic networks. who act independently and in a decentralized manner in choosing their optimal routes of travel between origins and their destinations.

1990. that. policy should focus not on economic growth or GDP. However. Anthony. jam today and jam tomorrow? Macmillan Press. Stuck in Traffic: Coping with Peak-Hour Traffic Congestion. Paris. (1972). contrary to Easterlin's claim. average reported happiness showed no long-term trend and declined between 1960 and 1970. Nagurney. Martin J. A. in international comparisons the average reported level of happiness does not vary much with national income per person. Methods of traffic limitation in urban areas. showing similar patterns of results. They conclude like Veenhoven et al.DownsThomson paradox 54 References • On a Paradox of Traffic Planning.[2] [4] [5] [6] The statistical relationship demonstrated is between happiness and the logarithm of absolute income. The Brookings Institution: Washington. M. but no "saturation point" is ever reached. The implication for government policy is that once basic needs are met. suggesting that his critics were using inadequate data. and their conclusion was that there is no paradox and countries did indeed get happier with increasing income. although income per person rose steadily in the United States between 1946 and 1970. published a paper where they reassessed the Easterlin paradox using new time-series data. ISBN 0-333-53204-X • Downs. This concept was revived recently by Andrew Oswald of the University of Warwick in 1997. Braess paper from German to English by D. 446-450. This goes some way to answering the problems of self-rated happiness. including biological measures. Travel in towns: jam yesterday. Recent research has utilised many different forms of measuring happiness. at least for countries with income sufficient to meet basic needs. Braess. for both individual people and whole countries. and T. Easterlin paradox The Easterlin Paradox is a key concept in happiness economics. economists Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers. translated from the (1968) original D. 1992. ISBN 0-8157-1923-X • Thomson.[3] In 2008.H.[2] In his reply Easterlin maintained his position. OECD. DC. suggesting that above a certain point.[7] . It is named for economist and USC Professor Richard Easterlin who discussed the factors contributing to happiness in the 1974 paper "Does Economic Growth Improve the Human Lot? Some Empirical Evidence. happiness increases more slowly than income. driving media interest in the topic. That is in contrast to an extreme understanding of the hedonic treadmill theory where "keeping up with the Joneses" is the only determinant of behavior. Working Paper 3. but rather on increasing life satisfaction or Gross national happiness (GNH). In 2003 Ruut Veenhoven and Michael Hagerty published a new analysis based on including various sources of data. • Mogridge. London.[6] In 2010 Easterlin published as lead author a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reaffirming the Easterlin Paradox with data from a sample of 37 countries. Wakolbinger (2005). increases in absolute income are clearly linked to increased self-reported happiness. both of the University of Pennsylvania. The study provides evidence that happiness is determined not only by relative income. Similarly. Transportation Science 39/4. but also by absolute income. J."[1] Easterlin found that within a given country people with higher incomes are more likely to report being happy.

July 24.January 28. (http:/ / graphics8. (2006) "The Hippies Were Right all Along about Happiness" Financial Times. External links • It's experts that make us miserable (http://observer. Malgorzata. edu/ betseys/ papers/ Happiness.Easterlin paradox 55 Notes [1] Does Economic Growth Improve the Human Lot? Some Empirical Evidence. 2006. Jacqueline (2010)..uk/fac/soc/economics/staff/ faculty/oswald/fthappinessjan96. Smith Zweig. "A talk with Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers" (http:/ / www. pdf) [4] Leonhardt. Inc. Sawangfa. php?AnalysisID=1020) . Daniel (23 November 2008).2000672.The Guardian .pdf) . finds study (http:/ / www. wharton. • The Hippies Were Right all Along about Happiness (http://www2.uk/comment/story/0. Andrew. pdf) [6] Akst.January 19. David (16 April 2008). co.warwick.10159 • Oswald. • Andrew Oswald's Website (http://www. 2007. Easterlin (http:/ / www-rcf. guardian.org/commentary/display. . boston. eur. Angelescu McVey. "Maybe Money Does Buy Happiness After All" (http:/ / www. nytimes. The Boston Globe.00. Richard A.. eds.andrewoswald. com/ bostonglobe/ ideas/ articles/ 2008/ 11/ 23/ a_talk_with_betsey_stevenson_and_justin_wolfers/ ?page=full). . nytimes. uk/ science/ 2010/ dec/ 13/ happiness-growing-wealth-nations-study). Onnicha.co. 2006. New York: Academic Press.1073/pnas.com/).. com/ 2008/ 04/ 16/ business/ 16leonhardt.But Why? (http://pewglobal. January 19. 2007.Financial Times .Andrew Oswald .Bruce Stokes . . The New York Times. In: The Guardian. [5] Economic Growth and Subjective Well-Being: Reassessing the Easterlin Paradox (http:/ / bpp.html) Nick Cohen . [7] Alok Jha: Happiness doesn't increase with growing wealth of nations. upenn. David and Melvin W. (1974) "Does Economic Growth Improve the Human Lot?" in Paul A. Switek. html). edu/ ~easterl/ papers/ HVcomment. pdf) [3] "FEEDING THE ILLUSION OF GROWTH AND HAPPINESS: A REPLY TO HAGERTY AND VEENHOVEN" by Richard A. Richard A. nl/ fsw/ research/ veenhoven/ Pub2000s/ 2003e-full. Laura Angelescu McVey. 13 December 2010 References • Easterlin. Nations and Households in Economic Growth: Essays in Honor of Moses Abramovitz. • Easterlin. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 107 (52): 22463–22468. Reder. doi:10. pdf) [2] WEALTH AND HAPPINESS REVISITED Growing wealth of nations does go with greater happiness (http:/ / www2.ac. "The happiness–income paradox revisited". • Happiness Is Increasing in Many Countries -.guardian. com/ images/ 2008/ 04/ 16/ business/ Easterlin1974. usc.

Also. utility theory clashes with the Saint Petersburg Paradox which better explains how humans make their choices. some assumptions of the expected utility theory are violated. You are now given a choice between two gambles: Gamble A Gamble B You receive $100 if you draw a red ball You receive $100 if you draw a black ball Also you are given the choice between these two gambles (about a different draw from the same urn): Gamble C Gamble D You receive $100 if you draw a red or yellow ball You receive $100 if you draw a black or yellow ball This situation poses both Knightian uncertainty – whether the non-red balls are all yellow or all black. it follows that you will prefer Gamble A to Gamble B if and only if you believe that drawing a red ball is more likely than drawing a black ball (according to expected utility theory). Since the prizes are exactly the same. it follows that you will also prefer Gamble C to Gamble D. people assume a probability that the non-red balls are yellow versus black. It is generally taken to be evidence for ambiguity aversion. The paradox was popularized by Daniel Ellsberg. and only if. there would be no clear preference between the choices if you thought that a red ball was as likely as a black ball. however. ⅔. The balls are well mixed so that each individual ball is as likely to be drawn as any other. supposing instead that you prefer Gamble B to Gamble A. Utility theory interpretation Utility theory models the choice by assuming that in choosing between these gambles. Likewise. 1 urn problem is described.Ellsberg paradox 56 Ellsberg paradox The Ellsberg paradox is a paradox in decision theory and experimental economics in which people's choices violate the expected utility hypothesis. if drawing a red ball is more likely than drawing a black ball. And. The 1 urn paradox Suppose you have an urn containing 30 red balls and 60 other balls that are either black or yellow. which is ⅓ vs. . Therefore.[1] An alternate viewpoint is that expected utility theory does not properly describe actual human choices. and then compute the expected utility of the two gambles. Similarly it follows that you will prefer Gamble C to Gamble D if. which is the better known one. most people strictly prefer Gamble A to Gamble B and Gamble D to Gamble C. supposing you prefer Gamble A to Gamble B. When surveyed. you believe that drawing a red or yellow ball is more likely than drawing a black or yellow ball. So. It might seem intuitive that.[2] Ellsberg raised two problems: 1 urn problem and 2 urn problem. which is not quantified – and probability – whether the ball is red or non-red. it follows that you will also prefer Gamble D to Gamble C. although a version of it was noted considerably earlier by John Maynard Keynes. but that the total number of black balls plus the total number of yellow equals 60. Here. then drawing a red or yellow ball is also more likely than drawing a black or yellow ball. You don't know how many black or how many yellow balls there are.

it is presumed this preference is reflected by the expected utilities of the two gambles: specifically. it was assumed U($100) > U($0). so ultimately. this can be taken as evidence for some sort of ambiguity aversion which cannot be accounted for in expected utility theory. Generality of the paradox Note that the result holds regardless of your utility function.[3] Possible explanations There have been various attempts to provide decision-theoretic explanations of Ellsberg's observation. It has been demonstrated that this phenomenon occurs only when the choice set permits comparison of the ambiguous proposition with a less vague proposition (but not when ambiguous propositions are evaluated in isolation). Since the probabilistic information available to the decision-maker is incomplete. between this and. and not known for Gambles B and C. it would follow that Gamble C was less risky than Gamble D (and vice versa). it must be the case that where is your utility function. However. the amount of the payoff is likewise irrelevant. the prize for winning it is the same. risk is not averted in this way. you have a 2 in 3 chance of receiving nothing. Indeed. and by choosing Gamble A. you have a 1 in 3 chance of receiving nothing. One such attempt is based on info-gap decision theory. in the gambles discussed above. though the practical meaning of the probability numbers is not entirely clear. this simplifies to: If you also strictly prefer Gamble D to Gamble C. because the exact chances of winning are known for Gambles A and D. If you strictly prefer Gamble A to Gamble B. For instance. That is. say. If (you strictly prefer $100 to nothing). All the gambles involve risk. No probability information whatsoever is provided regarding other outcomes. the following inequality is similarly obtained: This simplifies to: This contradiction indicates that your preferences are inconsistent with expected-utility theory. The agent is told precise probabilities of some outcomes. which is a precise number. or you receive nothing. By choosing Gamble D. Whichever gamble you choose. these alternative approaches sometimes suppose that the agent formulates a subjective (though not necessarily Bayesian) probability for possible outcomes. the agent may not distinguish. these attempts sometimes focus on quantifying the non-probabilistic ambiguity which the decision-maker faces – see Knightian uncertainty. by utility theory. the result holds regardless of your risk aversion. intuitively. so. In addition. If Gamble A was less risky than Gamble B. and the cost of losing it is the same (no cost). . the probability of a red ball is 30/90. 30/91.Ellsberg paradox 57 Mathematical demonstration Mathematically. but a contradiction can still be obtained for U($100) < U($0) and for U($100) = U($0)). Y. your estimated probabilities of each color ball can be represented as: R. this assumption is not necessary — in the mathematical treatment above. there are only two outcomes: you receive a specific amount of money. Therefore it is sufficient to assume that you prefer receiving some money to receiving nothing (and in fact. so the agent has very unclear subjective impressions of these probabilities. Nonetheless. and B.

[2] (Keynes 1921. which also proposes a solution to the paradox.[4] Another possible explanation is that this type of game triggers a deceit aversion mechanism. it is to deceive them. Quarterly Journal of Economics 110 (3): 585–603. Econometrica 57 (3): 571–587.). In real-life situations. Academic Press. London: Macmillan. • Keynes. JSTOR 1911053.2307/1911053. People make the same decisions in the experiment that they would about related but not identical real-life problems where the experimenter would be likely to be a deceiver acting against the subject's interests. "Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity". 58 References [1] Ellsberg. Yakov (2006). JSTOR 1884324. • Schmeidler. the agent is unable to evaluate a precise expected utility. Craig R. Daniel (1961). a choice based on maximizing the expected utility is also impossible.2307/1884324. Quarterly Journal of Economics 75 (4): 643–669. Many humans naturally assume in real-world situations that if they are not told the probability of a certain event. A Treatise on Probability.1. On the other hand. it would be to the advantage of the experimenter to put fewer black balls in the urn when offering such a gamble. JSTOR 2946693. (1989). D. . Info-gap Decision Theory: Decisions Under Severe Uncertainty (2nd ed. footnote 2) [3] Fox. Consequently. pp. A modification of utility theory to incorporate uncertainty as distinct from risk is Choquet expected utility.Ellsberg paradox In light of the ambiguity in the probabilities of the outcomes. it is quite possible that people simply forget to consider that the experimenter does not have a chance to modify the contents of the urn in between the draws. The agent then tries to satisfice the expected utility and to maximize the robustness against uncertainty in the imprecise probabilities.2307/2946693. even if the urn is not to be modified. doi:10. ISBN 0123735521. section 11. The info-gap approach supposes that the agent implicitly formulates info-gap models for the subjectively uncertain probabilities. ISBN 0198233035. When faced with the choice between a red ball and a black ball. and the Savage Axioms". Amos (1995). Paul (1993). "Ambiguity Aversion and Comparative Ignorance". John Maynard (1921).. Oxford University Press. When making the decision. the probability of 30/90 is compared to the lower part of the 0/90-60/90 range (the probability of getting a black ball). doi:10. Foundations of Rational Choice Under Risk. 75–76. Tversky. [4] Ben-Haim. • Anand. doi:10. paragraph 315. The average person expects there to be fewer black balls than yellow balls because in most real-world situations. This robust-satisficing approach can be developed explicitly to show that the choices of decision-makers should display precisely the preference reversal which Ellsberg observed. when offered a choice between red and yellow balls and black and yellow balls. people would be afraid of being deceived on that front as well. "Risk. people assume that there must be fewer than 30 yellow balls as would be necessary to deceive them. Ambiguity.

inducing them to anticipate resource extraction and hence to accelerate global warming. In other words. only two things can mitigate the accumulation of carbon in the atmosphere: either less carbon is extracted from the ground." [5] Sinn emphasizes that a condition for the green paradox is that the resource be scarce in the sense that its price will always be higher than the unit extraction and exploration costs combined. Environmental policy efforts. in particular European ones. the efforts to curtail demand have not reduced the aggregate amount of CO2 emitted globally. however. aiming instead at the promotion of alternative. in particular if high efficiency combustion processes ensure that no part of it ends up as soot. CO2-free energy sources and a more efficient use of energy. exert a stronger downward pressure on future prices than on current ones.Green paradox 59 Green paradox The Green Paradox is a phrase coined by German economist Hans-Werner Sinn to describe the fact that an environmental policy that becomes greener with the passage of time acts like an announced expropriation for the owners of fossil fuel resources. unavoidable fact: every carbon atom in the gas. The prices of coal and crude oil are currently many times higher than the corresponding exploration and extraction costs combined. they only address the demand side of the carbon market. or it is injected back underground after harvesting its energy. go in neither of these two directions. They burn the carbon set free by the “green” countries (leakage effect) and they also burn the additional carbon extracted as a reaction to the announced and expected price cuts resulting from the gradual greening of environmental policies (green paradox).[3] thus accelerating climate change. About a quarter of the emitted carbon will stay in the atmosphere practically forever. He points out that this condition is likely to be satisfied as backstop technologies will at best offer a perfect substitute for electricity. The owners of these resources regard this development with concern and react by increasing extraction volumes. they will extract their stocks more rapidly. if suppliers feel threatened by a gradual greening of economic policies in the Kyoto countries that would damage their future prices. by heralding a gradual tightening of policy over the coming decades. decreasing thus the rate of capital appreciation of the fossil fuel deposits. is that green policies. That is the green paradox: environmental policy slated to become greener over time acts as an announced expropriation that provokes owners to react by accelerating the rate of extraction of their fossil fuel stocks. neglecting the supply side. converting the proceeds into investments in the capital markets. Main line of reasoning The Green Paradox’s line of reasoning starts by recognizing a fundamental.[1] Apart from afforestation. Even worse. Despite considerable investment. Countries that do not partake of the efforts to curb demand have a double advantage. which offer higher yields. which continues to increase unabated.[2] The reason behind this. but not for fossil fuels.[4] Sinn writes in his abstract that: "[Demand reduction strategies] simply depress the world price of carbon and induce the environmental sinners to consume what the Kyoto countries have economized on. . contributing to the greenhouse effect that causes global warming. coal or oil extracted from the ground to be used as fuel ends up in the atmosphere. thus accelerating global warming. according to Sinn.

Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. Ölförderung und das Allmendeproblem” (Sales Taxes. 149–162. 83-103. [12] H-W. [8] http:/ / www. R.V. de/ portal/ page/ portal/ ifoHome/ b-publ/ b3publwp/ _wp_abstract?p_file_id=14562). 360-394. 2008. 278-289. ‘Public policies against global warming’. Hoos. Works on the subject Hans-Werner Sinn’s ideas on the green paradox have been presented in detail in a number of scientific articles. sourceoecd. “Fate of Fossil Fuel CO2 in Geologic Time”.Plädoyer für eine illusionsfreie Klimapolitik (http:/ / www. Long and H. 162–176. de/ link/ Sinn_Surpr_Price_Shift_AEP_1985. 360–394. htm [9] H.W. Sinn. [7] H. Econ: Berlin. Siebert. Joos. (2008). K. Lang: Frankfurt and Bern 1982. Accessible online at: (http:/ / www. E.[12] Notes and references [1] D. cesifo-group. cesifo-group. 2000. p. T. in: H. pdf) [6] “Public Policies against Global Warming: A Supply Side Approach”. pp. Reaktionen auf Energiepreisänderungen. Schöb. de/ link/ Sinn_Abs_Oel_Allmend_1982. CESifo Working Paper No. de/ link/ _ifovideo/ thuenen-vorlesung-1007. 109–142. “Das grüne Paradoxon: Warum man das Angebot bei der Klimapolitik nicht vergessen darf”. mnp. mimeo. Journal of Economic Theory 10. 2008. CO2 Emissions from Fuel Combustion 2007. Accessible online at: www.-W. “Surprise Price Shifts. “A Nonlinear Impulse Response Model of the Coupled Carbon Cycle-Climate System (NICCS)”. de/ link/ _publsinnparadoxon). Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 25. 2008. p. html) [3] N. Australian Economic Papers 24. Climate Change. nl/ en/ publications/ 2008/ GlobalCO2emissionsthrough2007. cesifo-group. 2006. Brovkin. 1975. “Resource Extraction under the Uncertainty about Possible Nationalization”. 2005. Sinn. 15. OECD Working Paper No.-M.org (http:/ / www. 480 pages. Hasselmann. p. Accessible online at: (http:/ / www. H. IEA Database.Green paradox 60 Practicable solutions An effective climate policy must perforce focus on the hitherto neglected supply side of the carbon market in addition to the demand side. pdf). International Tax and Public Finance.. ed. “Resource Extraction and the Threat of Possible Expropriation: The Role of Swiss Bank Accounts”.-W. cesifo-group. “Das Grüne Paradoxon”. or the establishment of a seamless global emissions trading system that would effectively put a cap on worldwide fossil fuel consumption. August 2007 [10] H. Public Policies against Global Warming. Oil Extraction and the Common Pool Problem) (http:/ / www. de/ portal/ page/ portal/ ifoHome/ b-publ/ b3publwp/ _wp_abstract?p_file_id=14563). Oliveira Martins. thereby achieving the desired reduction in carbon extraction rates. Global CO2 Emissions: Increase Continued in 2007. pp.[9] [10] and a German-language book. Sinn. Sinn. F. “Absatzsteuern. org). Climate Dynamics 18. cesifo-group. Journal of Geophysical Research 110. de/ portal/ page/ portal/ ifoContent/ N/ rts/ rts-mitarbeiter/ IFOMITARBSINNCV/ CVSinnPDF/ CVSinnPDFrefjournals2007/ ITAX-hws-2008. Bilthoven. 2008. E. p. D. Long. 242. 1994. cesifo-group. Archer. MeierReimer and F. pdf). June 13. International Tax and Public Finance 15. 5–11. Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik 9.-W. CESifo Working Paper No. Pareto Optimality in the Extraction of Fossil Fuels and the Greenhouse Effect: A Note. [4] S. 2087 (http:/ / www. p. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 26. Voss. 42– 53. 189–202. 2001. his 2007 presidential address to the International Institute of Public Finance in Warwick.[11] They build on his earlier studies on supply reactions of the owners of natural resources to announced price changes. “Unilateral CO2 Reductions and Carbon Leakage: The Consequences of International Trade in Oil and Basic Materials”. p. 2083 (http:/ / www. Burniaux and J.-W. Tax Changes and the Supply Behaviour of Resource Extracting Firms” (http:/ / www. . Archer and V. N. “Millennial Atmospheric Lifetime of Anthropogenic CO2”. Olson and R. K. Felder and T. [2] International Energy Agency (IEA). p. The ways proposed as practicable by Sinn to do this include levying a withholding tax on the capital gains on the financial investments of fossil fuel resource owners. 1985. Rutherford. August 2007 [11] Das grüne Paradoxon . two working papers. 4. and J. [5] Sinn. Konrad.V. G.[6] [7] his 2007 Thünen Lecture[8] at the annual meeting of the German Economic Association (Verein für Socialpolitik). “Carbon Emission Leakages: A General Equilibrium View”. 1993. A.sourceoecd. cesifo-group. Sinn.

Univers. [2] Harry Barkema (January 23. The Jevons paradox occurs when the effect from increased demand predominates. The book is a key source of insight in Escaping the Progress trap by Daniel O'Leary.Icarus paradox 61 Icarus paradox The Icarus paradox is a neologism coined by Danny Miller. tends to increase (rather than decrease) the rate of consumption of that resource. . .[3] As the Jevons paradox applies only to technological improvements that increase fuel efficiency. [3] Danny Miller (January–February. exaggeration. policies that impose conservation standards and increase costs do not display the Jevons paradox. Retrieved 2008-01-06. Improved technology allowed coal to fuel the Industrial Revolution. Additionally. 1990). "The Icarus Paradox. Jevons paradox In economics. Miller noted that some businesses bring about their own downfall through their own successes. "The Icarus Paradox" (http:/ / www. be this through over-confidence. nl/ univers/ nieuws/ 0203/ 17/ barkema. the Jevons paradox (sometimes Jevons effect) is the proposition that technological progress that increases the efficiency with which a resource is used. causing an increase in overall resource use. complacency. [2] In a 1992 article. "The Icarus paradox: how exceptional companies bring about their own downfall". 1992).[2] The issue has more recently been reexamined by modern economists studying consumption rebound effects from improved energy efficiency. potentially counteracting any savings from increased efficiency. Management Review. which increases the quantity demanded of the resource. improved efficiency lowers the relative cost of using a resource. Nevertheless. increased efficiency can improve material living standards. contrary to common intuition. England. html). as increased efficiency may actually increase fuel use. He argued that. accessmylibrary. com/ coms2/ summary_0286-9218419_ITM). Retrieved 2008-01-06. . Coal-burning factories in 19th-century Manchester. It refers to Icarus of Greek mythology who flew too close to the Sun and melted his own wings. The Jevons paradox has been used to argue that energy conservation is futile. increased efficiency accelerates economic growth. further increasing the demand for resources.-(book reviews)" (http:/ / www. the English economist William Stanley Jevons observed that technological improvements that increased the efficiency of coal-use led to the increased consumption of coal in a wide range of industries. Business Horizons. In addition to reducing the amount needed for a given use. fuel use declines if increased efficiency is coupled with a green tax that keeps the cost of use the same (or higher). Further. 2003).[3] References [1] Michael P. and popularized by his 1990 book by the same name. uvt. technological improvements could not be relied upon to reduce fuel consumption. Griffin (December 1.[1] In 1865.[1] for the observed phenomenon of businesses that fail abruptly after a period of apparent success. greatly increasing the consumption of coal.

fuel use: "It is a confusion of ideas to suppose that the economical use of fuel is equivalent to diminished consumption. rather than decrease. increasing efficiency would tend to increase. more work will be "purchased" (indirectly. The very contrary is the truth. Jevons argued that improvements in fuel efficiency tend to increase. This in turn increased total coal consumption. even as the amount of coal required for any particular application fell. leading to the increased use of the steam engine in a wide range of industries. but some experts advised that increasing efficiency would reduce coal consumption. as further increases in efficiency would tend to increase the use of coal. At that time. fuel) is used causes a decrease in the price of that resource when measured in terms of what it can achieve (e. many in Britain worried that coal reserves were rapidly dwindling. by buying more fuel). rather than reduce. which greatly improved the efficiency of Thomas Newcomen's earlier design.[2] [4] William Stanley Jevons Cause Rebound effect One way to understand the Jevons paradox is to observe that an increase in the efficiency with which a resource (e. Jevons paradox occurs.g. Hence... work). Thus with a demanded. demand curve). a decrease in the price of a good or service will increase the quantity demanded (see supply and Elastic Demand for Work: A doubling of fuel efficiency more than doubles work demand. the rate at which England's coal deposits were being depleted. exceeding the original . increasing the amount of fuel used. This increase in demand may or may not be large enough to offset the original drop in demand from the increased efficiency. The resulting increase in the demand for fuel is known as the rebound effect. The Jevons paradox occurs when the rebound effect is greater than 100 percent.g."[4] Jevons observed that England's consumption of coal soared after James Watt introduced his coal-fired steam engine. Generally speaking.Jevons paradox 62 History The Jevons paradox was first identified by William Stanley Jevons in his 1865 book The Coal Question. lower price for work. Watt's innovations made coal a more cost-effective power source. Jevons argued that this view was incorrect.

technological progress that improves energy efficiency will tend to increase overall energy use. Additionally. the amount of work purchased would less than double. which in turn increases energy use throughout the economy. demand for work is elastic. labor. the amount of fuel used decreases. and that other factors besides input cost (e. taking into account both the microeconomic and the macroeconomic effects.g. then the quantity of fuel used would increase. At the microeconomic level (looking at an individual market). even with the rebound effect. A full analysis would also have to take into account the fact that products (work) use more than one type of input (e.Jevons paradox 63 efficiency gains. a non-competitive market structure) may also affect the price of work.g.[2] Consider a simple case: a perfectly competitive market where fuel is the sole input used. at the macroeconomic level. then chief economist at the UK Atomic Energy Authority. and the only determinant of the cost of work. improvements in energy efficiency usually result in reduced energy consumption. energy consumption—the Khazzoom-Brookes postulate. but the efficiency of its conversion into work is doubled. of money. not decrease. Jevons paradox does not occur. Brookes. the demand for work is inelastic (price elasticity is smaller than 1 in magnitude). Khazzoom focused on the narrower point that the potential for rebound was ignored in mandatory performance standards for domestic appliances being set by the California Energy Commission. rather than decrease. If the amount of work purchased more than doubles (i. the economist Harry Saunders dubbed the hypothesis—that improvements in energy efficiency work to increase. This greater than 100 percent rebound has been called 'backfire'. increased energy efficiency tends to increase energy consumption by two means. increased energy efficiency makes the use of energy relatively cheaper. Khazzoom-Brookes postulate In the 1980s.[6] That is. making the Jevons paradox less likely to occur. Second. machinery). the price elasticity is larger than 1 in magnitude). the rebound effect is usually less than 100 percent. Saunders concludes that. However. which pulls up energy use for the whole economy. increased energy efficiency leads to increased economic growth. and the quantity of fuel used would decrease. fuel. and also on the effective price of work. These factors would tend to decrease the effect of fuel efficiency on the price of work. In 1992.e. argued that attempts to reduce energy consumption by increasing energy efficiency would simply raise demand for energy in the economy as a whole... thus encouraging increased use (the direct rebound effect). the economists Daniel Khazzoom and Leonard Brookes revisited the Jevons paradox for the case of a society's energy use. technological progress and long-run economic growth) under a wide range of assumptions. If however. and hence reduce the rebound effect.. .[5] According to Saunders. any change in the demand for fuel would have an effect on the price of fuel. more efficient (and hence comparatively cheaper) energy leads to faster economic growth. First. If the price of fuel remains constant. the effective price of work is halved and so twice as much work can be purchased for the same amount Inelastic Demand for Work:A doubling of fuel efficiency does not double work demanded. Saunders showed that the Khazzoom-Brookes postulate was consistent with neo-classical growth theory (the mainstream economic theory of capital accumulation.

[5] Saunders. doi:10. . M Giampietro. increased fuel efficiency may mitigate the price increases.03.g. Harry D.020. org/ library/ YPDBooks/ Jevons/ jvnCQ0. org/ web/ 20051113194327/ http:/ / www. macleans.. . Journal (Wall St. "Perceptual and structural barriers to investing in natural capital: Economics from an ecological footprint perspective". Ecological Economics 54 (1): 9–21.). opinionjournal. and will not slow the arrival or the effects of peak oil. . in order to increase energy conservation. html). "VII" (http:/ / www. In JM Polimeni. jsp?content=20070202_154815_4816).[11] By mitigating the economic effects of government interventions designed to promote ecologically sustainable activities. Andrew (2007-02-13). macleans. cap and trade. "Conservation Wastes Energy" (http:/ / web.[3] The Jevons effect indicates that increased efficiency. Retrieved 2010-09-01. "Jevons' paradox" (http:/ / www. environmental economists have pointed out that fuel use will unambiguously decrease if increased efficiency is coupled with an intervention (e. there remain other benefits associated with improved efficiency.[7] [8] Several points have been raised against the argument that energy conservation policies are futile. [6] Greening. 1992. archive. David L. Archived from the original (http:/ / www. [8] Strassel.Carmen Difiglio (2000). William (1997). a green tax. efficiency-improving technological progress may make the imposition of these interventions more palatable. ca/ article. Earthscan. Retrieved 2009-07-31. "Energy efficiency and consumption—the rebound effect—a survey".[12] As the Jevons paradox only applies to technological improvements that increase fuel efficiency."[3] The Jevons paradox is sometimes used to argue that energy conservation is futile. com/ columnists/ kstrassel/ ?id=95000484) on 2005-11-13. it will simply lead to more driving). 7–78. .1016/j. by itself. References [1] Alcott.. jsp?content=20070202_154815_4816) on 2007-12-14. K Mayumi. if the Khazzoom-Brookes postulate is correct. and so increased fuel efficiency usually reduces resource use. fuel tax or carbon tax). humbug" (http:/ / web. and more likely to be implemented. a more efficient steam engine allowed the cheaper transport of goods and people that contributed to the Industrial Revolution. Preferably they should be captured for reinvestment in natural capital rehabilitation. sciencedirect.g. cap and trade. fuel use may still increase because of faster economic growth. and that sustainable energy policy must rely on other types of government interventions. the imposition of conservation standards that simultaneously increase costs do not cause a paradoxical increase in fuel use. archive. Mathis. all other conditions remaining constant. shortages and disruptions in the global economy associated with peak oil. ISBN 1844074625. Greene.1016/S0921-8009(96)00077-8.ecolecon. Wall St. The ecological economists Mathis Wackernagel and William Rees suggest that cost savings from efficiency gains be "taxed away or otherwise removed from further economic circulation.1016/S0301-4215(00)00021-5 [7] Potter. William Stanley (1866)." The Energy Journal. "Planet-friendly design? Bah. Blake (July 2005). that more efficient use of oil will lead to increased demand. "Historical Overview of the Jevons Paradox in the Literature". [3] Wackernagel. Third. L. Blake (2008). "The Khazzoom-Brookes postulate and neoclassical growth. The Coal Question (2nd ed. October 1. fuel efficiency gains must be paired with some government intervention that reduces demand (e. ca/ article. doi:10. econlib. pp. This argument is usually presented as a reason not to impose environmental policies. . Archived from the original (http:/ / www. For example.Jevons paradox 64 Energy conservation policy The Jevons paradox warns that improvements in fuel efficiency will not reduce the rate at which fuel is used. Increased fuel efficiency enables greater production and a higher quality of material life.g. London: Macmillan and Company.[6] [9] [10] (However. This does not imply that increased fuel efficiency is worthless. First. if cars are more efficient. Rees. The Jevons Paradox and the Myth of Resource Efficiency Improvements. Ecological Economics 20 (3): 3–24.2005. even if increased efficiency does not reduce the total amount of fuel used. (2001-05-17). doi:10. or to increase fuel efficiency (e. Energy Policy 28 (6–7): 389–401. in the context of a mature market such as for oil. org/ web/ 20071214235056/ http:/ / www. com/ science/ article/ B6VDY-4G7GFMG-1/ 2/ 5da4f921421a31032f8fcd6971b0e177). MacLean's 120 (5): 14. Retrieved 2010-08-08. [2] Alcott. For example. However. opinionjournal. [4] Jevons. For example. Kimberley A. or license fees) that keeps the cost of fuel use the same or higher. is unlikely to reduce fuel use. Journal—Opinion). the direct rebound effect is usually small.) Second. com/ columnists/ kstrassel/ ?id=95000484). Retrieved 2008-07-21.

Earthscan. De Canio and Irene Peters (2003). Frank. org/ nle/ crsreports/ energy/ eng-80. 79–140. Society. com/ content/ n107734r313hh4wp/ ). Social. State Data. Retrieved 2007-11-21. Kenneth A. Policy and Economics (University of California Energy Institute.publications. "The Effect of Improved Fuel Economy on Vehicle Miles Traveled: Estimating the Rebound Effect Using U. Session 2005-06. Retrieved 2010-08-08.org/library/YPDBooks/Jevons/ jvnCQ. The Coal Question (http://www. TreeHugger. "Incorporating Behavioural. Applied Energy 63 (3): 209–226. The New York Times.S. treehugger. 1994). The New Yorker: pp. ISBN 1844074625. 65 Further reading • Jevons. ISBN 0-7923-6802-9. org/ uc/ item/ 1h6141nj). The Jevons Paradox and the Myth of Resource Efficiency Improvements. • Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology (5 July 2005)...nytimes. • Schipper. UC Berkeley). Stephen J. • Herring. • Owen. . com/gst/fullpage.1016/S0306-2619(99)00030-6. "Energy Efficiency and the Rebound Effect: Does Increasing Efficiency Decrease Demand?" (http:/ / www. doi:10.econlib.htm). newyorker. .1007/0-306-48160-X_1.com/files/2008/05/beating-energy-efficiency-paradox.parliament. and Organizational Phenomena in the Assessment of Climate Change Mitigation Options" (http:/ / www.html) (2nd ed. Select Committee on Science and Technology Second Report.uk/pa/ld200506/ldselect/ldsctech/21/2106. External links • Rocky Mountain Institute (May 1. David (December 20.Jevons paradox [9] Small.. M Giampietro. ISSN 03062619. [10] Gottron. . 1966–2001" (http:/ / escholarship. House of Lords. K Mayumi. ncseonline. doi:10. "Energy Efficiency Works. William Stanley (1866). "Beating the Energy Efficiency Paradox (Part I)" (http://www. and Climate Change Mitigation. "The Jevons Paradox: The Evolution of Complex Adaptive Systems and the Challenge for Scientific Analysis". pp. 78–. "Does energy efficiency save energy? The debate and its consequences". . Kozo Mayumi (2008). London: Macmillan and Co. Kurt Van Dender (2005-09-21). [12] Laitner. Mario. Advances in Global Change Research 8: 1–64. 2010). Retrieved 2010-09-01. "3: The economics of energy efficiency" (http://www. cfm?& CFID=11262148& CFTOKEN=7028302). Lee (November 26. springerlink. Behaviour. [11] Giampietro.php). Horace (19 July 1999). John A. 2008).html?res=9904E4D61530F935A15752C1A962958260). and It Saves Money" (http://query.com/reporting/2010/12/20/101220fa_fact_owen).). In JM Polimeni. "Annals of Environmentalism: The Efficiency Dilemma" (http://www.

edu/ classes/ econ355/ choi/ leo. are very (human) capital-intensive. Leontief's paradox undermined the validity of the Heckscher-Ohlin theorem (H-O) theory. For instance. both the U. pdf). Leontief found that the U. though the paradox is still derived in other developed nations. has an advantage in highly skilled labor more so than capital. Retrieved 2007-11-05. econ. This econometric find was the result of Professor Wassily W. wassily. htm). Using this definition.S.[3] Responses to the paradox For many economists.S.[1] using a measure similar to Leontief's. com/ cgi-bin/ conference/ download. cgi?db_name=ACE2005& paper_id=224). Many economists have dismissed the H-O theory in favor of a more Ricardian model where technological differences determine comparative advantage. Some explanations for the paradox dismiss the importance of comparative advantage as a determinant of trade. leontief.Leontief paradox 66 Leontief paradox Leontief's paradox in economics is that the country with the world's highest capital-per worker has a lower capital/labor ratio in exports than in imports. (the most capital-abundant country in the world) exported labor-intensive commodities and imported capital-intensive commodities. Measurements • In 1971 Robert Baldwin showed that US imports were 27% more capital-intensive than US exports in the 1962 trade data. [2] Duchin. both countries trade different brands of cars between them. but acknowledged that the US paradox still appears in the data (for years other than 1947). net/ PDF/ Duchin. iastate. References [1] "Leontief Paradox" (http:/ / www. "International Trade: Evolution in the Thought and Analysis of Wassily Leontief" (http:/ / www. Rather than one country dominating the industry with a comparative advantage.g. 2005. the Linder hypothesis states that demand plays a more important role than comparative advantage as a determinant of trade--with the hypothesis that countries which share similar demands will be more likely to trade. in contradiction with Heckscher-Ohlin theory ("H-O theory"). but some studies in non-US trade were instead consistent with the H-O theory. . For instance. and not particularly intensive in (unskilled) labor. so both have large automotive industries. . These economists argue that the U. In 1954. and Germany are developed countries with a significant demand for cars. • In 2005 Kwok & Yu used an updated methodology to argue for a lower or zero paradox in US trade statistics. the exports of the U. . to include human capital.[2] • A 1999 survey of the econometric literature by Elhanan Helpman concluded that the paradox persists. Leontief's attempt to test the Heckscher-Ohlin theory empirically. Faye (2000). This can be seen as viewing "capital" more broadly. Similarly. • In 1980 Edward Leamer questioned Leontief's original methodology on Real exchange rate grounds.S. p. in industrial increasing returns to scale). 3. New Trade Theory argues that comparative advantages can develop separately from factor endowment variation (e. . [3] "Leontief paradox and the role of factor intensity measurement" (http:/ / editorialexpress.S. which predicted that trade patterns would be based on countries' comparative advantage in certain factors of production (such as capital and labor).

Counterexample of the Lucas Paradox. Williamson maintains that unimpeded labor migration is one way that capital flows to the citizens of developing nations. Britain. China and Africa. be able to offer extremely high returns to capital. Although the expected return on investment might be high in many developing countries. the paradox does not emerge as clearly before the 20th century. 2. The meager foreign capital Africa receives outside of the charity of multinational corporations reveals the extent to which Lucas captured the realities of today’s global capital flows. was able to design. has been upheld as exemplifying the type of the nation that would. Regions characterized by poverty.Lucas paradox 67 Lucas paradox In economics.[4] As evidence for the central role played by institutional stability. stands out as an age of unimpeded capital flows. The first group attributes the limited amount of capital received by poorer nations to differences in fundamentals that affect the production structure of the economy. In reality. the Lucas paradox or the Lucas puzzle is the observation that capital does not flow from developed countries to developing countries despite the fact that developing countries have lower levels of capital per worker. and the institutional structure. American economic development Although Lucas’ original hypothesis has widely been accepted as descriptive of the modern period in history. Some have pointed to the quality of institutions as the key determinant of capital inflows to poorer nations.[3] Authors more recently have focused their explanations for the paradox on Lucas’ first category of explanation. due to the effect of diminishing returns of capital. Examples of the Lucas Paradox: 20th century development of Third World nations Lucas’ seminal paper was a reaction to observed trends in international development efforts during the 20th century. and control the quality of institutions in their colonies to capitalize on the high returns to capital in the new world. such as technological differences. missing factors of production. mainly sovereign risk (risk of nationalization) and asymmetric information. in part. have received particular attention with regard to the underinvestment predicted by Lucas. This puzzle. Africa. In response. for instance. such as India. In poor countries. The second group of explanations focuses on international capital market imperfections. allowing wage rates to converge across the regions in the British Empire. The empire structure was particularly important for facilitating low-cost international migration. the scarcity of capital relative to labor should mean that the returns related to the infusion of capital are higher than in developed countries. Surprisingly little capital flows from rich countries to poor countries.[5] Jeffrey Williamson has explored in depth this reversal of the Lucas Paradox in the colonial context.[6] For instance. for instance. under neoclassical assumptions. in . government policies." The theoretical explanations for the Lucas Paradox can be grouped into two categories. why they are poor. The system of imperialism produced economic conditions particularly amenable to the movement of capital according to the assumptions of classical economics. with its impoverished populace and rich natural resources. The colonial era.[1] Classical economic theory predicts that capital should flow from rich countries to poor countries. impose. famously discussed in a paper by Robert Lucas in 1990 and is often referred to as the "Lucas Paradox. things just don’t seem to work that way. it has been shown that the amount of foreign direct investment a country receives is highly correlated to the strength of infrastructure and the stability of government in that country.[2] 1. Poor countries have lower levels of capital per worker – which explains. savers in rich countries should look at poor countries as profitable places in which to invest. Although not emphasized by Lucas himself. the difference in fundamentals of the production structure. it does not flow there because of the high level of uncertainty associated with those expected returns.

Vadym (2008). "Capital Flows in a Globalized World: The Role of Policies and Institutions". While Britain enabled free capital flow from old to new world.2. [6] Williamson. Article.1162/rest. (2008) article is titled "Why Doesn't Capital Flow from Rich to Poor Countries? An Empirical Investigation" .90. pdf). doi:10. Volosovych. National Bureau of Economic Research. Kalemli‐Ozcan. "The British Empire and Globalization" (http:/ / www. de/ faculty/ economics/ team/ persons/ schularick/ Lucas_discussion_paper_FUB. "Winners and Losers Over Two Centuries of Globalization". . rights of personal liberty. Laura. [5] Schularick. England incentivized its citizens to move to the labor-scarce America. both pre and post-revolution. 68 References [1] Lucas. org/ British_Empire/ british_empire_and_globalization. Review of Economics and Statistics 90 (2): 347–368. pdf). org/ external/ np/ seminars/ eng/ 2006/ rppia/ pdf/ montie. Sebnem. endorsing a system of indentured servitude to make overseas migration affordable. [4] Daude. the success of the American enterprise after the American Revolution is a good example of the role of institutional and legal frameworks for facilitating a continued flow of capital. provides a case study for the conditions under which the Lucas Paradox is reversed. Retrieved 27 February 2011. fu-berlin. htm). Christian.1111/j. early American economic development. The American Constitution’s commitment to private property rights. imf. "Obstacles to Investment in Africa: Explaining the Lucas Paradox" (http:/ / www. originofnations. "The Lucas Paradox and the Quality of Institutions: Then and Now" (http:/ / www. doi:10. [7] Ferguson. Retrieved 21 February 2011.[7] In these ways.2007. Robert (1990).00318. the institutions exported under imperialism and the legal frameworks established after independence enabled long term capital flows from Europe to America. Niall. "THE QUALITY OF INSTITUTIONS AND FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT". Jeffrey.x. Peter. and strong contract law enabled investment from Britain to America to continue even without the incentives of the colonial relationship. . Moritz. American Economic Review 80 (2): 92–96 [2] Alfaro. . Even after the average income level in America exceeded that of Britain.Lucas paradox the 17th and 18th century. Article. The Alfaro et al. "Why doesn't Capital Flow from Rich to Poor Countries?". Retrieved 28 February 2011.1468-0343. jfki.347 [3] Montiel.

[3] The strange result could occur if the exporting country's offer curve is very inelastic. "A note on tariffs. International Economics: Theory and Policy (6th ed.[2] The paradox has roughly the same status as immiserizing growth and a transfer that makes the recipient worse off. doi:10.[4] [5] References [1] Casas. "Tariffs.1086/256766.. . [2] Metzler. Lloyd A. "Chapter 5: The Standard Trade Model".[1] It was proposed by Lloyd Metzler in 1949 upon examination of tariffs within the Heckscher–Ohlin model. Boston: Addison-Wesley. 112 [4] de Haan. Maurice (2003). p. Such a tariff would not protect the industry competing with the imported goods. Werner A. and the Distribution of National Income".. 112. (1985). quotas.1108/eb002612.. Paul R. p. [3] Krugman and Obstfeld (2003).Metzler paradox 69 Metzler paradox In economics. Patrice (December 1979). Choi. 113 Further reading • Krugman. [5] Krugman and Obstfeld (2003). ISBN 0321116399. p. doi:10. Obstfeld. doi:10. Eun K. François R. the tariff lowers the duty-free cost of the price of the import by such a great degree that the effect of the improvement of the tariff-imposing countries' terms of trade on relative prices exceeds the amount of the tariff. and the Metzler Paradox: An alternative approach". Review of World Economics 115 (4): 736–741. Visser. Journal of Economic Studies 12 (5): 53–57. the Terms of Trade.). It is deemed to be unlikely in practice. (1949).1007/bf02696743. the Metzler paradox (named after the American economist Lloyd Metzler) is the theoretical possibility that the imposition of a tariff on imports may reduce the relative internal price of that good. "The Metzler Paradox and the Non-equivalence of Tariffs and Quotas: Further Results". Journal of Political Economy 57 (1): 1–29. In this case.

[2] [3] The paradox states that if everyone tries to save more money during times of recession. One who does not know about the paradox of thrift would fall into a fallacy of composition wherein one generalizes what is perceived to be true for an individual within the economy to the overall population. and yet increaseth. and there is that withholdeth more than is meet. and impact. Publick Benefits (1714) by Bernard Mandeville. will move the equilibrium point at which income equals output and investment equals savings to lower values. namely that what is true of the parts must be true of the whole. then aggregate demand will fall and will in turn lower total savings in the population because of the decrease in consumption and economic growth. because while individual thrift is generally averred to be good for the economy. The paradox of thrift is a central component of Keynesian economics. though it is criticized on a number of grounds. of increased savings in an economy. This decrease in economic growth means fewer salary increases and perhaps downsizing. The paradox is. and. whether a country be barren or fruitful.[2] [5] [6] [7] Keynes himself notes the appearance of the paradox in The Fable of the Bees: or. is in private families the most certain method to increase an estate. The narrow claim transparently contradicts this assumption.Paradox of thrift 70 Paradox of thrift The paradox of thrift (or paradox of saving) is a paradox of economics. put forth in Keynesian economics. and Keynes citing the passage: As this prudent economy. Although exercising thrift may be good for an individual by enabling that individual to save for a "rainy day". the same method if generally . it may not be good for the economy as a whole. This paradox is based on the proposition. broadly speaking. and is often attributed to him. similar sentiments occur in the Bible verse: There is that scattereth. and the proposition that spending may help and saving may hurt an economy dates to antiquity. and has formed part of mainstream economics since the late 1940s. in equilibrium. total income (and thus demand) must equal total output. Eventually the population's total savings will have remained the same or even declined because of lower incomes and a weaker economy. Overview The argument is that. the paradox of thrift holds that collective thrift may be bad for the economy. In this form it represents a prisoner's dilemma as saving is beneficial to each individual but deleterious to the general population. so some imagine that. narrowly speaking. that many economic downturns are demand based. This is a "paradox" because it runs contrary to intuition.[1] and similar sentiments date to antiquity. ceteris paribus.[2] it was stated by a number of others prior to Keynes. This paradox can be explained by analyzing the place. though it had been stated as early as 1714 in The Fable of the Bees.[4] Both the narrow and broad claims are paradoxical within the assumption underlying the fallacy of composition. popularized by John Maynard Keynes. If a population saves more money (that is the marginal propensity to save increases across all income levels). that increases in savings may be harmful to an economy. the title itself hinting at the paradox. but it tendeth to poverty. and that total investment must equal total saving. and the broad one does so by implication. which some people call Saving. Assuming that saving rises faster as a function of income than the relationship between investment and output. Private Vices. that total savings may fall even when individual savings attempt to rise. —Proverbs 11:24 which has found occasional use as an epigram in underconsumptionist writings. then an increase in the marginal propensity to save. History While the paradox of thrift was popularized by Keynes. then total revenues for companies will decline.

Robertson. Every such attempt to save more by reducing consumption will so affect incomes that the attempt necessarily defeats itself. But equally she may not. if demand slackens.[8] [2] writing: Had the whole population been alike bent on saving.. . the reactions of the amount of his consumption on the incomes of others makes it impossible for all individuals simultaneously to save any given sums. Robertson in his 1892 book The Fallacy of Saving. The General Theory of Employment. the English might be much richer than they are. Keynes distinguished between business activity/investment ("Enterprise") and savings ("Thrift") in his Treatise on Money (1930): . Chapter 7. and stated the paradox of thrift in The General Theory. particularly neoclassical economists. assuming the savings are held at banks. Keynes suggests Adam Smith was referring to this passage when he wrote "What is prudence in the conduct of every private family can scarce be folly in that of a great Kingdom. for example. 84 The theory is referred to as the "paradox of thrift" in Samuelson's influential Economics of 1948. of course. p. This.Paradox of thrift pursued (which they think practicable) will have the same effect upon a whole nation. Interest and Money. prices will fall (barring government intervention). since the attempt to do so will necessarily raise incomes to a level at which the sums which individuals choose to save add up to a figure exactly equal to the amount of investment. —John M. is no idle paradox. was developed by underconsumptionist economists of the 19th century. particularly at banks. If Enterprise is afoot.mere abstinence is not enough by itself to build cities or drain fens. even usually she is not.. inasmuch as (other tendencies remaining the same) industrial paralysis would have been reached sooner or oftener. perhaps. which popularized the term. 1936: For although the amount of his own saving is unlikely to have any significant influence on his own income. if they would be as frugal as some of their neighbours. who reject Say's law and instead point to evidence of sticky prices as a reason why prices do not fall in recession. The Fallacy of Saving. the total saved would positively have been much less. Thus an accumulation of savings yields . and that. just as impossible for the community as a whole to save less than the amount of current investment. I think... Thus. Thrift may be the handmaiden of Enterprise. This . and if Enterprise is asleep. —John Maynard Keynes. The first criticism is that. 131–2 Similar ideas were forwarded by William Trufant Foster and Waddill Catchings in the 1920s in The Dilemma of Thrift [9]. is an error. and the paradox of thrift in the strict sense that "collective attempts to save yield lower overall savings" was explicitly stated by John M. profits would be less. wealth decays whatever Thrift may be doing. but the strictest economic truth. and earnings smaller and more precarious. 71 Criticisms Within mainstream economics. The second criticism is that savings represent loanable funds.. interest much lower. And. rather than currency itself being held ("stashed under one's mattress"). wealth accumulates whatever may be happening to Thrift. as they saw it.. It is. This criticism in turn has been questioned by Keynesian economists. non-Keynesian economists." The problem of underconsumption and oversaving. and the resulting lower price will stimulate demand (though at lower profit or cost – possibly even lower wages). criticize this theory on three principal grounds. this remains a debated point. p. following Say's law and the related circle of ideas.

Related concepts The paradox of thrift has been related to the debt deflation theory of economic crises.[11] who refer to it as "exporting one's way out of a recession". total revenues for companies will decline. marxists. . if the saving nation increases exports. the consumption-investment ratio and productivity would be left unchanged.. the paradox assumes a closed economy in which savings are not invested abroad (to fund exports of local production abroad). being called "the paradox of debt"[15] – people save not to increase savings. Chapter 23. as via bank deposits). the desire to hold currency rather than loan it out is discussed under liquidity preference. and thus a recession may be caused – but this is due to holding cash. but lower employment. "The 'Paradox' of Savings". "A Neglected Early Statement the Paradox of Thrift" (http:/ / hope.[14] instead. Stamped Money and Theories of Under-consumption (http:/ / www. if spending falls by half and prices also uniformly fall by half. Two caveats are added to this criticism. or indirectly. Austrian School economists believe the productivity of the economy is determined by the consumption-investment ratio. it need not hold at the local or national level: if one nation increases savings. attacking the paradox as proposed by Foster and Catchings. History of Political Economy 1 (2): 395–400. They argue that hoarding of money (an increase in the demand for money) does not necessarily lead to a change in the population's consumption-investment ratio. (1969). rather than loaning it out. which results in the growth of excess reserves – funds on deposit but not loaned out. and the demand for money only tells us the degree to which people prefer the utility of money (protection against uncertainty) to the utility of goods. William P. The General Theory of Employment. Gramm.[10] Secondly.1215/00182702-1-2-395. Robert T. Firstly. Thus. if savings are held as cash. Notes on Merchantilism. it may simply be reflected in the price level.e. So a decline in consumer spending is offset by an increase in lending. They further note that this frequently occurs in concert with currency devaluation[12] (hence increasing exports and decreasing imports). but rather to pay down debt. This is argued to occur in liquidity trap situations. and subsequent investment and spending. . this can be offset by trading partners consuming a greater amount relative to their own production. and its partners increase imports. and cannot work as a solution to a global problem. banks themselves may hold cash. Third. while the paradox may hold at the global level. dukejournals.. a paradox of toil has been proposed: wage flexibility in a liquidity trap may lead not only to lower wages. [3] See history section for further discussion. Within Keynesian economics.[17] Notes [1] Keynes. org/ reference/ subject/ economics/ keynes/ general-theory/ ch23. Interest and Money. but they deny the assertion that lower revenues lead to lower economic growth. org/ cgi/ pdf_extract/ 1/ 2/ 395). not to saving per se. then loanable funds do not increase. which will lower interest rates and stimulate borrowing.[13] Hayek and later Austrian School economists agree that if a population saves more money. the Usury Laws. when interest rates are at a zero lower bound (or near it) and savings still exceed investment demand. For example. 72 Austrian School criticism Within heterodox economics. This criticism is not very controversial. i. and is generally accepted by Keynesian economists as well.Paradox of thrift an increase in potential lending. As well.[16] Popular culture The South Park episode "Margaritaville" showed a fictional situation in which the paradox of thrift came to fruition. rather than being loaned out (directly by savers. htm) [2] Nash. the paradox was criticized by the Austrian School economist]] and Nobel Prize winner Friedrich Hayek in a 1929 article. because the global economy is a closed system – not every nation can increase exports. doi:10.

now becomes something of a social vice. Nigel Allington.9 and 9. archive.html) Criticisms • The Paradox of Thrift: RIP (http://www. com/ 2009/ 02/ 03/ paradox-of-thrift/ ).saintjoe. Number 1 • Consumers don't cause recessions (http://mises. org/ rothbard/ agd.). edu/ ~garriro/ cbm. ISBN 007-123932-4. auburn. 122 (http:/ / books.cato. External links • The paradox of thrift explained (http://ingrimayne. Noel Thompson. com/ books?id=0flCPQAACAAJ [10] See section 9. uses the verse as an epigram [7] Studies in economics. This phenomenon is called the paradox of thrift. blogs. Paul& Nordhaus. 2009 [12] Devaluing History (http:/ / krugman. htm [11] The paradox of thrift — for real (http:/ / krugman. Economics (18th ed. com/ 2010/ 11/ 24/ devaluing-history/ ).[T]hrift. com/ 2009/ 12/ 14/ a-new-paradox/ ). 1895. Murphy (an Austrian School critique of the paradox of thrift) . Will Shannon.. Malthus. nytimes. blogs. The Cato Journal. The Fallacy of Saving (http:/ / www.+ and+ yet+ increaseth"): "A suggestion that a more equal distribution of income might be a remedy for general stagnation – and that excess saving can be harmful – is implicit in the quotation from the Old Testament on the Reply to Mr. google. com/ books?id=YwUPAAAAQAAJ& dq="scattereth. nytimes. blogs. November 24..html). society may create conditions under which the amount it can actually save is reduced. Paul Krugman. 249 (http:/ / books. Paul Krugman. New York: McGraw-Hill.." [5] English. Irish and Subversives Among the Dismal Scientists. p. com/ 2010/ 05/ 04/ randy-marsh-and-the-paradox-of-thrift/ ). 2010. emphasis added: "By attempting to increase its rate of saving. txt).org/pubs/journal/cj16n1-7. John M. by Clifford F. Paul Krugman [17] Randy Marsh and the Paradox of Thrift (http:/ / www. by John Cazenove.org/story/3194) by Robert P. org/ stream/ fallacyofsavings00robe/ fallacyofsavings00robe_djvu. which has always been held in high esteem in our economy. Volume 16. July 7. Diatribe Media 73 References • Samuelson. Say’s Letters to Mr. (1892).11 http:/ / www. McConnell (1960: 261–62).+ and+ yet+ increaseth") [8] Robertson. 2010 [13] Hayek on the Paradox of Saving (http:/ / mises. com/ books?id=4fjwxnH8VPcC& pg=PA122& dq="scattereth. diatribemedia. William (2005). Say [by John Cazenove (1788–1879)]. .Paradox of thrift [4] These two formulations are given in Campbell R. 2010-05-04. William Smart. nytimes. p. google. mises. Thies. nytimes. org/ story/ 2804) [14] Pages 37-39 of http:/ / www. blogs.edu/econ/Keynes/Paradox. com/ 2009/ 07/ 07/ the-paradox-of-thrift-for-real/ ). google. [6] A Reply to Mr. pdf [15] Paradox of thrift (http:/ / krugman. Paul Krugman [16] A new paradox (http:/ / krugman. [9] http:/ / books.

Nicolaus Copernicus[1] . I shall now proceed to examine. labor) and not to the point of view of the consumer. Smith denied a necessary relationship between price and utility. The philosopher Adam Smith is often considered to be the classic presenter of this paradox. "value in exchange. he explained the value in exchange as being determined by labor: The real price of every thing. The word VALUE. Nothing is more useful than water: but it will purchase scarce anything. . and notices how they tend to differ: Water diamonds. what every thing really costs to the man who wants to acquire it.Paradox of value 74 Paradox of value The paradox of value (also known as the diamond–water paradox) is the apparent contradiction that. The labor theory of value has lost popularity in mainstream economics and has been replaced by the theory of marginal utility. has two different meanings. is the toil and trouble of acquiring it. Labor theory of value In a passage of Adam Smith's An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. than diamonds. it is to be observed. scarce anything can be had in exchange for it. although water is on the whole more useful. These rules determine what may be called the relative or exchangeable value of goods. but a very great quantity of other goods may frequently be had in exchange for it.[3] Furthermore." the other. The one may be called "value in use. has scarce any use-value. in terms of survival. diamonds command a higher price in the market. on the contrary. those which have the greatest value in exchange have frequently little or no value in use. John Locke. he discusses the concepts of value in use and value in exchange.[4] Hence. John Law[2] and others had previously tried to explain the disparity. Price on this view was related to a factor of production (namely." The things which have the greatest value in use have frequently little or no value in exchange. What are the rules which men naturally observe in exchanging them [goods] for money or for one another. and sometimes the power of purchasing other goods which the possession of that object conveys. on the contrary.[5] Proponents of the labor theory of value saw that as the resolution of the paradox. A diamond. and sometimes expresses the utility of some particular object.

With the first. With the lower than that of diamonds. he will feed his farm animals. If he sells that bag and neglects the pigeons. Rather. marginalists explain that it is not the total usefulness of diamonds or water that matters. So. However. in order to be strong enough to work. They are of such low supply that the usefulness of one diamond is greater than the usefulness of one glass of water. Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk At low levels of consumption. because they need it to survive. On the other hand. but the usefulness of each unit of water or diamonds. Therefore. The next is used to make whisky. as in the labor theory of value. People usually consume water at much higher having five sacks of grain. Thus. . If one of those bags is stolen. those who want diamonds are willing to pay a higher price for one diamond than for one glass of water. diamonds are worth more to people. so the value of a fourth bag of grain is the value of his whisky. and sellers of diamonds ask a price for one diamond that is higher than for one glass of water. the one that takes highest-priority. diamonds are in much lower supply. says that the price at which an object trades in the market is determined neither by how much labor was exerted in its production. In explaining the diamond-water paradox. he will make more bread. It is true that the total utility of water to people is tremendous. any particular unit of water becomes worth less to people as the supply of water increases.Paradox of value 75 Marginalism The theory of marginal utility. Only if he loses four bags of grain will he start eating less. each additional unit of water that becomes available can be applied to less urgent uses as more urgent uses for water are satisfied. second. since water is in such large supply in the world. and the last one he feeds to the pigeons. if someone possesses a good. In other words. that is the most productive use of his grain. The last bag of grain is worth his life. Therefore. So the value of the fifth bag of grain is equal to the satisfaction he gets from feeding the pigeons. instead he will stop feeding the pigeons. Which one? Naturally. his least productive use of the remaining grain is to make whisky. water has a much higher marginal utility than illustrated this with the example of a farmer [6] diamonds and thus is more valuable. its price is determined by its marginal utility. nor on how useful it is on a whole (total utility). The marginal utility of a good is derived from its most important use to a person. levels than they do diamonds and thus the marginal utility and price of water are he will make bread to survive. he will not reduce each of those activities by one-fifth. he will use it to satisfy some need or want. With the next. which is based on the subjective theory of value. which is in abundant supply. the marginal utility of water is low.

. econlib. Scott (1991). by Copernicus who wrote a bit on economic questions).. Routledge. html) accessed 09/08/06 [6] Böhm-Bawerk. . and such comparison would have required using the concept of marginal utility of income. "A colonial farmer. org/ library/ BohmBawerk/ bbPTC. then the value in use and value in exchange judgement may be meaningless: The paradox—that value in exchange may exceed or fall short of value in use—was. whose log hut stands by itself in the primeval forest. since it consisted of a comparison between heterogeneous goods. no concept of marginal utility of income or marginal price of utility) on which he could compare such heterogeneous quantities. [4] Smith. a meaningless statement. has just harvested five sacks of corn. [5] Dhamee. was frequently noted before Adam Smith (for example. ." [7] Stigler. 39. and their Price in Money" (http:/ / www. moreover. html). Chapter V Of the Real and Nominal Price of Commodities. Retrieved April 2006. alternatively. "Moreover. The development of Utility Theory. George (1950). strictly speaking. "Book I. Adam (1776). Adam Smith and the division of labour (http:/ / www. Adam (1776). I [7] References [1] Gordon. html). The development of Utility Theory. org/ LIBRARY/ Smith/ smWN. "Chapter 2: Adam Smith". Chapter IV: The Marginal Utility" (http:/ / www. Journal of political economy 58(4). org/ economics/ division. On any reasonable interpretation. ISBN 0-415-09670-7. Cambridge University Press. To avoid the incomparability of money and utility." [3] Smith. org/ LIBRARY/ Smith/ smWN. And since this concept was not known in Smith's time. econlib. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. Mark (1962). p. Yousuf(1996?). for Smith had no basis (i. Economic Theory in Retrospect..Paradox of value 76 Criticisms George Stigler has argued that Smith's statement of the paradox is flawed. far away from the busy haunts of men. I. "This 'paradox of value'. Eugen von (1891). Smith's statement that value in use could be less than value in exchange was clearly a moral judgment. History and Philosophy of Social Science: An Introduction. Retrieved 2006-06-20. econlib. or of their Price in Labour. "Book III. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations.. p 308. that the ratio of the prices of two commodities is not equal to the ratio of their total utilities. not shared by the possessors of diamonds. Retrieved July 2006. "Chapter 7: The Scottish Enlightenment of the eighteenth century".. one may interpret Smith to mean that the ratio of values of two commodities is not equal to the ratio of their total utilities.." [2] Blaug. Law and Harris had contrasted the value of water with that of diamonds.. . such writers as Locke. but this also requires an illegitimate selection of units: The price of what quantity of diamonds is to be compared with the price of one gallon of water? —George Stigler. . Or. "Of the Origin and Use of Money" (http:/ / www. .e. ISBN 0-521-57701-2. p. html). 141. as it was called. victorianweb.

We were looking at the wrong time period. is that computers. the opposite of the time lag hypothesis. (1998) state that for untangling the paradox an “understanding of how IT usage is related to the nature of managerial work and the context in which it is deployed” is required. mention that understanding the paradox requires an understanding of the concept of productivity. individual firms and many specific applications. et al.[4] Diminishing marginal returns from computers. the growth accounts didn't seem to confirm the idea. One hypothesis to explain the productivity paradox is that computers are productive. From the early 1970s to the early 1990s there was a massive slow-down in growth as the machines were becoming ubiquitous. AKA the "Solow residual". over two decades before personal computers. "You can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics.”[3] It was widely believed that office automation was boosting labor productivity (or total factor productivity). these tasks are not done in any particularly new or efficient manner." Turban. yet their productive gains are realized only after a lag period. were used in the most productive areas. Economists have done research in the productivity issue and concluded that there are three possible explanations for the paradox. Brynjolfsson (1993) identified four possible explanations: • Mismeasurement: the gains are real. leaving little net gain. and pointing out that "a shortfall of evidence is not evidence of a shortfall. The concept is sometimes referred to as the Solow computer paradox in reference to Robert Solow's 1987 quip. computers replaced a sophisticated system of data processing that used unit record equipment. (Other variables in country's economies were changing simultaneously. It could very well be that increases in productivity due to computers is not captured in GDP measures. • Redistribution: there are private gains.Productivity paradox 77 Productivity paradox The productivity paradox was analyzed and popularized in a widely-cited article[1] by Erik Brynjolfsson. (2008). He stressed the first explanation. Current data does not confirm the validity of either hypothesis."[2] The paradox has been defined as the “discrepancy between measures of investment in information technology and measures of output at the national level. but our current measures miss them. Pinsonneault et al. growth accounting separates out the improvement in production output using the same capital and labour resources as input by calculating growth in total factor productivity. but they come at the expense of other firms and individuals. accounting and airline reservations. and • Mismanagement: there are no gains because of the unusual difficulties in managing IT or information itself. in the form of mainframes. a scarce complementary human input. noting weaknesses with then-existing studies and measurement methods.) The productivity paradox can be seen as an example of diminishing marginal returns on technology and technological saturation in the broader sense of the entire universe of productivity improving technologies. but rather they are only done faster. Another hypothesis states that computers are simply not very productivity enhancing because they require time. but rather in quality changes and new products. Also. However. This theory holds that although computers perform a variety of tasks. • Time lags: the gains take a long time to show up. Explanations Different authors have explained the paradox in different ways. Therefore the important productivity opportunities were exhausted before computers were everywhere. which noted the apparent contradiction between the remarkable advances in computer power and the relatively slow growth of productivity at the level of the whole economy. In his original article. during which complementary capital investments must be developed to allow for the use of computers to their full potential. like high volume transactions of banking. The explanations can be divided in three categories: .

with a peak from 1929-1973. So it is again hard to measure the profits made only through investments in productivity. but in the industrial sectors where you most see them. • There is complexity in designing. One time changes also occur. including: • The tendency – at least initially – of computer technology to be used for applications that have little impact on overall productivity.g. Norton Ghost • Technology-driven change driven by companies such as Microsoft which profit directly from more rapid "upgrades" • An emphasis on presentation technology and even persuasion technology such as PowerPoint. This causes constant spending for replacement. especially in the service sector. railroads. Adding computer control to existing factories resulted in only slight productivity gains in most cases. A paper by Triplett (1999) reviews Solow’s paradox from seven other often given explanations. e. are internally inconsistent both with each other and with terms used in work processes – a concern addressed in part by enterprise taxonomy • Extremely poor hardware and related boot image control standards that forced users into endless "fixes" as operating systems and applications clashed – addressed in part by single board computers and simpler more automated re-install procedures. then declined to levels of the early 19th century. but wait a bit and you will 78 . some of what they do is not counted in economic statistics • You don’t see computers in the productivity yet. • Inefficiencies arising from running manual paper-based and computer-based processes in parallel. prevent or slow access to time-saving facilities. IT projects. e. The ratios for input and output are sometimes difficult to measure. and the rise of software specifically to solve this problem. incompatible software and network platforms and issues with security such as data theft and viruses. Fordist mass production and the replacement of human and animal power with machines.” in a meaningful economic sense • You only think you see computers everywhere • You may not see computers everywhere. are not related to the actual production of goods and services. at the direct expense of core business processes and learning – addressed in some companies including IBM and Sun Microsystems by creating a PowerPoint-Free Zone • The blind assumption that introducing new technology must be good • The fact that computers handle office functions that. [6] [7] There was a rebound in productivity after 2000. especially software development. They are: • You don’t see computers “everywhere. in most cases. highway system). Other economists have made a more controversial charge against the utility of computers: that they pale into insignificance as a source of productivity advantage when compared to the industrial revolution. requiring two separate sets of activities and human effort to mediate between them – usually considered a technology alignment problem • Poor user interfaces that confuse users. administering and maintaining IT systems. output is poorly measured • Whether or not you see computer everywhere. infrastructures (canals and waterways. [5] High productivity growth occurred from last decades of the 19th century until the 1973. Adding to cost are rapid obsolescence of equipment and software.Productivity paradox • Data and analytical problems hide "productivity-revenues". such as the Year 2000 problem and the changeover from Novell NetWare by many companies. electrification. • Revenues gained by a company through productivity will be hard to notice because there might be losses in other divisions/departments of the company. Much of the productivity from 1885-2000 came in the computer and related industries. • Factories were automated decades before computers. word processing. are notorious for cost overruns and schedule delays.g.[7] A number of explanations of this have been advanced.

On line retail sales main success was in specialty items. With networking came information overload in the form of e-mail. In 1955 the first completely transistorized calculator with magnetic cores for dynamic memory. but not by a great amount. However. or department.Productivity paradox • You see computers everywhere but in the productivity statistics because computers are not as productive as you think • There is no paradox: some economists are counting innovations and new products on an arithmetic scale when they should count on a logarithmic scale Before computers: Data processing with unit record equipment When computers for general business applications appeared in the 1950s. individual item and small quantity handling and transportation costs more than offset the savings of not having to maintain "bricks and mortar" stores. had already been in existence for decades.[8] The first computers were an improvement over unit record equipment. The flow of punched cards could be arranged in various program-like sequences to allow sophisticated data processing. 79 . and typed the information. secretaries transcribed Dictaphone recordings or live speech into shorthand.[8] In 1949 vacuum tube calculators were added to unit record equipment. All filing was done with paper copies. Some unit record equipment was programmable by wiring a plug board. to name a few. On line commerce Despite high expectations for on line retail sales. airline. with some office workers receiving several hundred each day. the IBM 608. was introduced. Pre-computer control was known as analog control and computerized control is called digital. low performance capability and failure of vacuum tubes and other components. the holes in the cards allowing electrical contact to activate relays and solenoids to keep a count. These systems processed data on punched cards by running the cards through tabulating machines. but punched cards did not become fully displaced until the 1980s. This was partly due to low level software used. debit or check card transactions are cheaper than processing paper checks. although computers did allow more sophisticated control. collectibles and higher priced goods. Parasitic losses of cashless transactions Credit card transactions now represent a large percentage of low value transactions on which credit card companies charge merchants. Analog process control Computers did not revolutionize manufacturing because automation. Most of such credit card transactions are more of a habit than an actual need for credit and to the extent that such purchases represent convenience or lack of planning to carry cash on the part of consumers. Some airline and hotel discounters have been very successful. in the form of control systems. which led to improved product quality and process optimization. with the plug boards being removable allowing for quick replacement with another pre-wired program. On line commerce was extremely successful in banking. most of which are not necessary information for the recipient. typically a memo or letter. the data input to early computers also used punched cards. and rental car reservations. Restructured office The personal computer restructured the office by reducing the secretarial and clerical staffs. a sophisticated industry for data processing existed in the form of unit record equipment. Also. Most of these hardware and software shortcomings were solved by the late 1960s. A new position in the office staff was the information technologist. these transactions add a layer of unnecessary expense. hotel. Prior to computers.

In engineering. html). however. U. "The Dynamo and the Computer: A Historical Perspective on the Modern Productivity Paradox". etc. pdf).[9] [10] [11] A large share of the productivity gains outside the IT-equipment industry itself have been in retail. Robert J. doi:10. "Beyond the Productivity Paradox: Computers are the Catalyst for Bigger Changes". heat and material balances. ISBN 0-471-78712-4. 1991 (http:/ / www.1145/163298. New York Times Book Review. 1990.163309. Computers also greatly increased productivity of the communications sector. allbusiness. . In fact. Modern military systems also rely on computers. Does the "New Economy" Measure up to the Great Inventions of the Past? . especially in the United States.A. economic growth in the gilded age 31. billing. (2000). Leidner. standupeconomist. These technologies automated inventory management. Do not fold. at least when these investments were made to complement organizational changes. Software development is typically for new applications that are unique.Productivity paradox Cost overruns of software projects It is well known by software developers that projects typically run over budget and finish behind schedule. [7] [ |Field. (2006). This sequence is repeated in successive iterations. com/ blog/ economics/ solows-computer-age-quote-a-definitive-citation/ ). individually and in group meetings. early computers used punched cards for data and programming input. McLean. Until the 1980s it was common to receive monthly utility bills printed on a punched card that was returned with the customer’s payment. (2007). U.Hitt. Dorothy E. ca/ books/ pdf/ do_not_fold. [6] Kendrick.. References [1] Brynjolfsson. Communications of the ACM 36 (12): 66–77. especially in areas like the elimination of telephone operators. NBER Working Paper No. The project's analyst is responsible for interviewing the stakeholders. scu. page 36.. "We'd better watch out". [3] Wetherbe. 80 Qualifications By the late 1990s there were some signs that productivity in the workplace been improved by the introduction of IT. cfm)] (2007). Erik (1993). In 1973 IBM introduced point of sale (POS) terminals in which electronic cash registers were networked to the store mainframe computer. July 12. spindle or mutilate: the "hole" story of punched cards (http:/ / www. James C. George A. John (1991). August 1998 . with partially completed screens available for review in the latter stages. com/ finance/ 262030-1. [4] David P. record keeping and many other office functions. 1987. edu/ business/ economics/ faculty/ field. Unfortunately. Wal-Mart Stores was an early adopter of POS. October 1. 7833 (http:/ / www. computers replaced manual drafting with CAD and software was developed for calculations used in electronic circuits. Business Economics. Ephraim R. Efraim. to gather the requirements and incorporate them into a logical format for review by the stakeholders and developers. See here (http:/ / www. ISSN 00010782. ISBN 1-894183-86-X. Erik Brynjolfsson and his colleagues found a significant positive relationship between IT investments and productivity. Information Technology for Management: Transforming Organizations in the Digital Economy (6th ed..S. and tend to add a lot of unnecessary features. stress analysis. [2] Robert Solow.). stakeholders often have a vague idea of what the functionality should be. [9] E. Automated teller machines (ATMs) became popular in recent decades and self checkout at retailers appeared in the 1990s. By the 1980s bar code readers were added. nber. Alexander J (http:/ / www. CACM. American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings.S. New York: Wiley. productivity performance in perspective . Turban. gfierheller. 355–61 [5] Gordon. The Airline Reservations System and banking are areas where computers are practically essential. resulting in schedule delays and cost overruns.. Journal of Macroeconomics (2009) 173-190 [8] Fierheller. "The productivity paradox of information technology".[12] Computers revolutionized accounting. Stewart Pub. wholesale and finance.Brynjolfsson and L. org/ papers/ w7833).

The Third Industrial Revolution: Technology. 4 dollars if a head appears on the first two tosses and a tail on the third.pdf). MIT Sloan Working Paper No. Stamford (CT). but would nevertheless be considered to be worth only a very small amount of money. Erik. American Economic Review 92(5). The trouble with computers: Usefulness. • "Information Technology and the Nature of Managerial Work: From the Productivity paradox to the Icarus Paradox". 2000. 8 dollars if a head appears on the first three tosses and a tail on the fourth. AEI Press. 1998. The paradox can be resolved when the decision model is refined via the notion of marginal utility (and it is one origin of notions of utility functions and of marginal utility).. i. B. Petersburg paradox In economics. • Triplett. Thus you win 1 dollar if a tail appears on the first toss. The pot starts at 1 dollar and is doubled every time a head appears. S.Hayward. However. USA. “The 'IT and Economy' Discussion: A Review”. Jeremy (1997). Erik. Massachusetts: MIT Press. Productivity and Income Inequality (http://www. Yang. December 1999 [11] Paolo Magrassi.Panarella.com/sol3/papers. ssrn. MIT Press. etc. . you win 2k−1 dollars if the coin is tossed k times until the first tail appears. Petersburg Lottery) that leads to a random variable with infinite expected value.econ. 1559-76. Wired for Innovation: How Information Technology is Reshaping the Economy (http://digital. June 2002 [1] [12] Kevin Stiroh (2002). • Landauer. Canadian Journal of Economics 32 (2): 309–334. 4210-01. published in 1738 in the Commentaries of the Imperial Academy of Science of Saint Petersburg (Bernoulli 1738). usability and productivity.cfm?abstract_id=290325). MIS Quarterly 22 (3): 287–311. (1999). infinite expected payoff. Jack E. Information & Management: 113.edu/erik/Wired4innovation. GartnerGroup. • Greenwood. Petersburg paradox is a classical situation where a naïve decision criterion (which takes only the expected value into account) would recommend a course of action that no (real) rational person would be willing to take. 81 Further reading • Brynjolfsson. "Computing Productivity: Firm Level Evidence" (http://papers. The St. In short. “The Intangible Costs and Benefits of Computer Investments: Evidence from the Financial Markets. csls. the problem was invented by Daniel's cousin Nicolas Bernoulli who first stated it in a letter to Pierre Raymond de Montmort of 9 September 1713 (de Montmort 1713). The paradox Consider the following game of chance: you pay a fixed fee to enter and then a fair coin is tossed repeatedly until a tail appears.mit. or by noting that one simply cannot buy that which is not sold (and that sellers would not produce a lottery whose expected loss to them were unacceptable).” MIT Sloan School of Management.rochester. and Adam Saunders (2010). • "Does successful investment in information technology solve the productivity paradox?". The paradox is named from Daniel Bernoulli's presentation of the problem and his solution. by taking into account the finite resources of the participants. Cambridge. 2 dollars if a head appears on the first toss and a tail on the second. (1995). Brynjolfsson. ‘Information Technology and the US Productivity Revival: What Do the Industry Data Say?’. ISBN 0-262-62108-8. "The solow productivity paradox: what do computers do to productivity" (http://www. St. and Lorin Hitt (June 2003).html). • Brynjolfsson. ending the game.Productivity paradox [10] E. You win whatever is in the pot after the game ends. Petersburg paradox is a paradox related to probability theory and decision theory.e. Thomas K.pdf).ca/journals/sisspp/v32n2_04.edu/Faculty/GreenwoodPapers/third. A. the St. It is based on a particular (theoretical) lottery game (sometimes called St.

many people expressed disbelief in the result.47. while a large payoff comes along very rarely. is an infinite amount of money. you win 1 dollar. For example. with probability 1/8 you win 4 dollars etc. the change in utility ln(wealth after the event) - ln(wealth before the event) will be weighted by the probability of that event occurring. in published descriptions of the paradox. but rather on the utility it yields…. a person with $2 should pay up to $2. Let c be the cost charged to enter the game. no matter how much he pays to enter. The expected value is thus 82 This sum diverges to infinity.St. In Daniel Bernoulli's own words: The determination of the value of an item must not be based on the price. There is no doubt that a gain of one thousand ducats is more significant to the pauper than to a rich man though both gain the same amount. This means that the player should almost surely come out ahead in the long run. one should therefore play the game at any price if offered the opportunity. Petersburg paradox What would be a fair price to pay for entering the game? To answer this we need to consider what would be the average payout: With probability 1/2. an expected utility hypothesis. The expected utility of the lottery now converges to a finite value: This formula gives an implicit relationship between the gambler's wealth and how much he should be willing to pay to play (specifically. Before Daniel Bernoulli published..94. Martin quotes Ian Hacking as saying "few of us would pay even $25 to enter such a game" and says most commentators would agree. A common utility model. and men of good sense in proportion to the usage that they may make of it. with log utility a millionaire should be willing to pay up to $10. any c that gives a positive expected utility).60 should borrow $0. and a person with $0. a person with $1000 should pay up to $5.94. and so the expected win for the player of this game. Petersburg Paradox) in stating that the mathematicians estimate money in proportion to its quantity. in which the casino has unlimited resources. . expected utilities can be calculated the same way expected values are. suggested by Bernoulli himself. e. with probability 1/4 you win 2 dollars. For each possible event. According to the usual treatment of deciding when it is advantageous and therefore rational to play. It is a function of the gambler’s total wealth w. By the expected utility hypothesis. Gabriel Cramer. and the presumption of diminishing marginal utility of money. in 1728. and the concept of diminishing marginal utility of money is built into it. at least in its idealized form. (Martin 2004). when it eventually does it will typically be far more than the amount of money that he has already paid to play. is the logarithmic function u(w) = ln(w) (known as “log utility” [1]). had already found parts of this idea (also motivated by the St.g. Solutions of the paradox There are different approaches for solving the paradox. Yet.87 and pay up to $1. another Swiss mathematician. Expected utility theory The classical resolution of the paradox involved the explicit introduction of a utility function.

insisted that the relative risk of an alternative could be sufficiently high to reject it even were its expectation enormous. This solution by Cramer and Bernoulli. Petersburg lottery only unlikely events yield the high prizes that lead to an infinite expected value. also suggested a simple bounding under which all sums of money beyond some point would have equal utility (id est that the marginal utility of money would go to zero) (Bernoulli 1738). however. If the lottery represents an infinite expected gain to the player. Petersburg paradox disappears as long as the utility function is concave. He conjectured that people will neglect unlikely events (de Montmort 1713). Recently. it has been proved that the St. but not if it is bounded (Rieger & Wang 2006).St. for example the function is bounded above by 1. which is sometimes called the Super St. The idea of probability weighting resurfaced much later in the work on prospect theory by Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. this could resolve the paradox. people tend to overweight small probability events. he did not consider the total wealth of a person. the game should be worth an infinite amount. including Jean le Rond d'Alembert and John Maynard Keynes. as was first pointed out by (Menger 1934). and hence the indicated activity will take place at the equilibrium level of zero intensity. as in cumulative prospect theory. There are basically two ways of solving this generalized paradox. Since in the St. (Samuelson 1960) . More generally. No one could be observed paying to play the game because it would never be offered. As Paul Samuelson describes the argument: Paul will never be willing to give as much as Peter will demand for such a contract. we just need to change the game so that it gives the (even larger) payoff . Therefore the proposed solution by Nicolas Bernoulli is nowadays not considered to be satisfactory. • We can assume that the utility function has an upper bound. one can find a lottery that allows for a variant of the St. Petersburg paradox for every unbounded utility function. Keynes. even if an entity had infinite resources. yet strictly increasing. the game would never be offered. very much to the contrary. Again. since the lottery can easily be changed in a way such that the paradox reappears: To this aim. In some of these new theories. However. which translates into the assumption that people are (at least for high stakes) risk averse [Compare (Arrow 1974)]. 83 Probability weighting Nicolas Bernoulli himself proposed an alternative idea for solving the paradox. Cramer had. expected utility theory has been extended to arrive at more behavioral decision models. Petersburg paradox He demonstrated in a letter to Nicolas Bernoulli [2] that a square root function describing the diminishing marginal benefit of gains can resolve the problem. However. Under this restriction. their experiments indicated that. but only the gain by the lottery. Rejection of mathematical expectation Various authors. unlike Daniel Bernoulli. have rejected maximization of expectation (even of utility) as a proper rule of conduct. in fact. the St. is not yet completely satisfying. even when the utility function is concave. One cannot buy what is not sold Some economists resolve the paradox by arguing that. Petersburg paradox: • We can take into account that a casino would only offer lotteries with a finite expected value. then it also represents an infinite expected loss to the host. in particular. but a utility function need not become constant beyond some point to be bounded. Petersburg paradox again appears in certain cases.

95 $15. Petersburg lottery assumes that the casino has infinite resources.84 $13. the possible discrepancy between theory and reality is far less dramatic.3 trillion Googolaire $10100 Notes: The estimated net worth of Bill Gates is from Forbes. As a result. even when played against a casino with the largest resources realistically conceivable.S. is quite modest. .St.000. A rational person might not find the lottery worth even the modest amounts in the above table.000 $18. the resources of an actual casino (or any other potential backer of the lottery) are finite.77 $166.000. then L = 1 + floor(log2(W)) is the maximum number of times the casino can play before it no longer covers the next bet. the expected value of the lottery only grows logarithmically with the resources of the casino.50 World GDP (2007) $54. suggesting that the naive decision model of the expected return causes essentially the same problems as for the infinite lottery.000.28 $10. Petersburg paradox 84 Finite St. The assumption of infinite resources can produce other apparent paradoxes in economics.000 Expected value of lottery $4. If the total resources (or total maximum jackpot) of the casino are W dollars. Even so. where one trillion dollars equals $1012 (one million times one million dollars). This assumption is often criticized as unrealistic. More importantly. particularly in connection with the paradox.79 $23.000. The expected value E of the lottery then becomes: The following table shows the expected value E of the game with various potential bankers and their bankroll W (with the assumption that if you win more than the bankroll you will be paid what the bank has): Banker Friendly game Millionaire Billionaire Bill Gates (2008) U. which involves the reactions of ordinary people to the lottery.000 $1. the expected value of the lottery.93 $58.8 trillion $22.000. The GDP data are as estimated for 2007 by the International Monetary Fund. Petersburg lotteries The classical St. GDP (2007) Bankroll $100 $1. A “googolaire” is a hypothetical person worth a googol dollars ($10100). See martingale (roulette system) and gambler's ruin. Of course.

120 (Until the arrow sign) + 1. makes a finite contribution to the average per-game payout.024 x E1 • (1/2) game will pay $1. Petersburg Paradox lottery shows how occasional large payoffs lead to an overall very slow rise in average winnings.St. The graph encapsulates the paradox of the lottery: The overall upward slope in the average winnings graph shows that average winnings tend upward to infinity. If the expected payout from playing the game once is E1. but the slowness of the rise in average winnings (a rise that becomes yet slower as gameplay progresses) indicates that a tremendously huge number of lottery plays will be required to reach average winnings of even modest size.000 gameplays in this simulation the average winning per lottery was just under 8 dollars. Petersburg lottery Players may assign a higher value to the game when the lottery is repeatedly played. Since E1 is infinite. expressing En in this way shows that n. and the per-game average payout is: . En is infinite as well.024 • (1/4) game will pay $2. compare the illustration (right). This can be seen by simulating a typical series of lotteries and accumulating the returns. After 20. the number of times the game is played.048 • etc.024 x E1. Nevertheless.024. the expected average per-game payout from playing the game n times is: A typical graph of average winnings over one course of a St. Petersburg paradox 85 Iterated St. On average: • • • • • • • • • • 512 games will pay $1 256 games will pay $2 128 games will pay $4 64 games will pay $8 32 games will pay $16 16 games will pay $32 8 games will pay $64 4 games will pay $128 2 games will pay $256 1 game will pay $512 → From here on it is equivalent to: 1 game will pay out 1. To see where the (1/2) log2 n contribution comes from. The collective average payout is therefore $5. The actual average per-game payout obtained in a series of n games is unlikely to fall short of this finite contribution by a significant amount. consider the case of n = 1.

(April 1977).2307/2976852. Mei (August 2006). pp. doi:10. Stanford. ISBN 0-19-850291-9. Richard J. Retrieved July 22. Journal of Economic Literature 15 (1): 24–55.1016/0022-0531(77)90143-0. JSTOR 2976852. ISSN 0938-2259. For example. • Bernoulli. we should play approximately 4W games.UK: Oxford University Press. Petersburg Paradox" [8].048 games are played. doi:10. Petersburg paradox: A discussion of some recent comments".2307/2525406. older version. Quarterly Journal of Economics (The MIT Press) 88 (1): 136–138. JSTOR 1909829. doi:10. Robert (2004).1007/s00199-005-0641-6. "Correspondence of Nicolas Bernoulli concerning the St. • Durand. doi:10. "St. JSTOR 1881800. Daniel. "Das Unsicherheitsmoment in der Wertlehre Betrachtungen im Anschluß an das sogenannte Petersburger Spiel". doubling the number of games played leads to a $0.(Chapter 4) • Samuelson. see (Martin 2004). Marc Oliver. Petersburg Paradox as a Divergent Double Limit". The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2004 ed. "Cumulative prospect theory and the St. (January 1954). (Paper) (Online). Kenneth J. International Economic Review (Blackwell Publishing) 1 (1): 31–37. California: Stanford University. "The St. "The use of unbounded utility functions in expected-utility maximization: Response" [3] (PDF). In Edward N. Retrieved 2006-05-30. ISBN 978-0821837818. Petersburg paradox and the theory of marginal utility have been highly disputed in the past. Zeitschrift für Nationalökonomie 5 (4): 459–485. • Menger. John (1999). Retrieved 2006-05-30. • Martin. Unfortunately. as translated and posted at Pulskamp. if 2. Paul A. The History of Economic Thought.2307/1881800. • Haigh. • de Montmort. Petersburg paradox". ISSN 1095-5054. Paul (January 1960).50 rather than $5. the number of games required to be confident of meeting even modest targets is astronomically high. Economic Theory 28 (3): 665–679. "Growth Stocks and the Petersburg Paradox". Zalta. (Publicly accessible. • "Bernoulli and the St. JSTOR 2525406. New York. The Journal of Finance (American Finance Association) 12 (3): 348–363. Wang. doi:10. Petersburg paradoxes: defanged. Retrieved 2006-05-30. [7]) • Samuelson. (March 1977). Journal of Economic Theory 14 (2): 443–445. 2010. Taking Chances.). For a discussion from the point of view of a philosopher. $10 requires approximately 1 million games. Robert J. ISSN 0931-8658. This will yield a finite contribution equal to W.).000 games. Originally published in 1738. dissected.1007/BF01311578. the finite contribution is $5. Karl (August 1934). Essay d'analyse sur les jeux de hazard [Essays on the analysis of games of chance] (Reprinted in 2006) (Second ed. • Rieger. and $20 requires approximately 1 trillion games. Petersburg paradox Because the finite contribution from n games is proportional to log2 n. doi:10. (Paper) (Online). Providence. $7 requires approximately 16. Petersburg Paradox" [6]. in order to be reasonably confident of achieving target average per-game winnings of approximately W (where W > $1). Works cited • Arrow. (February 1974). Lousie Sommer. Pierre Remond (1713) (in (French)).50 increase in the finite contribution. Petersburg Game" [5] ( PDF (88 KB)). translated by Dr. Econometrica (The Econometric Society) 22 (1): 22–36. Bibliography • Aumann. It follows that. "Exposition of a New Theory on the Measurement of Risk" [4]. 86 Further discussions The St. The New School for Social Research. and historically described". David (September 1957). doi:10. 330.St. "The St. "The St. Oxford. Rhode Island: American Mathematical Society. Handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:88:y:1974:i:1:p:136-38. .2307/1909829.

uni-mannheim. htm [5] http:/ / www. xu. xu. pdf [8] http:/ / cepa. com/ 2011/ 06/ st-petersburg-paradox. pdf [6] http:/ / plato. org/ a/ tpr/ qjecon/ v88y1974i1p136-38. fau. htm [9] http:/ / www. blogspot. stanford. cs. com/ glossary. html . edu/ het/ essays/ uncert/ bernoulhyp. de/ publications/ dp04-28. edu/ richman/ Ideas/ daniel. Petersburg paradox 87 External links • Online simulation of the St.St. edu/ math/ Sources/ Montmort/ stpetersburg. newschool. econterms. edu/ math/ Sources/ Montmort/ stpetersburg. cgi?query=log+ utility [2] http:/ / www. html [10] http:/ / wnio. edu/ archives/ fall2004/ entries/ paradox-stpetersburg/ [7] http:/ / www. pdf#search=%22Nicolas%20Bernoulli%22 [3] http:/ / ideas. cs. Petersburg lottery [10] References [1] http:/ / www. mathematik. math. html [4] http:/ / www. Petersburg lottery [9] • Introduction to the St. sfb504. com/ Petersburg/ Petersburg. repec.

so that all finite sized groups of horses must be the same color. Because there are no common elements (horses) in the two sets. third. By our supposed existing proof. If horse B is removed instead. that is. For example. and the second.88 Logic All horses are the same color The horse paradox is a falsidical paradox that arises from flawed demonstrations. When horse A is removed. fourth and fifth horses also constitute a group of four and thus must also all be the same color. By the same logic we can also increase the group size. By the same process. The problem in the argument is the assumption that because each of these two sets contains only one color of horses. Suppose that we had a proof that all sets of four horses were the same color. The argument The flawed argument claims to be based on mathematical induction. . Eventually we will reach a group size of one. all horses in them must be the same color. The proof forms a falsidical paradox. We wish to prove that they are all the same color. this leaves a different set containing only horse A. as these arguments have a crucial flaw that makes them incorrect. There is no actual contradiction. it seems to show something manifestly false by valid reasoning. the original set also contained only one color of horses. But how are we to get a proof that all sets of four horses are the same color? We apply the same logic again. a group of four horses could be broken down into groups of three. A group of five horses can be increased to a group of six. it is unknown whether the two horses share the same color. This is not true when n = 1. of the statement All horses are the same color. and thus must all be the same color. and it is obvious that all horses in a group of one horse must be the same color. the first. and then a group of three horses could be broken down into groups of two. third and fourth horses constitute a group of four. Explanation The argument above makes the implicit assumption that the two subsets of horses to which the induction assumption is applied have a common element. we could prove that all five horses are the same color by removing a horse to leave a group of four horses. and so on. The horse paradox exposes the pitfalls arising from failure to consider special cases for which a general statement may be false. which may or may not be the same color as horse B. all five horses in the group of five must be the same color. and proceeds as follows: Suppose that we have a set of five horses. This example was used by George Pólya as an example of the subtle errors that can occur in attempts to prove statements by induction. it is true that the remaining horses in the set are the same color (only horse B remains). when the original set only contains 2 horses. since these are groups of four. and we have two different groups of four horses. second. Let the two horses be horse A and horse B. For this to occur. Do this in two ways. but in fact the reasoning is flawed. and so on upwards. which purport to use mathematical induction. If that were true.

The Barbershop Paradox was proposed by Lewis Carroll in a three-page essay entitled "A Logical Paradox" which appeared in the July 1894 issue of Mind. So. while discrediting Uncle Joe's argument: 1.All horses are the same color 89 References • Enumerative Combinatorics by George E. Uncle Joe notes that this seems paradoxical. and Uncle Jim is keen to be shaved by him." For an unrelated paradox of self-reference with a similar name. and thus we know as a general rule that if Allen is out. relies on the premise that Allen is not in the store. the following scenarios assure both the maintenance of the "paradox's" axioms. Uncle Jim demands the proof. Uncle Joe reasons as follows.e X⇒Y AND Y⇒X) In relation clarifying why this is not "really a paradox". so at least one of them must be in. Brown is out. attributed to Bertrand Russell. is not based on any logical reasoning. Martin. this could be because Uncle Joe's assumption that Allen is not in the store. and then claims that he can prove it logically. Carr must logically be in. Carroll claimed that it illustrated "a very real difficulty in the Theory of Hypotheticals" in use at the time. the latter would not stand true if the conditional implication X⇒Y was bilateral in nature (i. see the Barber paradox. However. so that he never leaves the shop without Brown going with him. Carr and Brown are out and Allen is alone in the barbershop Obviously. The name comes from the "ornamental" short story that Carroll uses to illustrate the paradox (although it had appeared several times in more abstract terms in his writing and correspondence before the story was published).[2] The paradox Briefly. . Given there is no rational explanation to exclude the feasibility the aforementioned hypothetical. He also knows that Allen is a very nervous man. Uncle Joe insists that Carr is certain to be in. There are three barbers who live and work in the shop—Allen. we know that whenever Allen goes out he takes Brown with him. He knows that the shop is open. the hypotheticals seem "incompatible" with each other. and Carr—but not all of them are always in the shop. by contradiction. Criticism Uncle Joe's reasoning based on paradoxic contradiction. So if Carr is out then the statements "if Allen is out then Brown is in" and "if Allen is out then Brown is out" would both be true at the same time. the story runs as follows: Uncle Joe and Uncle Jim are walking to the barber shop. Carr is a good barber. Brown. Carr is out but Allen and Brown are BOTH in 2. ISBN 0-387-95225-X Barbershop paradox This article is about a paradox in the theory of logical conditionals introduced by Lewis Carroll in " A Logical Paradox [1]. If Carr is out. then if Allen is also out Brown would have to be in—since someone must be in the shop for it to be open. Suppose that Carr is out. Thus it is actually that exclusion of this possibility which results the paradoxic nature of the two simultaneously existing contradictory scenarios rather than the story itself.

" • What Carroll calls the prostasis of a conditional is now known as the antecedent.. ⊥ ∴C Uncle Joe basically makes the argument that (¬A ⇒ B) and (¬A ⇒ ¬B) are contradictory..Barbershop paradox 90 Simplification Carroll wrote this story to illustrate a controversy in the field of logic that was raging at the time. for instance (¬A ∧ B) represents "Allen is out and Brown is in" Uncle Jim gives us our two axioms: 1. Given NOT C. But Axiom 2 gives that it is universally true that IF Allen is Not in THEN Brown is Not in (it's always true that if ¬A then ¬B) H0: ¬C By H0 and A1. we will take the following atomic statements: • A = Allen is in the shop • B = Brown is in • C = Carr is in So. ¬A ⇒ ¬B Mainly Symbolic So far we have that NOT C yields both (Not A THEN B) AND (Not A THEN Not B). and similarly the apodosis is now called the consequent. from "X is sufficient for Y" to "Y follows from X.THEN not X X and Y X or Y Symbolic ¬ ∧ ∨ ¬X X∧Y X∨Y X⇒Y if X then Y ⇒ Note: X ⇒ Y (also known as 'Implication') can be read many ways in English. ¬A ⇒ B By A2." • Whereas Uncle Joe concludes his proof reductio ad absurdum. Therefore Carr must be in." See also Table of mathematical symbols. to satisfy Axiom 1. Thus ¬C ⇒ ( (¬A ⇒ B) ∧ (¬A ⇒ ¬B) ) Uncle Joe claims that these are contradictory. His vocabulary and writing style can easily add to the confusion of the core issue for modern readers. Notation When reading the original it may help to keep the following in mind: • What Carroll called "hypotheticals" modern logicians call "logical conditionals. Restatement To aid in restating Carroll's story more simply. saying that the same antecedent cannot result in two different consequents. . Allen never goes anywhere without Brown Uncle Joe presents a proof: Abbreviated English with logical markers Suppose Carr is NOT in. modern mathematicians would more commonly claim "proof by contradiction. Symbols can be used to greatly simplify logical statements such as those inherent in this story: Operator (Name) Negation Conjunction Disjunction Conditional Colloquial NOT AND OR IF. IF Allen is NOT in THEN Brown must be in. There is at least one barber in the shop now 2.

because ¬A is what actually yields the contradiction. what obtains is not that ¬C yields a contradiction. hoping that the contemporary ambiguity would be resolved." ¬C ⇒ ( (¬A ⇒ B) ∧ (¬A ⇒ ¬B) ) Which yields.Barbershop paradox This purported contradiction is the crux of Joe's "proof. then Brown is out" "Allen is in or Brown is out" (¬A ⇒ ¬B) (A ∨ ¬B) Substituting this into "IF Carr is out. AND Carr is in OR Either Allen is in OR Brown is out." it must be true at any given moment that either you have not pressed the button. This law states that "if X then Y" is logically identical to "X is false or Y is true" (¬X ∨ Y). For example. and "Carr is in or Allen is in or Brown is out. given the statement "if you press the button then the light comes on. Brown or Carr is in and the other puts very little restriction on who can or cannot be in shop." Carroll presents this intuition-defying result as a paradox. or the light is on. AND Inclusively. that means Carr doesn't have to be in.." "Inclusively." "Carr is in OR both of these are true: Allen is in OR Brown is in AND Allen is in OR Brown is out. mainly by applying the law of implication repeatedly." C ∨ (A ∨ B) ∧ C ∨ (A ∨ ¬B) (C ∨ A ∨ B) ∧ (C ∨ A ∨ ¬B) So the two statements which become true at once are: "One or more of Allen. Allen has to be in. Brown or Carr is in." Clearly one way that both of these statements can become true at once is in the case where Allen is in (because Allen's house is the barber shop." "IF Carr is out. Brown is in AND either Allen is in OR Brown is out. (on the right we are distributing over the parentheses) "Carr is in OR Either Allen is in OR Brown is in.. Carr is in OR Allen is in OR Brown is out. with continued application of the law of implication. In this scenario. only that it necessitates A. ." which is simply Axiom 1. The law of implication reconciles what Uncle Joe claims are incompatible hypotheticals. Carr is in OR Allen is in OR Brown is in. 91 Discussion In modern logic theory this scenario is not a paradox." ¬C ⇒ ( (¬A ⇒ B) ∧ (A ∨ ¬B) ) ¬C ⇒ ( (A ∨ B) ∧ (A ∨ ¬B) ) C ∨ ( (A ∨ B) ∧ (A ∨ ¬B) ) And finally. To see this let's attack Jim's large "contradictory" result. Simplifying to Axiom 1 Applying the law of implication to the offending conditionals shows that rather than contradicting each other one simply reiterates the fact that since the shop is open one or more of Allen. "IF Carr is out. THEN if Allen is also out. and at some point Brown left the shop)." into "If Carr is out and Allen is out then Brown is in" ( (¬C ∧ ¬A) ⇒ B). but that if he isn't in. First let's break down one of the two offending conditionals: "If Allen is out. THEN If Allen is also out Then Brown is in AND If Allen is out Then Brown is out. THEN both of these are true: Allen is in OR Brown is in AND Allen is in OR Brown is out. In short. Another way to describe how (X ⇒ Y) ⇔ (¬X ∨ Y) resolves this into a valid set of statements is to rephrase Jim's statement that "If Allen is also out.

p. considered in a different way. since it not only allows. however." are "incorrectly divided. which. It therefore possesses angular momentum. Motion of the rod along these circles. Carroll's paradox arises when considering the motion of a falling rigid rod that is specially constrained. To maintain the rod in a radial position the circles have to exert an infinite force. He attempts to clarify the issue by arguing that the protasis and apodosis of the implication "If Carr is in. Russell suggests a truth-functional notion of logical conditionals. because the motion is frictionless." entirely (reducing to disjunctions). where Z happens to be a conditional. Being constrained. Mind 3 (11): 436–438. disputed that infinite forces . resolves to (A ∧ ¬B). Victor Namias.. Carroll who first published it in 1984.19#s19n1). org/ mind/ 1894/ 07/ notes/ a-logical-paradox [2] Carroll. acting as guides. In real life it would not be possible to construct guides that do not exert a significant reaction force perpendicular to the rod. but in fact requires that both "p implies q" and "p implies not-q" be true. the rod falls.Barbershop paradox 92 Showing Conditionals Compatible The two conditionals are not logical opposites: to prove by contradiction Jim needed to show ¬C ⇒ (Z ∧ ¬Z). Taking moments about the center of the rod. "A Logical Paradox" (http:/ / fair-use. Considered one way. Explanation Consider two concentric circles of radius uniform rigid heavy rod of length and as might be drawn on the face of a wall clock. Bertrand (1903). is frictionless.. "Chapter II. The rod is held in the three o'clock position so that it is horizontal. there can be no component of the reaction force perpendicular to the rod. When it gets to a vertical six o'clock position. it has lost potential energy and. using De Morgan's Law. Symbolic Logic" (http://fair-use. so long as p is not true." However. Lewis (July 1894). This confusion about the "compatibility" of these two conditionals was foreseen by Carroll. The reaction force on the rod from either circular guide is frictionless. The opposite of (A ⇒ B) is ¬(A ⇒ B). Carroll's paradox In physics. so no protasis and apodosis exist and no counter-argument is needed. After release. § 19 n. . the angular momentum stays constant. it must continue to have zero angular momentum for all time. ISBN 0415487412. It is named after Michael M. which is what A ⇒ ¬B reduces to. which is not at all the same thing as (¬A ∨ ¬B). Notes [1] http:/ / fair-use. org/ mind/ 1894/ 07/ notes/ a-logical-paradox). which (among other things) entails that a false proposition will imply all propositions.. Now consider the angular momentum about the centre of the rod: 1. it changes. so it must be directed along the rod. Suppose a is somehow constrained between these two circles so that one end of the rod remains on the inner circle and the other remains on the outer circle. who includes a mention of it at the end of the story.. it must rotate as it moves. Further reading • Russell. In a note he mentions that his theory of implication would dissolve Carroll's paradox. so its angular momentum remains constant. The Principles of Mathematics. will have gained kinetic energy. application of the Law of Implication removes the "If.org/bertrand-russell/ the-principles-of-mathematics/s. then released. 1. 2. there can be no moment acting on the rod. An apparent resolution of this paradox is that the physical situation cannot occur. Because the rod starts with zero angular momentum.

Carroll's paradox occur. the infinitely repeating dilemma would not occur because the father guessed correctly. it is similar in construction to the unexpected hanging paradox. then ρ. Nov 1984. (iii) If ρ implies σ. and there is no justifiable solution. The transaction is logically smooth (but unpredictable) if the father guesses that the child will be returned. (ii) It is known that (i). and the Father predicted the child would be RETURN the child. then σ is also known to be true. Ancient Greek sources were the first to discuss the Crocodile Dilemma. realistically. American Journal of Physics. American Journal of Physics. and argued that a finitely thick rod experiences torque about its center of mass even in the limit as it approaches zero width. is KEEP RETURNED then the outcome THE CHILD IS KEPT. Singular constraints in rigid-body dynamics. On an apparent paradox in the motion of a smoothly constrained rod. 52(11). 93 References • Victor Namias. the father was guessing at what the crocodile intended to do. If the Crocodile decides to If the Crocodile decides to If the Crocodile decides to If the Crocodile decides to KEEP the child. In other words.[1] The premise states that a crocodile who has stolen a child promises the father that his son will be returned if and only if he can correctly predict whether or not the crocodile will return the child. and the Father predicted the child would be KEPT then the outcome A PARADOX. pp 1010–1012. KEPT then the outcome THE CHILD IS KEPT.[1] It has been suggested that.[2] [3] [4] The Crocodile Dilemma serves to expose some of the logical problems presented by metaknowledge. Crocodile Dilemma The Crocodile Dilemma is an unsolvable problem in logic. • M. 54(5). . May 1986. In this regard. not what the eventual result would be. Carroll. and ρ is known to be true. is RETURN the child. but a dilemma arises for the crocodile if he guesses that the child will not be returned. which Richard Montague (1960) used to demonstrate that the following assumptions about knowledge are inconsistent when tested in combination:[2] (i) If ρ is known to be true. and the Father predicted the child would be The question of what the crocodile should do is therefore paradoxical. and the Father predicted the child would be the child. It also bears similarities to the Liar paradox. is RETURNED then the outcome THE CHILD IS is RETURNED. M.

159. p. ISBN 3540530827. For any particular person. free logic. [2] J. ed (1989). 14. everybody includes that person. then that one person must drink because when ' that person ' drinks ' everybody ' drinks. Springer-Verlag. The actual theorem is The paradox was popularised by the mathematical logician Raymond Smullyan. which states that "If P. The proof begins by recognizing it is true that either everyone in the pub is drinking (in this particular round of drinks). Discussion This proof illustrates several properties of classical predicate logic that do not always agree with ordinary language. We can deduce from . Either way. 8–9. Because everyone is drinking. which allows for empty domains. Siekmann. On the one hand. Richard (1847). [3] Young. For any particular nondrinking person. Margherita. pp. then everyone in the pub is drinking — because that person is. so the statement is true. it can't be wrong to say that if that particular person is drinking. wolfram. if there were nobody in the pub). [4] Murray. html). ISBN 0595795846. we didn't need to assume there was anyone in the pub. that at least one person isn't drinking. Non-empty domain First. . on the other hand. Traveling East. In this case the condition is false. but of course if the domain were empty (in this case. Murray's Compendium of logic. suppose everyone is drinking.Crocodile Dilemma 94 Notes [1] Barile. iUniverse. there is someone in the pub such that. Retrieved 2009-09-05. if he is drinking. Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence. com/ CrocodilesDilemma. then Q" is always true if P (the condition or antecedent) is false. or at least one person in the pub isn't drinking. Nevertheless. everyone in the pub is drinking. everyone in the pub is drinking. then everyone in the pub is drinking — because everyone is drinking. it still can't be wrong to say that if that particular person is drinking. Ronald E (2005). Drinker paradox The drinker paradox is a theorem of classical predicate logic that states: There is someone in the pub such that. p. in fact. Hence the paradox. The assumption that the domain is non-empty is built into the inference rules of classical predicate logic. if he is drinking. the proposition is not well-formed for any closed expression . still has something like the drinker paradox in the form of the theorem: Or in words: . "Crococile Dilemma – MathWorld" (http:/ / mathworld. Suppose. who called it the "drinking principle" in his book What Is the Name of this Book?[1] Proof of the paradox The paradox is valid due to the nature of material implication in formal logic. not drinking.

edu/ viewdoc/download?doi=10. ISBN 0-14-013511-1. then in words this reads: If there isn't someone in the pub such that. if he was not drinking — even though his drinking may not have had anything to do with anyone else's drinking. the statement "if he is drinking. then all of them would be. Gilles. from which it can be derived by two transpositions. But if it were. Yann. 109–123. if they are drinking. Kahn. it would allow for a simple solution of Goldbach's conjecture. if it is the sum of two primes suffice to check whether that particular number is the sum of two primes. then everyone in the pub is drinking. x is not drinking.1...1. But if is given no semantics. Typed Lambda Calculi and Applications. For instance.Drinker paradox If there is anyone in the pub at all. it would follow that there exists an even number greater than two.1007/BFb0014048. In natural language.psu. then there is no proof of the drinker paradox in intuitionistic logic. In classical logic this would be equivalent to the previous statement. on the other hand. It has the property that is true if B is true or if A is false (in classical logic. pp. Laurent (1995). one can find one person who doesn't drink. Nevertheless. "Extracting text from proofs" (http://citeseerx. which is one of the oldest unsolved problems in mathematics. or someone is not drinking. then nobody is in the pub. Théry. References • Coscoy. must be shown to be decidable." is used as an indicative conditional. What is the Name of this Book.ist. 95 Excluded middle The above proof begins by saying that either everyone is drinking. intuitionistic (free) logic still has something like the drinker paradox in the form of the theorem: If we take to be .36. doi:10. if there are finitely many customers in the pub. which is always available in classical logic.then. such that. As a simple example of one such decision procedure. typically "if. and in the other case. everyone is drinking" was taken to be correct in one case. and the conjecture would be proven.e. assuming the drinkinginfinite domains leads to various classically valid but intuitionistically unacceptable conclusions. Material versus indicative conditional Most important to the paradox is that the conditional in classical (and intuitionistic) logic is the material conditional. but not intuitionistic logic. So as it was applied here. i.. then there is someone such that. this is also a necessary condition). It asks whether all even numbers greater than two can be expressed as the sum of two prime numbers. If the logic does not admit arbitrary excluded middle—for example if the logic is intuitionistic—then the truth of must first be established. if everyone was drinking.. then obviously it would be a refutation of the conjecture. Penguin Books Ltd. 902/1995. chapter 14. which has a finite decision process. that is. If it were not. This uses the validity of excluded middle for the statement "everyone is drinking". .. Applying the drinking principle. Notes [1] Raymond Smullyan (1990). then they aren't drinking either. if anyone in the pub isn't drinking. Lecture Notes in Computer Science.8114&rep=rep1&type=pdf). Indeed.

The first school. Distinction is made between infinite regresses that are "vicious" and those that are not. References [1] http:/ / www. those truths must be indemonstrable. The other party agree with them as regards knowing. but they see no difficulty in holding that all truths are demonstrated. the truth of proposition P2 requires the support of proposition P3. yet these are unknowable because incapable of demonstration. Neither doctrine is either true or a necessary deduction from the premises. knowledge of the conclusions which follow from them is not pure scientific knowledge nor properly knowing at all.. — Aristotle. maintain that an infinite regress is involved. on the ground that if behind the prior stands no primary. but rests on the mere supposition that the premises are true. asp#v .Infinite regress 96 Infinite regress An infinite regress in a series of propositions arises if the truth of proposition P1 requires the support of proposition P2. is our doctrine. which according to them is the only form of knowledge. are vicious. michaelridge. Not all regresses. assuming that there is no way of knowing other than by demonstration. Part 3) Consciousness Infinite regress in consciousness is the formation of an infinite series of "inner observers" as we ask the question of who is observing the output of the neural correlates of consciousness in the study of subjective consciousness. the initial problem will recur infinitely and will never be solved. If one continues along the same lines.) Such. Optics Infinite regress in optics is the formation of an infinite series of receding images created in two parallel facing mirrors. ” Our own doctrine is that not all knowledge is demonstrative: on the contrary. One definition given is that a vicious regress is "an attempt to solve a problem which re-introduced the same problem in the proposed solution. for one cannot traverse an infinite series): if on the other hand – they say – the series terminates and there are primary premises. there is no scientific knowledge. (The necessity of this is obvious. com/ mr/ course/ glossary. however. Posterior Analytics (Book 1. and in addition we maintain that besides scientific knowledge there is its original source which enables us to recognize the definitions.."[1] Aristotle's answer Aristotle argued that knowing does not necessitate an infinite regress because some knowledge does not depend on demonstration: “ Some hold that. then. knowledge of the immediate premises is independent of demonstration. . Others think there is. for since we must know the prior premises from which the demonstration is drawn. but that all truths are demonstrable. And since thus one cannot know the primary premises. . and since the regress must end in immediate truths. owing to the necessity of knowing the primary premises. holding that it is only possible by demonstration. we could not know the posterior through the prior (wherein they are right. and the truth of proposition Pn-1 requires the support of proposition Pn and n approaches infinity. on the ground that demonstration may be circular and reciprocal.

If this much is known about the execution of the lottery it is therefore rational to accept that some ticket will win." a paper delivered at the 1959 meeting of the Association for Symbolic Logic. which entails that it is rational to accept the contradictory proposition that one ticket wins and no ticket wins. you know that at least some of the pi are false. History Although the first published statement of the lottery paradox appears in Kyburg's 1961 Probability and the Logic of Rational Belief. Since the lottery is fair. The paradox remains of continuing interest because it raises several issues at the foundations of knowledge representation and uncertain reasoning: the relationships between fallibility. Here too you'll see claims that there is really no paradox but an error: the solution is to reject the first principle. and the enormous literature surrounding this puzzle threatens to obscure its original purpose. Even so. But unless you are conceited. then it is rational to accept A & A'. Suppose that an event is very likely only if the probability of it occurring is greater than 0. and • If it is rational to accept a proposition A and it is rational to accept another proposition A'. Kyburg. but published in the journal Theoria in 1963. Kyburg and Teng 2001). Jr. Yet you believe each of the pi individually. corrigible belief and logical consequence. it is rational to accept for any individual ticket i of the lottery that ticket i will not win. and so on until accepting that ticket 1000 won't win: that entails that it is rational to accept that no ticket will win. and that not everything you believe is true. Smullyan's variation Raymond Smullyan presents the following variation on the lottery paradox: You are either inconsistent or conceited.'s lottery paradox (1961. accepting that ticket 1 won't win. However. the lottery paradox isn't really a paradox: his solution is to restrict aggregation. if you are not conceited. and the 1960 International Congress for the History and Philosophy of Science. there are a finite number of propositions p1…pn that you believe.(Smullyan 1978. the first formulation of the paradox appears in his "Probability and Randomness. 206) A Short Guide to the Literature The lottery paradox has become a central topic within epistemology. accepting that ticket 2 won't win. This paper is reprinted in Kyburg (1987). Therefore. are jointly inconsistent. namely that • It is rational to accept a proposition that is very likely true. The lottery paradox was designed to demonstrate that three attractive principles governing rational acceptance lead to contradiction. On these grounds it is presumed rational to accept the proposition that ticket 1 of the lottery will not win. statistical evidence and probability play in belief fixation. it is rational to accept that ticket 2 won't win either--indeed. you know that you sometimes make mistakes. which are built around taking the first two principles above seriously and rejecting the last. for orthodox probabilists the second and third principles are primary. 197) arises from considering a fair 1000 ticket lottery that has exactly one winning ticket. • It is not rational to accept a proposition that is known to be inconsistent. the precise normative force that logical and probabilistic consistency have on rational belief. This is an inconsistency.99.Lottery paradox 97 Lottery paradox Henry E. p. p. the roles that consistency. and with it . so the first principle is rejected. For Kyburg. Kyburg proposed the thought experiment to get across a feature of his innovative ideas on probability (Kyburg 1961. Since the human brain is finite.

"The Rule of Adjunction and Reasonable Inference". (2001). Journal of Logic. and the Logic of Belief". and to "lotteries" having a different structure. MN: University of Minnesota Press.. "Adjunction and Aggregation". "The Preface. pp. Australasian Journal of Philosophy. "Non-Adjunctive Inference and Classical Modalities". • Hawthorne. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (1997). (1961). and Bovens. and conditions for asserting knowledge claims (e. Epistemology and Inference.) Probability and Inference: Essays in Honour of Henry E. Language. 109-125. Certainty: a Refutation of Scepticism. • Brown. Minneapolis. and Teng. L. Finally.E. "The Paradox of the Preface".. G. 25: 205-207. New York: Oxford University Press. (1999). 53. • Kyburg. philosophers of science. 549-67. 57(4). H. 74. p. ISBN 0139550887. J. J. such as David Makinson's preface paradox. Middletown. (1965).g. E. J. (1996). H (2005). in addition to continuous contributions to general area journals. Horacio Arlo-Costa's (2007) use of minimal model (classical) modal logics. 98 Selected References • Arlo-Costa. (1999). "A Review of the Lottery Paradox".P.Lottery paradox the idea of rational acceptance. D. Bryson Brown's (1999) application of preservationist paraconsistent logics. Information Fusion. J. P. C-M. The Journal of Philosophical Logic. Minneapolis. (2003). B. • Kyburg. An extensive bibliography is included in (Wheeler 2007). Philosophical logicians and AI researchers have tended to be interested in reconciling weakened versions of the three principles. "The Paradox of the Preface". Reasoning about Uncertainty. • Douven and Williamson (2006). What is the name of this book?. (2004). and Information. Gregory Wheeler's (2006) use of 1-monotone capacities. (2007).g. (2006). "Elusive Knowledge". This strategy is addressed in (Kyburg 1997) and also in (Wheeler 2007). • Kyburg. E. pp. MN: University of Minnesota Press. J. • Makinson. not that it is true. the rational belief about that event is just that it is very likely. 346-258. • Lewis. Pollock 1986). • Wheeler. • Kyburg. • Smullyan. including Jim Hawthorne and Luc Bovens's (1999) logic of belief. CT: Wesleyan University Press. Hawthorne 2004). with a dedicated journal. and there are many ways to do this. 33(2). H. H. P. which then invites comparisons of the lottery to other epistemic paradoxes. 1-31. • Klein. • Pollock.. Jr. "Rational Acceptance and Conjunctive/Disjunctive Absorption".g. 206. G. which is now a thriving discipline of its own. (1983). 15(1-2): 49-53. Probability and the Logic of Rational Belief. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. Klein 1981). 94(3). the first principle should be rejected: for a very likely event. It is common to also find proposed resolutions to the puzzle that turn on particular features of the lottery thought experiment (e.. Igor Douven and Timothy Williamson's (2006) appeal to cumulative non-monotonic logics. Journal of Philosophy.. and statisticians are inclined to see the lottery paradox as an early example of the complications one faces in constructing principled methods for aggregating uncertain information. King's College Publications. Most of the literature in epistemology approaches the puzzle from the orthodox point of view and grapples with the particular consequences faced by doing so. 273-283. Prentice-Hall. • Wheeler. Mind. E. Analysis. which is why the lottery is associated with discussions of skepticism (e. Raymond (1978). Kyburg. pp. MA: MIT Press. • Hawthorne. and Joe Halpern's (2003) use of first-order probability. (1986). pp. Knowledge and Lotteries. the Lottery. 755-779. (1981). in William Harper and Gregory Wheeler (eds. Philosophy of Science. Nous. 34. For anyone with basic knowledge of probability. Cambridge. "Generalizing the Lottery Paradox". . 581-605. 108: 241-264. decision scientists. H. Uncertain Inference. • Halpern. D.

if p is false then it implies every q.) Also. any contradiction implies anything whatsoever. since a contradiction is never true. Since r can be p. then". "p implies q" is equivalent to "p is false or q is true". even if they are mutually contradictory.. . Hawthorne-1/ Paradoxes of material implication The paradoxes of material implication are a group of formulas which are truths of classical logic. This is referred to as 'explosion'. This truth-functional interpretation of implication is called material implication or material conditional. reject (1) as false." is true merely because the moon isn't made of green cheese. . if p is true then it is implied by every q. so their disjunction is implied by every p. since a tautology is always true. This is the paradox of entailment. To sum up. if p. dating back to George Boole's algebraic logic. hence q is false. 2. then I will bring an umbrella". For example. . which is said to be true merely because the antecedent is false or the consequent is true. . but which are intuitively problematic. 5. . One of these paradoxes is the paradox of entailment. q and r are three arbitrary propositions. any tautology is implied by anything whatsoever. The root of the paradoxes lies in a mismatch between the interpretation of the validity of logical implication in natural language. For instance. Also.Lottery paradox 99 External links • Links to James Hawthorne's papers on the logic of nonmonotonic conditionals (and Lottery Logic) [1] References [1] http:/ / faculty-staff. This paradox is particularly surprising because it tells us that if one proposition does not imply another then the first is true and the second false. "Nadia is in Barcelona implies Nadia is in Madrid. then the world is coming to an end. is equivalent to "it is not raining. and if it is false then q implies any other statement. if p does not imply q then p is true and q is false. 6. (All paraconsistent logics must. . one must imply the other. although it is deceptively similar to what we mean by "logically follows" in ordinary usage. either q or its negation is true." This truism sounds like nonsense in ordinary discourse. or both". then either p implies q or q implies r. so p is true. or. Nadia is in Madrid implies Nadia is in Barcelona. By extension. or I will bring an umbrella. If the terms 'p'. "if it is raining. In classical logic. A. This is because if q is true then p implies it. ie "p implies q" is defined to be "it is not the case that p is true and q false". . 3. it follows that given two arbitrary propositions. The paradoxes are logical statements which are true but whose truth is intuitively surprising to people who are not familiar with them. If q were also true then p would imply q. 'q' and 'r' stand for arbitrary propositions then the main paradoxes are given formally as follows: 1. edu/ H/ James. 4. By this criterion. ou.. "If the moon is made of green cheese. NB if p were false then it would imply q. and its formal interpretation in classical logic. The paradoxes of material implication arise because of the truth-functional definition of material implication. material implication does not capture the meaning of "if. p and its negation imply q. by definition. implication describes conditional if-then statements using a truth-functional interpretation.

the argument is valid. In classical logic. For example an argument might run: If it is raining. water exists (1st premise) It is raining (2nd premise) Water exists (Conclusion) In this example there is no possible situation in which the premises are true while the conclusion is false. A suggested improvement to the notion of logical validity to eliminate this paradox is relevant logic. Explaining the paradox The strangeness of the paradox of entailment comes from the fact that the definition of validity in classical logic does not always agree with the use of the term in ordinary language. . This seems paradoxical. the additional notion of soundness is introduced. an instance of the paradox of entailment arises: It is raining And It is not raining Therefore George Washington is made of plastic. Since there is no counterexample. Understanding the paradox of entailment Validity is defined in classical logic as follows: An argument (consisting of premises and a conclusion) is valid if and only if there is no possible situation in which all the premises are true and the conclusion is false. This arises from the principle of explosion. false) All numbers are equal to 12 (Conclusion) As there is no possible situation where both premises could be true. the paradox of entailment makes the best introduction. true) Matter does not have mass (2nd premise. Hence a valid argument with an inconsistent set of premises can never be sound. A sound argument is a valid argument with all true premises. In everyday use validity suggests that the premises are consistent. inconsistent premises imply any conclusion at all. then there is certainly no possible situation in which the premises could be true while the conclusion was false. and most formally simple. inconsistent premises imply all conclusions. as it suggests that the above is a valid argument. that is. This would satisfy the test for a valid argument since there would be no possible situation in which all the premises are true and therefore no possible situation in which all the premises are true and the conclusion is false. But one could construct an argument in which the premises are inconsistent. a law of classical logic stating that inconsistent premises always make an argument valid.Paradoxes of material implication 100 Paradox of entailment As the most well known of the paradoxes. So the argument is valid whatever the conclusion is. In natural language. For example an argument with inconsistent premises might run: Matter has mass (1st premise.

Priest. Thus the proposition "if John is in Paris.. it is either true that if John is in London then he is in France. Therefore.. 1989. Oxford: Oxford University Press. The first might be read "If John is in London then he is in England. An Introduction to Non-Classical Logic. and if he is in Paris then he is in France. The second can be read "If both switch A and switch B are closed. Cambridge University Press. A Philosophical Guide to Conditionals..g. Sanford.. Oxford: Clarendon Press. G. then .Paradoxes of material implication 101 Simplification The classical paradox formulas are closely tied to the formula. If John is in London. J. Etchemendy. • the principle of Simplification. 1990. then John is in England" holds because we have prior knowledge that the conclusion is true. there are serious problems with trying to use material implication as representing the English "if . using classical logic and taking material implication to mean if-then is an unsafe method of reasoning which can give erroneous results. Then Q: Conditionals and the Foundations of Reasoning. 2003. 2. then John is in France" is true because we have prior knowledge that the premise is false. ed. References • • • • • Bennett. The Concept of Logical Consequence. then the premise is true but the conclusion is false. Therefore. 2001. the following are valid inferences: 1. D. then the proposition "if John is in London. For example. but mapping these back to English sentences using "if" gives paradoxes. Cambridge: Harvard University Press." If the two switches are in series. then the light is on. Conditionals. Frank Jackson. . the light is on. If John is not in London. which can be derived from the paradox formulas rather easily (e. New York: Routledge. then John is in England." Either John is in London or John is not in London. Thus. or if switch B is closed. the light is on. In addition. from (1) by Importation). 1991. it is either true that if switch A is closed. J. If P. or that if he is in Paris then he is in England.".

(1) is also true. For example. A satisfactory resolution should also explain why there naively appears to be a paradox. in all circumstances where (2) is false (i. On sighting a green apple. can be combined to reach the seemingly paradoxical conclusion: (PC): The observation of a green apple provides evidence that all ravens are black. and Nicod's Criterion (NC): A proposition of the form "All P are Q" is supported by the observation of a particular P which is Q.Raven paradox 102 Raven paradox The Raven paradox. X. But since (as above) this statement is logically equivalent to (1) all ravens are black. Proposed resolutions Two apparently reasonable premises: The Equivalence Condition (EC): If a proposition. while solutions which reject (EC) or (NC) should present a proposition which we . It reveals the fundamental problem of induction. via the Law of Implication. it follows that the sight of a green apple is evidence supporting the notion that all ravens are black. This conclusion seems paradoxical. This establishes logical equivalence. a form of the same statement would be generally considered that refers to a specific observable instance of the general class to constitute evidence for that general statement. then X also provides evidence in favor of any proposition which is logically equivalent to Y. and likewise. The paradox arises when this same process is applied to statement (2).e. Given a general statement such as all ravens are black. (3) Nevermore. Non-black non-ravens A black raven By the same reasoning. In strict logical terms. also known as Hempel's paradox or Hempel's ravens is a paradox proposed by the German logician Carl Gustav Hempel in the 1940s to illustrate a problem where inductive logic violates intuition. is evidence supporting the hypothesis that all ravens are black. The paradox Hempel describes the paradox in terms of the hypothesis[1] [2] : (1) All ravens are black. (1) is also false. because it implies that information has been gained about ravens by looking at an apple. existed). one can observe: (4) This green (and thus not black) thing is an apple (and thus not a raven). Solutions which accept the paradoxical conclusion can do this by presenting a proposition which we intuitively know to be false but which is easily confused with (PC). provides evidence in favor of another proposition Y. this statement is equivalent to: (2) Everything that is not black is not a raven. is black. It should be clear that in all circumstances where (2) is true. if a world is imagined in which something that was not black. A resolution to the paradox must therefore either accept (PC) or reject (EC) or reject (NC) or reject both. my pet raven. this statement is evidence that (2) everything that is not black is not a raven. yet was a raven.

then.. this information includes the knowledge (1) that the substance used in the experiment is ice. by virtue of the equivalence condition. due to the large discrepancy between the number of ravens and the number of non-black objects. it would confirm the original formulation. we should no doubt agree. Then.. and suppose that the hypotheses are initially equiprobable. "Whatever does not burn yellow is not sodium salt". the paradoxes vanish. arguing that the reason the result appears paradoxical is because we possess prior information without which the observation of a non-black non-raven would indeed provide evidence that all ravens are black. which in this case is simply the factor by which the odds of the hypothesis changes when the observation is made. suppose that there are black. The standard Bayesian solution One of the most popular proposed resolutions is to accept the conclusion that the observation of a green apple provides evidence that all ravens are black but to argue that the amount of confirmation provided is very small. of which of being seen. If we assume this additional information as given. Let is are ravens and are objects each have probability 1/ be the hypothesis that there non-black ravens. In the seemingly paradoxical cases of confirmation. E alone to the hypothesis H . when it is in fact non-zero but extremely small. is what was to be expected on the basis of the hypothesis . and asks us to consider the observation which occurs when somebody holds a piece of pure ice in a colorless flame which does not turn yellow:[1] This result would confirm the assertion. and consequently.. thus the data here obtained constitute confirming evidence for the hypothesis. we are often not actually judging the relation of the given evidence.. and variations of the argument have been popular ever since [5] although it had been presented in 1958[6] and early forms of the argument appeared as early as 1940.[7] Good's argument involves calculating the weight of evidence provided by the observation of a black raven or a white shoe in favor of the hypothesis that all the ravens in a collection of objects are black.[3] 103 Approaches which accept the paradoxical conclusion Hempel's resolution Hempel himself accepted the paradoxical conclusion.Raven paradox intuitively know to be true but which is easily confused with (EC) or (NC). But if we are careful to avoid this tacit reference to additional knowledge . Why does this impress us as paradoxical? The reason becomes clear when we compare the previous situation with the case of an experiment where an object whose chemical constitution is as yet unknown to us is held into a flame and fails to turn it yellow. the outcome of the experiment can add no strength to the hypothesis under consideration. The argument goes as follows: .. in our illustration. According to this resolution. if we happen to see a black raven. we tacitly introduce a comparison of H with a body of evidence which consists of E in conjunction with an additional amount of information which we happen to have at our disposal. and (2) that ice contains no sodium salt.. I J Good's presentation of this argument in 1960[4] is perhaps the best known. The weight of evidence is the logarithm of the Bayes factor. the Bayes factor in favour of average . and where subsequent analysis reveals it to contain no sodium salt. This outcome. of course. He illustrates this with the example of the generalization "All sodium salts burn yellow". and that the are objects that might be seen at any moment.. the conclusion appears paradoxical because we intuitively estimate the amount of evidence provided by the observation of a green apple to be zero..

[13] Howson and Urbach. Maher identifies a proposition which we intuitively (and correctly) know to be false. and refines it: A non-raven (of whatever color) confirms that all ravens are black because (i) the information that this object is not a raven removes the possibility that this object is a counterexample to the generalization.e. will be very close to one after a single observation of an object which turned out to is much larger than . .[11] Gibson. thereby reducing the probability that they are counterexamples to the generalization. The proposition in question is the proposition that observing non-ravens tells us about the color of ravens. although. but is small if the number of ravens is known to be small compared to the number of non-black objects.[12] Hosaisson-Lindenbaum. . is: where is the initial probability that .[16] who claims that his approach is "more Bayesian than the so-called 'Bayesian solution' of the same paradox. and thereby reduces the estimated number of possible counterexamples to the rule that all ravens are black. Using this Carnapian approach. The Carnapian approach Maher[21] accepts the paradoxical conclusion. "there is no such thing as the Bayesian solution.[10] Eells. while if have the predicate is the number of examined objects which turned out to is a constant which measures resistance to generalization. as Chihara[9] observes. There are many different 'solutions' that Bayesians have put forward using Bayesian techniques.[17] Maher. . about 2 if the number of ravens in existence is known to be large. which is (from the Bayesian point of view) a way of assigning prior probabilities which naturally implements induction. . will have a predicate. But the factor if we see a white shoe is only average 104 and this exceeds unity by only about r/(2N-2b) if N-b is large compared to r. . While this is intuitively false and is also false according to Carnap's theory of induction.[14] Mackie. [18] and Fitelson et al. and (ii) it reduces the probability that unobserved objects are ravens. is the number of objects which have been examined (according to the available evidence have the predicate If is close to zero. .[15] and Hintikka. Thus the weight of evidence provided by the sight of a white shoe is positive.[19] Vranas[20] introduced the term "Standard Bayesian Solution" to avoid confusion." Bayesian approaches which make use of Carnap's theory of inductive inference include Humburg. In order to reach (ii). he appeals to Carnap's theory of inductive probability.[8] Many of the proponents of this resolution and variants of it have been advocates of Bayesian probability. the posterior probability. will be very close to regardless of the fraction of observed objects which had the predicate . and has the predicate ).Raven paradox i. observing non-ravens (according to that same theory) causes us to reduce our estimate of the total number of ravens. that an object. but which we easily confuse with the paradoxical conclusion." Noteworthy approaches using Bayesian techniques include Earman. and it is now commonly called the Bayesian Solution. According to Carnap's theory. after the evidence has been observed.

Surprisingly. under plausible conditions it can be shown that a sequence of instances (i. a line over a proposition indicates the logical negation of that proposition. Thus.95. Fitelson et al. but a later calculation in the same paper shows that the weight of evidence provided by a black raven exceeds that provided by a non-black non-raven by about .. may be somewhere around 0. They show that. if is an object selected at random. of n black ravens. This condition does not tell us how large the difference in the evidence provided is. a proposition of the form "A is a black raven and B is a white shoe" can be considered a sample proposition by taking "black raven" and "white shoe" to be predicates. However. 105 The role of background knowledge Much of the discussion of the paradox in general and the Bayesian approach in particular has centred on the relevance of background knowledge. Thus my analysis suggests that this response to the paradox [i. but it tells us about the prevalence of ravens. the observation of a non-raven does not tell us anything about the color of ravens. as compared to n non-black non-ravens) yields a ratio of likelihood ratios on the order of .Raven paradox Hence. which was that the observation of a non-black non-raven provides much less evidence than the observation of a black raven.05. The configurations of background knowledge which he considers are those which are provided by a sample proposition.[22] explain that: Under normal circumstances. with no two atomic propositions involving the same individual.[22] examined the conditions under which the observation of a non-black non-raven provides less evidence than the observation of a black raven.e. But . a non-black non-raven confirms A just as strongly as a black raven does . each of which ascribes a single predicate to a single individual. given any sample proposition as background evidence. given the hypothesis that not all ravens are black. then the condition: is sufficient for the observation of a non-black non-raven to provide less evidence than the observation of a black raven.. Thus. is the proposition that the object is black. the observation of a non-black non-raven provides exactly the same amount of confirmation as the observation of a black raven. from the Bayesian-Carnapian point of view. so is somewhere around 1. are known quantities.. namely a proposition which is a conjunction of atomic propositions. which blows up significantly for large . Maher comments that. Here.e. Maher's proof appears to contradict the result of the Bayesian argument. variants of the standard Bayesian approach often suppose (as Good did in the argument quoted above) that the total numbers of ravens. and is the proposition that the object is a raven. The authors point out that their analysis is completely consistent with the supposition that a non-black non-raven provides an extremely small amount of evidence although they do not attempt to prove it. for a large class of possible configurations of background knowledge. it may appear that a single instance of a black raven does not yield much more support than would a non-black non-raven.9 or 0. the Standard Bayesian one] cannot be correct." Fitelson et al. The reason is that the background knowledge which Good and others use can not be expressed in the form of a sample proposition . and supports "All ravens are black" by reducing our estimate of the number of ravens which might not be black. they merely calculate the difference between the amount of evidence that a black raven provides and the amount of evidence that a non-black non-raven provides.in particular.. if the base of the logarithm is 2) which is provided when a raven of unknown color is discovered to be black. Evidence of this kind can be represented by a sample proposition. "The reason we think there are more non-black things than ravens is because that has been true of the things we have observed to date. This is equal to the amount of additional information (in bits. .11 or 1. Maher[21] shows that. non-black objects and/or the total number of objects.

if I were to discover that even a black raven exists I would consider to be less probable than it was initially. one white raven. insists that it is our background knowledge itself which is the red herring.. The possibility remained that. and the hypothesis. is as close as one can reasonably expect to get to a condition of perfect ignorance.9985 to 0. that is true.8995 when it is discovered that one . It turns out to be a black raven. that we are in the second world. Nicod's criterion is false. no non-black ravens. and a million other birds. after defining a raven in detail. on the other hand. English syntax. Maher implicitly made use of the fact that the proposition "All ravens are black" is highly probable when it is highly probable that there are no ravens. and that in the other world there are a thousand black ravens. and that we should consider induction with respect to a condition of perfect ignorance.. or in the context of the background information which we actually possess regarding ravens and black objects.. Nicod's criterion might still be true and so we could still reach the paradoxical conclusion. Good had shown that.' This. then there is a reasonable chance that they are of a variety of colours. and pointing out that it ".imagine an infinitely intelligent newborn baby having built-in neural circuits enabling him to deal with formal logic.. insisting that the proposition 'c is a raven and is black' must be considered "by itself and without reference to any other information". that the very appearance of paradoxicality in cases like that of the white shoe results in part from a failure to observe this maxim. and a million other birds. and it appears that Nicod's condition is still false. A bird is selected equiprobably at random from all the birds in our world. or with regard to all possible configurations of background information. 'if there are ravens. Good concludes that the white shoe is a "red herring": Sometimes even a black raven can constitute evidence against the hypothesis that all ravens are black.see below). each of which is very unlikely to be a raven (a one in a thousand chance) and reasonably unlikely to be black (a one in ten chance). We know in advance that in one world there are a hundred black ravens.. Good's baby In his proposed resolution.[26] Maher's argument considers a universe of exactly two objects. with respect to our actual configuration of knowledge. so the fact that the observation of a white shoe can support it is not surprising and not worth attention. then it is likely that there are many.Raven paradox 106 Rejecting Nicod's criterion The red herring Good [23] gives an example of background knowledge with respect to which the observation of a black raven decreases the probability that all ravens are black: Suppose that we know we are in one or other of two worlds. and subjective probability. Nicod's criterion is false (provided that we are willing to equate "inductively support" with "increase the probability of" . according to Good.. 'On the other hand'. he finds that the probability that all ravens are black decreases from 0. Good had used this fact before to respond to Hempel's insistence that Nicod's criterion was to be understood to hold in the absence of background information[25] : . wherein not all ravens are black. which is very different from Good's example. that it is extremely unlikely that there are any ravens. according to Good. H. He might now argue. Maher made Good's argument more precise by using Carnap's theory of induction to formalize the notion that if there is one raven. was emphasized in section 5.. for some configurations of background knowledge. This is strong evidence . under consideration is that all the ravens in our world are black. Hempel rejected this as a solution to the paradox.. Using Carnap's formula for induction.2(b) of my article in Mind ."[24] The question which then arises is whether the paradox is to be understood in the context of absolutely no background information (as Hempel suggests). and so the paradoxical conclusion does not follow. he goes on to argue. Therefore. and therefore it is extremely likely that all ravens are black. that is. Hempel.

and so observing that a randomly selected person is a short woman should provide evidence that all men are tall. according to this resolution. His argument can be illustrated by rephrasing the paradox using predicates other than "raven" and "black".[16] Hintikka was motivated to find a Bayesian approach to the paradox which did not make use of knowledge about the relative frequencies of ravens and black things. The paradox arises." His solution is to introduce an order into the set of predicates. we expect objects which were blue before 2015 to remain blue afterwards. When the logical system is equipped with this order. An object is grue if it is blue before (say) 2015 and green afterwards. The paradox arises from the fact that this information. a generalization like 'no material bodies are infinitely divisible' seems to be completely unaffected by questions concerning immaterial entities. is not incorporated in the usual treatments of the inductive situation.. Another approach which favours specific predicates over others was taken by Hintikka. Despite the fact that we lack background knowledge to indicate that there are dramatically fewer men than short people. such as "blue" and "black". because we implicitly interpret Nicod's criterion as applying to all predicates when in fact it only applies to natural kinds. we still find ourselves inclined to reject the conclusion. This can be illustrated with Nelson Goodman's example of the predicate grue. such as "grue" or "non-raven". which colors our spontaneous view of the situation. For example.. have a distinguished status with respect to induction. which he called natural kinds.Raven paradox of the two objects is a black raven. "All men are tall" is equivalent to "All short people are women". since the order privileges ravens over non-black things. Arguments concerning relative frequencies. independently of what one thinks of the relative frequencies of material and immaterial entities in one's universe of discourse. while "grue" is not a natural kind and using induction with it leads to error. a privileged predicate which can be used for induction. Maher concludes that not only is the paradoxical conclusion true. This suggests a resolution to the paradox . he contends. Clearly.Nicod's criterion is true for natural kinds. cannot always account for the perceived irrelevance of evidence consisting of observations of objects of type A for the purposes of learning about objects of type not-A. Hintikka's example is: ". As he puts it: If we are justified in assuming that the scope of the generalization 'All ravens are black' can be restricted to ravens. it is possible to restrict the scope of a generalization such as "All ravens are black" so that it applies to ravens only and not to non-black things. but we do not expect the objects which were found to be grue before 2015 to be grue afterwards. 107 Distinguished predicates Quine[27] argued that the solution to the paradox lies in the recognition that certain predicates.[28] . but that Nicod's criterion is false in the absence of background knowledge (except for the knowledge that the number of objects in the universe is two and that ravens are less likely than black things). but is false for artificially contrived predicates. then this means that we have some outside information which we can rely on concerning the factual situation. Quine's explanation is that "blue" is a natural kind.

that is which is necessary for such a splitting of H and E to be possible is probabilistically supported by . which does not follow deductively from : receives no support at all from separates into . satisfies the hypothesis that all ravens are black rather than not: it thus selectively confirms that all ravens are black. "contains all of (or of the content of that goes beyond . . Probabilistic or non-probabilistic induction Scheffler and Goodman's concept of selective confirmation is an example of an interpretation of "provides evidence in favor of" which does not coincide with "increase the probability of". This can be done in two ways. into a part which is deductively entailed by the evidence. Popper's observation is that the part.. It is impossible for the observation of a black raven to increase the probability of the proposition "All ravens are black" without causing exactly the same change to the probability that "All non-black things are non-ravens". satisfies its denial. Second. and another part. The condition . which as Popper says. then "inductively support" must refer to something other than changes in the probabilities of propositions. the splitting [32] . the statement that all ravens are black is not merely satisfied by evidence of a black raven but is favored by such evidence. A non-black non-raven. Karl Popper argued that probability theory alone cannot account for induction. and are probabilistically independent: and so on. : where . of which receives support from actually follows deductively from . As the authors put it: . It never does. is consistent with both "All ravens are black" and with "No ravens are black". which in the presence of countersupports is alone unless either . since a black raven disconfirms the contrary statement that all ravens are not black. in this case.e. A possible loophole is to interpret "All" as "Nearly all" "Nearly all ravens are black" is not equivalent to "Nearly all non-black things are non-ravens". First. His argument involves splitting a hypothesis. . and these propositions can have very different probabilities." ) that follows [deductively] from He continues: Does .Raven paradox 108 Proposed resolutions which reject the equivalence condition Selective confirmation Scheffler and Goodman[29] took an approach to the paradox which incorporates Karl Popper's view that scientific hypotheses are never really confirmed. while the part of . "is the logically strongest part of . i. A black raven. since logically equivalent propositions must always have the same probability.. consider the splitting [31] .that is. Indeed. provide any support for the factor needed to obtain ? The answer is: No. in other words. he says. only falsified. which. "No ravens are black". This must be a general feature of all resolutions which reject the equivalence condition. Selective confirmation violates the equivalence condition since a black raven selectively confirms "All ravens are black" but not "All non-black things are non-ravens".[30] This raises the broader question of the relation of probability theory to inductive reasoning. that is." and . . on the other hand. If an observation inductively supports the former but not the latter. The approach begins by noting that the observation of a black raven does not prove that "All ravens are black" but it falsifies the contrary hypothesis.

the hypothesis that "All ravens are black" is not accepted gradually.. This contrasts with the Bayesian approach. but is accepted in a single action as the result of evaluating the data which has already been collected. rather than what probability to assign to the hypothesis. when deciding whether to accept or to reject. which requires that the hypothesis be assigned a prior probability.. and leads to.. The first proposition is the only one whose domain is unrestricted ("all objects"). that all non-Q's are non-P. instead they are assigned probabilities." They are therefore. i.. The orthodox approach The orthodox Neyman-Pearson theory of hypothesis testing considers how to decide whether to accept or reject a hypothesis. which is revised in the light of the observed data to obtain the final probability of the hypothesis.e. From this point of view. Within the Bayesian framework there is no risk of error since hypotheses are not accepted or rejected. The acceptance or rejection of a hypothesis carries with it the risk of error. by definition. in the long run of experience. we may search for rules to govern our behaviour with regard to them. or given a competing hypothesis. although one must certainly take into account the probability of the data given the hypothesis. All probabilistic support is purely deductive: that part of a hypothesis that is not deductively entailed by the evidence is always strongly countersupported by the evidence . whereas a test of "All non-Q's are non-P" requires reference to some statistical alternative of the form of all non-Q's are non-P. there might even be such a thing as inductive support (though we hardly think so). But the calculus of probability reveals that probabilistic support cannot be inductive support. while the second says something about "Every raven". As Neyman and Pearson put it: Without hoping to know whether each separate hypothesis is true or false. 109 This result is completely devastating to the inductive interpretation of the calculus of probability. . There is such a thing as probabilistic support. "Every Raven is black". in following which we insure that. A test of "All P's are Q" requires reference to some alternative statistical hypothesis of the form of all P's are Q. . But these two sets of possible alternatives are different . It is logically equivalent to: and also to . Yet it is easy to see that on the Neyman-Pearson theory of testing. a rejection of the equivalence condition: It seems obvious that one cannot both accept the hypothesis that all P's are Q and also reject the contrapositive. the three propositions have different domains: the first proposition says something about "Every object". However. logically equivalent. we shall not be too often wrong. and "Every non-black object is a non-raven. as its probability increases towards one when more and more observations are made.Raven paradox or (which are possibilities of no interest)... it is not necessary to assign any value to the probability of a hypothesis. .[33] According to this approach.[34] Rejecting material implication The following propositions all imply one another: "Every object is either black or not a raven". Thus one could have a test of without having a test of its contrapositive. so this is the only one which can be expressed in first order logic. An analysis of the paradox from the orthodox point of view has been performed. among other insights. a test of "All P's are Q" is not necessarily a test of "All non-Q's are non-P" or vice versa.

it has been suggested that "All ravens are black" and "All non-black things are non-ravens" can have different effects when accepted.[36] Differing results of accepting the hypotheses Several commentators have observed that the propositions "All ravens are black" and "All non-black things are non-ravens" suggest different procedures for testing the hypotheses. above) relied on this fact . If he is asked to test whether all ravens are black he will look for a raven and then decide whether it is black. and who have identical estimates of the numbers of ravens and black objects. by the Equivalence Condition. When the hypothesis "All ravens are black" is accepted. is awkward. More recently. it follows that if it does not light it was not scratched. Therefore whatever confirms the latter should also. But they have a different psychological effect on the experimenter. E. and predictions are properly stated in the indicative mood. meaning "Indeterminate" or "Inappropriate" when then " is not equivalent to "If is false. then indicates the material conditional. It is senseless to ask what confirms a counterfactual. One might wonder what effect this interpretation of the Law of Contraposition has on Hempel's paradox of confirmation. confirmation is accomplished by prediction. For concreteness. . confirm the former. in science. according to which "If then " can be understood to mean " 110 It has been argued by several authors that material implication does not fully capture the meaning of "If " (see the paradoxes of material implication).g. But if he is asked to test whether all non-black things are non-ravens he may look for a non-black object and then decide whether it is a raven.that "All ravens are black" is highly probable when it is highly probable that there are no ravens. a contrapositive argument ought not to be stated entirely in the indicative. True. the estimated number of black objects increases. contraposition is ". . Consequently. then [35] then " has the In such a system. the arguments which Good and Maher used to criticize Nicod's criterion (see Good's Baby. . Thus: From the fact that if this match is scratched it will light. It is because of this that "All ravens are black" is regarded as true when there are no ravens. "For every object. is either black or not a raven" is true when there are no ravens.Raven paradox where or ". this removes the alleged equivalence which is necessary to conclude that yellow cows can inform us about ravens: In proper grammatical usage." One such approach involves introducing a many-valued logic according to which "If truth-value . Furthermore. it follows that if it were not to light it would not have been scratched. "All ravens are not automatically allowed: "If black" is not equivalent to "All non-black things are non-ravens". According to this argument.. but yellow cows still cannot figure into the confirmation of "All ravens are black" because. while the estimated number of ravens does not change. Some approaches to the paradox have sought to find other ways of interpreting "If then " and "All are " which would eliminate the perceived equivalence between "All ravens are black" and "All non-black things are non-ravens. when contraposition occurs. the modality of the conditional involved changes from the indicative ("If that piece of butter has been heated to 32 C then it has melted") to the counterfactual ("If that piece of butter had been heated to 32 C then it would have melted").. We should say: From the fact that if this match is scratched it will light. but estimated. Good writes[37] : As propositions the two statements are logically equivalent. according to the argument. In this system.[38] The argument considers situations in which the total numbers or prevalences of ravens and black objects are unknown. "If is a raven then is black" is equivalent to "If were not black then would not be a raven". It can be illustrated by considering the situation of two people who have identical information regarding ravens and black objects.

due describe the same regularity - to their different existential presuppositions. accepting the former means estimating more things to be black. Then the estimated number of ravens is 50. each object is just as likely to be a non-raven as it is to be a raven. According to this argument. he should estimate the number of black ravens at 50. the estimated number of black ravens is 25. The presuppositional operator thus serves as a relevance operator as well. nothing different will be thought about the approximately 50 remaining objects (the black objects).. If the first person accepts the hypothesis that "All ravens are black" then. . he should estimate the number of black ravens at 25..Raven paradox suppose that there are 100 objects overall. a Neyman-Pearson test or the comparison of the accumulated weight of evidence to a threshold) of the hypothesis that "All ravens are black". this argument explicitly restricts the domain of "All ravens are black" to ravens. the former requires as evidence ravens which turn out to be black and the latter requires non-black things which turn out to be non-ravens. At the same time. it is prefixed to the predicate ' . since the two people disagree about their estimates after they have accepted the different hypotheses. By specifying these changes. the number of black non-ravens at 25 and the number of non-black non-ravens at 25. then the approximately 50 non-black objects about which it was uncertain whether each was a raven. The two hypotheses have different senses and incorporate different procedures for testing the regularity they describe. about 50 objects whose colors were previously in doubt (the ravens) are now thought to be black. and. The fact that the two hypotheses incorporate different kinds of testing procedures is expressed in the formal language by prefixing the operator '*' to a different predicate. and so on. if the second person accepts the hypothesis that "All non-black objects are non-ravens". On the other hand. For example. It is prefixed to the predicate ' is a raven' in because the objects relevant to the testing procedure incorporated in "All raven are black" include only ravens. accepting "All ravens are black" is not equivalent to accepting "All non-black things are non-ravens". according to the argument. Consequently. Moreover. '*'. A modified logic can take account of existential presuppositions using the presuppositional operator. [40] are : and " presuppose that there are objects This analysis has been applied to the raven paradox [41] : "All ravens are black" and : "All nonblack things are nonravens" are not strictly equivalent . For simplicity. while nothing different is thought about the remaining objects (the non-ravens). while accepting the latter involves estimating more things to be non-ravens. suppose that the evidence used for the test has nothing to do with the collection of 100 objects dealt with here.... the argument goes. and just as likely to be black as it is to be non-black: 111 and the propositions are independent for different objects . the estimated number of black things is 50. Consequently. can denote "All ravens are black" while indicating that it is ravens and not non-black objects which are presupposed to exist in this example. will be thought to be non-ravens. the logical form of each hypothesis distinguishes it with respect to its recommended type of supporting evidence: the possibly true substitution instances of each hypothesis relate to different types of objects.g. the number of black non-ravens at 25 and the number of non-black non-ravens at 50. .[39] Existential presuppositions A number of authors have argued that propositions of the form "All which are .. while the other tests the hypothesis that "All non-black objects are non-ravens". One of the people performs a statistical test (e. according to the information available to the people involved.they have different logical forms. although the nonexistence of nonblack ravens . and the estimated number of non-black ravens (counterexamples to the hypotheses) is 25. Correspondingly.

p. 1. Routlege. Vol. Vol. 24. in 112 . 2006 [23] Good 1967. p. No. New York:Columbia university Press. Sci. they express two different ways to determine that truth-value[42] Notes [1] Hempel. jstor. jstor.50 JSTOR (http:/ / www. 3. Mind Vol 54.. Philosophy of Science. 239 JSTOR (http:/ / www. No. B and Hawthorne. The White Shoe is a Red Herring. 5. in Ontological Relativity and other Essays. html) . CO. jstor. pdf) [27] Quine. 13. p. 265 LINK (http:/ / bjps. 14. No. [11] Eells. Using Fregean terms: whenever their presuppositions hold. Vol. 66. jstor. the two hypotheses have the same referent (truth-value). 1969. google. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. pp [18] Maher 1999 [19] Fitelson 2006 [20] Vranas (2002) Hempel's Raven Paradox: A Lacuna in the Standard Bayesian Solution LINK (http:/ / philsci-archive. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. Vol. J (2006) How Bayesian Confirmation Theory Handles the Paradox of the Ravens. p. 2307/ 2268173) [8] Note: Good used "crow" instead of "raven". The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. H (1979) Subjective Probability. 213 p. nature. 2. 11. MIT Press. org/ sici?sici=0026-4423(194504)2:54:214<97:SITLOC>2. Vol. 38. 1969 [17] Humburg 1986.No Red Herring. jstor. p. p. 4 LINK (http:/ / bjps. Realism and the Aim of Science. The White Shoe qua Red Herring is Pink. . jstor. com/ books?id=pWtPcRwuacAC& pg=PA24& lpg=PA24& ots=-1PKZt0Jbz& lr=& sig=EK2qqOZ6-cZR1P1ZKIsndgxttMs) [29] Scheffler I. P (1999) Inductive Logic and the Ravens Paradox. doc) [21] Maher. jstor. No. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. com/ nature/ journal/ v302/ n5910/ abs/ 302687a0. org/ cgi/ reprint/ 38/ 4/ 551) [10] Earman. CO.114 [28] Hintikka J. 9. org/ stable/ 685654?origin=JSTOR-pdf) [7] Hosaisson-Lindenbaum. org/ action/ showArticle?doi=10. No. edu/ archive/ 00000688/ 00/ hempelacuna. CG (1945) Studies in the Logic of Confirmation I. Erkenntnis. maher1. CO. Vol. CG (1945) Studies in the Logic of Confirmation II. org/ sici?sici=0031-8248(199903)66:1<50:ILATRP>2. Vol. 17. 19.. but different senses. Urbach. 687 Link (http:/ / www. org/ stable/ 686774) [24] Hempel 1967. Vol. Brit.Raven paradox is nonblack'. Mind Vol 54. com/ content/ vw370x1531q54422/ ) [31] Popper. J. Goodman NJ. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. CO. jstor. HG (1958) The Paradoxes of Confirmation. No. pitt. but "raven" has been used here throughout for consistency. p. 1969 On Ravens and Relevance and a Likelihood Solution of the Paradox of Confirmation. org/ stable/ 686596) [25] Good 1968. that is. Inductive Independence and the Paradoxes of Confirmation LINK (http:/ / books. p. org/ stable/ 686795) [26] Maher 2004. 3. The solution of Hempel's raven paradox in Rudolf Carnap's system of inductive logic. The White Shoe . jstor. 52. No. 156 JSTOR (http:/ / www. jstor. org/ cgi/ content/ citation/ XIII/ 52/ 265) [16] Hintikka. oxfordjournals. Open Court Publishing Company [15] Mackie. 69. No. jstor. 0. org/ sici?sici=0007-0882(196008)11:42<145:TPOC>2. LINK (http:/ / www. 4. Vol. Vol. No. 18. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. 302. No. 227 JSTOR (http:/ / www. 1963 The Paradox of Confirmation. org/ stable/ 2024647) [30] Gaifman. 325 [32] Popper K. [9] Chihara. P. Vol. 1982 Rational Decision and Causality. K. Erkenntnis. 1992.2-5) [5] Fitelson. 1972 JSTOR (http:/ / www. oxfordjournals. Nature. IJ (1960) The Paradox of Confirmation. (1983) A Proof of the Impossibility of Inductive Probability.97 JSTOR (http:/ / www.2-M) [3] Maher. 35. WV (1969) Natural Kinds. org/ sici?sici=0026-4423(194501)2:54:213<1:SITLOC>2. in Probability in Science.1 JSTOR (http:/ / www. Journal of Philosophy. Probability Captures the Logic of Scientific Confirmation LINK (http:/ / patrick. 0. No. pdf) [6] Alexander. No. 214 p. Chicago: Open Court Link (http:/ / fitelson. p322 JSTOR (http:/ / www. 1993 Scientific Reasoning: The Bayesian Approach. because the objects relevant to the testing procedure incorporated in "All nonblack things are nonravens" include only nonblack things. 4. Phil. org/ ravens. Selective Confirmation and the Ravens. The Journal of Symbolic Logic. 0. (1987) Some Problems for Bayesian Confirmation Theory.2-0) [2] Hempel. Cambridge. 145-149 JSTOR (http:/ / links. 1992 Bayes or Bust? A Critical Examination of Bayesian Confirmation Theory. MA. 1999 [22] Fitelson. Natural Predicates and Hempel's Ravens. 0. Vol. 133 JSTOR (http:/ / www. springerlink. net/ pctl. J (1940) On Confirmation. 42. p. 105 Springer (http:/ / www.2-9) [4] Good. Miller D. New York: Cambridge University Press [12] Gibson. org/ stable/ 686720) [13] Hosaisson-Lindenbaum 1940 [14] Howson.

0/ Disseminate?view=body& id=pdf_1& handle=euclid. Vol. 1-26. London. ndjfl/ 1093882546) [36] Farrell (1979) [37] Good (1960) [38] O'Flanagan (2008) Judgment LINK (http:/ / philsci-archive." PRIME (Platonic Realms Interactive Mathematics Encyclopedia). 145-183. • Hempel. No. Studies in the Logic of Confirmation (I) Mind 54. p289 JSTOR (http:/ / www. C. Hempel's Paradoxes of Confirmation. 1999. A Purely Syntactical Definition of Confirmation. 1966.edu/philo/faculty/martin. Vol. Logic 8. G. 3.html). 231. 1943. 37. Transactions of the Royal Society of London. P. pitt. com/ content/ hnn2lutn1066xw47/ fulltext.354 JSTOR (http:/ / www. Foster and Michael L. Probability. G. pdf) [39] O'Flanagan (2008) [40] Strawson PF (1952) Introduction to Logical Theory. jstor. eds. mathacademy. Pearson ES (1933) On the Problem of the Most Efficient Tests of Statistical Hypotheses. Confirmation. methuan & Co.paulfranceschi. 1945. 97-121. Erkenntnis LINK (http:/ / www. and Simplicity. org/ DPubS/ Repository/ 1. org/ stable/ 186464) [35] Farrell RJ (1979) Material Implication. 1945. Studies in the Logic of Confirmation (II) Mind 54.com/pr/prime/articles/paradox_raven/index. Phil. New York [41] Cohen Y (1987) Ravens and Relevance. G. php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8:the-doomsday-argument-and-hempels-problem& catid=1:analytic-philosophy&Itemid=2). under the title Comment l'urne de Carter et Leslie se déverse dans celle de Hempel • Hempel. Martin (http:// www. Philosophy of Science. Studies in the Logic of Confirmation. C. 1945. The Doomsday Argument and Hempel's Problem (http://www. H. John Wiley & Sons. pdf) [42] Cohen (1987) 113 References • Franceschi. In Marguerite H.bu. Mind 55. edu/ archive/ 00003932/ 01/ judgment6. New York: Odyssey Press. C. 139-156. . J. English translation of a paper initially published in French in the Canadian Journal of Philosophy 29. • Hempel. 122-143. springerlink. C.Raven paradox [33] Neyman J. C. Series A. Symb. • Hempel. org/ stable/ 91247) [34] Giere. G. RN (1970) An Orthodox Statistical Resolution of the Paradox of Confirmation. (http://www. 2010. External links • "Hempel’s Ravens Paradox. p. jstor.com/index. Confirmation and Counterfactuals LINK (http:/ / projecteuclid. 156-158. • Whiteley.asp) Retrieved November 29.

Despite significant academic interest. hangman paradox. suggests the unexpected hanging paradox is an example of an epistemic paradox because it turns on our concept of knowledge. as if he hasn't been hanged by Thursday. a prisoner's hanging. the prisoner draws the conclusion that he will escape from the hanging. examination. He will not know the day of the hanging until the executioner knocks on his cell door at noon that day.[2] Even though it is apparently simple. despite all the above. the hanging must occur on Thursday. surprise test paradox or prediction paradox is a paradox about a person's expectations about the timing of a future event (e.[1] The informal nature of everyday language allows for multiple interpretations of the paradox. In the extreme case. He then reasons that the surprise hanging cannot be on Thursday either. Having reflected on his sentence.[3] Description of the paradox The paradox has been described as follows:[4] A judge tells a condemned prisoner that he will be hanged at noon on one weekday in the following week but that the execution will be a surprise to the prisoner.Unexpected hanging paradox 114 Unexpected hanging paradox The unexpected hanging paradox. unexpected exam paradox.and so it won't be a surprise if he's hanged on Friday. . the vagueness of the account prohibits one from being objectively clear about which formalization truly captures its essence. Everything the judge said came true. or lion behind a door or when the bin will be emptied. because Friday has already been eliminated and if he hasn't been hanged by Wednesday night. which uses mathematical language. Other versions of the paradox replace the death sentence with a surprise fire drill. But even without adding this element to the story. there is no consensus on its precise nature and consequently a final 'correct' resolution has not yet been established. the executioner knocks on the prisoner's door at noon on Wednesday — which. There has been considerable debate between the logical school. which employs concepts such as knowledge. a prisoner who is paranoid might feel certain in his knowledge that the executioner will arrive at noon on Monday. The next week. By similar reasoning he concludes that the hanging can also not occur on Wednesday. the paradox's underlying complexities have even led to it being called a "significant problem" for philosophy. His reasoning is in several parts. then certain that he will come on Tuesday and so forth. Since the judge's sentence stipulated that the hanging would be a surprise to him.g. suggests that the problem arises in a self-contradictory self-referencing statement at the heart of the judge's sentence. thus ensuring that every day really is a "surprise" to him. and the epistemological school. offered by the epistemological school of thought. Tuesday or Monday. there is only one day left . Another approach.[1] One approach. Joyfully he retires to his cell confident that the hanging will not occur at all. he concludes it cannot occur on Friday. making a Thursday hanging not a surprise either. was an utter surprise to him. He begins by concluding that the "surprise hanging" can't be on Friday. offered by the logical school of thought. or a school test) which he is told will occur at an unexpected time. belief and memory. over which formulation is correct.

The judge's sentence appears to be vindicated afterwards but the statement which is actually shown to be true is that "the prisoner will be psychologically surprised by the hanging". Objections The first objection often raised to the logical school's approach is that it fails to explain how the judge's announcement appears to be vindicated after the fact. but he does not know that before Thursday. the argument is blocked. that the hanging will not occur on the last day. and then excludes the last remaining day of the week is an inductive one. the conclusion is more precisely that in order for the prisoner to carry out his argument that the judge's sentence cannot be fulfilled. it is in this case because the statement is self-contradictory. how does he manage to be right all along? This objection rests on an understanding of the conclusion to be that the judge's statement is self-contradictory and therefore the source of the paradox. Using an equivalent form of the paradox which reduces the length of the week to just two days. However. from statement (A). The public utterance of the sentence and its context changes the judge's meaning to something like "there will be a surprise hanging despite my having told you that there will be a surprise hanging". and can be hanged any day including Friday. The prisoner assumes that by Thursday he will know the hanging is due on Friday. The logical school's approach does implicitly take this into account. Given this announcement the prisoner can deduce that the hanging will not occur on the last day of the week. in order to reproduce the next stage of the argument. then he is wrong. A related objection is that the paradox only occurs because the judge tells the prisoner his sentence (rather than keeping it secret) — which suggests that the act of declaring the sentence is important. This statement in formal logic would not allow the prisoner's argument to be carried out. the prisoner must argue that his ability to deduce. Some authors have claimed that the self-referential nature of this statement is the source of the paradox. . But the action is included implicitly. he must interpret the judge's announcement as (B). Leaky inductive argument The argument that first excludes Friday. it must be an incomplete analysis. A reasonable assumption would be that the judge did not intend (B) but that the prisoner misinterprets his words to reach his paradoxical conclusion. Some have argued that since this action is missing from the logical school's approach. But since the meaning of "surprising" has been restricted to not deducible from the assumption that the hanging will occur during the week instead of not deducible from statement (A). If the judge's statement is self-contradictory. The prisoner's argument in any case carries the seeds of its own destruction because if he is right. he proved that although self-reference is not illegitimate in all circumstances. An attempt at formulation might be: • The prisoner will be hanged next week and the date (of the hanging) will not be deducible in advance from the assumption that the hanging will occur during the week (A). By trying to carry an inductive argument backward in time based on a fact known only by Thursday the prisoner may be making an error. which eliminates the penultimate day of the week. This suggests that a better formulation would in fact be: • The prisoner will be hanged next week and its date will not be deducible in advance using this statement as an axiom (B). The conditional statement "If I reach Thursday afternoon alive then Friday will be the latest possible day for the hanging" does little to reassure the condemned man. Fitch[5] has shown that this statement can still be expressed in formal logic. implies that a last-day hanging would not be surprising. However.Unexpected hanging paradox 115 The logical school Formulation of the judge's announcement into formal logic is made difficult by the vague meaning of the word "surprise".

there is reason to believe that the unexpected hanging paradox is simply a more intricate version of Moore's paradox. on which the last possible hanging day is tomorrow. he will then know for certain that he must be hanged tomorrow. What is impossible is not a Tuesday hanging. Chow (1998) provides a detailed analysis of a version of the paradox in which a surprise examination is to take place on one of two days. then the prisoner will not know on Monday evening that it will occur on Tuesday. The fact that it has not yet ceased to be a surprise at the moment the claim is made is not relevant. However. the prisoner reasons that a scenario in which the hanging occurs on Tuesday is impossible because it leads to a contradiction: on the one hand. but you do not know that. the prisoner will indeed not know for certain that he will survive to see tomorrow. unknown psychological factors may erase this knowledge in the future.Unexpected hanging paradox The counter-argument to this is that in order to claim that a statement will not be a surprise. and S3 to be true. Finally. it is not necessary to predict the truth or falsity of the statement at the time the claim is made. and thus by the time he is actually hanged tomorrow it will have ceased to be a surprise. which gives rise to the paradox. It would be true even if the judge said: "You will unexpectedly be hanged today. but on the other hand. Chow's analysis points to a subtle flaw in the prisoner's reasoning. by S3. nor that he will still be alive on Thursday. . This assumption seems unwarranted on several different grounds. S2. then the prisoner will not know on Sunday evening that it will occur on Monday. Rather. even if the prisoner knows something to be true in the present moment. he will have found it unexpected because he would have expected no hanging. S2. the prisoner would not be able to predict the Tuesday hanging on Monday evening. Further. Chow suggests that because the statement which the prisoner is supposed to "know" to be true is a statement about his inability to "know" certain things. It may be argued that the judge's pronouncement that something is true can never be sufficient grounds for the prisoner knowing that it is true. we start with the observation that the judge's announcement seems to affirm three things: • S1: The hanging will occur on Monday or Tuesday. • S3: If the hanging occurs on Tuesday. what is impossible is a situation in which the hanging occurs on Tuesday despite the prisoner knowing on Monday evening that the judge's assertions S1. as if the hanging was on Friday. that if the hangman as it turns out knocks on his door on Friday. his reasoning is incorrect.and thus. if the hanging occurs on Friday then it will certainly have ceased to be a surprise at some point in the interim period between Monday and Friday. he does know that if he does survive today. and S3 are all true. together with several plausible assumptions about knowledge. but only to show that such a prediction will become possible in the interim period. Applying Chow's analysis to the case of the unexpected hanging (again with the week shortened to two days for simplicity). the prisoner would be able to predict the Tuesday hanging on Monday evening. In other words. • S2: If the hanging occurs on Monday. are inconsistent. is able to get off the ground because the prisoner tacitly assumes that on Monday evening." 116 The epistemological school Various epistemological formulations have been proposed that show that the prisoner's tacit assumptions about what he will know in the future. he will have already have expected that (and been alive to do so) since Thursday night . he will (if he is still alive) know S1. However. As a first step. Then the judge's sentence becomes: You will be hanged tomorrow. This works for the inductive case too. he does know on Monday. by S1 and process of elimination. A suitable analogy can be reached by reducing the length of the week to just one day. The prisoner's reasoning. When the prisoner wakes up on any given day. It is indeed true that the prisoner does not know on Monday that he will be hanged on Friday. This removes the leak from the argument.

The author defends and extends Wright and Sudbury's solution. "Paradoxical Announcements".php?option=com_content& view=article&id=6:a-dichotomic-analysis-of-the-surprise-examination-paradox&catid=1:analytic-philosophy& Itemid=2). A. A Goedelized formulation of the prediction paradox. The author claims that the prisoner's premises are self-referring. • Franceschi. S. • Quine.mit. He also updates the history and bibliography of Margalit and Bar-Hillel up to 1991. T. . & Sudbury. edu/ ~tchow/ unexpected. R. C. "Olin. The first complete formalization of the paradox. "Expecting the Unexpected". & Bar-Hillel. C. (1983). • Kirkham. Blindspots. A. M. [5] Fitch. Mind 57: 358–359. Completely analyzes the paradox and introduces other situations with similar logic. com/ UnexpectedHangingParadox. R. Mind 62: 65–66. Philosophiques 32 (2): 399–421.com/index. The first appearance of the paradox in print. The American Mathematical Monthly. 161–164 Further reading • O'Connor. (1948). Y. (1953). (1951). . V. • Chihara. Quart 1 (1964). falsely. O. mit. Philosophical Studies 47: 19–26. "Recalcitrant versions of the prediction paradox". pdf) [2] Stanford Encyclopedia discussion of hanging paradox together with other epistemic paradoxes (http:/ / plato. The author claims that the prisoner assumes. A. (1982). M. (1991). Amer. • Margalit. then he also knows that he knows it. R.paulfranceschi. html). Mind 60: 403–407. F.pdf). "The surprise examination or unexpected hanging paradox" (http://www-math. • Shaw.Unexpected hanging paradox 117 References [1] T. Wolfram. • Gardner. "On Paradoxes and a Surprise Exam". • Wright. • Sorensen. that if he knows some proposition. Y. • Scriven. Sorensen. Mind 67: 382–384. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 69: 355–362. (1958). Chow. stanford. Phil. The author critiques O'Connor and discovers the paradox as we know it today. (1985)." The American Mathematical Monthly Jan 1998 (http:/ / www-math. A history and bibliography of writings on the paradox up to 1983. Clarendon Press. M. Oxford (1988) [4] "Unexpected Hanging Paradox" (http:/ / mathworld. D. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 55: 41–58. "Pragmatic Paradoxes".. and the Surprise Examination".edu/ ~tchow/unexpected. Philosophia 21: 31–51. J. (2005). "The Unexpected Examination". wolfram. A. "On a So-called Paradox". Philosophia 13: 337–344. Quine. (1977). "the Paradox of the Unexpected Examination". English translation (http://www. edu/ entries/ epistemic-paradoxes/ ) [3] R. The author claims that certain contingent future tense statements cannot come true. • Chow. "The surprise examination or unexpected hanging paradox. (1969). The Unexpected Hanging and Other * Mathematical Diversions. W. (1998). P. "Une analyse dichotomique du paradoxe de l'examen surprise". and a proposed solution to it. "The Paradox of the Unexpected Hanging".

then Z must be true. as a sequence. then Z must be true. Ultimately. and that he would hold that if A and B are true. he still refuses to accept the expanded argument. Z must be true" The Tortoise continues to accept each hypothetical premise once Achilles writes it down. the tortoise challenges Achilles to use the force of logic to make him accept the conclusion of a simple deductive argument. Z must be true" Therefore Z: "The two sides of this triangle are equal to each other" But now that the Tortoise accepts premise C. if Achilles will write down what he has to accept in his note-book. When Achilles demands that "If you accept A and B and C. Z must be true: "And at last we've got to the end of this ideal race-course! Now that you accept A and B and C and D.) After writing down A. you must accept Z. The Tortoise then asks Achilles whether there might be a reader of Euclid who grants that the argument is logically valid. I accept A and B and C and D. while not yet accepting that A and B are true.What the Tortoise Said to Achilles 118 What the Tortoise Said to Achilles "What the Tortoise Said to Achilles". while denying that A and B are true. the syllogism's conclusion. since each time he denies the hypothetical that if all the premises written down so far are true. then. written by Lewis Carroll in 1895 for the philosophical journal Mind. and then to logically compel him to accept that Z must be true. In Carroll's dialogue. structure or validity. of course you accept Z. B and Z in his notebook. Z must be true" The Tortoise agrees to accept C. (A reader who denies the premises. (The tortoise is a reader who denies the argument itself. in which Achilles could never overtake the tortoise in a race. Achilles asks the Tortoise to accept the hypothetical: • C: "If A and B are true. The title alludes to one of Zeno's paradoxes of motion. and Achilles grants that it obviously does. who accepts that A and B are true. "Let's make that quite clear. because the clever tortoise leads him into an infinite regression. making the new argument: • • • • A: "Things that are equal to the same are equal to each other" B: "The two sides of this triangle are things that are equal to the same" C: "If A and B are true. Achilles accepts that such a reader might exist. is a brief dialogue which playfully problematises the foundations of logic. a weakened form of the transitive property) • B: "The two sides of this triangle are things that are equal to the same" • Therefore Z: "The two sides of this triangle are equal to each other" The Tortoise asks Achilles whether the conclusion logically follows from the premises." the Tortoise remarks that that's another hypothetical proposition." "Do I?" said the Tortoise innocently. The Tortoise. but denies that the conclusion necessarily follows. Summary of the dialogue The discussion begins by considering the following logical argument: • A: "Things that are equal to the same are equal to each other" (Euclidean relation. Suppose I still refused to accept Z?" . but who does not yet accept the principle that if A and B are both true. and suggests even if he accepts C. Achilles fails.) The Tortoise then asks Achilles whether a second kind of reader might exist. he could still fail to conclude Z if he did not see the truth of: • D: "If A and B and C are true. Achilles grants the Tortoise that this second kind of reader might also exist. asks Achilles to treat him as a reader of this second kind.

" said the Tortoise. (1) P --> Q (2) P --------------Therefore. of course I needn't grant Z. And. no proposition or variable carries with it any semantic content.. These logicians use the phrase not p or q for the conditional connective and the term implies for the implication relation. per se. system. if the solution is to be said to work. In most fields of mathematics. because it is so. then we are to simply follow the rules without question. if we introduce a formal system where Modus Ponens is simply an axiom/rule. Hence. So it's quite a necessary step." said Achilles. you see?" "I see. etc. and there was a touch of sadness in his tone. Some explain the difference by saying that the conditional is the contemplated relation while the implication is the asserted relation. Some logicians (Kenneth Ross. if we are engaging in a formal system of logic. As players of the chess game. Though.. 'You can't help yourself. you see. So. we are to fall into infinite regress. the moment you add to any proposition or variable semantic content. Now that you've accepted A and B and C and D. introducing the formal system of logic stops the infinite regression--that is. you must accept Z!' So you've no choice. if the causal chain is to continue. Explanation Lewis Carroll was showing that there's a regress problem that arises from modus ponens deductions." "Whatever Logic is good enough to tell me is worth writing down. the problem arises again. For example. leaving the argument always in the form: • • • • • • • (1): "Things that are equal to the same are equal to each other" (2): "The two sides of this triangle are things that are equal to the same" (3): (1) and (2) ⇒ (Z) (4): (1) and (2) and (3) ⇒ (Z) … (n): (1) and (2) and (3) and (4) and . in order to explain the logical principle. within the system. Thus. once we explain 'that' principle. Charles Wright) draw a firm distinction between the conditional connective (the syntactic sign " "). because. Thus. Thus. then it is to be said to work solely within the given formal system. because. Z must be true. The regress problem arises. "Logic would tell you. then we are to abide by it simply. it does also state that there's problems with this as well. However. Likewise. Until I've granted that. and the rules simply go without question. We will call it (E) If A and B and C and D are true. and not otherwise. then we have to introduce another principle to explain that principle. of the given game. Q. please. there is some further premise (that if all of (1)–(n) are true. then (Z) must be true) that he still needs to accept before he is compelled to accept that (Z) is true. the list of premises continues to grow without end. and force you to do it!" Achilles triumphantly replied. and the implication relation (the formal object denoted by the double arrow symbol " "). because the propositions and variables WITH semantic content run outside the system.What the Tortoise Said to Achilles "Then Logic would take you by the throat. "So enter it in your note-book. we are to simply follow the rules. the Tortoise argues that even though he accepts all the premises that have been written down. because the regress would stop at the axioms or rules. it is treated as a variation in the usage of the single sign " . in a chess game there are particular rules. and (n − 1) ⇒ (Z) Therefore (Z): "The two sides of this triangle are equal to each other" 119 At each step. we have to then propose a prior principle.

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", not requiring two separate signs. Not all of those who use the sign " " for the conditional connective regard it as a sign that denotes any kind of object, but treat it as a so-called syncategorematic sign, that is, a sign with a purely syntactic function. For the sake of clarity and simplicity in the present introduction, it is convenient to use the two-sign notation, but allow the sign " " to denote the boolean function that is associated with the truth table of the material conditional. These considerations result in the following scheme of notation.

The paradox ceases to exist the moment we replace informal logic with propositional logic. The Turtle and Achilles don't agree on any definition of logical implication. In propositional logic the logical implication is defined as follows: P Q if and only if the proposition P Q is a tautology

hence de modus ponens [P (P Q)] Q, is a valid logical implication according to the definition of logical implication just stated. There is no need to recurse since the logical implication can be translated into symbols, and propositional operators such as . Demonstrating the logical implication simply translates into verifying that the compound truth table is producing a tautology.

Discussion

Several philosophers have tried to resolve the Carroll paradox. Bertrand Russell discussed the paradox briefly in § 38 of The Principles of Mathematics [1] (1903), distinguishing between implication (associated with the form "if p, then q"), which he held to be a relation between unasserted propositions, and inference (associated with the form "p, therefore q"), which he held to be a relation between asserted propositions; having made this distinction, Russell could deny that the Tortoise's attempt to treat inferring Z from A and B is equivalent to, or dependent on, agreeing to the hypothetical "If A and B are true, then Z is true." The Wittgensteinian philosopher Peter Winch discussed the paradox in The Idea of a Social Science and its Relation to Philosophy (1958), where he argued that the paradox showed that "the actual process of drawing an inference, which is after all at the heart of logic, is something which cannot be represented as a logical formula … Learning to infer is not just a matter of being taught about explicit logical relations between propositions; it is learning to do something" (p. 57). Winch goes on to suggest that the moral of the dialogue is a particular case of a general lesson, to the effect that the proper application of rules governing a form of human activity cannot itself be summed up with a set of further rules, and so that "a form of human activity can never be summed up in a set of explicit precepts" (p. 53).

**Where to find the article
**

• Carroll, Lewis. "What the Tortoise Said to Achilles". Mind, n.s., 4 (1895), pp. 278–80. • Hofstadter, Douglas. Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid. See the second dialogue, entitled "Two-Part Invention." Dr. Hofstadter appropriated the characters of Achilles and the Tortoise for other, original, dialogues in the book which alternate contrapuntally with prose chapters. • A number of websites, including "What the Tortoise Said to Achilles" [2] at the Lewis Carroll Society of North America [3], "What the Tortoise Said to Achilles" [4] at Digital Text International [5], and "What the Tortoise Said to Achilles" [6] at Fair Use Repository [7].

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References

• Isashiki Takahiro (1999). What Can We Learn from Lewis Carroll's Paradox? [8]. In Memoirs of the Faculty of Education, Miyazaki University: Humanities, no. 86, pp. 79–98. The paper is in Japanese only, except for the abstract. A slightly extended version of the English-language abstract is available from [9]. Another author provides a more extended summary at [10] (currently down, and unavailable from archive.org).

References

[1] http:/ / fair-use. org/ bertrand-russell/ the-principles-of-mathematics/ s. 38 [2] http:/ / www. lewiscarroll. org/ achilles. html [3] http:/ / www. lewiscarroll. org [4] http:/ / www. ditext. com/ carroll/ tortoise. html [5] http:/ / www. ditext. com/ [6] http:/ / fair-use. org/ mind/ 1895/ 04/ what-the-tortoise-said-to-achilles [7] http:/ / fair-use. org [8] http:/ / www. miyazaki-u. ac. jp/ ~e02702u/ papers/ carroll_all. html [9] http:/ / www. miyazaki-u. ac. jp/ ~e02702u/ papers/ eng_carroll. html [10] http:/ / homepage2. nifty. com/ Workshop-Alice/ click/ m-t. html

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Mathematics

Accuracy paradox

The accuracy paradox for predictive analytics states that predictive models with a given level of accuracy may have greater predictive power than models with higher accuracy. It may be better to avoid the accuracy metric in favor of other metrics such as precision and recall. Accuracy is often the starting point for analyzing the quality of a predictive model, as well as an obvious criterion for prediction. Accuracy measures the ratio of correct predictions to the total number of cases evaluated. It may seem obvious that the ratio of correct predictions to cases should be a key metric. A predictive model may have high accuracy, but be useless. In an example predictive model for an insurance fraud application, all cases that are predicted as high-risk by the model will be investigated. To evaluate the performance of the model, the insurance company has created a sample data set of 10,000 claims. All 10,000 cases in the validation sample have been carefully checked and it is known which cases are fraudulent. To analyze the quality of the model, the insurance uses the table of confusion. The definition of accuracy, the table of confusion for model M1Fraud, and the calculation of accuracy for model M1Fraud is shown below. where TN is the number of true negative cases FP is the number of false positive cases FN is the number of false negative cases TP is the number of true positive cases Formula 1: Definition of Accuracy

Predicted Negative Negative Cases 9,700 Positive Cases 50 Predicted Positive 150 100

Table 1: Table of Confusion for Fraud Model M1Fraud.

Formula 2: Accuracy for model M1Fraud With an accuracy of 98.0% model M1Fraud appears to perform fairly well. The paradox lies in the fact that accuracy can be easily improved to 98.5% by always predicting "no fraud". The table of confusion and the accuracy for this trivial “always predict negative” model M2Fraud and the accuracy of this model are shown below.

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Predicted Negative Negative Cases 9,850 Positive Cases 150

Predicted Positive 0 0

Table 2: Table of Confusion for Fraud Model M2Fraud.

Formula 3: Accuracy for model M2Fraud Model M2Fraudreduces the rate of inaccurate predictions from 2% to 1.5%. This is an apparent improvement of 25%. The new model M2Fraud shows fewer incorrect predictions and markedly improved accuracy, as compared to the original model M1Fraud, but is obviously useless. The alternative model M2Fraud does not offer any value to the company for preventing fraud. The less accurate model is more useful than the more accurate model. Model improvements should not be measured in terms of accuracy gains. It may be going too far to say that accuracy is irrelevant, but caution is advised when using accuracy in the evaluation of predictive models.

Bibliography

• Zhu, Xingquan (2007), Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining: Challenges and Realities [1], IGI Global, pp. 118–119, ISBN 978-1-59904-252-7 • doi:10.1117/12.785623 • pp 86-87 of this Master's thesis [2]

References

[1] http:/ / books. google. com/ ?id=zdJQAAAAMAAJ& q=data+ mining+ challenges+ and+ realities& dq=data+ mining+ challenges+ and+ realities [2] http:/ / www. utwente. nl/ ewi/ trese/ graduation_projects/ 2009/ Abma. pdf

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Apportionment paradox

An apportionment paradox exists when the rules for apportionment in a political system produce results which are unexpected or seem to violate common sense. To apportion is to divide into parts according to some rule, the rule typically being one of proportion. Certain quantities, like milk, can be divided in any proportion whatsoever; others, such as horses, cannot—only whole numbers will do. In the latter case, there is an inherent tension between our desire to obey the rule of proportion as closely as possible and the constraint restricting the size of each portion to discrete values. This results, at times, in unintuitive observations, or paradoxes. Several paradoxes related to apportionment, also called fair division, have been identified. In some cases, simple adjustments to an apportionment methodology can resolve observed paradoxes. Others, such as those relating to the United States House of Representatives, call into question notions that mathematics alone can provide a single, fair resolution.

History

The Alabama paradox was discovered in 1880, when it was found that increasing the total number of seats would decrease Alabama's share from 8 to 7. There was more to come: when Oklahoma became a state in 1907, a recomputation of apportionment showed that the number of seats due to other states would be affected even though Oklahoma would be given a fair share of seats and the total number of seats increased by that number. The method for apportionment used during this period, originally put forth by Alexander Hamilton but not adopted until 1852, was as follows (after meeting the requirements of the United States Constitution, wherein each state must be allocated at least one seat in the House of Representatives, regardless of population): • First, the fair share of each state, i.e. the proportional share of seats that each state would get if fractional values were allowed, is computed. • Next, the fair shares are rounded down to whole numbers, resulting in unallocated "leftover" seats. These seats are allocated, one each, to the states whose fair share exceeds the rounded-down number by the highest amount.

Impossibility result

In 1982 two mathematicians, Michel Balinski and Peyton Young, proved that any method of apportionment will result in paradoxes whenever there are three or more parties (or states, regions, etc.).[1] [2] More precisely, their theorem states that there is no apportionment system that has the following properties (as the example we take the division of seats between parties in a system of proportional representation): • It follows the quota rule: Each of the parties gets one of the two numbers closest to its fair share of seats (if the party's fair share is 7.34 seats, it gets either 7 or 8). • It does not have the Alabama paradox: If the total number of seats is increased, no party's number of seats decreases. • It does not have the population paradox: If party A gets more votes and party B gets fewer votes, no seat will be transferred from A to B.

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Examples of paradoxes

Alabama paradox

The Alabama paradox was the first of the apportionment paradoxes to be discovered. The US House of Representatives is constitutionally required to allocate seats based on population counts, which are required every 10 years. The size of the House is set by statute. After the 1880 census, C. W. Seaton, chief clerk of the United States Census Bureau, computed apportionments for all House sizes between 275 and 350, and discovered that Alabama would get 8 seats with a House size of 299 but only 7 with a House size of 300. In general the term Alabama paradox refers to any apportionment scenario where increasing the total number of items would decrease one of the shares. A similar exercise by the Census Bureau after the 1900 census computed apportionments for all House sizes between 350 and 400: Colorado would have received three seats in all cases, except with a House size of 357 in which case it would have received two.[3] The following is a simplified example (following the largest remainder method) with three states and 10 seats and 11 seats.

With 10 seats State A B C Population 6 6 2 Fair share 4.286 4.286 1.429 Seats 4 4 2 With 11 seats Fair share 4.714 4.714 1.571 Seats 5 5 1

Observe that state C's share decreases from 2 to 1 with the added seat. This occurs because increasing the number of seats increases the fair share faster for the large states than for the small states. In particular, large A and B had their fair share increase faster than small C. Therefore, the fractional parts for A and B increased faster than those for C. In fact, they overtook C's fraction, causing C to lose its seat, since the Hamilton method examines which states have the largest fraction.

**New states paradox
**

Given a fixed number of total representatives (as determined by the United States House of Representatives), adding a new state would in theory reduce the number of representatives for existing states, as under the United States Constitution each state is entitled to at least one representative regardless of its population. However, because of how the particular apportionment rules deal with rounding methods, it is possible for an existing state to get more representatives than if the new state were not added.

Population paradox

The population paradox is a counterintuitive result of some procedures for apportionment. When two states have populations increasing at different rates, a small state with rapid growth can lose a legislative seat to a big state with slower growth. The paradox arises because of rounding in the procedure for dividing the seats. See the apportionment rules for the United States Congress for an example.

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External links

• The Constitution and Paradoxes [4] • Alabama Paradox [5] • New States Paradox [6] • Population Paradox [7] • Apportionment: Balinski and Young's Contribution [8]

References

[1] Balinski, Michel; H. Peyton Young (1982). Fair Representation: Meeting the Ideal of One Man, One Vote. Yale Univ Pr. ISBN 0300027249. [2] Balinski, Michel; H. Peyton Young (2001). Fair Representation: Meeting the Ideal of One Man, One Vote (2nd ed.). Brookings Institution Press. ISBN 081570111X. [3] Cut-the-knot: The Constitution and Paradoxes (http:/ / www. cut-the-knot. org/ ctk/ Democracy. shtml) [4] http:/ / www. cut-the-knot. org/ ctk/ Democracy. shtml [5] http:/ / www. cut-the-knot. org/ ctk/ Democracy. shtml#alabama [6] http:/ / www. cut-the-knot. org/ ctk/ Democracy. shtml#new-states [7] http:/ / www. cut-the-knot. org/ ctk/ Democracy. shtml#population [8] http:/ / www. ams. org/ featurecolumn/ archive/ apportionII3. html

Banach–Tarski paradox

The Banach–Tarski paradox is a theorem in set theoretic geometry which states that a solid ball in 3-dimensional space can be split into a finite number of non-overlapping Can a ball be decomposed into a finite number of point sets and reassembled into two pieces, which can then be put back balls identical to the original? together in a different way to yield two identical copies of the original ball. The reassembly process involves only moving the pieces around and rotating them, without changing their shape. However, the pieces themselves are complicated: they are not usual solids but infinite scatterings of points. A stronger form of the theorem implies that given any two "reasonable" solid objects (such as a small ball and a huge ball) — solid in the sense of the continuum — either one can be reassembled into the other. This is often stated colloquially as "a pea can be chopped up and reassembled into the Sun". The reason the Banach–Tarski theorem is called a paradox is that it contradicts basic geometric intuition. "Doubling the ball" by dividing it into parts and moving them around by rotations and translations, without any stretching, bending, or adding new points, seems to be impossible, since all these operations preserve the volume, but the volume is doubled in the end. Unlike most theorems in geometry, this result depends in a critical way on the axiom of choice in set theory. This axiom allows for the construction of nonmeasurable sets, collections of points that do not have a volume in the ordinary sense and require an uncountably infinite number of arbitrary choices to specify. Robert Solovay showed that the axiom of choice, or a weaker variant of it, is necessary for the construction of nonmeasurable sets by constructing a model of ZF set theory (without choice) in which every geometric subset has a well-defined Lebesgue measure. On the other hand, Solovay's construction relies on the assumption that an inaccessible cardinal exists (which itself cannot be proven from ZF set theory); Saharon Shelah later showed that this assumption is necessary. The existence of nonmeasurable sets, such as those in the Banach–Tarski paradox, has been used as an argument against the axiom of choice. Nevertheless, most mathematicians are willing to tolerate the existence of

BanachTarski paradox nonmeasurable sets, given that the axiom of choice has many other mathematically useful consequences.[1] It was shown in 2005 that the pieces in the decomposition can be chosen in such a way that they can be moved continuously into place without running into one another.[2]

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**Banach and Tarski publication
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In a paper published in 1924,[3] Stefan Banach and Alfred Tarski gave a construction of such a "paradoxical decomposition", based on earlier work by Giuseppe Vitali concerning the unit interval and on the paradoxical decompositions of the sphere by Felix Hausdorff, and discussed a number of related questions concerning decompositions of subsets of Euclidean spaces in various dimensions. They proved the following more general statement, the strong form of the Banach–Tarski paradox: Given any two bounded subsets A and B of a Euclidean space in at least three dimensions, both of which have a non-empty interior, there are partitions of A and B into a finite number of disjoint subsets, A = A1 ∪ ... ∪ Ak, B = B1 ∪ ... ∪ Bk, such that for each i between 1 and k, the sets Ai and Bi are congruent. Now let A be the original ball and B be the union of two translated copies of the original ball. Then the proposition means that you can divide the original ball A into a certain number of pieces and then rotate and translate these pieces in such a way that the result is the whole set B, which contains two copies of A. The strong form of the Banach–Tarski paradox is false in dimensions one and two, but Banach and Tarski showed that an analogous statement remains true if countably many subsets are allowed. The difference between the dimensions 1 and 2 on the one hand, and three and higher, on the other hand, is due to the richer structure of the group Gn of the Euclidean motions in the higher dimensions, which is solvable for n =1, 2 and contains a free group with two generators for n ≥ 3. John von Neumann studied the properties of the group of equivalences that make a paradoxical decomposition possible, identifying the class of amenable groups, for which no paradoxical decompositions exist. He also found a form of the paradox in the plane which uses area-preserving affine transformations in place of the usual congruences.

Formal treatment

The Banach–Tarski paradox states that a ball in the ordinary Euclidean space can be doubled using only the operations of partitioning into subsets, replacing a set with a congruent set, and reassembly. Its mathematical structure is greatly elucidated by emphasizing the role played by the group of Euclidean motions and introducing the notions of equidecomposable sets and paradoxical set. Suppose that G is a group acting on a set X. In the most important special case, X is an n-dimensional Euclidean space, and G consists of all isometries of X, i.e. the transformations of X into itself that preserve the distances. Two geometric figures that can be transformed into each other are called congruent, and this terminology will be extended to the general G-action. Two subsets A and B of X are called G-equidecomposable, or equidecomposable with respect to G, if A and B can be partitioned into the same finite number of respectively G-congruent pieces. It is easy to see that this defines an equivalence relation among all subsets of X. Formally, if

and there are elements g1,...,gk of G such that for each i between 1 and k, gi (Ai ) = Bi , then we will say that A and B are G-equidecomposable using k pieces. If a set E has two disjoint subsets A and B such that A and E, as well as B and E, are G-equidecomposable then E is called paradoxical. Using this terminology, the Banach–Tarski paradox can be reformulated as follows: A three-dimensional Euclidean ball is equidecomposable with two copies of itself.

BanachTarski paradox In fact, there is a sharp result in this case, due to Robinson[4] : doubling the ball can be accomplished with five pieces, and fewer than five pieces will not suffice. The strong version of the paradox claims: Any two bounded subsets of 3-dimensional Euclidean space with non-empty interiors are equidecomposable. While apparently more general, this statement is derived in a simple way from the doubling of a ball by using a generalization of Bernstein–Schroeder theorem due to Banach that implies that if A is equidecomposable with a subset of B and B is equidecomposable with a subset of A, then A and B are equidecomposable. The Banach–Tarski paradox can be put in context by pointing out that for two sets in the strong form of the paradox, there is always a bijective function that can map the points in one shape into the other in a one-to-one fashion. In the language of Georg Cantor's set theory, these two sets have equal cardinality. Thus, if one enlarges the group to allow arbitrary bijections of X then all sets with non-empty interior become congruent. Likewise, we can make one ball into a larger or smaller ball by stretching, in other words, by applying similarity transformations. Hence if the group G is large enough, we may find G-equidecomposable sets whose "size" varies. Moreover, since a countable set can be made into two copies of itself, one might expect that somehow, using countably many pieces could do the trick. On the other hand, in the Banach–Tarski paradox the number of pieces is finite and the allowed equivalences are Euclidean congruences, which preserve the volumes. Yet, somehow, they end up doubling the volume of the ball! While this is certainly surprising, some of the pieces used in the paradoxical decomposition are non-measurable sets, so the notion of volume (more precisely, Lebesgue measure) is not defined for them, and the partitioning cannot be accomplished in a practical way. In fact, the Banach–Tarski paradox demonstrates that it is impossible to find a finitely-additive measure (or a Banach measure) defined on all subsets of a Euclidean space of three (and greater) dimensions that is invariant with respect to Euclidean motions and takes the value one on a unit cube. In his later work, Tarski showed that, conversely, non-existence of paradoxical decompositions of this type implies the existence of a finitely-additive invariant measure. The heart of the proof of the "doubling the ball" form of the paradox presented below is the remarkable fact that by a Euclidean isometry (and renaming of elements), one can divide a certain set (essentially, the surface of a unit sphere) into four parts, then rotate one of them to become itself plus two of the other parts. This follows rather easily from a F2-paradoxical decomposition of F2, the free group with two generators. Banach and Tarski's proof relied on an analogous fact discovered by Hausdorff some years earlier: the surface of a unit sphere in space is a disjoint union of three sets B, C, D and a countable set E such that, on the one hand, B, C, D are pairwise congruent, and, on the other hand, B is congruent with the union of C and D. This is often called the Hausdorff paradox.

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**Connection with earlier work and the role of the axiom of choice
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Banach and Tarski explicitly acknowledge Giuseppe Vitali's 1905 construction of the set bearing his name, Hausdorff's paradox (1914), and an earlier (1923) paper of Banach as the precursors to their work. Vitali's and Hausdorff's constructions depend on Zermelo's axiom of choice ("AC"), which is also crucial to the Banach–Tarski paper, both for proving their paradox and for the proof of another result: Two Euclidean polygons, one of which strictly contains the other, are not equidecomposable. They remark: Le rôle que joue cet axiome dans nos raisonnements nous semble mériter l'attention (The role this axiom plays in our reasoning seems to us to deserve attention) and point out that while the second result fully agrees with our geometric intuition, its proof uses AC in even more substantial way than the proof of the paradox. Thus Banach and Tarski imply that AC should not be rejected simply because it produces a paradoxical decomposition. Indeed, such an argument would also reject some geometrically intuitive statements!

and so gets reduced to abaab−1a. Solovay's results extend to ZF supplemented by a weak form of AC called the axiom of dependent choice.[6] The Hahn–Banach theorem doesn't rely on the full axiom of choice but can be proved using a weaker version of AC called the ultrafilter lemma. . Morse showed that the statement about Euclidean polygons can be proved in ZF set theory and thus does not require the axiom of choice. So Pawlikowski proved that the set theory needed to prove the Banach–Tarski paradox. is weaker than full ZFC. which has nothing to do with the foundational questions. But the Banach–Tarski paradox is more significant for the rest of mathematics because it motivated a fruitful new direction for research. As far as the axiom of choice is concerned. 2. We will call this group F2. For instance: abab−1a−1 concatenated with abab−1a yields abab−1a−1abab−1a. One can check that the set of those strings with this operation forms a group with neutral element the empty string e. Essentially. in 1949 A. BT plays the same role as the existence of non-measurable sets. It follows that Banach–Tarski paradox is not a theorem of ZF. using then-recent results by Matthew Foreman and Friedrich Wehrung. In 1991. Solovay later established. Paul Cohen proved the equiconsistency of the axiom of choice with the rest of set theory. Using Cohen's technique of forcing.P. which implies that ZFC (ZF set theory with the axiom of choice) is consistent if and only if ZF theory without choice is consistent. the Banach–Tarski paradox is more significant for its role in pure mathematics than it is to foundational questions.[5] Janusz Pawlikowski proved that the Banach–Tarski paradox follows from ZF plus the Hahn–Banach theorem. Find a group of rotations in 3-d space isomorphic to the free group in two generators. 3. that in the absence of choice it is consistent to be able to assign a Lebesgue measure to any subset in Rn. Robert M. In 1964. 4. Step 1 The free group with two generators a and b consists of all finite strings that can be formed from the four symbols a. 129 A sketch of the proof Here we sketch a proof which is similar but not identical to that given by Banach and Tarski. As Stan Wagon points out at the end of his monograph. the paradoxical decomposition of the ball is achieved in four steps: 1. We now discuss each of these steps in more detail. Use the paradoxical decomposition of that group and the axiom of choice to produce a paradoxical decomposition of the hollow unit sphere. a−1. nor of ZF+DC (Wagon. Extend this decomposition of the sphere to a decomposition of the solid unit ball. under the assumption that the existence of an inaccessible cardinal is consistent. Most mathematicians currently accept AC. contradicting the Banach–Tarski paradox (BT). which contains the substring a−1a. while stronger than ZF. Two such strings can be concatenated and converted into a string of this type by repeatedly replacing the "forbidden" substrings with the empty string.3). b and b−1 such that no a appears directly next to an a−1 and no b appears directly next to a b−1. DC. Find a paradoxical decomposition of the free group in two generators. Corollary 13.BanachTarski paradox However. amenability of groups.

as well). and because of this. collect these points into a set M. Now (almost) every point in S2 can be reached in exactly one way by applying the proper rotation from H to the proper element from M.) Step 3 The unit sphere S2 is partitioned into orbits by the action of our group H: two points belong to the same orbit if and only if there's a rotation in H which moves the first point into the second. It is somewhat messy but not too difficult to show that these two rotations behave just like the elements a and b in our group . Step 2 In order to find a group of rotations of 3D space that behaves just like (or "isomorphic to") the group . that could be used here instead of arccos(1/3) and arccos(1/3). The new group of rotations generated by A and B will be called H. the paradoxical decomposition of H then yields a paradoxical .g. we take two orthogonal axes. and B be a rotation of arccos(1/3) about the second. the x and z axes.) We can use the axiom of choice to pick exactly one point from every orbit.BanachTarski paradox 130 The group can be "paradoxically decomposed" as follows: let S(a) be the set of all strings that start with a and define S(a−1). e. The sets S(a−1) and aS(a−1) in the Cayley graph of F2 but also and The notation aS(a−1) means take all the strings in S(a−1) and concatenate them on the left with a. leaving the exercise to the reader. We shall skip it. then "reassemble" two pieces to make one copy of and the other two to make another copy of . S(b) and S(b−1) similarly. (Note that the orbit of a point is a dense set in S2. That's exactly what we want to do to the ball. because it is at the core of the proof. and let A be a rotation of arccos(1/3) about the first. Now look at this: we cut our group F2 into four pieces (actually. x axis. Clearly. the resulting group is commutative and doesn't have the property required in step 1. We now also have a paradoxical decomposition of H. then "shift" two of them by multiplying with a or b. z axis (there are many other suitable pairs of irrational multiples of π. we need to put e and all strings of the form an into S(a−1)). If we take two rotations about the same axis. Make sure that you understand this last line. (This step cannot be performed in two dimensions since it involves rotations in three dimensions.

and since H. Then J is countable so there exists an angle θ not in J.1. and for natural m<n. so the Banach–Tarski paradox involves isometries of Euclidean 3-space rather than just SO(3). a factor of 2 to remove fixed points. a ball can be cut into k pieces so that each of them is equidecomposable to a ball of the same size as the original. denote this set of fixed points D. The (majority of the) sphere can be divided into four sets (each one dense on the sphere). which is isomorphic to . Let ρ be the rotation about λ by θ. Let λ be some line through the origin that does not intersect any point in D—this is possible since D is countable. it remains to be shown that the ball minus a point is equidecomposable with the ball. containing the point at the centre of the ball. (Basically. Obtaining infinitely many balls from one Using the Banach–Tarski paradox.BanachTarski paradox decomposition of S2. However. 131 Step 4 Finally. What remains to be shown is the Claim: S2 − D is equidecomposable with S2. it has already been shown that the ball minus a point admits a paradoxical decomposition. i. do this to all orbits except one. By using analytic properties of the . for any integers n ≥ 3 and k ≥ 1. where ~ denotes "is equidecomposable to". such that for some natural number n. we omitted the discussion of points that are fixed by some rotation. For step 4.e. Step 3 proves that S2 − D admits a paradoxical decomposition. since the paradoxical decomposition of relies on shifting certain subsets.) Note that this involves the rotation about a point other than the origin. Move {e} of this last orbit to the center point of the second ball.. N. But in step 1 when moving {e} and all strings of the form an into S(a−1). Using an argument like that used to prove the Claim. connect every point on S2 with a ray to the origin. This brings the total down to 16 + 1 pieces.. is countable. the fact that some points are fixed might cause some trouble. ρn(D) is disjoint from D. One has to be careful about the set of points on the sphere which happen to lie on the axis of some rotation in H. a similar proof yields that the unit sphere Sn−1 can be partitioned into countably infinitely many pieces. i. and 8 for the center point of the second ball. and when two of these are rotated. each of which is equidecomposable (with two pieces) to the Sn−1 using rotations. Proof. fleshed out In Step 3. To streamline the proof. there are countably many points of S2 that are fixed by some rotation in H. the paradoxical decomposition of S2 then yields a paradoxical decomposition of the solid unit ball minus the point at the ball's centre (this center point needs a bit more care. α..B.2. ρn(D) is disjoint from ρm(D). Since any rotation of S2 (other than the null rotation) has exactly two fixed points. it is possible to patch the proof to account for them all (see below).. there are only countably many such points. a countable set of points on the circle can be rotated to give itself plus one more point. Using the fact that the free group of rank 2 admits a free subgroup of countably infinite rank. Then S2 = E ∪ (S2 − E) ~ ρ(E) ∪ (S2 − E) = (E − D) ∪ (S2 − E) = S2 − D. it is possible to obtain k copies of a ball in the Euclidean n-space from one. Let E be the disjoint union of ρn(D) over n = 0. The proof sketched above requires 2×4×2 + 8 = 24 pieces.. we partitioned the sphere into orbits of our group H. and some P in D. and like the point at the centre of the ball. The decomposition of A into C can be done using number of pieces equal to the product of the numbers needed for taking A into B and for taking B into C. see below). one can see that the full circle is equidecomposable with the circle minus the point at the ball's centre. Some details. a factor 2 to recreate fixed points. Let J be the set of angles. then A ~ C. With more algebra one can also decompose fixed orbits into 4 sets as in step 1. r(nα)P is also in D. This gives 5 pieces and is the best possible. We are using the fact that if A ~ B and B ~ C.e. a factor 4 from step 1. where r(nα) is a rotation about λ of nα. we end up with double what we had before. then ρ acts on S2 with no fixed points in D. This sketch glosses over some details. Consider a circle within the ball.

any paradoxical decomposition of a square with respect to this group would be counterintuitive for the same reasons as the Banach–Tarski decomposition of a ball. that is preserved under certain transformations. any two squares in the plane become equivalent even without further subdivision." To explain this a bit more. Applying the Banach–Tarski method. dass [sic] gegenüber allen Abbildungen von A2 invariant wäre. These results then extend to the unit ball deprived of the origin. the question of whether a finitely additive measure exists. In 2010 an article of Vitaly Churkin was published that gives a new proof of the continuous version of the Banach–Tarski paradox. both sets can become subsets of the A points in two new polygons. This makes it plausible that the proof of Banach–Tarski paradox can be imitated in the plane. The points of the plane (other than the origin) can be divided into two dense sets which we may call A and B. As von Neumann notes. This motivates restricting one's attention to the group SA2 of area-preserving affine transformations. the fixed points of the group present difficulties (for example.R). depends on what transformations are allowed. and . the group E(2) of Euclidean motions of the plane is solvable. pieces). The Banach measure of sets in the plane. which implies the existence of a finitely-additive measure on E(2) and R2 which is invariant under translations and rotations. and therefore there is no measure that "works". "Infolgedessen gibt es bereits in der Ebene kein nichtnegatives additives Maß (wo das Einheitsquadrat das Maß 1 hat). Von Neumann then posed the following question: can such a paradoxical decomposition be constructed if one allowed a larger group of equivalences? It is clear that if one permits similarities. one can further prove that the sphere Sn−1 can be partitioned into as many pieces as there are real numbers (that is. the group SA2 contains as a subgroup the special linear group SL(2."[8] "In accordance with this. so that each piece is equidecomposable with two pieces to Sn−1 using rotations.[7] The von Neumann paradox in the Euclidean plane In the Euclidean plane. Since the area is preserved. two figures that are equidecomposable with respect to the group of Euclidean motions are necessarily of the same area. which is a connected analytic Lie group. and he constructed a paradoxical decomposition of the unit square with respect to the enlarged group (in 1929). a paradoxical decomposition of a square or disk of Banach–Tarski type that uses only Euclidean congruences is impossible. as in the third step of the above proof of the Banach–Tarski paradox. The class of groups isolated by von Neumann in the course of study of Banach–Tarski phenomenon turned out to be very important for many areas of mathematics: these are amenable groups. the origin is fixed under all linear transformations). but the two transformed sets cannot have the same measure as before (since they contain only part of the A points). The main difficulty here lies in the fact that the unit square is not invariant under the action of the linear group SL(2.BanachTarski paradox 132 rotation group SO(n). The new polygons have the same area as the old polygon. If the A points of a given polygon are transformed by a certain area-preserving transformation and the B points by another. is not preserved by non-isometric transformations even when they do preserve the area of polygons. which in its turn contains the free group F2 with two generators as a subgroup. Moreover. A conceptual explanation of the distinction between the planar and higher-dimensional cases was given by John von Neumann: unlike the group SO(3) of rotations in three dimensions. the paradox for the square can be strengthened as follows: Any two bounded subsets of the Euclidean plane with non-empty interiors are equidecomposable with respect to the area-preserving affine maps. In fact. therefore. which is invariant with respect to all transformations belonging to A2 [the group of area-preserving affine transformations]. and rules out paradoxical decompositions of non-negligible sets. or groups with an invariant mean. This is why von Neumann used the larger group SA2 including the translations. already in the plane there is no nonnegative additive measure (for which the unit square has a measure of 1).R). which is preserved by translations and rotations. hence one cannot simply transfer a paradoxical decomposition from the group to the square.

confirming that four pieces suffice. Generally speaking. • Kuro5hin. icm.[10] Notes [1] Michael Potter (2004). Question 7. M. Fundamenta Mathematicae 138: 21–22. paradoxical decompositions arise when the group used for equivalences in the definition of equidecomposability is not amenable. "A continuous version of the Hausdorff–Banach–Tarski paradox". • Topoi do not assume the axiom of choices.hmc. pdf). Trevor M. In 2000. This article. • Stromberg. 133 Recent progress • Von Neumann's paper left open the possibility of a paradoxical decomposition of the interior of the unit square with respect to the linear group SL(2. JSTOR 2321514. Miklós Laczkovich proved that such a decomposition exists. v. Algebra and Logic 49 (1): 81–89. [9] Laczkovich. so categorical proofs done on topoi sometimes re-create desired results without the undesired assumption. pl/ ksiazki/ fm/ fm138/ fm13813. Wehrung. V. V. pdf). "Paradoxical sets under SL2(R)". . and B the family of all planar sets with the property that a union of finitely many translates under some elements of SL(2. In 2003 Kenzi Satô constructed such a subgroup. doi:10. "Layman's Guide to the Banach–Tarski Paradox" (http://www. . pdf) (in French). "A continuous version of the Hausdorff–Banach–Tarski paradox". R.2307/2321514. Ann. [7] Churkin. "On the Decomposition of Spheres. Math. • Su. doi:10. Press. Sci. Simon & Schuster..4). ISBN 0199270414. edu. M. Tarski. F. Fundamenta Mathematicae 6: 244–277. settled a question put forth by von Neumann in 1929. [6] Pawlikowski. Fundamenta Mathematica 13: 73–116.1007/s10469-010-9080-y. (2010).kuro5hin. doi:10. [5] Foreman. Fundamenta Mathematicae 138: 13–19. and likewise for the sets in B. Budapest. • Edward Kasner & James Newman (1940) Mathematics and the Imagination. .R)-equidecomposable. "The Banach–Tarski paradox". "Sur la décomposition des ensembles de points en parties respectivement congruentes" (http://matwbn.1007/s10469-010-9080-y. Fundamenta Mathematica 180 (1): 25–34. Fundamenta Mathematicae 6: 244–277.dir/banachtarski. Set Theory and Its Philosophy: a Critical Introduction. (2010). References • Banach. "A locally commutative free group acting on the plane".edu.edu/~su/papers. 42: 141–145. JSTOR 27588401. Alfred (1924). (1929)." Fund.R) contains a punctured neighbourhood of the origin. edu. icm. [2] Wilson.2178/jsl/1122038921. let A be the family of all bounded subsets of the plane with non-empty interior and at a positive distance from the origin. pp 205–7. Karl (March 1979). icm. [10] Satô. Oxford: Oxford Univ.BanachTarski paradox include all finite and all solvable groups. "The Hahn–Banach theorem implies the Banach–Tarski paradox" (http:/ / matwbn.[9] More precisely. pl/ ksiazki/ fm/ fm13/ fm1316.pdf) (PDF). edu. (1991). "The Banach–Tarski Paradox" (http://www. pl/ ksiazki/ fm/ fm138/ fm13812. Math. • Churkin. 34:246–260. (1947). The American Mathematical Monthly (Mathematical Association of America) 86 (3): 151–161. A. "Zur allgemeinen Theorie des Masses" (http:/ / matwbn.pdf) (PDF).icm. Miklós (1999). icm. pdf). • It had been known for a long time that the full plane was paradoxical with respect to SA2. It follows that both families consist of paradoxical sets.. Univ. . Janusz (1991). Eötvös Sect. [3] Banach. A. "Sur la décomposition des ensembles de points en parties respectivement congruentes" (http:/ / matwbn.math. [4] Robinson. Francis E. Algebra and Logic 49 (1): 91–98. Stefan. and that the minimal number of pieces would equal four provided that there exists a locally commutative free subgroup of SA2. [8] On p. Alfred (1924). (September 2005). edu. "The Hahn–Banach theorem implies the existence of a non-Lebesgue measurable set" (http:/ / matwbn. doi:10. pl/ ksiazki/ fm/ fm6/ fm6127. "A continuous movement version of the Banach–Tarski paradox: A solution to De Groot's problem". 85 of Neumann. . Tarski. p. J. Then all sets in the family A are SL(2.R) (Wagon. Stefan. Journal of Symbolic Logic 70 (3): 946–952.pl/ksiazki/fm/fm6/fm6127. 276. Kenzi (2003).. based on an analysis of the Hausdorff paradox.org/story/2003/5/23/ 134430/275).

pdf) (PDF). then they become negatively dependent. Symbolically: if 0 < P(A) < 1 and 0 < P(B) < 1. Explanation The cause is that the conditional probability of event A occurring. (2005).wolfram.html) by David Morgan-Mar provides a non-technical explanation of the paradox. ISBN 0-521-45704-1. i. .C) < P(A|C) where C = A∪B (i.lib. Statement The result is that two independent events become conditionally dependent (negatively dependent) given that at least one of them occurs. it arises when there is an ascertainment bias inherent in a study design. Fundamenta Mathematicae 13: 73–116.net/2339. In words. • Wapner. as in the original description of the problem by Joseph Berkson. It is often described in the fields of medical statistics or biostatistics.K. 134 External links • The Banach-Tarski Paradox (http://demonstrations.BanachTarski paradox • von Neumann. Wellesley.e.e.edu. Leonard M.ec/ get?md5=d18da4c7b2a7109e31d63f28df55dbc1).rus. and P(A|B) = P(A). Stan (1994). because we have excluded cases where neither occur. given that it or B occurs. It includes a step-by-step demonstration of how to create two spheres from one.rus.irregularwebcomic. Mass.icm. "Zur allgemeinen Theorie des Masses" (http://matwbn. Peters. they are independent. It is a complicating factor arising in statistical tests of proportions. Specifically.com/TheBanachTarskiParadox/) by Stan Wagon (Macalester College). Berkson's paradox Berkson's paradox or Berkson's fallacy is a result in conditional probability and statistics which is counter-intuitive for some people.lib. and hence a veridical paradox. ISBN 1-56881-213-2. given two independent events. John (1929). P(A|A∪B) > P(A) conditional probability inflated relative to unconditional One can see this in tabular form as follows: the gray regions are the outcomes where at least one event occurs (and ~A means "not A"). then P(A|B. if you only consider outcomes where at least one occurs. A or B). • Wagon. the Wolfram Demonstrations Project. • Irregular Webcomic! #2339 (http://www.ec/ get?md5=59f223482492f1644b1023fccd4968f1).pl/ksiazki/fm/ fm13/fm1316. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. The Banach–Tarski Paradox (http://gen.: A. The Pea and the Sun: A Mathematical Paradox (http://gen. is inflated: it is higher than the unconditional probability.

http://dx. 47-53. Just over 27% of the stamps on display are rare. so P(A|A∪B) = 50/75 = 2/3 > 1/2 = 50/100 = P(A).org/ 10. J. suppose a collector has 1000 postage stamps. but still only 10% of the pretty stamps on display are rare (and 100% of the 70 not-pretty stamps on display are rare). 1/2. The paper is frequently miscited as Berkson.Berkson's paradox 135 A B ~B A&B ~A ~A & B A & ~B ~A & ~B For instance. than in the overall population. She puts the 370 stamps which are pretty or rare on display. but the unconditional probability within the subset is inflated relative to the unconditional probability in the overall population. not-prettiness strongly indicates rarity in the display. Thus the probability of A is higher in the subset (of outcomes where it or B occurs). within the subset. of which 300 are pretty and 100 are rare. one obtains: A B ~B ~A 25 25 25 25 So in 75 outcomes. Examples A classic illustration involves a retrospective study examining a risk factor for a disease in a statistical sample from a hospital in-patient population. if one has a sample of 100. References • Berkson. 47-53. and both A and B occur independently half the time (So P(A) = P(B) = 1/2). A∪B) = P(A|B) = P(A) P(A|A∪B) > P(A). If a control group is also ascertained from the in-patient population. 2/3. 10% of all her stamps are rare and 10% of her pretty stamps are rare.2307/3002000 . so prettiness tells nothing about rarity. Biometrics Bulletin. Berkson's paradox arises because the conditional probability of A given B within this subset equals the conditional probability in the overall population. he will observe a spurious negative relationship between prettiness and rarity as a result of the selection bias (that is. As another example. the presence of B decreases the conditional probability of A (back to its overall unconditional probability): P(A|B. (1946) "Limitations of the application of fourfold tables to hospital data". with 30 being both pretty and rare. of which 50 have A occurring. a difference in hospital admission rates for the case sample and control sample can result in a spurious association between the disease and the risk factor.doi. hence. J. (1949) Biological Bulletin 2. but not in the total collection). If an observer only considers stamps on display. 2(3). either A or B occurs.

it may seem that the probability that the remaining coin is gold has a probability of 1⁄2. a card is drawn from a hat. a box with one of each. In what Martin Gardner has called the three-card swindle. and the two methods are equivalent if this probability is either 1 or 0 in every case. so the probability the drawer is from box is GG is 2⁄3. was that merely counting cases is not always proper. including the Kolmogorov axioms. so the probability the box is GG is 1⁄2. the probability that the second coin must be gold must also be 2⁄3. Probability 1⁄2: • • • • Originally. one marking placed on each of the two faces of each card. in fact. Box version There are three boxes. published in 1889. Originally. Each drawer contains a coin. There are three boxes: 1. but the dealer makes money in the long run by winning 2⁄3 of the time. one should sum the probabilities that the cases would produce the observed result. It was first posed by Joseph Bertrand in his Calcul des probabilités. Probability 2⁄3: • • • • The problem can be shown to be equivalent to asking the question "What is the probability that I will pick a box with coins of the same colour?" This can be easily shown to be a probability of 2⁄3.Bertrand's box paradox 136 Bertrand's box paradox Bertrand's box paradox is a classic paradox of elementary probability theory. all three boxes were equally likely to be chosen. a random drawer is opened. a box containing two gold coins. or either drawer of box GG. the dealer bets the victim even money that the other side is also red. This condition is true in the second solution method. Warren Weaver introduced a simple way to conduct the experiment on people: the boxes are replaced by cards. because the value of the first coin is independent of the second. and gold and silver coins are replaced by red and black markings. the probability is actually 2⁄3. After choosing a box at random and withdrawing one coin at random. The two remaining possibilities are equally likely. Their solution illustrates some basic principles. The chosen box cannot be box SS So it must be from box GG or GS. a box with two silver coins. and if a red mark is shown. all six coins were equally likely to be chosen. In a 1950 article. one a silver coin on each side (SS). The correct way to solve the problem by treating the boxes as the individual cases is: • Originally. each with one drawer on each of two sides. Bertrand's point in constructing this example. Instead. What is the chance of the coin on the other side being gold? The problem can appear to be a true paradox. A box is chosen at random. So it must come from the G drawer of box GS. and 3. One box has a gold coin on each side (GG). . if that happens to be a gold coin. When the first coin is shown to be gold. but not in the first. or from either drawer of box SS. The chosen coin cannot be from drawer S of box GS. and a gold coin is found inside it. 2. Two problems that are logically equivalent are the Monty Hall problem and the Three Prisoners problem. all three boxes were equally likely to be chosen. and the other a gold coin on one side and a silver coin on the other (GS). These simple but slightly counterintuitive puzzles are used as a standard example in teaching probability theory. The three remaining possibilities are equally likely. The victim is convinced that the bet is fair. because the same solution technique produces two different answers.

and they sum to 1. At first glance it appears that there is a 50/50 chance (i. and • A mixed card that is black on one side and white on the other. since there are two cards it might be: the black and the mixed. However. These probabilities could conceivably be very different. either formally or informally. the card they flipped CANNOT be the "white card" because a black side was turned over). So is the answer for the generic question 'same color on both sides'. An easy explanation is that to name the black sides as x. Card version Suppose there are three cards: • A black card that is black on both sides. one has already selected a card from the hat and it shows a black face. So the probability the chosen box is GG is (P(GG)⁄[P(GG)+P(SS)+P(GS)])=(1⁄[1+0+1/2])=(2⁄3).e. In particular. The statement of the question does not explicitly address these concerns. Also note that saying that the color is black (or the coin is gold) instead of white doesn't matter since it is symmetric: the answer is the same for white. then the probability is divided on the 3 black sides with 1⁄3 each. however. probability 1⁄2) that the other side of the card is black. What are the odds that the other side is also black? The answer is that the other side is black with probability 2⁄3. but also that in the population it was selected from. 137 Alternatively. perhaps the white card is larger than the black card. This forces the probability of drawing each side to be 1⁄6.e. this reasoning fails to exploit all of the information. y and z where x and y are on the same card while z is on the mixed card. or because there are 3 white and 3 black sides and many people forget to eliminate the possibility of the "white card" in this situation (i. or the black side of the mixed card is heavier than the white side. one knows not only that the card on the table has at least one black face. The custom in problems when one literally pulls objects from a hat is to assume that all the drawing probabilities are equal. and so the probability of drawing a given card is 1⁄3. only 1 of the 3 black faces was on the mixed card.Bertrand's box paradox • • • • The probability the GG would produce a gold coin is 1. So regardless of what kind of coin is in the chosen drawer. In a survey of 53 Psychology freshmen taking an introductory probability course. • A white card that is white on both sides. The probability the SS would produce a gold coin is 0. what are the odds that it has the same color on the other side ? Since only one card is mixed and two have the same color on their sides. the probability of drawing the double-white card is 1⁄3. thus the probability that we chose either x or y is the sum of their probabilities thus 2⁄3. one must assign probabilities to the events of drawing each of the six faces of the three cards. . the box has two coins of that type 2⁄3 of the time. In question. only 3 students correctly responded 2⁄3. 35 incorrectly responded 1⁄2. The probability the GS would produce a gold coin is 1⁄2. the chosen box has two coins of the same type 2⁄3 of the time.53 Another presentation of the problem is to say : pick a random card out of the three. However. common intuition suggests a probability of 1 ⁄2 either because there are two cards with black on them that this card could be. Preliminaries To solve the problem. All the cards are placed into a hat and one is pulled at random and placed on a table. and the probability of drawing a different card is 2 ⁄3. The only constraints implied by the Kolmogorov axioms are that the probabilities are all non-negative. The side facing up is black. it is easier to understand that the probability is 2⁄3.

label the faces of the mixed card 3 (black) and 4 (white). one is actually choosing a face at random. one can also use that information in a correct solution. the other side is black. 2. so that the information about which color is shown does not affect the odds that both sides have the same color. given that the white card is not drawn.Label16 Label the faces of the black card 1 and 2. The probability that the other side is black is 2⁄3. is Eliminating the white card Although the incorrect solution reasons that the white card is eliminated. the total probability of drawing the black card is 1⁄3. it can be seen as a bet not on a particular color. betting that the sides match is 2⁄3. Symmetry suggests that the probability is independent of the color chosen. if it is 1 or 2. There are 6 faces. then it's twice as likely that that face belongs to the black card than the mixed card. Labels One solution method is to label the card faces. all equally likely. Modifying the previous method. The chance of choosing one of those 2 faces is 2⁄3. it's about the chance that you drew the all black card. the other side is white. Alternately. for example numbers 1 through 6. (This argument can be formalized. and the probability of drawing the black card is 1⁄2.Bayes the conditional probability of having drawn the black card. a black face is shown with probability 1. The conditional probability of having drawn the black card. If the black card is drawn. given that a black face is showing.) . will always have a chance of 1⁄2. but requires more advanced mathematics than yet discussed. Two of the 3 black faces belong to the same card. but a bet that the sides match. Bayes' theorem Given that the shown face is black. which chooses 2 of the 3 cards. Therefore. The total probability of seeing a black face is 1⁄2. the other face is black if and only if the card is the black card. the probability of seeing a black face is 3⁄4. and if it is 3. The observed black face could be 1. However. because 2 cards match and 1 does not. If you drew a black face. given that a black face is showing. as this holds if and only if the chosen card is black or white. the chance of flipping the card over and finding another black face is also 2⁄3. or 3. Another way of thinking about it is that the problem is not about the chance that the other side is black. and label the faces of the white card 5 and 6. However. of which 3 faces are white and 3 faces are black. By Bayes' theorem. Betting on a particular color regardless of the face shown.Bertrand's box paradox 138 Solutions Intuition Intuition tells one that one is choosing a card at random. is Symmetry The probability (without considering the individual colors) that the hidden color is the same as the displayed color is clearly 2⁄3.

Cognition 11 (2): 109–22. PMID 7198956. Conclusively. "Some instructive problems: Three cards". Ruma (1982). the draw affects neither numerator nor denominator and effectively does not count (this is also true for all times W/W is drawn. 16.Bertrand's box paradox Experiment Using specially constructed cards. 3. Cognition and Chance: The psychology of probabilistic reasoning. and Adverse Defaults [1]. doi:10. Lawrence Erlbaum. the experimenter will probably find the ratio to be near 2⁄3. uchicago. Raymond (2004). • Nickerson. Bar-Hillel and Falk (page 119) 2. • Bar-Hillel. • Howard Margolis. and the numerator being the number of times both sides are "B". this card is simply "disqualified". edu/ About/ publications/ working-papers/ pdf/ wp_05_14. pp. so that card might as well be removed from the set altogether). "Some teasers concerning conditional probabilities". Bar-Hillel and Falk (page 120) advocate using Bayes' Rule. 5. With the card B/W there is always a 50% chance W being on top. p. pdf . the cards B/B and B/W are not of equal chances.1016/0010-0277(82)90021-X. Paradoxes from A to Z. Wason. because in the 50% of the cases B/W is drawn. Ch. By constructing a fraction with the denominator being the number of times "B" is on top. Monty Hall. Falk. thus in 50% of the cases card B/W is drawn. Nickerson (page 158) advocates this solution as "less confusing" than other methods. ISBN 0-8058-4898-3 • Michael Clark. 139 Related problems • • • • Boy or Girl paradox Three Prisoners problem Two envelopes problem Sleeping Beauty problem Notes and references 1. 157–160. Note the logical fact that the B/B card contributes significantly more (in fact twice) to the number of times "B" is on top. References [1] http:/ / harrisschool. the choice can be tested a number of times. Maya.

all apparently valid. Observe that if the other chord endpoint lies on the arc between the endpoints of the triangle side opposite the first point. The chord is longer than a side of the triangle if the chosen point is nearer the center of the circle than the point where the side of the triangle intersects the radius. red = longer than triangle side. selection method 2 . blue = shorter The "random radius" method: Choose a radius of the circle. Joseph Bertrand introduced it in his work Calcul des probabilités (1888) as an example to show that probabilities may not be well defined if the mechanism or method that produces the random variable is not clearly defined. therefore the probability a random chord is longer than a side of the inscribed triangle is one half. choose a point on the radius and construct the chord through this point and perpendicular to the radius. Suppose a chord of the circle is chosen at random. the chord is longer than a side of the triangle.Bertrand paradox 140 Bertrand paradox The Bertrand paradox is a problem within the classical interpretation of probability theory. What is the probability that the chord is longer than a side of the triangle? Bertrand gave three arguments. therefore the probability that a random chord is longer than a side of the inscribed triangle is one third. The side of the triangle bisects the radius. Bertrand's formulation of the problem The Bertrand paradox goes as follows: Consider an equilateral triangle inscribed in a circle. The "random endpoints" method: Choose two random points on the circumference of the circle and draw the chord joining them. To calculate the probability in question imagine the triangle rotated so a side is perpendicular to the radius. To calculate the probability in question imagine the triangle rotated so its vertex coincides with one of the chord endpoints. Random chords. yet yielding different results. The length of the arc is one third of the circumference of the circle. selection method 1. Random chords.

many of which will yield a different proportion of chords which are longer than a side of the inscribed triangle. method 3 Chords chosen at random. selection method 3 Midpoints of chords chosen at random.Bertrand paradox 141 The "random midpoint" method: Choose a point anywhere within the circle and construct a chord with the chosen point as its midpoint. . method 2 Chords chosen at random. On the other hand. Each of the three selection methods presented above yields a different distribution of midpoints. The chord is longer than a side of the inscribed triangle if the chosen point falls within a concentric circle of radius 1/2 the radius of the larger circle. method 1 Midpoints of chords chosen at random. therefore the probability a random chord is longer than a side of the inscribed triangle is one fourth. The area of the smaller circle is one fourth the area of the larger circle. method 2 Midpoints of chords chosen at random. method 3 Other distributions can easily be imagined. Random chords. the chords of method 2 give the circle a homogeneously shaded look. if one looks at the images of the chords below. method 1 Chords chosen at random. while method 1 and 3 do not. The selection methods can also be visualized as follows. A chord is uniquely identified by its midpoint. Methods 1 and 2 yield two different nonuniform distributions. while method 3 yields a uniform distribution.

It can be seen very easily that there would be a change for method 3: the chord distribution on the small red circle looks qualitatively different from the distribution on the large circle: The same occurs for method 1. and only if. Jaynes' solution using the "maximum ignorance" principle In his 1973 paper The Well-Posed Problem. Then the distribution of the chords on that smaller circle needs to be the same as on the larger circle. the method of random selection is specified. 1. and argued that therefore any definite and objective solution must be "indifferent" to size and position.Bertrand paradox 142 Classical solution The problem's classical solution thus hinges on the method by which a chord is chosen "at random". method 3 is just scale invariant.g. Jaynes used the integral equations describing the invariances to directly determine the probability distribution.[1] Edwin Jaynes proposed a solution to Bertrand's paradox. The three solutions presented by Bertrand correspond to different selection methods. the probability must not change either. including frequency probability and subjectivist Bayesian probability. though it is harder to see in a graphical representation.. There is no unique selection method. Method 2 is the only one that is both scale invariant and translation invariant. so there cannot be a unique solution. It turns out that if. and in the absence of further information there is no reason to prefer one over another. the integral . If the smaller circle is moved around within the larger circle. Jaynes did not just use invariances to accept or reject given methods: this would leave the possibility that there is another not yet described method that would meet his common-sense criteria. Jaynes pointed out that Bertrand's problem does not specify the position or size of the circle. method 1 is neither. In other words: the solution must be both scale invariant and translation invariant. To illustrate: assume that chords are laid at random onto a circle with a diameter of 2. the problem has a well-defined solution. However. In this problem. based on the principle of "maximum ignorance"—that we should not use any information that is not given in the statement of the problem. This and other paradoxes of the classical interpretation of probability justified more stringent formulations. Now another circle with a smaller diameter (e.1) is laid into the larger circle. for example by throwing straws onto it from far away.

Paradoxes from A to Z.E.[3] [4] Notes [1] Jaynes. one can design other practical experiments that give answers according to the other methods. ISBN 978-0226282534 [3] Tissler. Nevertheless. and it is precisely what was called "method 2" above. in order to arrive at the solution of "method 1". (1973). pdf) (PDF). and let the results of two independent spins mark the endpoints of the chord. wustl. The Second Scientific American Book of Mathematical Puzzles and Diversions. one can affix a spinner to the center of the circle. "Marginalia: more on randomness".2307/3615385 [4] Kac. Martin (1987). Foundations of Physics 3: 477–493. For example. The University of Chicago Press. P. In order to arrive at the solution of "method 3".[2] Several observers have designed experiments in order to obtain the different solutions and verified the results empirically.Bertrand paradox equations indeed have a unique solution. T. pp. E. . "Bertrand's Paradox". The Mathematical Gazette (The Mathematical Association) 68 (443): 15–19. [2] Gardner. the random endpoints method. doi:10. one could cover the circle with molasses and mark the first point that a fly lands on as the midpoint of the chord. Mark (May–June 1984). the random radius method. 143 Physical experiments "Method 2" is the only solution that fulfills the transformation invariants that are present in certain physical systems—such as in statistical mechanics and gas physics— as well as in Jaynes's proposed experiment of throwing straws from a distance onto a small circle. 2002.1007/BF00709116. London: Routledge. edu/ etj/ articles/ well. "The Well-Posed Problem" (http:/ / bayes. doi:10. American Scientist 72 (3): 282–283 References • Michael Clark. (March 1984). 223–226.

. By the pigeonhole principle. (See "Same birthday as you" below for an analysis of this much less surprising alternative problem. February 29).[2] the probability of a given birthday for a person chosen from the entire population at random is 1/365 (ignoring Leap Day. which uses this probabilistic model to reduce the complexity of cracking a hash function. in a set of n randomly chosen people. Presuming all birthdays are equally probable. However. a list of 23 people. These conclusions are based on the assumption that each day of the year (except February 29) is equally probable for a birthday. and so on. but comparing every person to all of the others allows 253 distinct chances (combinations): in a group of 23 people there are pairs..) A graph showing the approximate probability of at least two people sharing a birthday amongst a certain number of people. Although the pairings in a group of 23 people are not statistically equivalent to 253 pairs chosen independently. the probability reaches 100% when the number of people reaches 367. Hence 22+21+20+. the birthday paradox becomes less surprising if a group is thought of in terms of the number of possible pairs.Birthday problem 144 Birthday problem In probability theory. and 50% probability with 23 people. The mathematics behind this problem led to a well-known cryptographic attack called the birthday attack.+1 = 253). some pair of them will have the same birthday.. comparing the birthday of the first person on the list to the others allows 22 chances for a matching birthday (The second person on the list to the others allows 21 chances for a matching birthday. 99% probability is reached with just 57 people. the birthday problem or birthday paradox[1] pertains to the probability that. third person has 20 chances.. In the example given earlier. rather than as the number of individuals. Understanding the problem The birthday problem asks whether any of the people in a given group has a birthday matching any of the others — not one in particular.

and assume that the 365 possible birthdays are equally likely.. that Person 2 has a different birthday than Person 1 is 364/365. P(A) = 1 − 0. P(2).[3] If P(A) is the probability of at least two people in the room having the same birthday. the probability of all of the events occurring is equal to a product of the probabilities of each of the events occurring..49270276 = 0. When n ≤ 365: where ' ! ' is the factorial operator. the probability of there not being any two people having the same birthday. if Person 2 was born on any of the other 364 days of the year.49270276 Therefore. . if Person 3 is born on any of the 363 days of the year other than the birthdays of Persons 1 and 2. × P(23).. The 23 independent events correspond to the 23 people. Therefore.507297 (50. Person 3 will not share their birthday. For Event 2. When events are independent of each other. it may be simpler to calculate P(A'). × 343/365 The terms of equation (1) can be collected to arrive at: (2) P(A') = (1/365)23 × (365 × 364 × 363 × . P(A') is equal to the product of these individual probabilities: (1) P(A') = 365/365 × 364/365 × 363/365 × 362/365 × . because P(A) and P(A') are the only two possibilities and are also mutually exclusive. if P(A') can be described as 23 independent events. P(23). there are no previously analyzed people.. × 343) Evaluating equation (2) gives P(A') = 0. the following calculation of P(A) will use 23 people as an example. P(A') could be calculated as P(1) × P(2) × P(3) × . Persons 1 and 2 will not share the same birthday. Therefore. such as leap years. For Event 1. For simplicity. Ignoring leap years for this analysis. the probability. twins. Similarly. for reasons that will become clear below. In deference to widely published solutions concluding that 23 is the number of people necessary to have a P(A) that is greater than 50%. the only previously analyzed people are Person 1. Real-life birthday distributions are not uniform since not all dates are equally likely. p(n) is zero when n > 365. where p(n) is the probability of at least two of the n people sharing a birthday. P(1). According to the pigeonhole principle.Birthday problem 145 Calculating the probability The problem is to compute the approximate probability that in a room of n people. is 343/365. This makes the probability P(3) = 363/365. P(A') = 1 − P(A). at least two have the same birthday.. whose probability of not sharing their birthday with people analyzed before. the probability. It is easier to first calculate the probability p(n) that all n birthdays are different. the probability of 1 can also be written as 365/365.. This analysis continues until Person 23 is reached.7297%) This process can be generalized to a group of n people. or 100%. that person number 1 does not share his/her birthday with previously analyzed people is 1. disregard variations in the distribution. Each event can be defined as the corresponding person not sharing their birthday with any of the previously analyzed people. Assuming that birthdays are equally likely to happen on each of the 365 days of the year. This is because. and can be defined in order. seasonal or weekday variations. Then.

7% 70. as described above): The approximate probability that no two people share a birthday in a group of n people. The event of at least two of the n persons having the same birthday is complementary to all n birthdays being different.0% 99.7%). n 10 20 23 30 50 57 11. Note that the vertical scale is logarithmic (each step down is 1020 times less likely).0% p(n) 100 99. its probability p(n) is 146 This probability surpasses 1/2 for n = 23 (with value about 50.9999999999999999999999999998% 300 (100 − (6×10−80))% 350 (100 − (3×10−129))% 366 100% . Therefore. The following table shows the probability for some other values of n (this table ignores the existence of leap years. a second person cannot have the same birthday as the first (364/365). and in general the nth birthday cannot be the same as any of the n − 1 preceding birthdays.6% 97.Birthday problem The equation expresses the fact that for no persons to share a birthday.99997% 200 99. the third cannot have the same birthday as the first two (363/365).1% 50.7% 41.

2)=n(n-1)/2 pairs of people. as the graph illustrates. is still fairly accurate. approximately) provides a first-order approximation for ex for x << 1: A graph showing the accuracy of the approximation The first expression derived for p(n) can be approximated as Therefore.Birthday problem 147 Approximations The Taylor series expansion of the exponential function (the constant e = 2. there are C(n. i. An even coarser approximation is given by which. The probability of no two people sharing the same birthday can be approximated by assuming that these events are independent and hence by multiplying their probability together. then the probability of someone sharing a birthday is .718281828.e. A simple exponentiation The probability of any two people not having the same birthday is 364/365. which gives us And if this is the probability of no one having the same birthday. C(n. In short 364/365 can be multiplied by itself C(n. 2) times. 2) events. In a room containing n people.

6 × 1013 4.1 × 108 3.8 × 1037 8. (Using the birthday analogy: the "hash space size"(row) would be "365 days".6 × 1010 4. 128 bits.9 93 2.6 × 1016 4.8 × 1076 2.8 × 1057 8.9 × 102 6.2 × 1011 1.5 × 1034 2.8 × 1056 5.1 × 105 32 64 128 1.8 × 1029 8.9 × 1056 1. Approximation of number of people This can also be approximated using the following formula for the number of people necessary to have at least a 50% chance of matching: This is a result of the good approximation that an event with 1 in k probability will have a 50% chance of occurring at least once if it is repeated k ln 2 times.8 × 1032 8. the "probability of collision"(column) would be "50%".5 × 1031 2.2 × 1069 2.8 × 1050 5.[4] Probability table length of hex string 8 16 32 #bits Number of hashed elements such that (probability of at least one hash collision) = p hash space size p= p = 1% p = 25% p = 50% p = 75% p = 10−18 p = 10−15 p = 10−12 p = 10−9 p = 10−6 (2#bits) 0. this is over 50%.3 × 10154 128 512 The white squares in this table show the number of hashes needed to achieve the given probability of collision (column) given a hashspace of a certain size in bits (row).2 × 1019 4.3 × 1017 1.9 × 105 6.8 × 1035 8.0 × 1038 7. 10−18 to 10−15 is the uncorrectable bit error rate of a typical hard disk [5]. In theory. . and the "required number of people" would be "26"(row-col intersection).4 × 1019 2.2 × 1077 (96) (384) (3.2 × 109 8.Birthday problem 148 Poisson approximation Using the Poisson approximation for the binomial.9 × 108 6.2 × 1014 1. For comparison.8 × 1019 3.3 × 109 1.7 × 104 1. MD5.1 2.6 × 1074 8.9 × 10115) 1.4 × 1038 2 6.2 × 1072 2.6 × 1018 4.6 × 1071 8.) One could of course also use this chart to determine the minimum hash size required (given upper bounds on the hashes and probability of error).2 × 1075 2.3 × 109 5.1 × 1019 5.9 × 1051 1. or the probability of collision (for fixed number of hashes and probability of error).1 × 109 7.8 × 1053 5.9 × 1054 1. should stay within that range until about 820 billion documents.7 × 1038 1.6 × 1038 4.1% 4.3 × 103 5.5 × 1037 2.9 × 1077 64 256 1.0 × 104 7. Again.0 × 1058 1.6 × 1068 2 2 2.1 × 103 1. even if its possible outputs are many more.4 × 1057 1.6 × 1076 1.1 × 106 1.9 × 1048 1.9 × 103 9.4 × 1077 3.

n = 22 could also work.) The generic results can be derived using the same arguments given above. what is the probability p(n. or equivalently. Using the inequality 1 − x < e−x in the above expression we replace 1 − k/365 with e−k/365. Conversely. but also an upper bound of p(n). Generalizations Cast as a collision problem The birthday problem can be generalized as follows: given n random integers drawn from a discrete uniform distribution with range [1. the value of n2 − n attained when n = 23. inevitable. say. the probability that no two birthdays coincide is As in earlier paragraphs. it leaves open the possibility that. Therefore. the expression above is not only an approximation. if n(p. Mathis cited above. which is barely below 506. Solving n2 − n = 2 · 365 · ln 2 for n gives.Birthday problem 149 An upper bound The argument below is adapted from an argument of Paul Halmos. . by the way.d]. This derivation only shows that at most 23 people are needed to ensure a birthday match with even chance. 23 people suffice. This yields Therefore. 730 ln 2 is approximately 505. The inequality implies p(n) < 1/2. interest lies in the smallest n such that p(n) > 1/2.d) denotes the number of random integers drawn from [1. for all practical purposes. the approximate formula of Frank H. but rather only 2N/2. then The birthday problem in this more generic sense applies to hash functions: the expected number of N-bit hashes that can be generated before getting a collision is not 2N. Solving for n gives Now.[6] As stated above. This is exploited by birthday attacks on cryptographic hash functions and is the reason why a small number of collisions in a hash table are.d) that at least two numbers are the same? (d=365 gives the usual birthday problem. the smallest n such that p(n) < 1/2.d] to obtain a probability p that at least two numbers are the same.997.

32029√365 = 6.79532 35 0.49439 22 0.5 probability value is realized for both a 32-member group of 16 men and 16 women and a 49-member group of 43 women and 6 men. For example.14178√365 = 2.1 0.77002 0.76414 46 0.84460√365 = 16.98081 57 0.2 0.90315 0. and the problem becomes characterizing the probability of a shared birthday between at least one man and one woman.27666 34 0. say.05 0.Birthday problem The theory behind the birthday problem was used by Zoe Schnabel[7] under the name of capture-recapture statistics to estimate the size of fish population in lakes. zero) shared birthdays here is 150 where d = 365 and S2 are Stirling numbers of the second kind.8 0. Taking the above formula for d = 365 we have: Sample calculations p n n↓ p(n↓) 2 0.00820 7 0.76302 12 0.95 2.13607 16 0. This variation of the birthday problem is interesting because there is not a unique solution for the total number of people m + n.81438 2.07434 n↑ p(n↑) 3 0.64625 29 0.99166 Note: some values falling outside the bounds have been colored to show that the approximation is not always exact.01 0.9 0. say m "men" and n "women".11916 0.99862 40 0.16702 13 0.17741√365 = 22.7 0. two women do not count.09462 0.50730 1.3 0.04046 8 0.89123 41 0.19441 0. or • Find the smallest n for which the probability p(n) is greater than the given p. Generalization to multiple types The basic problem considers all trials to be of one "type".70632 1.47570 23 0.14597√365 = 40.94825 47 0.45904√365 = 8.[8] In the simplest extension there are just two types.79412√365 = 34. (Shared birthdays between.) The probability of no (i. Consequently.44775√365 = 46.70864 0.68097 30 0.28360 17 0.05624 9 0. the usual 0. The birthday problem has been generalized to consider an arbitrary number of types.5 0.e.03485√365 = 57.55176√365 = 29. Other birthday problems Reverse problem For a fixed probability p: • Find the greatest n for which the probability p(n) is smaller than the given p. .99 3.00274 6 0.31501 1. the desired probability is 1 − p0.66805√365 = 12.99012 58 0.95477 0.

Birthday problem 151 First match A related question is. for what n is p(n) − p(n − 1) maximum? The answer is 20—if there's a prize for first match. or a target probability different from 50%. Same birthday as you Note that in the birthday problem. which one is most likely to be the first to have the same birthday as someone already in the room? That is. It is not a coincidence that . you). or within two. which is less than 1 chance in 16. By way of contrast. etc. Note that this number is significantly higher than 365/2 = 182. is given by Comparing p(n) = probability of a birthday match with q(n) = probability of matching your birthday and for general d by In the standard case of d = 365 substituting n = 23 gives about 6. n would need to be at least 253. as people enter a room one at a time. Near matches Another generalization is to ask how many people are needed in order to have a better than 50% chance that two people have a birthday within one day of each other. three. days of each other. The number of people required so that the probability that some pair will have a birthday separated by fewer than k days will be higher than 50% is: . This is a more difficult problem and requires use of the inclusion-exclusion principle. the best position in line is 20th. For a greater than 50% chance that one person in a roomful of n people has the same birthday as you. neither of the two people is chosen in advance.1%..5: the reason is that it is likely that there are some birthday matches among the other people in the room. the probability q(n) that someone in a room of n other people has the same birthday as a particular person (for example. a similar approximate pattern can be found using a number of possibilities different from 365.

Polk and Warren G. the 24th Prime Minister. and Edmund Barton. in which Paul Keating. James K. d] will repeat at least one previous choice equals q(k − 1. the first Prime Minister. it is more likely than not that two of them will have a birthday within a week of each other. the maximum possible number of M + 1 = 366 people is needed. It may be shown[10] [11] that if one samples uniformly. the number of trials required for the first repeated sampling of some individual has expected value .e. one asks the average number of people required to find a pair with the same birthday. where The function has been studied by Srinivasa Ramanujan and has asymptotic expansion: With M = 365 days in a year. The expected total number of times a selection will repeat a previous selection as n such integers are chosen equals Average number of people In an alternative formulation of the birthday problem. share same birthday i. 18 January. only 25 people are required.[9] Collision counting The probability that the kth integer randomly chosen from [1. the 11th and 29th Presidents of the United States. but on average. slightly more than the number required for a 50% chance. the average number of people required to find a pair with the same birthday is . were both born on November 2.Birthday problem 152 k 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 # people required 23 14 11 9 8 8 7 7 Thus in a group of just seven random people. d) above. two people will suffice. An informal demonstration of the problem can be made from the list of Prime Ministers of Australia. from a population of size M. with replacement. In the best case. Harding. The problem is relevant to several hashing algorithms analyzed by Donald Knuth in his book The Art of Computer Programming. . at worst.

in terms of numerical computation. doi:10. each weight is an integer number of grams randomly chosen between one gram and one million grams (one metric ton). what is the number of weights such that it is equally likely for it to be possible to balance them as it is to be impossible? Some people's intuition is that the answer is above 100. OCLC 37699182. wolfram.000.S. Macdonald and Jean Chrétien. the majority of randomly selected combinations of three weights do not. a variant of the knapsack problem from operations research. the answer is very clearly no. se/ statistik/ BE/ BE0101/ 2006A01a/ BE0101_2006A01a_SM_BE12SM0701. "A Generalized Birthday Problem". Some weights are put on a balance scale. The distribution of the sum of weights is approximately Gaussian. The correct answer is approximately 23. although there are some combinations which work.1137/1033051. and the left sum minus the right sum can be thought of as a new random quantity for each partition. with a peak at 1. there are more births per day in some seasons than in others. so that when 2N−1 is approximately equal to the transition occurs. there are two pairs of men who share the same birthday. org/ abs/ cs/ 0701166 [6] In his autobiography. The question is whether one can usually (that is. If there are very many weights. 223−1 is about 4 million. more Americans are born on Mondays and Tuesdays than on weekends. JSTOR 2031144. there are three pairs of actresses who share the same birthday. because hospitals rarely schedule C-sections and induced labor on the weekend. but is called a paradox because the mathematical truth contradicts naïve intuition: most people estimate that the chance of two individuals sharing the same birthday in a group of 23 is much lower than 50%. html). Most people's intuition is that it is in the thousands or tens of thousands. There are 2N−1 different partitions for N weights. The question is. and in the U. com/ astronomy/ LeapDay.000. Frank H.3% in November when a uniform distribution would give 8. Of the 73 male actors to win the Academy Award for Best Actor. The reason is that the correct comparison is to the number of partitions of the weights into left and right. while the width of the distribution is only 5 million. where many of the people share a birth year (e.Birthday problem Sir John A. this creates a tendency toward particular dates. [3] In particular. with probability close to 1) transfer the weights between the left and right arms to balance the scale. how many are just sufficient? That is. scb.000 N and width . but for the purposes of this problem the distribution is treated as uniform. Also. since a denser subset has more possible pairs (in the extreme case when everyone was born on three days. a discrepancy of one gram is allowed. were both born on January 11. ISSN 0036-1445. the 1st and 20th Prime Ministers of Canada.[16] Notes [1] This is not a paradox in the sense of leading to a logical contradiction. (June 1991). there are five pairs of directors who share the same birthday. Bloom (1973) [4] Mathis. [2] In reality. birthdays are not evenly distributed throughout the year. Halmos criticized the form in which the birthday paradox is often presented. the answer is clearly yes. especially the months of August and September (for the northern hemisphere) (http:/ / scienceworld.3% Swedish statistics board (http:/ / www.[14] Of the 52 people to serve as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. A formal proof that the probability of two matching birthdays is least for a uniform distribution of birthdays was given by D. there are six pairs of actors who share the same birthday. SIAM Review (Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics) 33 (2): 265–270. [5] http:/ / arxiv. The birthday problem for such non-constant birthday probabilities was first understood by Murray Klamkin in 1967. In Sweden 9. many children are born in the summer. (In case the sum of all the weights is an odd number of grams.3% of the population is born in March and 7.[13] Of the 61 directors to win the Academy Award for Best Director.[15] 153 Partition problem A related problem is the partition problem.g. He believed that it should be used as an example in the use of more abstract mathematical concepts. there would obviously be many identical birthdays). He wrote: . while others feel it should at least be in the hundreds. pdf) Both of these factors tend to increase the chance of identical birth dates.[12] Of the 67 actresses to win the Academy Award for Best Actress. a class in a school).) If there are only two or three weights. it has been noted that many children are conceived around the holidays of Christmas and New Year's Day.

249–254. Eric W. Abramson and W. Grabner. J. Sorting and Searching (Addison-Wesley. E. Borgs. the inequalities can be obtained in a minute or two. org/ 10.stat. J. Rod Steiger and Adrien Brody (April 14). [7] Z.wolfram. External links • Coincidences: the truth is out there (http://www. Emil Jannings and Philip Seymour Hoffman (July 23).rsscse-edu.php/ SOCR_EduMaterials_Activities_BirthdayExperiment) • Understanding the Birthday Problem (Better Explained) (http://betterexplained.efgh. " Birthday Problem (http://mathworld. 1973) [11] P. Vol. Wendl (2003) Collision Probability Between Sets of Random Variables (http:/ / dx. Moser (1970) More Birthday Surprises. 856–858 • D.net/maple/bd/bd. William Friedkin and Richard Attenborough (August 29) and George Stevens and Steven Spielberg (December 18). Joanne Woodward and Elizabeth Taylor (February 27) and Barbra Streisand and Shirley MacLaine (April 24). H. 1957 • E. [14] They are Norman Taurog and Victor Fleming (February 23). Clay Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations. • M.nestel. birthday paradox (http://www. Abramson and W. J. The birthday problem used to be a splendid illustration of the advantages of pure thought over mechanical manipulation. Robert De Niro and Sean Penn (August 17) and Ben Kingsley and Anthony Hopkins (December 31). O. 3..htm • http://planetmath. C. Flajolet. [9] M.org/encyclopedia/BirthdayProblem.html) • A humorous article explaining the paradox (http://www. 247–288. and be much more subject to error. Schnabel (1938) The Estimation of the Total Fish Population of a Lake. 103–116 [12] They are Spencer Tracy and Gregory Peck (April 5). 348–352. 25–27. What calculators do not yield is understanding.html • Weisstein. O.pdf) Experimental test of the Birthday Paradox and other coincidences • http://www. Kemeny. On Ramanujan's Q-Function. The first edition. doi. [13] They are Jane Wyman and Diane Keaton (January 5). P. Chayes. American Mathematical Monthly 73. Journal of Computational and Applied Mathematics 58. whereas the multiplications would take much longer. 1016/ S0167-7152(03)00168-8). or a solid basis for more advanced.com/?p=402) • SOCR EduMaterials activities birthday experiment (http://wiki. American Mathematical Monthly 77.damninteresting. (2008. [16] C. 385–387. generalized theories. Moser (1970) More Birthday Surprises. Paul Lukas and John Wayne (May 26). [8] M.Birthday problem The reasoning is based on important tools that all students of mathematics should have ready access to. P. and B.ucla. Random Structures and Algorithms 19(3–4). whether the instrument is a pencil or an old-fashioned desk computer. J. Klamkin and D. Kirschenhofer. Prodinger (1995).html)" from MathWorld. or mathematical facility. Statistics and Probability Letters 64(3). Bloom (1973) A Birthday Problem. H. American Mathematical Monthly 77. The Art of Computer Programming. William Wyler and Sydney Pollack (July 1). Laurie Snell. • M.com/math/birthday. and Gerald Thompson Introduction to Finite Mathematics . E. Pittel (2001) Phase Transition and Finite Size Scaling in the Integer Partition Problem.org. 279–282. 1141–1142. American Mathematical Monthly 80. Massachusetts. 856–858 [10] D.com/BirthdayProblem. American Mathematical Monthly 45. • Maple vs. McKinney (1966) Generalized Birthday Problem. [15] They are John Major and The Earl of Derby (March 29) and Spencer Perceval and The Viscount Goderich (November 1).uk/tsj/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/ matthews. 154 References • John G. • Shirky. Knuth. Robert Redford and Roman Polanski (August 18). J. Reading. Journal of Combinatorial Theory 3. Newman (1967) Extensions of the Birthday Surprise.edu/socr/index.) New York.com/articles/ understanding-the-birthday-paradox/) .

The resolution of the paradox is to notice that in case (2). the Borel–Kolmogorov paradox (sometimes known as Borel's paradox) is a paradox relating to conditional probability with respect to an event of probability zero (also known as a null set).BorelKolmogorov paradox 155 Borel–Kolmogorov paradox In probability theory.π) is [1] 2.π/2) is [1] One distribution is uniform. but that expression is not well-defined since P(θ=0) = 0. So although P(Φ|θ=0) and P(θ|Φ=0) each provide a probability distribution on a great circle. which can then be evaluated at fE(0) to give P(Φ ∈ E|θ=0). Thus it is not surprising after all that P(Φ|θ=0) and P(θ|Φ=0) have different distributions. one of them is defined using rings.over which of these results is 'correct'. What is its conditional distribution on a great circle? Because of the symmetry of the sphere. consisting of all points whose longitude varies between a and b. the conditional distribution for a longitude Φ defined on the interval (–π. —E.T. Yet both seem to be referring to the same great circle in different coordinate systems. For we can obtain a probability distribution for [the latitude] on the meridian circle only if we regard this circle as an element of the decomposition of the entire spherical surface onto meridian circles with the given poles —Andrey Kolmogorov[2] . the conditional probability that the longitude Φ lies in a set E given that θ = 0 can be written P(Φ ∈ E | θ = 0). it is dependent on how this random variable is defined. If the great circle is a line of longitude with Φ = 0. However. P(θ ∈ F | Φ=0) is defined using the events Lab = {Φ : a < Φ < b}. A great circle puzzle Suppose that a random variable has a uniform distribution on a sphere. one might expect that the distribution is uniform and independent of the choice of coordinates. If the coordinates are chosen so that the great circle is an equator (latitude θ = 0).between otherwise competent probabilists . using the family of events Rab = {θ : a < θ < b} which are horizontal rings consisting of all points with latitude between a and b. Furthermore. which are vertical wedges (more precisely lunes). It is named after Émile Borel and Andrey Kolmogorov. and the other using lunes. Jaynes[1] Explanation and implications In case (1) above. Many quite futile arguments have raged . Rab can be used to construct a function fE(θ) = P(Φ ∈ E|θ=θ). The paradox lies in the fact that a conditional distribution with respect to such an event is ambiguous unless it is viewed as an observation from a continuous random variable. the conditional distribution for θ on the interval (–π/2. The concept of a conditional probability with regard to an isolated hypothesis whose probability equals 0 is inadmissible. Measure theory provides a way to define a conditional probability. the other is not. See conditional expectation for more information. Elementary probability theory suggests this can be computed as P(Φ ∈ E and θ=0)/P(θ=0). two analyses give contradictory results: 1.

Conditioning. yet one eating slices of an orange might presuppose the other.com/Kolmogorov/0029. Cambridge University Press. Probability Theory: The Logic of Science. 467–470.edu:8008/ETJ-PS/cc15w. Consider two continuous random variables (U. the joint density of (U. Explanation of a Borel Paradox" (http://www. 50–51. 1514–1517 [2] Originally Kolmogorov (1933). translated in Kolmogorov (1956). • Pollard. ISBN 0521002893.T. 122–123. By change of variables. —E.V) with joint density pUV. Now. A User's Guide to Measure Theoretic Probability. . Grundbegriffe der Wahrscheinlichkeitsrechnung.html) (2nd ed. Jaynes[1] 156 Further example An implication is that conditional density functions are not invariant under coordinate transformation of the conditioning variable. mathematik. • Fragmentary Edition (1994) (pp.albany.W) is: Note that W = 0 if and only if V = 0. "Chapter V. pp. MR1992316. The intuitive symmetry argument presupposes the equatorial limit. so it would appear that the conditional distribution of U should be the same under each of these events. Sourced from Pollard (2002) References and further reading • Jaynes. pp.).BorelKolmogorov paradox … the term 'great circle' is ambiguous until we specify what limiting operation is to produce it. let W = V / g(U) for some positive-valued. continuous function g. Notes [1] Jaynes 2003. Cambridge University Press.html).ps) (PostScript format) • Kolmogorov. E.math. Example 17. David (2002). Andrey (1956).". pp.T. ISBN 0828400237. New York: Chelsea. (2003). MR1873379. • Translation: Kolmogorov. "15. ISBN 0521592712. However: whereas which are not equal unless g is constant. Berlin: Julius Springer. 1514–1517) (http://omega. §2. Foundations of the Theory of Probability (http://www.com/Kolmogorov/index. mathematik. pp. Andrey (1933) (in German).7 The Borel-Kolmogorov paradox". "Chapter 5.

he phrased the paradox as follows: • Mr.[9] Common assumptions The two possible answers share a number of assumptions.[5] John Tierney of The New York Times.[1] Its answer could be 1/2.[6] and Leonard Mlodinow in Drunkard's Walk.Boy or Girl paradox 157 Boy or Girl paradox The Boy or Girl paradox surrounds a well-known set of questions in probability theory which are also known as The Two Child Problem.[10] since it ignores (amongst other factors) the fact that the ratio of boys to girls is not exactly 50:50. it is assumed that the space of all possible events can be easily enumerated.[7] One scientific study[2] showed that when identical information was conveyed. . However. What is the probability that both children are boys? Gardner initially gave the answers 1/2 and 1/3. this problem is about probability and not biology. 3.[2] [7] The intuitive answer is 1/2. depending on the exact wording and possible assumptions. The ambiguity.[2] This answer is intuitive if the question leads the reader to believe that there are two equally likely possibilities for the sex of the second child (i.[2] [8] and that the probability of these outcomes is absolute. boy and girl). The sex of each child is independent of the sex of the other. with varying degrees of ambiguity. The mathematical outcome would be the same if it were phrased in terms of a gold coin and a silver coin. labeling boys B and girls G. BG. it is assumed that these outcomes are equally probable. and the possibility of an intersex child. but later acknowledged that the second question was ambiguous. Jones has two children. and using the first letter to represent the older child.[3] and Nickerson. The paradox has frequently stimulated a great deal of controversy. First. What is the probability that both children are girls? • Mr. Second.[4] Many people argued strongly for both sides with a great deal of confidence. Titled The Two Children Problem. The initial formulation of the question dates back to at least 1959. At least one of them is a boy. this is an incomplete model. The older child is a girl. Each child has the same chance of being male as of being female. The paradox stems from whether the problem setup is similar for the two questions.[10] This implies the following model: 1.[4] Other variants of this question.. that the percentage of MBA students who answered 1/2 changed from 85% to 39%. not conditional. depending on how you found out that one child was a boy. have been recently popularized by Ask Marilyn in Parade Magazine.[1] Mr. sometimes showing disdain for those who took the opposing view. GB.[10] This notation indicates that there are four possible combinations of children. Smith's Children[2] and the Mrs. Each child is either male or female. Smith has two children. but with different partially-ambiguous wordings that emphasized different points. was confirmed by Bar-Hillel and Falk. providing an extensional definition of outcomes: {BB. respectively. the possibility of identical twins (who are always the same sex). GG}.e. when Martin Gardner published one of the earliest variants of the paradox in Scientific American. Smith Problem. 2. In reality.

What is the probability that both children are girls? Under the forementioned assumptions. is presumably aware of the sex of both of his children when making this statement". Jones has two children.it is not clear that every Mr. What is the probability that both children are boys? This question is identical to question one.g. unlike the reader..[3] [4] Grinstead and Snell argue that the question is ambiguous in much the same way Gardner did. That is. at least one of whom is a boy. Smith with at least one boy is intended. GG. Commenting on Gardner's version of the problem. it is specified that at least one of them is a boy.Boy or Girl paradox 158 First question • Mr. except that instead of specifying that the older child is a boy. This would yield the answer of 1/3. the condition is necessary . a family is chosen at random. the statement is equivalent to the second (the child that you can see is a boy). in this problem. the problem statement does not say that having a boy is a sufficient condition for Mr. and the sex of that child is specified.[11] For example. Smith has at least one boy . the probability that the younger child is also a girl is 1/2. you may see a boy. if you see the children in the garden.i. At least one of them is a boy. that 'I have two children and at least one of them is a boy. Smith to be identified as having a boy this way.) While it is certainly true that every possible Mr. GB} are equally likely. In this case.e. Second question • Mr. GB). Gardner argued that a "failure to specify the randomizing procedure" could lead readers to interpret the question in two distinct ways: • From all families with two children. In response to reader criticism of the question posed in 1959.' If it is further assumed that Mr Smith would report this fact if it were true then the correct answer is 1/3 as Gardner intended. there are four equally probable events: Older child Girl Girl Boy Boy Younger child Girl Boy Girl Boy Only two of these possible events meets the criteria specified in the question (e. . GG. Gardner agreed that a precise formulation of the question is critical to getting different answers for question 1 and 2. Smith. (The first statement says that it can be either. • From all families with two children. The first statement does not match as one case is one boy. Then the girl may be visible. one child is selected at random. The other child may be hidden behind a tree. a random family is selected. In this sample space. one girl. Bar-Hillel and Falk [3] note that "Mr. i. Specifically. This would yield an answer of 1/2.e. Since both of the two possibilities in the new sample space {GG. and only one of the two. includes two girls.. The older child is a girl. Smith has two children.

Boy or Girl paradox 159 Analysis of the ambiguity If it is assumed that this information was obtained by looking at both children to see if there is at least one boy. BG and GB are no longer equiprobable. the three combinations of BB. Note that this is not necessarily the same as reporting the gender of a specific child. the calculation is (1/4)/(0+1/4+0+1/4)=1/2. this is correct. when making the most natural assumptions. we begin with a probability of 1/4 that Smith is the father of two boys. or of one of each in either birth order. For this to be the case each combination would need to be equally likely to produce a boy companion but it can be seen that in the BB combination a boy companion is guaranteed whereas in the other two combinations this is not the case. someone may argue that “. we obtain a probability of 1/3 for BB. Variants of the question Following the popularization of the paradox by Gardner it has been presented and discussed in various forms. the correct way to calculate the conditional probability is not to count the cases that match. However. Smith’s other child is also a boy? Bar-Hillel & Falk use this variant to highlight the importance of considering the underlying assumptions. or of two girls.”[3] Bar-Hillel & Falk say that the natural assumption is that Mr Smith selected the child companion at random but. BG or GB. the answer to question 2 is 1/3.e. if the family was first selected and then a random. Discovering that he has at least one boy rules out the event GG. However. if the walking companion was chosen at random then the probability that the other child is also a boy is . and "at least one boy") 0 1/8 1/8 1/4 The answer is found by adding the numbers in the last column wherever you woud have counted that case: (1/4)/(0+1/8+1/8+1/4)=1/2. although doing so will produce the same result by a different calculation. Smith is the father of two. We meet him walking along the street with a young boy whom he proudly introduces as his son. we know only that he is either the father of two boys. When the correct calculations are made. one must add the probabilities that the condition will be satisfied in each case[11] : Older child Girl Girl Boy Boy Younger child Girl Boy Girl Boy P(this case) 1/4 1/4 1/4 1/4 P("at least one boy" given this case) 0 1/2 1/2 1 P(both this case. GG. Smith identifies the boy as his son. Assuming again independence and equiprobability.. Instead.before Mr. the condition is both necessary and sufficient condition. if it is assumed that both children were considered while looking for a boy. Three of the four equally probable events for a two-child family in the sample space above meet the condition: Older child Girl Girl Boy Boy Younger child Girl Boy Girl Boy Thus. Since the remaining three events were equiprobable. The first variant presented by Bar-Hillel & Falk [3] is worded as follows: • Mr. The intuitive answer is 1/2 and. 1/2 is a better answer any time a Mr. Smith with a boy and a girl could have been identified as having at least one girl. i. For instance... BB. What is the probability that Mr. if the younger child is picked. if so. true statement was made about the gender of one child (whether or not both were considered). In general.

Fox & Levav (2004) used the problem (called the Mr. 160 Psychological investigation From the position of statistical analysis the relevant question is often ambiguous and as such there is no “correct” answer. what is the probability that both children are boys?" . and she telephones the fellow who's giving them a bath. not actual birth rates. What is the probability that the other one is a male? • Say that a woman and a man (who are unrelated) each has two children. A survey such as vos Savant’s suggests that the majority of people adopt an understanding of Gardner’s problem that if they were consistent would lead them to the 1/3 probability answer but overwhelmingly people intuitively arrive at the 1/2 probability answer. In 1991."[10] Of course. Ambiguity notwithstanding.Boy or Girl paradox 1/2. the paradox was posed to participants in two ways: • "Mr. given the assumptions that the likelihood of a child being a boy or girl is equal. We know that at least one of the woman's children is a boy and that the man's oldest child is a boy." Carlton and Stansfield go on to discuss the common assumptions in the Boy or Girl paradox. BG and GB are equally likely to be represented by a boy walking companion and then the probability that the other child is also a boy is 1/3. this does not exhaust the boy or girl paradox for it is not necessarily the ambiguity that explains how the intuitive probability is derived.[2] In this study. You tell her that you want only a male.' Given this information. respectively were phrased: • A shopkeeper says she has two new baby beagles to show you. and that the sex of the second child is not independent of the sex of the first. and that the sex of the second child is independent of the first. The authors do not discuss the possible ambiguity in the question and conclude that her answer is correct from a mathematical perspective. Of 17. Marilyn vos Savant responded to a reader who asked her to answer a variant of the Boy or Girl paradox that included beagles. but she doesn't know whether they're male. Smith says: 'I have two children and it is not the case that they are both girls. and that the first probability is certainly nearer to 1 in 3 than to 1 in 2. The authors conclude that. They demonstrate that in reality male children are actually more likely than female children. 35. female. However. she published the question again in a different form.946 responses. credited to Gardner. are different. With regard to her survey they say it "at least validates vos Savant’s correct assertion that the “chances” posed in the original question. The 1991 and 1996 questions. the actual probability values do not matter.' Given this information. the paradox still has pedagogical value.[10] Vos Savant's articles were discussed by Carlton and Stansfield[10] in a 2005 article in The American Statistician. the purpose of the paradox is to demonstrate seemingly contradictory logic. Smith says: 'I have two children and at least one of them is a boy. or a pair. this makes the problem of interest to psychological researchers who seek to understand how humans estimate probability. Bar-Hillel & Falk suggest an alternative scenario. "Is at least one a male?" she asks him. "Yes!" she informs you with a smile. although the assumptions of the question run counter to observations.[5] In 1996. Smith problem. In response to reader response that questioned her analysis vos Savant conducted a survey of readers with exactly two children. Can you explain why the chances that the woman has two boys do not equal the chances that the man has two boys? With regard to the second formulation Vos Savant gave the classic answer that the chances that the woman has two boys are about 1/3 whereas the chances that the man has two boys are about 1/2. With this assumption the combinations of BB. since it "illustrates one of the more intriguing applications of conditional probability. but not worded exactly the same as Gardner's version) to test theories of how people estimate conditional probabilities. what is the probability that the other child is a boy?" • "Mr. though similar-sounding.9% reported two boys. They imagine a culture in which boys are invariably chosen over girls as walking companions. at least one of which is a boy.

Fox & Jonathan Levav (2004). Parade Magazine. October 19. PMID 15584810. October 13. External links • • • • • Boy or Girl: Two Interpretations (http://mathforum. [6] Tierney. . (1999). [3] Maya Bar-Hillel and Ruma Falk (1982). "The psychology of getting suckered" (http:/ / tierneylab. Pantheon. such as the Monty Hall Problem and the Bertrand's box paradox) is because of the use of naive heuristics that fail to properly define the number of possible outcomes. The New York Times. pdf). ISBN 978-0226282534.1016/0010-0277(82)90021-X. 1. of which one has been rejected (resulting in 1/3 being the probability of both children being boys. ISBN 0805848991. The Second Scientific American Book of Mathematical Puzzles and Diversions. May 26. doi:10. Nickerson (May 2004).htm) at MathPages A Problem With Two Bear Cubs (http://www. Psychology Press. while only 39% responded that way to the second formulation. [4] Raymond S. Cognition and Chance: The Psychology of Probabilistic Reasoning. John (2008-04-10). ist. edu/ ~prob/ prob/ prob. "Making Babies by the Flip of a Coin?". only one of which is that both of the children are boys). 1996.org/library/drmath/view/52186. 44. 1997.com/home/kmath036. Laurie Snell. 1997. . Cognition 11 (2): 109–122. "On The Confusion in Some Popular Probability Problems" (http:/ / citeseerx. [2] Craig R. The authors argued that the reason people respond differently to this question (along with other similar problems.133. "Some teasers concerning conditional probabilities". Laird et al. [10] Matthew A. 1. doi:10.org/bears.626. [7] Leonard Mlodinow (2008).html) At Least One Girl (http://www.4. 1991. 1997. edu/ viewdoc/ download?doi=10. PMID 7198956. nytimes.1037/0096-3445. July 27.org/view/generic/id/60598/title/ When_intuition_and_math_probably_look_wrong) . Psychological Review.cut-the-knot. Journal of Experimental Psychology 133 (4): 626–642.org/carroll. "Naive Probability: A Mental Model Theory of Extensional Reasoning".shtml) A son born on a Tuesday (http://sciencenews. "Partition–Edit–Count: Naive Extensional Reasoning in Judgment of Conditional Probability". Retrieved 24 February 2009. ISBN 0375424040.cut-the-knot. dartmouth. Simon & Schuster. blogs. Grinstead and J. Oza (1993). 2448& rep=rep1& type=pdf). The CHANCE Project.mathpages. January 5. "Grinstead and Snell's Introduction to Probability" (http:/ / math.. . The study found that 85% of participants answered 1/2 for the first formulation. com/ 2008/ 04/ 10/ the-psychology-of-getting-suckered/ ).[2] 161 References [1] Martin Gardner (1954). March 30.shtml) Lewis Carroll's Pillow Problem (http://www. [8] Nikunj C. December 1. CARLTON and William D. STANSFIELD (2005). [9] P. The American Statistician.J. Retrieved 25 February 2009. psu. [11] Charles M. 1996. [5] Ask Marilyn.[2] whereas the second formulation gives the reader the impression that there are four possible outcomes.Boy or Girl paradox The authors argue that the first formulation gives the reader the mistaken impression that there are two possible outcomes for the "other child". as there are 3 remaining possible outcomes. 1992.

"Una questione sui numeri transfiniti". This is a contradiction. and we arrive at considered an ordinal number itself. New Foundations uses a different solution. Stated in terms of von Neumann ordinals The reason is that the set of all ordinal numbers carries all properties of an ordinal number and would have to be . being the order type of a proper initial segment of the ordinals. a field of mathematics. as it was for example possible in Gottlob Frege's axiom system. and this well-ordering must have an order type . doi:10. If we use the von Neumann definition. the paradox is unavoidable: the offending proposition that the order type of all ordinal numbers less than a fixed is itself must be true. this ordinal number must be an element of Stated more generally The version of the paradox above is anachronistic. like the collection in the Russell paradox. It is named after Cesare Burali-Forti. which is strictly greater than . But this means that . Then. But the collection of order types in New Foundations (defined as equivalence classes of well-orderings under similarity) is actually a set. since contains all ordinal numbers. and the paradox is avoided because the order type of the ordinals less than turns out not to be . The collection of von Neumann ordinals. Here is an account with fewer presuppositions: suppose that we associate with each well-ordering an object called its "order type" in an unspecified way (the order types are the ordinal numbers). It is easily shown in naïve set theory (and remains true in ZFC but not in New Foundations) that the order type of all ordinal numbers less than a fixed is itself. the Burali-Forti paradox demonstrates that naively constructing "the set of all ordinal numbers" leads to a contradiction and therefore shows an antinomy in a system that allows its construction.Burali-Forti paradox 162 Burali-Forti paradox In set theory.1007/BF03015911 . The "order types" (ordinal numbers) themselves are well-ordered in a natural way. who discovered it in 1897. Rendiconti del Circolo Matematico di Palermo 11: 154–164. Cesare (1897). under which each ordinal is the set of all preceding ordinals. Resolution of the paradox Modern axiomatic set theory such as ZF and ZFC circumvents this antinomy by simply not allowing construction of sets with unrestricted comprehension terms like "all sets with the property ". but the latter is itself by definition. we can construct its successor However. under which each ordinal is identified as the set of all preceding ordinals. because it presupposes the definition of the ordinals due to John von Neumann. So the order type of all ordinal numbers less than is itself. References • Burali-Forti. is strictly less than the order type of all the ordinals. which was not known at the time the paradox was framed by Burali-Forti. cannot be a set in any set theory with classical logic.

edu/ entries/ paradoxes-contemporary-logic/ Cantor's paradox In set theory.by Andrea Cantini. Discussion and consequences Since the cardinal numbers are well-ordered by indexing with the ordinal numbers (see Cardinal number. by definition. Proof: Let S be a set. Then every element of S is a subset of T. But the cardinality of C is C itself. and therefore we have exhibited a cardinality (namely that of 2C) larger than C. Since every set is a subset of this latter class. and every cardinality is the cardinality of a set (by definition!) this intuitively means that . conversely. In fact. in this case about the nature of infinity and the notion of a set. stanford. This contradiction establishes that such a cardinal cannot exist.Burali-Forti paradox 163 External links • Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: "Paradoxes and Contemporary Logic [1]" -. but this infinity is larger than any of the infinities it enumerates. there is a strict upper bound on the cardinalities of the elements of S. it is paradoxical within the confines of naïve set theory and therefore demonstrates that a careless axiomatization of this theory is inconsistent. and let T be the union of the elements of S. they cannot all be collected together as elements of a single set. and let C be the largest cardinal number. Like a number of "paradoxes" it is not actually contradictory but merely indicative of a mistaken intuition. this also establishes that there is no greatest ordinal number. and (at least in ZFC or in von Neumann–Bernays–Gödel set theory) it follows from this that there is a bijection between the class of cardinals and the class of all sets. This fact is a direct consequence of Cantor's theorem on the cardinality of the power set of a set. References [1] http:/ / plato. Then Cantor's paradox is: Theorem: There is no greatest cardinal number. and hence is of cardinality less than or equal to the cardinality of T. This paradox is named for Georg Cantor. Theorem: If S is any set then S cannot contain elements of all cardinalities. who is often credited with first identifying it in 1899 (or between 1895 and 1897). so that the collection of "infinite sizes" is itself infinite. not only are there infinitely many infinities. Cantor's theorem then implies that every element of S is of cardinality strictly less than the cardinality of 2T. Here is a somewhat more general result. in von Neumann–Bernays–Gödel set theory it follows from this and the axiom of limitation of size that this proper class must be in bijection with the class of all sets. so that one can speak about one being greater or less than another. Thus. By applying this indexing to the Burali-Forti paradox we obtain another proof that the cardinal numbers are a proper class rather than a set. Put another way. Another consequence of Cantor's theorem is that the cardinal numbers constitute a proper class. Proof: Assume the contrary. Statements and proofs In order to state the paradox it is necessary to understand that the cardinal numbers admit an ordering. formal definition). Then (in the von Neumann formulation of cardinality) C is a set and therefore has a power set 2C which. has cardinality strictly larger than that of C. The difficulty is handled in axiomatic set theory by declaring that this collection is not a set but a proper class. which was assumed to be the greatest cardinal number. by Cantor's theorem. That is. the latter statement implies Cantor's paradox. Cantor's paradox is derivable from the theorem that there is no greatest cardinal number.

Since a landmass has features at all scales. • Moore. html [2] http:/ / planetmath. from hundreds of kilometers in size to tiny fractions of a millimeter and below. org/ encyclopedia/ CantorsParadox. External links • An Historical Account of Set-Theoretic Antinomies Caused by the Axiom of Abstraction [1]: report by Justin T.org [2]: article. Department of Mathematics.: Birkäuser Boston. Miller. psu.1016/0315-0860(81)90070-7.[1] [2] It was first observed by Lewis Fry Richardson. References [1] http:/ / citeseer. and Garciadiego. Historia Math 8 (3): 319–350. html Coastline paradox The coastline paradox is the counterintuitive observation that the coastline of a landmass does not have a well-defined length. some mathematicians award this distinction to Bertrand Russell. there is no obvious limit . I. who defined a similar theorem in 1899 or 1901. (1981).Cantor's paradox the "cardinality" of the collection of cardinals is greater than the cardinality of any set: it is more infinite than any true infinity. "The first Russell paradox. Drucker. 33–46. A.H. References • Anellis.H. "Burali-Forti's paradox: a reappraisal of its origins". the length of the coastline depends on the method used to measure it. University of Arizona. Mass. ist. 164 Historical note While Cantor is usually credited with first identifying this property of cardinal sets. G. Thomas. (1991). More concretely. This results from the fractal-like properties of coastlines. ed. This is the paradoxical nature of Cantor's "paradox". pp. doi:10." Perspectives on the History of Mathematical Logic. Cambridge. edu/ 496807. • PlanetMath.

the convolutions of the coastline of the Canadian province of British Columbia make it over 10% of the entire Canadian coastline—25725 km (15985 mi) vs 243042 km ( mi) over a linear distance of only 965 km (600 mi). R. com/ CoastlineParadox.Coastline paradox to the size of the smallest feature that should not be measured around.. ISBN 978-0-7167-1186-5. then small variations much smaller than one kilometer are easily ignored.nrcan. or where in a broad tidal flat the coastline measurements ought to be taken. For practical considerations. at scales on the order of centimeters various arbitrary and non-fractal assumptions must be made. If a coastline is measured in kilometers. Mines and Resources. html)" from MathWorld. Chile and the Pacific Northwest of North America.ca/site/english/learningresources/facts/ coastline. Dimensions and Areas of Maps of the National Topographic System of Canada. Surveys and Mapping Branch. Extreme cases of the coastline paradox include the fjord-heavy coastlines of Norway. However. Ottawa: Department of Energy. Benoit (1983). wolfram.ar/2008/01/ la-costa-infinita. Eric W. Freeman and Co.com. Munro. External links • The Atlas of Canada – Coastline and Shoreline (http://atlas.html) . " Coastline Paradox (http:/ / mathworld. Various approximations exist when specific assumptions are made about minimum feature size..gc..M. 25–33. [3] Sebert. an appropriate choice of minimum feature size is on the order of the units being used to measure.[3] 165 Notes [1] Weisstein. W.H. such as where an estuary joins the sea. 1972. [2] Mandelbrot. Technical Report 72-1. From the southern tip of Vancouver Island northwards to the southern tip of the Alaska Panhandle. tiny variations of the size of centimeters must be considered. L.html) • La costa infinita (animation of a coastline with fractal details) (http://cibermitanios. The Fractal Geometry of Nature. and hence no single well-defined perimeter to the landmass. and M. To measure the coastline in centimeters. including the maze of islands of the Arctic archipelago.

9 arbitrary points define a unique cubic. com/ Cramer-EulerParadox. Similarly for two curves of degree 4.Cramer's paradox 166 Cramer's paradox In mathematics. The paradox illustrated: cubics and higher curves By Bézout's theorem two cubics (curves of degree 3) intersect in 9 points. Cramer's paradox (named after Gabriel Cramer but apparently not discovered by him) is the statement that the number of points of intersection of two higher-order curves can be greater than the number of arbitrary points needed to define one such curve. although they are n2 in number. wolfram. External links • Ed Sandifer "Cramer’s Paradox" [2] References [1] http:/ / mathworld. "Cramér-Euler Paradox [1]" from MathWorld.. Similarly two conics intersect at 4 points. through the point P there pass not only the two given lines but an infinite number of other lines as well. html [2] http:/ / www. References • Weisstein. the number of degrees of freedom is d < n2. but the correct answer was found by Julius Plücker: the points of intersection are not arbitrary. it is the case that n2 is greater than or equal to n(n + 3)/2. Eric W. maa. Cramer's paradox is the result of two theorems: Bézout's theorem (the number of points of intersection of two algebraic curves is equal to the product of their degrees) and a theorem of Cramer (a curve of degree n is determined by n(n + 3)/2 points). Through 16 points (assuming they are arbitrarily given) we will usually not be able to draw any quartic curve (14 points suffice). let alone two intersecting quartics. defining a unique cubic rather than the two separate cubics that meet there. pdf . Resolution Cramer's proposed resolution turned out to be flawed. At first thought it may seem that the number of intersection points is too high. No paradox for lines and conics For first order curves (that is lines) the paradox does not occur. so that if d of them are given the remaining ones can be determined. By Cramer's theorem. A single point is not sufficient to define a line (two are needed). there will be 16 points of intersection. In general two lines L1 and L2 intersect at a single point P. Observe that for n ≥ 3. org/ editorial/ euler/ How%20Euler%20Did%20It%2010%20Cramers%20Paradox. and 5 points are needed to define a conic.

But how could the observation be explained? Modeling the elevator problem Several attempts (beginning with Gamow and Stern) were made to analyze the reason for this phenomenon: the basic analysis is simple. with only one slow elevator.Elevator paradox 167 Elevator paradox This article refers to the elevator paradox for the transport device. while the rest of the time the first elevator observed will be going down. would note an equal number of elevators traveling in each direction. noticed that the first elevator to stop at his floor was most often going up. rather than only observing the first elevator to arrive. physicists who had offices on different floors of a multi-story building. In more detail. and then depart going down. as depicted above. consider a thirty-story building. while an equal number will pass Near the top floor. This then becomes a sampling problem — the observer is sampling stochastically a non uniform interval. downwards elevators will generally shortly follow upwards elevators (unless the elevator idles on the top floor). and thus is more likely to approach from that direction when the prospective elevator user arrives. Here is the arrival schedule for people unlucky enough to work in this building. At first sight. Clearly this was not the case. an elevator going to the top floor will pass first on the way up. this created the impression that perhaps elevator cars were being manufactured in the middle of the building and sent upwards to the roof and downwards to the basement to be dismantled. who had an office near the top. An observer who remains by the elevator doors for hours or days. going up as going down. and then shortly afterward on the way down – thus. while if one is on the second from top floor. Simply. who had an office near the bottom of the building noticed that the first elevator to stop at his floor was most often going down. To help visualize this. plus lobby. observing every elevator arrival. The elevator is so slow because it stops at every floor on the way up. and then on every floor on the way down. and thus the first elevator observed will usually be going up. For the elevator paradox for the hydrometer. The first elevator observed will be going down only if one begins observing in the short interval after an elevator has passed going up. Gamow. elevators to the top come down shortly after they go up. while detailed analysis is more difficult than it would at first appear. all elevators will come from below (none can come from above). The elevator paradox is a paradox first noted by Marvin Stern and George Gamow. see elevator paradox (physics). It takes a minute to travel between floors and wait for passengers. if one is on the top floor of a building. while Stern. the explanation is as follows: a single elevator spends most of its time in the larger section of the building. it forms a triangle wave: .

. Watching cars pass on an oval racetrack. .. but the odds that the next elevator is going up is only 2 in 60. 8:31.. and to return there when idle. or the effect of short trips where the elevator stays idle. the bias decreases — since there is a greater chance that the intending passenger will arrive at the elevator lobby during the time that at least one elevator is below them. More than one elevator Interestingly.Elevator paradox 168 Floor Lobby 1st floor 2nd floor . with an infinite number of elevators. 9:58. These complications make the paradox harder to visualize than the race track examples. there are complicated factors such as the tendency of elevators to be frequently required on the ground or first floor. as elevators are infrequently present or required above their floor.. 8:01. 9:00. This also occurs with 30 elevators spaced 2 minutes apart – on odd floors they alternate up/down arrivals.. 29th floor 8:29. 8:58. 9:59.. if there are 30 floors and 58 elevators. 9:01. at 9:00 and 9:01. .. . The next elevator would be heading up only during the first two minutes at each hour. Time on way up 8:00. Another visualization is to imagine sitting in bleachers near one end of an oval racetrack: if you are waiting for a single car to pass in front of you. the bias is eliminated – every minute. In particular.g.. the way full elevators skip extra stops. .. a user very near the top floor will perceive the paradox even more strongly. 30th floor n/a If you were on the first floor and walked up randomly to the elevator. 8:02. .. e.. chances are the next elevator would be heading down. . The number of elevator stops going upwards and downwards are the same... . Time on way down n/a 8:59. while on even floors they arrive simultaneously every two minutes. one perceives little bias if the time between cars is small compared to the time required for a car to return past the observer. the probabilities would be equal. . so at every minute there are 2 elevators on each floor. There are other complications of a real building: such as lopsided demand where everyone wants to go down at the end of the day. one elevator arrives going up and another going down.. The real-world case In a real building. 8:30. one going up and one going down (save at the top and bottom). 9:29.. . .. if there is more than one elevator in a building.. it will be more likely to pass on the straight-away before entering the turn..[1] In the example above. A similar effect can be observed in railway stations where a station near the end of the line will likely have the next train headed for the end of the line... 9:30.. .. 9:31. 9:02. These factors tend to shift the frequency of observed arrivals. but do not eliminate the paradox entirely..

in a society with very few infected people—fewer proportionately than the test gives false positives—there will actually be more who test positive for a disease incorrectly and don't have it than those who test positive accurately and do. Donald E. asp?Id=0022-412x). . 1982. com/ journals/ previewjournals. ISBN 0-7167-1414-0 External links • A detailed treatment. even tests that have a very low chance of giving a false positive in an individual case will give more false than true positives overall.[1] When the incidence. when in fact a false positive is far more likely to have occurred.ac.[2] So.wolfram. part 1 (http://www. (October 1986).jp/hs/z90010/english/sugakuc/toukei/elevator2/ elevator2. Journal of Recreational Mathematics (Baywood Publishing Company. W H Freeman & Co. occurring when the overall population has a low incidence of a condition and the incidence rate is lower than the false positive rate. chapter 10. W H Freeman & Co. the proportion of those who have a given condition.com/ElevatorParadox.htm) by Tokihiko Niwa • Part 2: the multi-elevator case (http://www. .html) on the elevator paradox False positive paradox The false positive paradox is a statistical result where false positive tests are more probable than true positive tests. [2] Numb3rs Episode 410: Chinese Box: Wolfram Research Math Notes (http:/ / numb3rs. Aha! Gotcha. • Martin Gardner. page 96.jp/hs/z90010/english/sugakuc/toukei/elevator/ elevator. (1969-7)..kwansei..[3] It is especially counter-intuitive when interpreting a positive result in a test on a low-incidence population after having dealt with positive results drawn from a high-incidence population. Knotted Doughnuts and Other Mathematical Entertainments. The paradox has surprised many. wolfram.[2] If the false positive rate of the test is higher than the proportion of the new population with the condition. is lower than the test's false positive rate. ISBN 0-7167-1799-9.ac. Inc. com/ 410/ ) • Martin Gardner.kwansei. "The Gamow-Stern Elevator Problem" (http:/ / www.[2] References [1] Knuth. ISSN: 0022-412x. baywood. Not adjusting to the scarcity of the condition in the new population. and concluding that a positive test result probably indicates a positive subject.) 2: 131–137.htm) • MathWorld article (http://mathworld. then a test administrator whose experience has been drawn from testing in a high-incidence population may conclude from experience that a positive test result usually indicates a positive subject. even though population incidence is below the false positive rate is a "base rate fallacy". The probability of a positive test result is determined not only by the accuracy of the test but by the characteristics of the sampled population (see Bayes' theorem).Elevator paradox 169 Popular culture The elevator paradox was mentioned by Charlie Eppes on the television show Numb3rs in the episode entitled "Chinese Box".

000.01%) is infected . Howell. "At first glance. "Quantitative literacy . (March 1998).0004 ≈ 400 people would receive a false positive (The remaining 999. in which only 1 person in 10. in population A. com/ books?id=5gQz0akjYcwC& pg=113#v=onepage& q& f=false). NASA. H. p. ntrs.).392) that it correctly indicates infection. Mathematical Sciences Research Institute Publications (New ed. The expected outcome of a million tests on population B would be: Unhealthy and test indicates disease (true positive) 1. So. 49. 122.. Assessing Mathematical Proficiency.000 × (9800/10000) × . M. A..0004 = 392 people would receive a false positive (The remaining 979. gov/ archive/ nasa/ casi. L. (August 2007). The cartoon guide to statistics.Citing: Smith. the probability of actually being infected after you are told you are infected is only 20% (100/500) for a test that otherwise appears to be "over 99. B. p. 16.000 × (9999/10. Cambridge University Press. google.000 × (200/10000) = 20.000/20. a person receiving a positive test could be over 98% confident (20.04%) and no false negative rate.. and the identification of igneous rocks" (http:/ / findarticles. L.drug testing.000) × . W. "Mathematical Proficiency for Citizenship" (http:/ / books. The confusion of the posterior probability of infection with the prior probability of receiving a false negative is a natural error after receiving a life-threatening test result.000 people would receive a true positive Healthy and test indicates disease (false positive) 1..) In population B. (1993). only 100 of the 500 total people with a positive test result are actually infected." . ISBN 9780521697668. the term paradox. . gov/ 19980045313_1998119122.000) = 100 people would receive a true positive Healthy and test indicates disease (false positive) 1.000. The test has a false positive rate of .] is surprising to many.000 (2%) are infected.95% accurate". Journal of Geoscience Education: 2. p.608 tests are correctly negative. The expected outcome of a million tests on population A would be: Unhealthy and test indicates disease (true positive) 1. hence.000 × (1/10.False positive paradox 170 Example High-incidence population Imagine running an HIV test on population A. Low-incidence population Now consider the same test applied to population B. "MESSAGE: False positive tests are more probable than true positive tests when the overall population has a low incidence of the disease.000. nasa. New York: Harper Collins. . W.000 (. pdf) (pdf)." [2] Vacher. References [1] Rheinfurth. the more likely a student identified as a user will be a non-user. H.500 tests are correctly negative.000. This has been called the False Positive Paradox" . . this seems perverse: the less the students as a whole use steroids. a result that had almost always indicated infection is now usually a false positive. In Schoenfeld. "The correct [probability estimate. in which 200 out of 10. A tester with experience of group A might find it a paradox that in group B. L.) So. This is called the false-positive paradox. com/ p/ articles/ mi_qa4089/ is_200305/ ai_n9252796/ pg_2/ ). [3] Madison. (May 2003). Probability and statistics in aerospace engineering (http:/ / ntrs. nasa. H.0004 (. cancer screening.

with the finite. the This is so because as approaches infinity. however. However the explanation is that the bounding curve. 3D illustration of Gabriel's Horn. the above shows that the area is greater than bound for the natural logarithm of surface area. it will get closer and closer to as becomes larger. Using the limit notation of calculus. but today calculus can be used to calculate the volume and surface area of the horn between x = 1 and x = a. the same is not true and the rate of decrease in the associated series is sufficiently rapid for convergence to a (finite) limiting sum. . That means. the volume approaches volume may be expressed as: as approaches infinity. and in fact for any generally constructed higher degree curve (eg y = 1/x1. Mathematically. The name refers to the tradition identifying the Archangel Gabriel as the angel who blows the horn to announce Judgment Day. as or as it approaches infinity.0) which equals . that the horn has an infinite Apparent paradox When the properties of Gabriel's Horn were discovered. with the domain (thus avoiding the asymptote at x = 0) and rotating it in three dimensions about the x-axis. or infinite. . is simply a special case–just like the simple harmonic series (Σx-1)–for which the successive area 2 'segments' do not decrease rapidly enough to allow for convergence to a limit.Gabriel's Horn 171 Gabriel's Horn Gabriel's Horn (also called Torricelli's trumpet) is a geometric figure which has infinite surface area but encloses a finite volume. associating the divine. the fact that the rotation of an infinite curve about the x-axis generates an object of finite volume was considered paradoxical. Mathematical definition Gabriel's horn is formed by taking the graph of . but it can be seen from the equation that the volume of the part of the horn between and will never exceed . As for the area. approaches zero. This means the volume is times the natural logarithm of (1 . it is possible to find the volume and the surface area : can be as large as required. Using integration (see Solid of revolution and Surface of revolution for details). in this case. The discovery was made using Cavalieri's principle before the invention of calculus. where a > 1. There is no upper . That is to say.001). The properties of this figure were first studied by Italian physicist and mathematician Evangelista Torricelli. For volume segments (Σ1/x ) however.

Since it is clear that we may have one line greater than another.org/encyclopedia/TorricellisTrumpet. some numbers are perfect squares (i.html)" from MathWorld. Galileo Galilei made two apparently contradictory statements about the positive whole numbers. for the sake of clearness. the general conclusion does not follow: some infinite sets are larger than others. for we cannot speak of infinite quantities as being the one greater or less than or equal to another.. but this I think is wrong. 2007. This assigning to an infinite quantity a value greater than infinity is quite beyond my comprehension. Galileo's paradox Galileo's paradox is a demonstration of one of the surprising properties of infinite sets. there cannot be more of one than of the other. with our finite minds.com/GabrielsHorn/) by John Snyder. I shall put in the form of questions to Simplicio who raised this difficulty. in the following just called a square).html) Weisstein. and for every number there is exactly one square. 82–91. Galileo on infinite sets The relevant section of Two New Sciences is excerpted below:[1] Simplicio: Here a difficulty presents itself which appears to me insoluble.edu/torricelli/torricelli. "Gabriel's Horn" (http://demonstrations. each containing an infinite number of points. we are forced to admit that. to discuss the infinite. In his final scientific work. therefore. the square of some integer. the Two New Sciences. First. Princeton University Press.calstatela. Eric W. in that they cannot be put into one-to-one correspondence. of a proof by one-to-one correspondence of infinite sets. In the nineteenth century. De Sluze described it as a "drinking vessel that has small weight but that even the hardiest drinker could not empty". assigning to it those properties which we give to the finite and limited. . " Gabriel's Horn (http://mathworld. This is an early use. though not the first.. we may have something greater than infinity. including both squares and non-squares.wolfram. ISBN 0691120560. and greater apply to finite sets. using the same methods. Together these two paradoxes formed part of a great dispute over the nature of infinity involving many of the key thinkers of the time including Thomas Hobbes. hence. This was obtained by rotating the non-negative part defined on 0≤x<1 of the cissoid of Diocles around the y-axis. the Wolfram Demonstrations Project. because the infinity of points in the long line is greater than the infinity of points in the short line. Cantor showed that while Galileo's result is correct as applied to the whole numbers and to the rational numbers.htm) Torricelli's Trumpet at PlanetMath (http://planetmath. Salviati: This is one of the difficulties which arise when we attempt. Galileo concluded that the ideas of less.wolfram.com/GabrielsHorn.e. John Wallis and Galileo.[1] 172 References [1] Havil.Gabriel's Horn Christiaan Huygens and François Walther de Sluze found a surface of revolution with related properties: an infinitely high solid with finite surface (so it can be made of finite material) which encloses an infinitely large cavity. External links • • • • Information and diagrams about Gabriel's Horn (http://curvebank. must be more numerous than just the squares. pp. And yet. but not to infinite sets. while others are not. Nonplussed!: mathematical proof of implausible ideas. for every square there is exactly one number that is its square root. To prove this I have in mind an argument which. Julian (2007). I take it for granted that you know which of the numbers are squares and which are not. within one and the same class. equal. all the numbers.

the squares constitute 1/10 part of all the numbers. are more than the squares alone. nor the latter greater than the former. 9. Salviati: If I should ask further how many squares there are one might reply truly that there are as many as the corresponding number of roots." "greater. and finally the attributes "equal. Salviati: Very well. that is. neither is the number of squares less than the totality of all the numbers. Yet at the outset we said that there are many more numbers than squares. while on the other hand those numbers which do not consist of two equal factors are not squares. this 4. one means that the squares form a proper subset of the natural numbers (i. that the number of squares is infinite. and up to a million only 1/1000 part." and "less. and all the numbers are roots. they do not agree in the infinite case (as seen above). — Galileo. but that each line contains an infinite number. one notices that the squaring function N → S. Two New Sciences 173 Resolution of the paradox The paradox is quickly resolved by noticing that two different notions of being bigger are used in the paradox. While these two notions are equivalent in the finite case. shall I not? Simplicio: Most certainly. 3. but only to finite. including both squares and non-squares. Not only so. while no square has more than one root and no root more than one square.e.e. This being granted. if one could conceive of such a thing. since every square has its own root and every root its own square. If one says that the natural numbers are more numerous than the squares. etc.Galileo's paradox Simplicio: I am quite aware that a squared number is one which results from the multiplication of another number by itself. . he would be forced to admit that there are as many squares as there are numbers taken all together. For the sake of simplicity.. if A. and that the number of their roots is infinite. I shall speak the truth. Salviati: But if I inquire how many roots there are. are squared numbers which come from multiplying 2. these two sets have the same cardinality) and thus they are equally big (this is the second notion of being bigger). B are finite sets with A ⊆ B then A ≠ B if and only if #A < #B. S ⊂ N) and thus N is bigger than S (this is the first notion of being bigger).." are not applicable to infinite. but the proportionate number of squares diminishes as we pass to larger numbers. Therefore if I assert that all numbers. Or put differently (still in the case where A ⊆ B are finite) A = B ⇔ #A = #B. since the larger portion of them are not squares. I answer him that one line does not contain more or less or just as many points as another. To wit. we find only 1/100 part to be squares. etc. On the other hand. by themselves. Thus up to 100 we have 10 squares. where # is the cardinality symbol. let us write S for the set of square natural numbers. n → n2 is a bijection between N and S (i. quantities. When therefore Simplicio introduces several lines of different lengths and asks me how it is possible that the longer ones do not contain more points than the shorter. Simplicio: Precisely so. and you also know that just as the products are called squares so the factors are called sides or roots. up to 10000. we must say that there are as many squares as there are numbers because they are just as numerous as their roots. Sagredo: What then must one conclude under these circumstances? Salviati: So far as I see we can only infer that the totality of all numbers is infinite. it cannot be denied that there are as many as the numbers because every number is the root of some square. on the other hand in an infinite number.

if a fair coin is tossed repeatedly and tails comes up a larger number of times than is expected. the false conclusion being: Why change if odds favor tails? Again. The gambler's fallacy implicitly involves an assertion of negative correlation between trials of the random process and therefore involves a denial of the exchangeability of outcomes of the random process.pitt. Such an expectation could be mistakenly referred to as being due. and it probably arises from everyday experiences with nonrandom events (such as when a scheduled train is late. averages of independent trials will tend to approach the expected value. however. if the empirical evidence suggests that an initial assumption about the probability distribution is false. even though individual trials are independent – and regression toward the mean. all such events are equally probable (or distributed in a known way). . The reversal is also a fallacy. Crew and de Salvio.edu/archive/00004276/).[2] . ISBN 4-86600-998-. This is an informal fallacy. a gambler may incorrectly believe that this means that heads is more likely in future tosses. in the PhilSci Archive Gambler's fallacy The Gambler's fallacy. namely that following a rare extreme event (say. New York: Dover. in which a gambler may instead decide that tails are more likely out of some mystical preconception that fate has thus far allowed for consistent results of tails. a run of 10 heads). and also referred to as the fallacy of the maturity of chances. External links • Philosophical Method and Galileo's Paradox of Infinity (http://philsci-archive. It is also known colloquially as the law of averages. In other words. In this case.Galileo's paradox 174 References [1] Galilei. pp. contradicting the (general) assumption that the coin is fair. The conclusion of this reversed gambler's fallacy may be correct. Matthew W. Transl. If a coin is tossed ten times and lands "heads" ten times. 31–33. is the belief that if deviations from expected behaviour are observed in repeated independent trials of some random process. For example. What is true instead are the law of large numbers – in the long term. where it can be expected that it has a greater chance of arriving the later it gets). the fallacy is the belief that the "universe" somehow carries a memory of past results which tend to favor or disfavor future outcomes. Parker. the smart bet is "heads" because the empirical evidence—ten "heads" in a row—suggests that the coin is likely to be biased toward "heads". the gambler's fallacy would suggest an even-money bet on "tails". simply because extreme events are rare. also known as the Monte Carlo fallacy (because its most famous example happened in a Monte Carlo Casino in 1913)[1] . Galileo (1954) [1638]. while the reverse gambler's fallacy (not to be confused with the inverse gambler's fallacy) would suggest an even-money bet on "heads". Dialogues concerning two new sciences. the next event is likely to be less extreme (the next run of heads is likely to be less than 10). future deviations in the opposite direction are then more likely. one implicitly assigns a higher chance of occurrence to an event even though from the point of view of "nature" or the "experiment".

this is not correct. it is only that before the coin is first tossed. a believer in the gambler's fallacy might believe that this next flip is less likely to be heads than to be tails.Gambler's fallacy 175 An example: coin-tossing The gambler's fallacy can be illustrated by considering the repeated toss of a fair coin. then we have. the proportion of red versus blue approaches 50-50 (the Law of Large Numbers). the event of 5 heads in a row and the event of "first 4 heads. Reasoning that it is more likely that the next toss will be a tail than a head due to the past tosses. and is a manifestation of the gambler's fallacy. is the fallacy. However. so their probabilities are 1. then a tails" are equally likely. Given the first four rolls turn up heads. . With a fair coin. Now suppose that we have just tossed four heads in a row. each having probability 1⁄32.03125. . . that a run of luck in the past somehow influences the odds in the future. Simulation of coin tosses: Each frame. In general. a coin is flipped which is red on one side and blue on the other. It follows that the probability of getting two heads in two tosses is 1⁄4 (one in four) and the probability of getting three heads in three tosses is 1⁄8 (one in eight). Since the probability of a run of five successive heads is only 1⁄32 (one in thirty-two). But the difference between red and blue does not systematically decrease to zero. the probability that the next toss is a head is in fact. After the first four tosses the results are no longer unknown. the outcomes in different tosses are statistically independent and the probability of getting heads on a single toss is exactly 1⁄2 (one in two). so that if the next coin toss were also to come up heads. if we let Ai be the event that toss i of a fair coin comes up heads. The result of each flip is added as a colored dot in the corresponding column. While a run of five heads is only 1⁄32 = 0. it would complete a run of five successive heads. As the pie chart shows.

all 21-flip combinations will have probabilities equal to 0. his odds have decreased because he has fewer iterations left to win. then 1 head = 0.521. Furthermore. then 1 tail = 0. the previous losses in no way contribute to the odds of the remaining attempts. the inverse of what actually happens. However. In other words.5 = 0. but there are fewer remaining attempts to gain a win.152. His chances of having at least one win are now: Simply by losing one toss the player's probability of winning dropped by 2%. Therefore. or intentionally change their numbers. the probability of flipping a head after having already flipped 20 heads in a row is simply 1⁄2. his probability of winning on one of the remaining rolls will have dropped to ~50%. Assume a fair 16-sided die. these two probabilities are equally as likely as any other 21-flip combinations that can be obtained (there are 2. assuming a fair coin: • probability of 20 heads.097. From these observations. Therefore.152.521 • probability of 20 heads. hence a win in which these numbers are over-represented is more likely to result in a shared payout.152. the fallacy is built on the notion that previous failures indicate an increased probability of success on subsequent attempts.5 = 0. Assume a player is given 16 rolls to obtain at least one win (1−p(rolling no ones)). Consider the following two probabilities. The player becomes more likely to lose in a set number of iterations as he fails to win. Some lottery players will choose the same numbers every time. given a fair coin. but both are equally likely to win any individual lottery draw. The player's odds for at least one win in those 16 rolls has not increased given a series of losses.097.Gambler's fallacy 176 Explaining why the probability is 1/2 for a fair coin We can see from the above that. Copying the numbers that won the previous lottery draw gives an equal probability. Low numbers (below 31 and especially below 12) are popular because people play birthdays as their so-called lucky numbers.152 total). there is no reason to assume at any point that a change of luck is warranted based on prior trials (flips). and eventually his probability of winning will again equal the probability of winning a single toss. By the time this reaches 5 losses (11 rolls left). The low winning odds are just to make the change in probability more noticeable. and the probability of getting 20 heads then another head are both 1 in 2. because every outcome observed will always have been as likely as the other outcomes that were not observed for that particular trial. This is an application of Bayes' theorem.25% in this instance.75% chance of that. the result of each trial comes down to the base probability of the fair coin: 1⁄2. just as Bayes' theorem shows. which results in a lower probability of obtaining it. where a win is defined as rolling a 1. according to the fallacy.520 × 0.097. when only one toss is left: 6. it is equally likely to flip 21 heads as it is to flip 20 heads and then 1 tail when flipping a fair coin 21 times.097. or 1 in 2. This can also be seen without knowing that 20 heads have occurred for certain (without applying of Bayes' theorem). even on a fair chance of a successful event. As already mentioned. should have a higher chance of winning since one loss has occurred. . 15⁄16). given a set number of iterations. Other examples There is another way to emphasize the fallacy. if one flips a fair coin 21 times. although a rational gambler might attempt to predict other players' choices and then deliberately avoid these numbers. assume now that the first roll was a loss (93. in fact. The probability of having at least one win in the 16 rolls is: However. then the probability of 21 heads is 1 in 2.521 The probability of getting 20 heads then 1 tail. This is.520 × 0. The player now only has 15 rolls left and.

Additionally. "and certainly the chances of having two are almost none!" A similar example is in the book The World According to Garp when the hero Garp decides to buy a house a moment after a small plane crashes into it. despite what parents may hope for their next child. "The chances of an aircraft having a bomb on it are very small. the system is said to have memory.[1] 177 Non-examples of the fallacy There are many scenarios where the gambler's fallacy might superficially seem to apply. when the ball fell in black 26 times in a row.g. Formally. This type of effect is what allows card counting schemes to work (for example in the game of blackjack). An example of this is cards drawn without replacement. While the Trivers–Willard hypothesis explains how there is actually a slight change in a woman's likelihood to birth males towards birthing females over the course of her life. Many riddles trick the reader into believing that they are an example of the gambler's fallacy. an extremely uncommon occurrence (but no more or less common than any of the other 67. such as the Monty Hall problem. then past results provide no information about future ones. but the results can provide information about what sort of results the wheel tends to produce.69%) to 4⁄51 (7. assuming that it was the first card drawn and that there are no jokers. The odds for drawing another ace. Even a biased wheel's past results will not affect future results.Gambler's fallacy A joke told among mathematicians demonstrates the nature of the fallacy. the probability of future events can change based on the outcome of past events (see statistical permutation). This is similar to what people tend to think of with Henry VIII of England trying so desperately for a son.863 sequences of 26 balls. reasoning that the chances of another plane hitting the house have just dropped to zero.. a man decides to always bring a bomb with him. the next draw is less likely to be an ace and more likely to be of another rank. However. a concept which is the basis of both the gambler's fallacy and its reversal.84%). A very real-world example of this is how mothers and couples trying for another child tend to think that if they've had several children of the same sex previously. In this situation. When flying on an aircraft. He discovered that one wheel favored nine numbers and won large sums of money until the casino started rebalancing the roulette wheels daily. the reversed gambler's fallacy may appear to apply in the story of Joseph Jagger. and that it had to be followed by a long streak of red. When the probability of different events is not independent. that this somehow makes their chances more likely of finally having a child of the opposite sex. For example. Gamblers reasoned incorrectly that the streak was causing an "imbalance" in the randomness of the wheel.108. the observation of the wheel's behavior provided information about the physical properties of the wheel rather than its "probability" in some abstract sense. but actually does not. changes in the rules of a game affecting a sports team's performance levels).88%)." he reasons. Meanwhile. The player must then attempt to compensate and randomize his strategy. an inexperienced player's success may decrease after opposing teams discover his or her weaknesses and exploit them. See Game theory. if it is known for certain that the wheel is completely fair. The most famous example happened in a Monte Carlo Casino in the summer of 1913.69%) to 3⁄51 (5. have decreased from 4⁄52 (7. who hired clerks to record the results of roulette wheels in Monte Carlo. and gamblers lost millions of francs betting against black after the black streak happened. it is almost always a 50% chance of either sex. neglecting the 0 or 00 spots on the wheel). while the odds for each other rank have increased from 4⁄52 (7. . if an ace is drawn from a deck and not reinserted. The outcome of future events can be affected if external factors are allowed to change the probability of the events (e.

[8] The representativeness heuristic is also cited behind the related phenomenon of the clustering illusion.Gambler's fallacy 178 Non-example: unknown probability of event When the probability of repeated events are not known.[9] References [1] Lehrer. as a run of heads gets longer and longer. 16–19. [5] Tversky. [2] Colman. "Response preferences: A review of some relevant literature". they tend to make sequences where the proportion of heads to tails stays closer to 0. Daniel Kahneman (1971). How We Decide. When people are asked to make up a random-looking sequence of coin tosses.1037/h0048618.com" (http:/ / www. . Andrew (2001). pdf). html). Daniel Kahneman (1974).1126/science. Amos. 13–16. PMID 17835457.D. 1974. The Mathematical Scientist 30(1). B. "Gambler's Fallacy . com/ doc/ 1O87-gamblersfallacy. Psychological Bulletin 61 (4): 286–302.[6] so people expect that a short run of random outcomes should share properties of a longer run. If one flips a coin 21 times in a row and obtains 21 heads. for example. ISBN 978-0-618-62011-1. B. doi:10. doi:10. according to which people see streaks of random events as being non-random when such streaks are actually much more likely to occur in small samples than people expect. B. "Judgment under uncertainty: Heuristics and biases". Retrieved 2007-11-26. [9] Gilovich. outcomes may not be equally probable. "after observing a long run of red on the roulette wheel.185. doi:10. (1964). B. au/ research/ papers/ pdf/ STAT0004WP. one might rationally conclude a high probability of bias towards heads.[7] Kahneman and Tversky interpret this to mean that people believe short sequences of random events should be representative of longer ones. and hence conclude that future flips of this coin are also highly likely to be heads. Bayesian inference can be used to show that when the long-run proportion of different outcomes are unknown but exchangeable (meaning that the random process from which they are generated may be biased but is equally likely to be biased in any direction) previous observations demonstrate the likely direction of the bias. A Dictionary of Psychology. In the case of coin tossing.5 in any short segment than would be predicted by chance. encyclopedia.[4] [5] According to this view. . G. specifically in that deviations from average should balance out.1037/h0031322. PMID 14140335. and Puza. Jonah (2009).D. [6] Tversky & Kahneman. [3] O'Neill. [4] Tversky. ISBN 0-02-911706-2. (http:/ / cbe. edu.S. (2005) In defence of the reverse gambler's belief. Thomas (1991). 1971. In fact. "Belief in the law of small numbers". and Puza. Reprinted in abridged form as O'Neill. anu. such that the outcome which has occurred the most in the observed data is the most likely to occur again.[3] Psychology behind the fallacy Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman proposed that the gambler's fallacy is a cognitive bias produced by a psychological heuristic called the representativeness heuristic. Amos. 66. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.4157. [7] Tune. the likelihood that the coin is biased towards heads increases.1124. pp. Science 185 (4157): 1124–1131. [8] Tversky & Kahneman. Oxford University Press. New York: The Free Press. pp. Psychological Bulletin 76 (2): 105–110. How we know what isn't so. most people erroneously believe that black will result in a more representative sequence than the occurrence of an additional red". (2004) Dice have no memories but I do: A defence of the reverse gambler's belief.Encyclopedia. p.

either that statement or its negation is provable from the axioms. an inconsistent set of axioms will prove every statement in its language (this is sometimes called the principle of explosion). This is equivalent to the existence of a program that enumerates all the theorems of the theory without enumerating any statements that are not theorems. a corollary of the first. proves a maximal set of non-contradictory theorems. the proof verifier simply checks that a provided formal proof (or. is closely related to automated theorem proving. complete. shows that such a system cannot demonstrate its own consistency. without proving any incorrect results. in some cases. because the principle of mathematical induction is expressed as an infinite set of axioms (an axiom schema). To verify a formal proof when the set of axioms is infinite. such as Peano arithmetic. consistent theory. it must be possible to determine whether a statement that is claimed to be an axiom is actually an axiom. systems such as Isabelle are used today to formalize proofs and then check their validity. known as automatic proof verification. it is possible to mechanically verify that a formal proof from a finite set of axioms is valid. Examples of effectively generated theories with infinite sets of axioms include Peano arithmetic and Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory. for any statement in the axioms' language. This means that there is a computer program that.Gödel's incompleteness theorems 179 Gödel's incompleteness theorems Gödel's incompleteness theorems are two theorems of mathematical logic that establish inherent limitations of all but the most trivial axiomatic systems capable of doing arithmetic. Gödel's incompleteness theorems show that in certain cases it is not possible to obtain an effectively generated. Many theories of interest include an infinite set of axioms. A set of axioms is complete if. A set of axioms that is both complete and consistent. This issue arises in first order theories of arithmetic. could enumerate all the axioms of the theory without listing any statements that are not axioms. and is thus automatically complete. For any such system. proven by Kurt Gödel in 1931. but that are unprovable within the system. A set of axioms is (simply) consistent if there is no statement such that both the statement and its negation are provable from the axioms. In the standard system of first-order logic. one goal is to be able to prove as many correct results as possible. The difference is that instead of constructing a new proof. The theorems. thus giving a negative answer to Hilbert's second problem. The two results are widely interpreted as showing that Hilbert's program to find a complete and consistent set of axioms for all of mathematics is impossible. instructions that can be followed to create a formal proof) is correct. in principle. . This task. are important both in mathematical logic and in the philosophy of mathematics. however. In choosing a set of axioms. The first incompleteness theorem states that no consistent system of axioms whose theorems can be listed by an "effective procedure" (essentially. Background Because statements of a formal theory are written in symbolic form. A formal theory is said to be effectively generated if its set of axioms is a recursively enumerable set. The second incompleteness theorem. there will always be statements about the natural numbers that are true. a computer program) is capable of proving all truths about the relations of the natural numbers (arithmetic). however. This process is not merely hypothetical.

and thus T’ cannot be complete. Euclidean geometry without the parallel postulate is incomplete. which would be decidable by the theory if it were complete. Since G states only that it is not provable in T. there is an arithmetical statement that is true. the claim G makes about its own unprovability is correct. In particular. It is possible to define a larger theory T’ that contains the whole of T. This informal analysis can be formalized to make a rigorous proof of the incompleteness theorem. 250). which is assumed to prove certain facts about numbers. This will not result in a complete theory. This interpretation of G leads to the following informal analysis. the conjunction of the Gödel sentence and any logically valid sentence will have this property. rather than T.[1] but not provable in the theory (Kleene 1967. For example. G’ will differ from G in that G’ will refer to T’. Then the theory at hand. the corresponding Gödel sentence G asserts: “G cannot be proved within the theory T”. for any consistent. showing that T’ is also incomplete. the Gödel sentence states that no natural number exists with a certain. plus G as an additional axiom. p. Each effectively generated theory has its own Gödel statement. A system may be incomplete simply because not all the necessary axioms have been discovered. Some (like Bob Hale and Crispin Wright) argue that it is not a problem for logicism because the incompleteness theorems apply equally to second order logic as they do to arithmetic. In these terms. also proves facts about its own statements. Meaning of the first incompleteness theorem Gödel's first incompleteness theorem shows that any consistent formal system that includes enough of the theory of the natural numbers is incomplete: there are true statements expressible in its language that are unprovable. and provability-within-the-theory-T is not the same as truth. If G were provable under the axioms and rules of inference of T. provided that it is effectively generated. effectively generated formal theory that proves certain basic arithmetic truths. which effectively contradicts itself. This fact is sometimes thought to have severe consequences for the program of logicism proposed by Gottlob Frege and Bertrand Russell. For each consistent formal theory T having the required small amount of number theory. because it is an axiom. because Gödel's theorem will also apply to T’. Thus no formal system (satisfying the hypotheses of the theorem) that aims to characterize the natural numbers can actually do so. there is no such number. The existence of an incomplete formal system is. A number with this property would encode a proof of the inconsistency of the theory. as there will be true number-theoretical statements which that system cannot prove. because the incompleteness theorem applies to T’: there will be a new Gödel statement G’ for T’. G. The proof constructs a specific Gödel sentence for each effectively generated theory. then T would have a theorem. as described in the section "Proof sketch for the first theorem" below. p. For example. but there are infinitely many statements in the language of the theory that share the property of being true but unprovable. under the assumption that the theory is consistent. in itself. They argue that only those who believe that the natural numbers are to be defined in terms of first order logic have this problem. Questions about the provability of statements are represented as questions about the properties of numbers. it is not possible to prove or disprove the parallel postulate from the remaining . G is indeed a theorem in T’. strange property.Gödel's incompleteness theorems 180 First incompleteness theorem Gödel's first incompleteness theorem states that: Any effectively generated theory capable of expressing elementary arithmetic cannot be both consistent and complete. and so the theory T is incomplete. 451–468). which aimed to define the natural numbers in terms of logic (Hellman 1981. In this case. contrary to the consistency hypothesis. To prove the first incompleteness theorem. not particularly surprising. So. In this sense G is not only unprovable but true. However. and thus the theory T would be inconsistent. Gödel represented statements by numbers. If there were such a number then the theory would be inconsistent. no contradiction is presented by its provability in T’. This means that if the theory T is consistent then G cannot be proved within it. The true but unprovable statement referred to by the theorem is often referred to as “the Gödel sentence” for the theory. Moreover.

and yet the theory also proves that there exists a natural number n such that P(n). This result.Gödel's incompleteness theorems axioms. Gödel's theorem shows that. given a statement about the natural numbers. nor can it be false (for then. but restricted the proof to one system for concreteness. which asked for a finitary consistency proof for mathematics. a particular theory of arithmetic. a complete and consistent finite list of axioms can never be created. in theories that include a small portion of number theory. whether it is an axiom of this theory. The second incompleteness theorem." An analysis of the liar sentence shows that it cannot be true (for then. A theory is ω-consistent if it is not ω-inconsistent. nor even an infinite list that can be enumerated by a computer program. A Gödel sentence G for a theory T makes a similar assertion to the liar sentence. it does so at the cost of making the system inconsistent. but with truth replaced by provability: G says "G is not provable in the theory T. The terminology used to state these conditions was not yet developed in 1931 when Gödel published his results. and thus there is no effective way to verify a formal proof in this theory. For example. Each time a new statement is added as an axiom." The analysis of the truth and provability of G is a formalized version of the analysis of the truth of the liar sentence. The second incompleteness theorem appeared as "Theorem XI" in the same paper. which gives the theory known as "true arithmetic". Gödel commented on this fact in the introduction to his paper. it is false). In modern statements of the theorem. and is ω-inconsistent if there is a predicate P such that for every specific natural number n the theory proves ~P(n). The difficulty is that there is no mechanical way to decide. 181 Relation to the liar paradox The liar paradox is the sentence "This sentence is false. so that it is not limited to any particular formal theory. as it asserts. even with the new axiom. it is common to state the effectiveness and expressiveness conditions as hypotheses for the incompleteness theorem. known as Tarski's undefinability theorem. The ω-consistency of a theory implies its consistency. J. but a parallel demonstration could be given for any effective theory of a certain expressiveness. it is true). the theory says that a number with property P exists while denying that it has any specific value. there are other true statements that still cannot be proved. but consistency does not imply ω-consistency. and the status of Hilbert's second problem is not yet decided (see "Modern viewpoints on the status of the problem"). Extensions of Gödel's original result Gödel demonstrated the incompleteness of the theory of Principia Mathematica. however. was discovered independently by Gödel (when he was working on the proof of the incompleteness theorem) and by Alfred Tarski. Barkley Rosser (1936) strengthened the incompleteness theorem by finding a variation . is often viewed as making the problem impossible. in particular. If an axiom is ever added that makes the system complete. Not all mathematicians agree with this analysis. Original statements The first incompleteness theorem first appeared as "Theorem VI" in Gödel's 1931 paper On Formally Undecidable Propositions in Principia Mathematica and Related Systems I. one might take all true statements about the natural numbers to be axioms (and no false statements). Gödel's original statement and proof of the incompleteness theorem requires the assumption that the theory is not just consistent but ω-consistent. It is not possible to replace "not provable" with "false" in a Gödel sentence because the predicate "Q is the Gödel number of a false formula" cannot be represented as a formula of arithmetic. That is. Many logicians believe that Gödel's incompleteness theorems struck a fatal blow to David Hilbert's second problem. There are complete and consistent list of axioms for arithmetic that cannot be enumerated by a computer program.

If T proves P. and thus Gödel's theorem as originally stated applies to them. The proof of the second incompleteness theorem is obtained.. and such that the last formula is a contradiction". the derivability conditions say: 1. Formalizing derivability can be done in canonical fashion: given an arithmetical formula A(x) defining a set of axioms. . In other words. T proves that if T proves that (P → Q) and T proves P then T proves Q. the standard proof of the second incompleteness theorem assumes that ProvA(P) satisfies that Hilbert–Bernays provability conditions. In other words. then T proves ProvA(#(P)). since all true formal theories of arithmetic (theories whose axioms are all true statements about natural numbers) are ω-consistent. rather than ω-consistency. T proves 1. This is mostly of technical interest. by formalizing the proof of the first incompleteness theorem within the theory itself. A technical subtlety in the second incompleteness theorem is how to express the consistency of T as a formula in the language of T. the numbers encoding the axioms as per the scheme used by Gödel mentioned above). in fact. first-order Peano arithmetic (PA) can prove that the largest consistent subset of PA is consistent. The formalization of Con(T) depends on two factors: formalizing the notion of a sentence being derivable from a set of sentences and formalizing the notion of being an axiom of T. such that each formula is either one of the axioms of T. and not all of them lead to the same result. T proves that ProvA(#(P)) implies ProvA(#(ProvA(#(P)))). for example. The stronger version of the incompleteness theorem that only assumes consistency. it is possible to canonically define a formula Con(T) expressing the consistency of T. Letting #(P) represent the Gödel number of a formula P. In particular. (The term "largest consistent subset of PA" is technically ambiguous. because the statement constructed in the first incompleteness theorem does not directly express the consistency of the theory. the whole of PA. that is. But since PA is consistent. T proves that ProvA(#(P → Q)) and ProvA(#(P)) imply ProvA(#(Q)). This strengthens the first incompleteness theorem. but what is meant here is the largest consistent initial segment of the axioms of PA ordered according to some criteria. 182 Second incompleteness theorem Gödel's second incompleteness theorem can be stated as follows: For any formal effectively generated theory T including basic arithmetical truths and also certain truths about formal provability. so in this sense PA "proves that it is consistent". this formula expresses the property that "there does not exist a natural number coding a sequence of formulas. a logical axiom. the largest consistent subset of PA is just PA. 2. different formalizations of the claim that T is consistent may be inequivalent in T. by "Gödel numbers". is now commonly known as Gödel's incompleteness theorem and as the Gödel–Rosser theorem. In the case of Peano arithmetic. What PA does not prove is that the largest consistent subset of PA is. T proves that if T proves P. or an immediate consequence of preceding formulas according to the rules of inference of first-order logic. one can canonically form a predicate ProvA(P) which expresses that P is provable from the set of axioms defined by A(x).Gödel's incompleteness theorems of the proof (Rosser's trick) that only requires the theory to be consistent. and some may even be provable. T includes a statement of its own consistency if and only if T is inconsistent. then T proves ProvA(#(P)). In addition. rather than ω-consistent. There are many ways to do this. For example. essentially. or any familiar explicitly axiomatized theory T. 3.

then it would itself be inconsistent. for example weaker than T. Thus a consistency proof of T in T would give us no clue as to whether T really is consistent. the term independent is sometimes used instead of undecidable for the "neither provable nor refutable" sense. cannot be carried out. If T1 were in fact inconsistent. in and of itself. including their consistency. by second incompleteness theorem. or whether it can be determined by other means. But if T2 also proved that T1 is consistent (that is. which is widely accepted as an accurate formalization of finitistic mathematics. Thus PRA cannot prove the consistency of PA. . The first of these is the proof-theoretic sense used in relation to Gödel's theorems. This corollary of the second incompleteness theorem shows that there is no hope of proving. Gerhard Gentzen proved the consistency of Peano arithmetic (PA) in a different theory which includes an axiom asserting that the ordinal called ε0 is wellfounded. then T2 would prove for some n that n is the code of a contradiction in T1. This reasoning can be formalized in T1 to show that if T2 is consistent. The second incompleteness theorem does not rule out consistency proofs altogether. whose truth value can never be known or is ill-specified.Gödel's incompleteness theorems 183 Implications for consistency proofs Gödel's second incompleteness theorem also implies that a theory T1 satisfying the technical conditions outlined above cannot prove the consistency of any theory T2 which proves the consistency of T1. Examples of undecidable statements There are two distinct senses of the word "undecidable" in mathematics and computer science. Whether there exist so-called "absolutely undecidable" statements. however. for example. see Gentzen's consistency proof. Some use it to mean just "not provable". is used in relation to computability theory and applies not to statements but to decision problems. such as T = Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory and T’ = primitive recursive arithmetic. the consistency of Peano arithmetic using any finitistic means that can be formalized in a theory the consistency of which is provable in Peano arithmetic. The interest in consistency proofs lies in the possibility of proving the consistency of a theory T in some theory T’ which is in some sense less doubtful than T itself. and thus T’ can't prove the consistency of T by the above corollary of the second incompleteness theorem. Because of the two meanings of the word undecidable. n has the decidable property of not being a code for a proof of contradiction in T1". For many naturally occurring theories T and T’. This is because inconsistent theories prove everything. which are countably infinite sets of questions each requiring a yes or no answer. address the question of whether the truth value of the statement is well-defined. the theory of primitive recursive arithmetic (PRA). that there is no such n). For the claim that T1 is consistent has form "for all numbers n. For example. Since. T1 does not prove its consistency. leaving open whether an independent statement might be refuted. which will not be discussed here. This fact is generally seen to imply that Hilbert's program. Such a problem is said to be undecidable if there is no computable function that correctly answers every question in the problem set (see undecidable problem). Undecidability of a statement in a particular deductive system does not. The usage of "independent" is also ambiguous. is a controversial point in the philosophy of mathematics. Gentzen's theorem spurred the development of ordinal analysis in proof theory. that of a statement being neither provable nor refutable in a specified deductive system. For example. Undecidability only implies that the particular deductive system being considered does not prove the truth or falsity of the statement. It would actually provide no interesting information if a theory T proved its consistency. The second sense. then T1 is in fact consistent. the consistency of T’ is provable in T. then T1 is consistent. is provably consistent in PA. it cannot prove the consistency of T2 either. no doubts about the consistency of T would be resolved by such a consistency proof. This is because such a theory T1 can prove that if T2 proves the consistency of T1. The corollary also indicates the epistemological relevance of the second incompleteness theorem. only consistency proofs that could be formalized in the theory that is proved consistent. which aimed to justify the use of "ideal" (infinitistic) mathematical principles in the proofs of "real" (finitistic) mathematical statements by giving a finitistic proof that the ideal principles are consistent.

In the 1960s. Cohen proved that neither is provable from ZF. For example. and the axiom of choice can neither be proved nor refuted in ZF (which is all the ZFC axioms except the axiom of choice).Gödel's incompleteness theorems The combined work of Gödel and Paul Cohen has given two concrete examples of undecidable statements (in the first sense of the term): The continuum hypothesis can neither be proved nor refuted in ZFC (the standard axiomatization of set theory). a version of the Ramsey theorem. For example. In fact Kruskal's tree theorem (or its finite form) is undecidable in a much stronger system codifying the principles acceptable on the basis of a philosophy of mathematics called predicativism. It does not show that the consistency cannot be proved from other (consistent) axioms. and the continuum hypothesis cannot be proven from ZFC. or in theories of arithmetic augmented with transfinite induction. These results do not require the incompleteness theorem. Gödel proved in 1940 that neither of these statements could be disproved in ZF or ZFC set theory. which has applications in computer science. Willard (Willard 2001) has studied many weak systems of arithmetic which do not satisfy the hypotheses of the second incompleteness theorem. Paris and Harrington proved that the Paris-Harrington principle. Chaitin's result is related to Berry's paradox. the Whitehead problem in group theory was shown to be undecidable. in the first sense of the term. a statement about sequences of natural numbers somewhat simpler than the Paris-Harrington principle. Regarding the third example. and of arithmetic in which multiplication is not provably total. and which are consistent and capable of proving their own consistency (see self-verifying theories). In 1977. there is an upper bound c such that no specific number can be proven in that theory to have Kolmogorov complexity greater than c. as in Gentzen's consistency proof. . The related but more general graph minor theorem (2003) has consequences for computational complexity theory. Chaitin's theorem states that for any theory that can represent enough arithmetic. because this theory is not recursively enumerable. even when these systems have models that include the natural numbers as a subset. to be undecidable in Peano arithmetic. The second incompleteness theorem only shows that the consistency of certain theories cannot be proved from the axioms of those theories themselves. the consistency of the Peano arithmetic can be proved in Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory (ZFC). complete extension of Peano arithmetic (called true arithmetic) for which none of Gödel's theorems hold. Gödel's theorems only apply to effectively generated (that is. recursively enumerable) theories. Not all axiom systems satisfy these hypotheses. Gregory Chaitin produced undecidable statements in algorithmic information theory and proved another incompleteness theorem in that setting. Kruskal's tree theorem. 184 Limitations of Gödel's theorems The conclusions of Gödel's theorems are only proven for the formal theories that satisfy the necessary hypotheses. is undecidable in the first-order axiomatization of arithmetic called Peano arithmetic. in standard set theory. is also undecidable from Peano arithmetic but provable in set theory. If all true statements about natural numbers are taken as axioms for a theory. While Gödel's theorem is related to the liar paradox. The key fact is that these axiomatizations are not expressive enough to define the set of natural numbers or develop basic properties of the natural numbers. Kirby and Paris later showed Goodstein's theorem. none of these meet the hypotheses of Gödel's theorems. but can be proven in the larger system of second-order arithmetic. In 1973. of real closed fields. Dan E. there are first-order axiomatizations of Euclidean geometry. then this theory is a consistent.

p. 2.. In the formal system it is possible to construct a number whose matching statement. Because polynomials with integer coefficients. . based on Kolmogorov complexity. 132). Statements in the system can be represented by natural numbers (known as Gödel numbers). if the theory T is ω-consistent. Gödel's incompleteness theorem is distinguished by its applicability to consistent theories that nonetheless include statements that are false in the standard model. when interpreted. Chaitin's theorem only applies to theories with the additional property that all their axioms are true in the standard model of the natural numbers. Thus. Proof sketch for the first theorem The proof by contradiction has three essential parts.. Smorynski (1977. then it will never prove that some polynomial equation has a solution when in fact there is no solution in the integers. are directly expressible in the language of arithmetic. The significance of this is that properties of statements—such as their truth and falsehood—will be equivalent to determining whether their Gödel numbers have certain properties. the statement itself) is unprovable. is self-referential and essentially says that it (i. given a program P as input. 73) explains how Matiyasevich's solution to Hilbert's 10th problem can be used to obtain a proof to Gödel's first incompleteness theorem. This proof is often extended to show that systems such as Peano arithmetic are essentially undecidable (see Kleene 1967. Like the proof presented by Kleene that was mentioned above. One such result shows that the halting problem is unsolvable: there is no computer program that can correctly determine. and that properties of the statements can therefore be demonstrated by examining their Gödel numbers. Charlesworth (1980). given a multivariate polynomial p(x1. if T were complete and ω-consistent. Moreover. This method of proof has also been presented by Shoenfield (1967. determines whether there is an integer solution to the equation p = 0. Chaitin's incompleteness theorem gives a different method of producing independent sentences. Matiyasevich proved that there is no algorithm that.e. a contradiction. Within the formal system this statement permits a demonstration that it is neither provable nor disprovable in the system. x2. Stephen Cole Kleene (1943) presented a proof of Gödel's incompleteness theorem using basic results of computability theory. these theories are known as ω-inconsistent. Hence the original assumption that the proposed system met the criteria is false. p. Kleene showed that the existence of a complete effective theory of arithmetic with certain consistency properties would force the halting problem to be decidable. and Hopcroft and Ullman (1979). To begin. it would be possible to algorithmically determine whether a polynomial equation has a solution by merely enumerating proofs of T until either "p has a solution" or "p has no solution" is found. 274). whether P eventually halts when run with some given input. 842) shows how the existence of recursively inseparable sets can be used to prove the first incompleteness theorem. p. if a multivariate integer polynomial equation p = 0 does have a solution in the integers then any sufficiently strong theory of arithmetic T will prove this. Franzén (2005.xk) with integer coefficients. This part culminates in the construction of a formula expressing the idea that "statement S is provable in the system" (which can be applied to any statement "S" in the system).Gödel's incompleteness theorems 185 Relationship with computability The incompleteness theorem is closely related to several results about undecidable sets in recursion theory.. p. choose a formal system that meets the proposed criteria: 1. and therefore the system cannot in fact be ω-consistent. and integers themselves.. 3. in contradiction to Matiyasevich's theorem. This is done using a trick called "diagonalization" (so-called because of its origins as Cantor's diagonal argument).

Construction of a statement about "provability" Having shown that in principle the system can indirectly make statements about provability.Gödel's incompleteness theorems 186 Arithmetization of syntax The main problem in fleshing out the proof described above is that it seems at first that to construct a statement p that is equivalent to "p cannot be proved". by analyzing properties of those numbers representing statements it is now possible to show how to create a statement that actually does this. Crucially. In particular. A simple example is the way in which English is stored as a sequence of numbers in computers using ASCII or Unicode: • The word HELLO is represented by 72-69-76-76-79 using decimal ASCII. for every statement p. In principle. the results are equivalent to reasoning about provability of their equivalent statements. this name was originally used by Gödel to denote the provability formula just described. This allows a self-referential formula to be constructed in a way that avoids any infinite regress of definitions. but for the proof sketch this will suffice). formula in the original language of T. a method can be devised so that every formula or statement that can be formulated in the system gets a unique number. the string "Bew" itself is not claimed to be part of this . For certain formulas one can show that for every natural number n. but this is not a barrier. ie the number 120061121032061062032121061120. ie the number 7269767679. In simple terms. such as "2×3=6". Now. • The logical statement x=y => y=x is represented by 120-061-121-032-061-062-032-121-061-120 using octal ASCII. one may ask whether a number x is the Gödel number of its proof. all that matters is that such numbers can be constructed. the potential Gödel number of its proof. As soon as x is replaced by a specific number. The numbers involved might be very long indeed (in terms of number of digits). p would have to somehow contain a reference to p. or not. is an arithmetical relation between two numbers. the statement form turns into a bona fide statement. the Gödel number of a proof can be defined. A formula F(x) that contains exactly one free variable x is called a statement form or class-sign. called its Gödel number. in the following way. Statement forms themselves are not statements and therefore cannot be proved or disproved. and it is then either provable in the system. Now comes the trick: The notion of provability itself can also be encoded by Gödel numbers. But every statement form F(x) can be assigned a Gödel number denoted by G(F). Gödel's ingenious trick is to show that statements can be matched with numbers (often called the arithmetization of syntax) in such a way that "proving a statement" can be replaced with "testing whether a number has a given property". The name Bew is short for beweisbar. very long. F(n) is true if and only if it can be proven (the precise requirement in the original proof is weaker. this is true for every specific arithmetic operation between a finite number of natural numbers. which could easily give rise to an infinite regress. The choice of the free variable used in the form F(x) is not relevant to the assignment of the Gödel number G(F). Since a proof is a list of statements which obey certain rules. in such a way that it is possible to mechanically convert back and forth between formulas and Gödel numbers. The same trick was later used by Alan Turing in his work on the Entscheidungsproblem. Because the formal system is strong enough to support reasoning about numbers in general. the German word for "provable". Therefore there is a statement form Bew(y) that uses this arithmetical relation to state that a Gödel number of a proof of y exists: Bew(y) = ∃ x ( y is the Gödel number of a formula and x is the Gödel number of a proof of the formula encoded by y). The relation between the Gödel number of p and x. it can support reasoning about numbers which represent formulae and statements as well. Note that "Bew(y)" is merely an abbreviation that represents a particular. because the system can support reasoning about properties of numbers. proving a statement true or false can be shown to be equivalent to proving that the number matching the statement does or doesn't have a given property.

when preceded by itself in quotes. creating a new statement form Bew2(x) for this new system. So: • In an ω-consistent formal system. So the chosen system is either inconsistent or incomplete. If the negation of p were provable. the resulting Gödel number will be that of an unprovable statement. This contradiction shows that p cannot be provable. and so p is undecidable. The conclusion is that all formal systems meeting the criteria are either inconsistent or incomplete. The proof of the diagonal lemma employs a similar method. This logic can be applied to any formal system meeting the criteria. then Bew(G(p)) would be provable. If p were provable. the existence of which causes Bew(G(p)) to be satisfied. a new statement p2 is obtained. . By letting F be the negation of Bew(x). rather. and thus this sentence asserts its own unprovability. The assumption of ω-consistency is only required for the negation of p to be not provable. However. • In a consistent formal system either the same situation occurs. This sentence does not directly refer to itself. When the diagonal lemma is applied to this new form Bew2. is unprovable. is unprovable. thus showing that system2 is equally inconsistent. But this then creates a new formal system2 (old system + p). Thus the statement p is undecidable: it can neither be proved nor disproved within the chosen system. This is because any proof of p would have a corresponding Gödel number. Although Gödel constructed this statement directly. The statement p is not literally equal to ~Bew(G(p)). In the later case. which says that for any sufficiently strong formal system and any statement form F there is a statement p such that the system proves p ↔ F(G(p)). neither p nor its negation can be proved. and this new statement will be undecidable in the new system if it is ω-consistent. But when this calculation is performed. It should be noted that p is not provable (and thus true) in every consistent system. An important feature of the formula Bew(y) is that if a statement p is provable in the system then Bew(G(p)) is also provable. to which exactly the same process can be applied. Thus the system would be inconsistent. p is obtained: p roughly states that its own Gödel number is the Gödel number of an unprovable formula. Thus the negation of p is not provable. then Bew(G(p)) would be provable (because p was constructed to be equivalent to the negation of Bew(G(p))). Thus on one hand the system supports construction of a number with a certain property (that it is the Gödel number of the proof of p).Gödel's incompleteness theorems language. p states that if a certain calculation is performed. This is similar to the following sentence in English: ". x cannot be the Gödel number of the proof of p. because p is not provable (from the previous paragraph). for every specific number x. the resulting Gödel number turns out to be the Gödel number of p itself. This is impossible in an ω-consistent system. it can be proved that the number does not have this property. for each specific number x. proving both a statement and its negation. Let p be the statement obtained in the previous section. as argued above. the existence of at least one such statement follows from the diagonal lemma. Note that if one tries to fix this by "adding the missing axioms" to avoid the undecidability of the system. a statement ("not p") is false but provable. But p asserts the negation of Bew(G(p)). So adding extra axioms cannot fix the problem. this statement will be different from the previous one. 187 Diagonalization The next step in the proof is to obtain a statement that says it is unprovable. but when the stated transformation is made the original sentence is obtained as a result. when preceded by itself in quotes. then one has to add either p or "not p" as axioms. or the negation of p can be proved. Proof of independence Now assume that the formal system is ω-consistent. but on the other hand.".

but a proof in T is not completely convincing unless T's consistency has already been established without using S. p. Therefore. Proof sketch for the second theorem The main difficulty in proving the second incompleteness theorem is to show that various facts about provability used in the proof of the first incompleteness theorem can be formalized within the system using a formal predicate for provability. are called essentially undecidable or essentially incomplete. According to Boolos. then it is inconsistent. One can paraphrase the first theorem as saying the following: An all-encompassing axiomatic system can never be found that is able to prove all mathematical truths. for which any computably enumerable consistent extension is incomplete. which use a single system formal logic to define their principles. consistent theories of arithmetic (Boolos 1998. from a strict formalist perspective this paraphrase would be considered meaningless because it presupposes that mathematical "truth" and "falsehood" are well-defined in an absolute sense. But this last statement is equivalent to p itself (and this equivalence can be proven in the system). then p is not provable. 388). This gives the first incompleteness theorem as a corollary. Let p stand for the undecidable sentence constructed above. This contradiction shows that the system must be inconsistent. this proof is interesting because it provides a "different sort of reason" for the incompleteness of effective. rather than relative to each formal system. particularly versions of formalism. A similar proof method was independently discovered by Saul Kripke (Boolos 1998. and assume that the consistency of the system can be proven from within the system itself. 383). and therefore the statement "p is not provable". one needs to use some other more powerful system T. for any computably enumerable set S of true sentences of arithmetic. so p can be proven in the system.Gödel's incompleteness theorems 188 Proof via Berry's paradox George Boolos (1989) sketches an alternative proof of the first incompleteness theorem that uses Berry's paradox rather than the liar paradox to construct a true but unprovable formula. . Boolos's proof proceeds by constructing. but no falsehoods. the second incompleteness theorem essentially follows by formalizing the entire proof of the first incompleteness theorem within the system itself. The proof of this implication can be formalized within the system. Formalized proofs Formalized proofs of versions of the incompleteness theorem have been developed by Natarajan Shankar in 1986 using Nqthm (Shankar 1994) and by R. The demonstration above shows that if the system is consistent. Discussion and implications The incompleteness results affect the philosophy of mathematics. On the other hand. or "not P(p)" can be proven in the system. The following rephrasing of the second theorem is even more unsettling to the foundations of mathematics: If an axiomatic system can be proven to be consistent from within itself. p. to establish the consistency of a system S. Theories such as Peano arithmetic. Once this is done. another sentence which is true but not contained in S. O'Connor in 2003 using Coq (O'Connor 2005).

as described earlier in this article. quote from Rebecca Goldstein's comments on the disparity between Gödel's avowed Platonism and the anti-realist uses to which his ideas are sometimes put. p." Paraconsistent logic Although Gödel's theorems are usually studied in the context of classical logic. 46) observes: Gödel's proof of the first incompleteness theorem and Rosser's strengthened version have given many the impression that the theorem can only be proved by constructing self-referential statements [. then Gödel's incompleteness theorems would apply to it. they also have a role in the study of paraconsistent logic and of inherently contradictory statements (dialetheia). if anything. Stewart Shapiro (2002) gives a more mixed appraisal of the applications of Gödel's theorems to dialetheism. To counteract such impressions. Bricmont and Stangroom (2006. Gödel's incompleteness theorems imply about human intelligence.. Sokal and Bricmont (1999. Hilary Putnam (1960) suggested that while Gödel's theorems cannot be applied to humans. any finite machine at all.). p. and Ophelia Benson and Jeremy Stangroom (2006). the Gödel phenomena are very much with us. . R. The role of self-reference Torkel Franzén (2005. Debray has defended this use as metaphorical (ibid. Carl Hewitt (2008) has proposed that (inconsistent) paraconsistent logics that prove their own Gödel sentences may have applications in software engineering. p. The cause of this inconsistency is the inclusion of a truth predicate for a theory within the language of the theory (Priest 2006:47). we need only introduce a different kind of proof of the first incompleteness theorem. A number of authors have commented negatively on such extensions and interpretations. Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont (1999). 2006) argues that replacing the notion of formal proof in Gödel's theorem with the usual notion of informal proof can be used to show that naive mathematics is inconsistent.] or even that only strange self-referential statements are known to be undecidable in elementary arithmetic. Avi Wigderson (2010) has proposed that the concept of mathematical "knowability" should be based on computational complexity rather than logical decidability. Assuming that it is consistent. Lucas have debated what. either its consistency cannot be proved or it cannot be represented by a Turing machine. Graham Priest (1984.Gödel's incompleteness theorems 189 Minds and machines Authors including J. or by the Church–Turing thesis. He writes that "when knowability is interpreted by modern standards. 187) criticize Régis Debray's invocation of the theorem in the context of sociology. He then proposes the proofs based on Computability. Appeals to the incompleteness theorems in other fields Appeals and analogies are sometimes made to the incompleteness theorems in support of arguments that go beyond mathematics and logic. or on information theory.. as examples of proofs that should "counteract such impressions". Much of the debate centers on whether the human mind is equivalent to a Turing machine. and uses this as evidence for dialetheism. namely via computational complexity. including Torkel Franzén (2005). 10). for example. it may be applied to the human faculty of science or mathematics in general. If it is. since they make mistakes and are therefore inconsistent. and if the machine is consistent.

as he was leaving his position at the University of Göttingen. The announcement drew little attention apart from that of von Neumann. who pulled Gödel aside for conversation. all four would attend a key conference in Königsberg the following week. 70). Gödel had independently obtained the second incompleteness theorem and included it in his submitted manuscript. respectively (Dawson 1996. Hilbert used the speech to argue his belief that all mathematical problems can be solved. As the title implies.Gödel's incompleteness theorems 190 History After Gödel published his proof of the completeness theorem as his doctoral thesis in 1929. p. not at all for natural science either. He ended his address by saying. which he announced to Gödel in a letter dated November 20. which was received by Monatshefte für Mathematik on November 17. von Neumann produced a concrete example showing that its main technique was unsound (Zach 2006. 63). Heyting. von Neumann was able to correct the proof for a theory of arithmetic without any axioms of induction. p. it was never written. and. 72). His original goal was to obtain a positive solution to Hilbert's second problem (Dawson 1997. Announcement The 1930 Königsberg conference was a joint meeting of three academic societies. were used as Hilbert's epitaph in 1943). Ackermann had published a flawed consistency proof for analysis in 1925. . intuitionism.. Gödel announced his first incompleteness theorem at a roundtable discussion session on the third day of the conference. in which he attempted to use the method of ε-substitution originally developed by Hilbert. In the course of his research. 69). 33). and von Neumann delivered one-hour addresses on the mathematical philosophies of logicism. p. our credo avers: We must know. Wir werden wissen!". although he never published it. Ackermann had communicated a modified proof to Bernays. 418. In particular. in my opinion. The conference also included Hilbert's retirement address. Gödel was not the only person working on the consistency problem. p. von Neumann obtained a proof of the second incompleteness theorem. theories of the natural numbers and real numbers similar to second-order arithmetic were known as "analysis". while theories of the natural numbers alone were known as "arithmetic". with many of the key logicians of the time in attendance. At the time. a sentence that asserts its own non-provability does not.. in my opinion. working independently with knowledge of the first incompleteness theorem. By 1928. . Carnap. p. Gödel was aware of the result now called Tarski's indefinability theorem. Gödel's paper was published in the Monatshefte in 1931 under the title Über formal unentscheidbare Sätze der Principia Mathematica und verwandter Systeme I (On Formally Undecidable Propositions in Principia Mathematica and Related Systems I). The true reason why [no one] has succeeded in finding an unsolvable problem is. 1930. Later that year. the two never met face to face (Dawson 1996. Later that year. p. "For the mathematician there is no Ignorabimus. In contrast to the foolish Ignoramibus. After the publication of the incompleteness theorems showed that Ackermann's modified proof must be erroneous. "Wir müssen wissen. Gödel originally planned to publish a second part of the paper. he turned to a second problem for his habilitation. this modified proof led Hilbert to announce his belief in 1929 that the consistency of arithmetic had been demonstrated and that a consistency proof of analysis would likely soon follow. 1930. Feigel and Waismann on August 26. and formalism. Gödel discovered that although a sentence which asserts its own falsehood leads to paradox. 1930 (Dawson 1996. Zach 2003. We shall know!" This speech quickly became known as a summary of Hilbert's beliefs on mathematics (its final six words. that there is no unsolvable problem. Although Gödel was likely in attendance for Hilbert's address. Gödel announced his first incompleteness theorem to Carnap.

Criticism In September 1931. Wittgenstein and Gödel Ludwig Wittgenstein wrote several passages about the incompleteness theorems that were published posthumously in his 1953 Remarks on the Foundations of Mathematics. which Finsler felt had priority for an incompleteness theorem. Hilbert accepted this proof as "finitary" although (as Gödel's theorem had already shown) it cannot be formalized within the system of arithmetic that is being proved consistent. This was the first full published proof of the second incompleteness theorem. Bernays. He interpreted it as a kind of logical paradox. the term "general recursive" was used).Gödel's incompleteness theorems 191 Generalization and acceptance Gödel gave a series of lectures on his theorems at Princeton in 1933–1934 to an audience that included Church. Gödel replied with a 10-page letter (Dawson:76. In October. IV. namely a mathematical theorem within an absolutely uncontroversial part of mathematics . which eschewed formalization. Dummett. and his response to Finsler laid out concerns about the lack of formalization (Dawson:89). Paul Finsler (1926) used a version of Richard's paradox to construct an expression that was false but unprovable in a particular. and Kreisel wrote separate reviews on Wittgenstein's remarks.. But Zermelo did not relent and published his criticisms in print with “a rather scathing paragraph on his young competitor” (Grattan-Guinness:513). p. Gödel wrote to Karl Menger that Wittgenstein's comments demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of the incompleteness theorems. Finsler's methods did not rely on formalized provability. and Carnap agreed (Dawson:77). informal framework he had developed. Gödel read the paper but found it deeply flawed. which was an integral part of Gödel's original proof. along with additional results of Ackermann on the ε-substitution method and Gentzen's consistency proof of arithmetic. for the remainder of his career. The unanimity of this criticism caused Wittgenstein's remarks on the incompleteness theorems to have little impact on the logic community. Finsler continued to argue for his philosophy of mathematics. and Rosser. Gödel decided that to pursue the matter further was pointless. In 1972. Multiple commentators have read Wittgenstein as misunderstanding Gödel (Rodych 2003). On their release. Gödel had grasped that the key property his theorems required is that the theory must be effective (at the time. Rosser proved in 1936 that the hypothesis of ω-consistency. while in fact is just the opposite. Grattan-Guinness:512-513). and had only a superficial resemblance to Gödel's work (van Heijenoort 1967:328). Ernst Zermelo wrote Gödel to announce what he described as an "essential gap" in Gödel’s argument (Dawson:76). Gödel was a member of the Vienna Circle during the period in which Wittgenstein's early ideal language philosophy and Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus dominated the circle's thinking. These developments left the incompleteness theorems in essentially their modern form. writings of Gödel in his Nachlass express the belief that Wittgenstein willfully misread Gödel's theorems. Kleene. By this time. if the Gödel sentence was changed in an appropriate way. Bernays included a full proof of the incompleteness theorems in the second volume of Grundlagen der Mathematik (1939). could be replaced by simple consistency. all of which were extremely negative (Berto 2009:208). with which he hoped to show both the consistency and categoricity of mathematical theories. The impact of the incompleteness theorems on Hilbert's program was quickly realized. 9). Finsler wrote Gödel in 1931 to inform him about this paper. "It is clear from the passages you cite that Wittgenstein did "not" understand [the first incompleteness theorem] (or pretended not to understand it). Gentzen published his consistency proof for first-order arithmetic in 1936. Gödel was unaware of this paper when he proved the incompleteness theorems (Collected Works Vol. although Juliet Floyd and Hilary Putnam (2000) have suggested that the majority of commentary misunderstands Wittgenstein. Much of Zermelo's subsequent work was related to logics stronger than first-order logic.

Kikuchi and Tanaka 1994 p. On formally undecidable propositions of Principia Mathematica and related systems I. Floyd and Putnam (2000) argue that Wittgenstein had a more complete understanding of the incompleteness theorem than was previously assumed. Vol. • Hirzel.Gödel's incompleteness theorems (finitary number theory or combinatorics). I. Translations. 840. . for the published volume was marred throughout by sloppy typography and numerous misprints” (ibid)). 192 Notes [1] The word "true" is used disquotationally here: the Gödel sentence is true in this sense because it "asserts its own unprovability and it is indeed unprovable" (Smoryński 1977 p. (In a footnote Dawson states that “he would regret his compliance. 41). . . 1995. • 1951. Monatshefte für Mathematik und Physik 38: 173-98... Rosser "during lectures given by Gödel at to the Institute for Advanced Study during the spring of 1934" (cf commentary by Davis 1965:39 and beginning on p. Rodych (2003) argues that their interpretation of Wittgenstein is not historically justified. Berto (2009) explores the relationship between Wittgenstein's writing and theories of paraconsistent logic. I. . 28–33). • 1931. Über formal unentscheidbare Sätze der Principia Mathematica und verwandter Systeme. while Bays (2004) argues against Floyd and Putnam's philosophical analysis of the provability predicate. he found the translation “not quite so good” as he had expected . ed."(van Heijenoort 1967:595). preceded by a very illuminating introductory note by Kleene. A modern translation by Hirzel. 403) References Articles by Gödel • 1931. Three translations exist. ed. I. Martin." (Wang 1996:197) Since the publication of Wittgenstein's Nachlass in 2000.com/people/h/hirzel/papers/canon00-goedel. For the serious student another version exists as a set of lecture notes recorded by Stephen Kleene and J. Dawson states that “The translation that Gödel favored was that by Jean van Heijenoort”(ibid). III. 825. of Gödel’s paper into English None of the following agree in all translated words and in typography. 1986. (http://www. Vol. also see Franzén 2005 pp.research. and On formally undecidable propositions of Principia Mathematica and related systems I in Solomon Feferman. “Fortunately. The original German with a facing English translation. this version is titled "On Undecidable Propositions of Formal Mathematical Systems". the Meltzer translation was soon supplanted by a better one prepared by Elliott Mendelson for Martin Davis’s anthology The Undecidable . a series of papers in philosophy have sought to evaluate whether the original criticism of Wittgenstein's remarks was justified. They are particularly concerned with the interpretation of a Gödel sentence for an ω-inconsistent theory as actually saying "I am not provable".ibm. Oxford University Press: 144-195. ”Gödel also complained about Braithwaite’s commentary (Dawson 1997:216). The typography is a serious matter. . Oxford University Press: 304-23. 2000. In their order of publication: . because Gödel expressly wished to emphasize “those metamathematical notions that had been defined in their usual sense before . B. during his lifetime. since the theory has no models in which the provability predicate corresponds to actual provability. where Con(T) is a canonical sentence asserting the consistency of T (Smoryński 1977 p. Kurt Gödel Collected works. [but because of time constraints he] agreed to its publication” (ibid). Some basic theorems on the foundations of mathematics and their implications in Solomon Feferman. It is also possible to read "GT is true" in the formal sense that primitive recursive arithmetic proves the implication Con(T)→GT. .pdf). Kurt Gödel Collected works. Über formal unentscheidbare Sätze der Principia Mathematica und verwandter Systeme. Of the first John Dawson states that: “The Meltzer translation was seriously deficient and received a devastating review in the Journal of Symbolic Logic.

which in many places was accommodated to his wishes. • Geoffrey Hellman. 15. Reprinted from the Journal of Symbolic Logic. Raven Press. 1936." Mathematics Magazine. • Martin Davis editor. ed. preceded by two pages of Davis's commentary.1305/ndjfl/1040511346. "Gödel's Theorem" in Edwards. 388–390 and p. (http://aleph0. Harvard University Press. JStor (http://links. North-Holland 1982 ISBN 978-0444863881. Logic. 255–287. pp. Macmillan: 348-57. 1980. ibid.pdf)". reprinted in Boolos. 595). Unfortunately.2-1&size=LARGE&origin=JSTOR-enlargePage) • Martin Davis. no ISBN. 53 n." A copy with Gödel's corrections of errata and Gödel's added notes begins on page 41. 1097. Logic. God Created the Integers: The Mathematical Breakthroughs That Changed History. Barwise. pp. "On formalization of model-theoretic proofs of Gödel's theorems". Cambridge Mass. • Kikuchi. 36. cit.. Gödel’s paper begins on page 5. 54 n. 1089. in Martin Davis 1965. 592. New York (Dover edition 1992). pp. Philadelphia. ISBN 0 674 53766 1 • Arthur Charlesworth.ams. Running Press. • Martin Davis editor. "An Informal Exposition of proofs of Gödel's Theorem and Church's Theorem". Braithwaite (Introduction).) This contains a useful translation of Gödel's German abbreviations on pp. 2005. in Martin Davis 1965. Until Davis included this in his volume this lecture existed only as mimeographed notes. 53–60. • David Hilbert. "A New Proof of the Gödel Incompleteness Theorem". van Heijenoort did the translation. 1900. How to Gödel a Frege-Russell: Gödel's Incompleteness Theorems and Logicism. 1965. Paul.) pp. 451–468. 230–235. containing Hilbert's statement of his Second Problem.org/notices/200604/fea-davis. MR1326122 • Stephen Cole Kleene. 87–91. 41–73 in Martin Davis 1965. 3. Vol. 1967. He states that “Professor Gödel approved the translation. cit." reprinted from Transactions of the American Mathematical Society. ISBN 0-486-66980-7 (pbk. 3rd edition 1967. 1939. As noted above. vol. 1 (1936) pp. ISBN 0-7624-1922-9. 1989.Gödel's incompleteness theorems • B. 676. in Notices of the AMS vol. The Undecidable (loc. (Nov. with Hawking’s commentary starting on p.. No. 109–121.) pp. cit. 821–866. "On Undecidable Propositions of Formal Mathematical Systems. • John Barkley Rosser. "Recursive predicates and quantifiers. v. Meltzer (translation) and R.0. 33–34. in J. 595. Vol. • Jean van Heijenoort. The Undecidable (loc. The Undecidable: Basic Papers on Undecidable Propositions. ISSN 0029-4527. • Jean van Heijenoort editor.org/ sici?sici=0025-570X(198105)54:3<109:APOGTI>2. this translation was reprinted with all its suspect content by • Stephen Hawking editor. 4 (1939) pp. " The Incompleteness Theorem (http://www. v. " Mathematical Problems. doi:10.CO. Tanaka. 4 (April 2006). 223–230 • C. Gödel’s paper begins on p.jstor. Gödel’s paper appears starting on p. Encyclopedia of Philosophy. The Undecidable (loc. Notices of the American Mathematical Society v. Makoto. New York. Unsolvable problems and Computable Functions. 1943.edu/~djoyce/hilbert/problems. Harvard Univ. 1979-1931. Special Issue on Philosophy of Mathematics. From Frege to Gödel: A Source Book in Mathematical Logic. typography. . 4. 1998. Smoryński. 1981)." reprinted from the Journal of Symbolic Logic vol. p. and Logic. Dover Publications. preceded by one page of commentary. Press. 3.) pp. ed.. pp. ISBN 0-674-32449-8 (pbk). "A Proof of Godel's Theorem in Terms of Computer Programs. Handbook of Mathematical Logic. 1. Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 35 (3): 403–412. pp. 1963. html#prob2)" English translation of a lecture delivered before the International Congress of Mathematicians at Paris. translation and commentary is suspect. On Formally Undecidable Propositions of Principia Mathematica and Related Systems. Kazuyuki (1994). 414. Noûs.. "The incompleteness theorems". • John Barkley Rosser. "Extensions of some theorems of Gödel and Church.clarku.”(p. 193 Articles by others • George Boolos. 1965. 1962. B. van Heijenoort’s commentary begins on p. 53 no.

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lv/~podnieks/index.K. Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals' Abuse of Science.ltn. 2006. v. Minds and Machines in Sidney Hook. (http://www-groups. "Hilbert's program then and now" (http://www. "Large-scale Organizational Computing requires Unstratified Reflection and Strong Paraconsistency".co. Mathematical Logic. Addison-Wesley. Cambridge University Press. 2001. Introduction to Automata theory. Prentice-Hall: 77.2003. 1996.bbc.Gödel's incompleteness theorems • Carl Hewitt. • Richard Zach.x • Stewart Shapiro. 2003. Coordination. 2003. 2002. Journal of Philosophical Logic. ISBN 0-31-220407-8 • Joseph R.math.html) using a printing machine as an example. "Misunderstanding Gödel: New Arguments about Wittgenstein and New Remarks by Wittgenstein". pp 817–32. 411–447. Continuum. ISBN 0-199-26329-9 • Graham Priest.uk/programmes/b00dshx3) on In Our Time at the BBC. n.html) • Gerhard Gentzen. ed.ac.radiolab.edu/ ~avi/BOOKS/Godel_Widgerson_Text. • Victor Rodych. The MIT Press. ISBN 978-156881135-2 • Jeremy Stangroom and Ophelia Benson. v.ias.. Reprinted in Anderson.html) • What is Mathematics:Gödel's Theorem and Around (http://www. " Essential Incompleteness of Arithmetic Verified by Coq (http://arxiv. Volume 1. 5. • Russell O'Connor. 1964. 1999. Mathematical Logic. Lecture Notes in Computer Science v. 111.st-and. A Logical Journey: From Gödel to Philosophy. Handbook of the Philosophy of Science. "Logic of Paradox Revisited".817 • Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont. Minds and Machines.1746-8361. 3603. (http://www-groups.com/math/Gdl-Smullyan. 2008. ISBN 0-82-649528-1 • George Tourlakis. Springer-Verlag.edu/entries/goedel/)" -.1111/j. Cambridge MA. • David Hilbert and Paul Bernays.. 13.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Gentzen.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Godel.1093/mind/111. Dale Jacquette (ed.dcs. 195 External links • Godel's Incompleteness Theorems (http://www. "Incompleteness and Inconsistency". doi:10. 2002. "The Gödel Phenomena in Mathematics: A Modern View" (http://www.tb00272. In Contradiction: A Study of the Transconsistent.org/abs/cs/ 0505034)". Why Truth Matters. Elsevier.co. Kurt Gödel and the Foundations of Mathematics: Horizons of Truth.ac.pdf). Mathematical Logic. pp.by Juliette Kennedy. 2. Reprinted by A. 245–260. 1984. ( listen now (http://www.ucalgary. • October 2011 RadioLab episode (http://www. pp. v.st-and. pp. Cambridge University Press • Hao Wang. Avi (2010). ISBN 0-262-23189-1. 153–179 • Hilary Putnam.ca/~rzach/static/hptn.org/2011/oct/04/break-cycle/) about/including Gödel's Incompleteness theorum . An online free book. New York University Press. doi:10. • World's shortest explanation of Gödel's theorem (http://blog. ISBN 0-201-02988-X • Stephen Cole Kleene. pp.. • John Hopcroft and Jeffrey Ullman 1979. Mind. ISBN 0-486-42533-9 • Graham Priest.. 1960. Grundlagen der Mathematik. Oxford University Press.444. Dimensions of Mind: A Symposium.pdf). 2006. Lectures in Logic and Set Theory. ed.stanford. Institutions. 57 n. • MacTutor biographies: • Kurt Gödel. ISBN 978-0-52175373-9 • Wigderson. in Philosophy of Logic. Reprinted by Dover.plover. A.html) by Karlis Podnieks.). 1967. Peters for the Association of Symbolic Logic. Dialectica v. 279–313. Shoenfield (1967). Picador.uk/iplayer/console/b00dshx3/ In_Our_Time_Godel's_Incompleteness_Theorems)) • Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: " Kurt Gödel (http://plato. Springer-Verlag. 3.dcs.bbc. R. Organizations. and Norms in Agent Systems III. 2005.

and is defined self-referentially to include the smallest number not in such a list. the argument would not apply to the real numbers. hence no number can be uninteresting. such as the natural numbers. Proof by Contradiction: Assume that you have a non-empty set of natural numbers that are not interesting. . the smallest integer that does not appear in an entry of the On-Line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences was. As the paradox lies in the definition of "interesting". there must be some smallest number in the set of uninteresting numbers. The "proof" is by contradiction: if there were uninteresting numbers. it should be understood as a half-humorous application of self-reference in order to obtain a paradox. we arrive to the fact that that same number is interesting. but 41 would not since it is not the first uninteresting number. this resolution is invalid. For example. assuming this predicate is defined with a finite. as there are many significant results in mathematics that make use of self-reference (such as Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem). a variety of other numbers can be characterized as uninteresting in the same way.Interesting number paradox 196 Interesting number paradox The interesting number paradox is a semi-humorous paradox that arises from attempting to classify natural numbers as "interesting" or "dull". then 39 would become interesting as a result. However. 11630. the paradox illustrates some of the power of self-reference. Being the smallest number of a set one might consider not interesting makes that number interesting after all: a contradiction. intuitive notion of "interesting". This version of the paradox applies only to well-ordered sets with a natural order.[3] However. since the paradox is proved by contradiction: assuming that there is any uninteresting number. its aim is not in particular to identify the interesting or uninteresting numbers. Since the definition of interesting is usually a subjective. a paradox arises. definite list of "interesting properties of positive integers". Due to the well-ordered property of the natural numbers. as of February 2009. there is no paradox. if 39 and 41 were the first two uninteresting numbers." therefore becoming "interesting. producing a contradiction. since it arises from a similar self-referential definition. One proposed resolution of the paradox asserts that only the first uninteresting number is made interesting by that fact.[4] However." Proof Claim: There is no such thing as an uninteresting natural number. Paradoxical nature Attempting to classify all numbers this way leads to a paradox or an antinomy of definition. there would be a smallest uninteresting number – but the smallest uninteresting number is itself interesting because it is the smallest uninteresting number. (The paradox is alleviated if "interesting" is instead defined objectively: for example. An obvious weakness in the proof is that what qualifies as "interesting" is not defined. but to speculate whether any number can in fact exhibit such properties.[1] [2] ) Depending on the sources used for the list of interesting numbers. it applies only to persons with particular opinions on numbers: if one's view is that all numbers are boring. and thus touches on serious issues in many fields of study. The Berry paradox is closely related. The paradox states that all natural numbers are interesting. This contradiction continues as the next smallest number becomes the "smallest uninteresting number. Any hypothetical partition of natural numbers into interesting and dull sets seems to fail. and one finds uninteresting the observation that 0 is the smallest boring number.

introduced in 1932–1933. 2009). B. [2] Nicolas Gauvrit. Routledge. com/ uninteresting. J. Further reading • Gardner. nathanieljohnston.indiatimes. the Kleene–Rosser paradox is a paradox that shows that certain systems of formal logic are inconsistent. arXiv:1101. and Church's original lambda calculus. com/ index. both originally intended as systems of formal logic. (June 12. Mathematical and Social Factors Explain the Distribution of Numbers in the OEIS. stanford. crg4.. which enabled them to construct a term that essentially replicates the Richard paradox in formal language. Sloane's Gap. The paradox Kleene and Rosser were able to show that both systems are able to characterize and enumerate their provably total. now known as Curry's paradox. S. 2007. Annals of Mathematics 36 (3): 630–636. doi:10. php/ 2009/ 06/ 11630-is-the-first-uninteresting-number/ ). Retrieved June 16. B. "The inconsistency of certain formal logics".Interesting number paradox 197 Notes [1] Johnston. The paradox was exhibited by Stephen Kleene and J. References • Andrea Cantini. and used this to construct a much simpler paradox. definable number-theoretic functions. Retrieved 2011-08-28. Rosser in 1935. Jean-Paul Delahaye. in particular the version of Curry's combinatory logic introduced in 1930. . [3] Charles R Greathouse IV. edu/ entries/ paradoxes-contemporary-logic/ #IncCerForLog . C. ISBN 0226282538. (1935). . in the Paradoxes and Contemporary Logic entry of Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2007). "The inconsistency of certain formal logics [1]". References [1] http:/ / plato. "Uninteresting Numbers" (http:/ / math. Paradoxes from A to Z. Mathematical Puzzles and Diversions. "11630 is the First Uninteresting Number" (http:/ / www. & Rosser.cms) Kleene–Rosser paradox In mathematics. External links • Most Boring Day in History (http://timesofindia.2307/1968646. html). [4] Clark. N.4470v2. Martin (1959). ISBN 0-521-46168-5.com/world/uk/ April-11-1954-was-most-boring-day-in-history/articleshow/6994947. M. • Kleene. 2009. Curry later managed to identify the crucial ingredients of the calculi that allowed the construction of this paradox. Hector Zenil.

5 and a uniform distribution births is a binomial variable with mean and variance . the result of an experiment x. Bayesian approach We have no reason to believe that the proportion of male births should be different from 0.581/98. Let's imagine a certain city where 49.870 boy births.870 girls have been born over a certain time period. the upper tail probability is . we can use a normal approximation for the distribution of . . ).451 in this case).451 ≈ 0.5. our null hypothesis is and the alternative is . say. The number of male is the total number of births (98. That is. say. The posterior probability of H0 given x is high. Because the sample size is very large. The prior distribution is thus a mixture of point mass 0. at the 5% level. It is a result of the prior having a sharp feature at H0 and no sharp features anywhere else. and this is the paradox. and the observed proportion is far from 0 and 1.e. which is lower than the significance level of 5%. where . These results can happen at the same time when the prior distribution is the sum of a sharp peak at H0 with probability p and a broad distribution with the rest of the probability 1 − p. i. so we assign prior probabilities and . Description of the paradox Consider a null hypothesis H0.5036. and 2. the p-value is . indicating strong evidence that H0 is in fact true. Therefore. 95%.5. So we find that there is not enough evidence to reject . the latter uniformly distributed between 0 and 1. we reject . indicating sufficient evidence to reject H0. it became known as Lindley's paradox after Dennis Lindley called the disagreement a paradox in a 1957 paper[2] . The problem of the disagreement between the two approaches was discussed in Harold Jeffreys' textbook[1] .Lindley's paradox 198 Lindley's paradox Lindley's paradox is a counterintuitive situation in statistics in which the Bayesian and frequentist approaches to a hypothesis testing problem give opposite results for certain choices of the prior distribution. Because we are performing a two-sided test (we would have been equally surprised if we had seen 48. Lindley's paradox occurs when 1. and a prior distribution that favors H0 weakly. Because of the large sample. We are interested in testing whether the true proportion ( ) is 0. we can approximate the variance as .581 boys and 48. The result x is significant by a frequentist test. Frequentist approach Using the normal approximation above. The posterior probability is . The two approaches—the Bayesian and the frequentist—are in conflict. The observed proportion ( ) of male births is thus 49. Numerical example We can illustrate Lindley's paradox with a numerical example.

these are all examples of Simpson's paradox. Oxford University Press. Harold (1939). [2] Lindley. (1957). D. However the paradox can be explained statistically by uncovering a lurking variable between smoking and the two key variables: birth weight and risk of mortality. Evidence If one corrects and adjusts for the confounding by smoking. In short. populations with a higher rate of low birth weights typically also have higher rates of child mortality than other populations. thus.1-2.187. Low birth weight children born to smoking mothers have a lower infant mortality rate than the low birth weight children of non-smokers. Explanation At first sight these findings seemed to suggest that. regardless of the fact their mother does not smoke. and the adjusted results.Lindley's paradox 199 Notes [1] Jeffreys. then one finds that the association between birth weight and mortality may be attenuated towards the null. Theory of Probability. Journal of the American Statistical Association 77 (378): 325–334. although attenuated after adjusting for smoking. and of children born at high altitude. low birth weight babies have a significantly higher mortality rate than others. but other causes of low birth weight are generally more harmful only with regards to their weight. Thus. The same is true of children born to poor parents. References • Shafer. Glenn (1982). In a given population. They have a lower mortality rate than children who have other medical reasons why they are born underweight. "A Statistical Paradox". Low birth weight paradox The low birth weight paradox is an apparently paradoxical observation relating to the birth weights and mortality of children born to tobacco smoking mothers. JSTOR 2287244. So it is a surprising real-world observation that low birth weight babies of smoking mothers have a lower child mortality than low birth weight babies of non-smokers. "Lindley's paradox". MR924. most epidemiologic studies of birth weight and mortality have controlled for maternal smoking. Biometrika 44 (1–2): 187–192. at least for some babies. . via stratification or multivariable regression modelling to statistical control for smoking. having a smoking mother might be beneficial to one's health. babies weighing less than a certain amount (which varies between countries) have been classified as having low birth weight. The birth weight distribution for children of smoking mothers is shifted to lower weights by their mothers' actions. smoking may be harmful in that it contributes to low birth weight.V. otherwise healthy babies (who would weigh more if it were not for the fact their mother smoked) are born underweight. the children of smoking mothers are more likely to be of low birth weight than children of non-smoking mothers. still indicated a significant association. by extension the child mortality rate should be higher among children of smoking mothers. Based on prior research.2307/2287244. doi:10. Nevertheless. Therefore. doi:10. MR664677. Both are acted on independently when the mother of the child smokes — birth weight is lowered and the risk of mortality increases.1093/biomet/44. History Traditionally.

pdf [2] http:/ / aje. The overall child mortality of Colorado children is the same as that for US children however. and if one corrects for the lower weights as above. • Wilcox. . but not mortality. one finds that babies of a given (corrected) weight are just as likely to die. nih. the hypotenuse does not maintain a consistent slope. Allen (2006).S. oxfordjournals. nih. even though it may appear that way to the human eye. gov/ bwt/ V0M3QDQU. gov/ bwt/ index. because what would be the hypotenuse is bent. each of which apparently forms a 13×5 right-angled triangle. as a whole. In other words. International Journal of Epidemiology. Solution The key to the puzzle is the fact that neither of the 13×5 "triangles" is truly a triangle. 30:1233–1241. American Journal of Epidemiology. htm Missing square puzzle The missing square puzzle is an optical illusion used in mathematics classes to help students reason about geometrical figures. External links • The Analysis of Birthweight [3]. by Allen Wilcox References [1] http:/ / eb. "On the importance — and the unimportance — of birthweight [1]". "The Perils of Birth Weight — A Lesson from Directed Acyclic Graphs [2]". the distribution curve in Colorado is also shifted to lower weights. org/ cgi/ content/ abstract/ 164/ 11/ 1121 [3] http:/ / eb. Allen (2001). but one of which has a 1×1 hole in it. whether they are from Colorado or not.Low birth weight paradox Additional support for the hypothesis that birth weight and mortality can be acted on independently came from the analysis of birth data from Colorado: compared with the birth weight distribution in the U. The likely explanation here is that the higher altitude of Colorado affects birth weight. 164(11):1121–1123. 200 References • Wilcox. niehs. niehs. It depicts two arrangements of shapes. A true 13 × 5 triangle cannot be created from the given component parts.

245364267°). But the blue triangle has a ratio of 5:2 (=2. So the apparent combined hypotenuse in each figure is actually bent.archimedes-lab.[1] the puzzle was invented by a New York City amateur magician Paul Curry in 1953. although the total area of the figure seems unchanged. The principle of a dissection paradox has however been known since the 1860s. Dover.667:1).00765. blue and green shapes) total 32 units of area. which form a larger square. If is the side of the large square and is the angle between two opposing sides in each quadrilateral. Gardner (1956). that the area should be units. this is approximately 1. • Curry's Paradox: How Is It Possible? (http://www.cut-the-knot. For θ = 5°. so it seems. Note the grid point where the red and blue hypotenuses meet. The integer dimensions of the parts of the puzzle (2. wolfram. pp. 8. Overlaying the hypotenuses from both figures results in a very thin parallelogram with the area of exactly one grid square. When the quadrilaterals are rotated about their centers they fill the space of the small square. then the quotient between the two areas is given by .org . 5. The amount of bending is around 1/28th of a unit (1. but the triangles are 13 wide and 5 tall. 13) are successive Fibonacci numbers. The apparent paradox is explained by the fact that the side of the new large square is a little smaller than the original one. shtml) at cut-the-knot • Triangles and Paradoxes (http://www.org/workshop13skulls. html). External links • A printable Missing Square variant (http://www. Mathematics Magic and Mystery. 139–150. According to Martin Gardner. 201 while the red triangle has the ratio 8:3 (≈2.Missing square puzzle The four figures (the yellow. Eric. and these are not the same ratio. and compare it to the same point on the other figure. Many other geometric dissection puzzles are based on a few simple properties of the famous Fibonacci sequence.org/page3b.[2] Similar puzzles A different puzzle of the same kind (depicted in the animation) uses four equal quadrilaterals and a small square.5:1).archimedes-lab. com/ CassinisIdentity. References [1] Martin. [2] Weisstein. the same area "missing" from the second figure.org/Curriculum/Fallacies/CurryParadox.html) with a video demonstration. the edge is slightly over or under the mark.html) at archimedes-lab. which corresponds to a difference of about 0. which is difficult to see on the diagram of this puzzle. . 3. "Cassini's Identity" (http:/ / mathworld.8%. red.

creating an illusion that the figures there take up more space than those in the square figure. These sets have in common the cardinal number |N| = (aleph-nought).html) • The Eleven Holes Puzzle (http://www. and the cardinal numbers are the equivalence classes. rather than actual logical contradictions within modern axiomatic set theory. Then a cardinal number is. they generally reveal surprising and counter-intuitive mathematical results.com/blog/2010/09/ excel-optical-illusions-week-30. the gaps take up one fewer unit squares than in the square. which asserts the existence of the set N of natural numbers. i.slideshare. As this assumption cannot be proved from first principles it has been introduced into axiomatic set theory by the axiom of infinity.uni-bielefeld.e.de/ ~sillke/PUZZLES/jigsaw-paradox.com/blog/TheTriangleProblem. To have the same size is an equivalence relation. In the "larger" rearrangement. a class consisting of all sets of the same size. by definition. As with most mathematical paradoxes.mathematik.. a number greater than every natural number. In the "smaller" rearrangement. .net/sualeh/ the-eleven-holes-puzzle) • Very nice animated Excel workbook of the Missing Square Puzzle (http://www. the fractions.com/watch?v=eFw0878Ig-A& feature=related) by James Stanton Paradoxes of set theory This article contains a discussion of paradoxes of set theory. Every infinite set which can be enumerated by natural numbers is the same size (cardinality) as N. the even numbers.excelhero.html) • Jigsaw Paradox (http://www. the gaps between the figures have a combined unit square more area than their square gaps counterparts. Cardinal numbers can be defined as follows. 202 • A video explaining Curry's Paradox and Area (http://www. and also all the rational numbers.html) Sam Loyd's paradoxial dissection.marktaw. Define two sets to have the same size by: there exists a bijection between the two sets (a one-to-one correspondence between the elements).youtube. the prime numbers. Examples of countably infinite sets are the natural numbers. Basics Cardinal numbers Set theory as conceived by Georg Cantor assumes the existence of infinite sets.Missing square puzzle • The Triangle Problem or What's Wrong with the Obvious Truth (http://www. and is said to be countable.

Ordinal numbers can be defined with the same method used for cardinal numbers. measure and order. among others. Just as for finite sets. in which an ordinal is equated with the set of all smaller ordinals. . size. Georg Cantor proved that the power set is always larger than the set. and ω is the ordinal number of the set of all natural numbers ordered the usual way. This set turns out to have ordinal number α. a class consisting of all well-ordered sets of the same order type. To have the same order type is an equivalence relation on the class of well-ordered sets. |P(S)| > |S|. and the ordinal numbers are the equivalence classes. 1. which means that a total order can be imposed on its elements such that every nonempty subset has a first element with respect to that order. The order of a well-ordered set is described by an ordinal number. set theory provides definitions for the term infinite set to give an unambiguous meaning to phrases such as "the set of all natural numbers is infinite". like 2. 3 is the ordinal number of the set {0. one can consider the set of all ordinals less than α. or "the same size as" the other. we obtain the power set P(S). But not every intuition regarding the size of finite sets applies to the size of infinite sets. Paradoxes of the infinite set Instead of relying on ambiguous descriptions such as "that which cannot be enlarged" or "increasing without bound". we are left with the cardinal number |N| = |ω| = . See Hilbert's paradox of the Grand Hotel for more on paradoxes of enumeration. Neglecting the order. by definition. • The answer is no. R is uncountable: |R| > |N|. and likewise the other way around. Define two well-ordered sets to have the same order type by: there exists a bijection between the two sets respecting the order: smaller elements are mapped to smaller elements. Paradoxes of enumeration Before set theory was introduced. This observation is used for a different way of introducing the ordinals. the issue can be settled. For instance. which is itself a well-ordering. "smaller than". because for every natural number n there is a square number n2. 2} with the usual order 0 < 1 < 2. Then an ordinal number is. ordered sets also form a subject of set theory. the theory makes further definitions which allow us to consistently compare two infinite sets as regards whether one set is "larger than". this follows in fact directly from the definition of the cardinality of a set. Power sets By forming all subsets of a set S (all possible choices of its elements)..e. It had been discussed by Galileo Galilei and Bernard Bolzano. Since there is a bijection between the two sets involved. which are not squares of natural numbers. Are there as many natural numbers as squares of natural numbers when measured by the method of enumeration? • The answer is yes. There is a natural ordering on the ordinals.Paradoxes of set theory 203 Ordinal numbers Besides the cardinality. which describes the size of a set. i. The converse is not true in general for infinite sets: it is possible to impose different well-orderings on the set of natural numbers that give rise to different ordinal numbers. the notion of the size of a set had been problematic. because the squares are a proper subset of the naturals: every square is a natural number but there are natural numbers. By defining the notion of the size of a set in terms of its cardinality. This form of ordinal number is thus a canonical representative of the earlier form of equivalence class. Two sets of the same order type have the same cardinality. The axiom of choice guarantees that every set can be well-ordered. Given any ordinal α. leading to various apparently paradoxical results regarding enumeration. A special case of Cantor's theorem proves that the set of all real numbers R cannot be enumerated by natural numbers.

Cohen showed that using the axiom of choice is essential to well-ordering the real numbers. Fill a huge reservoir with balls enumerated by numbers 1 to 10 and take off ball number 1. and so on.. In 1963 Paul J. Continue to add balls enumerated by numbers 10n . Nevertheless. The diary of Tristram Shandy Tristram Shandy. the hero of a novel by Laurence Sterne. but if he lived forever then no part of his diary would remain unwritten. but complicated subsets. If he is mortal he can never terminate. The construction of these pieces requires the axiom of choice. 21. .. But it is still a natural philosophical question to contemplate some physical action that actually completes after an infinite number of discrete steps. Obviously the set of balls in the reservoir increases without bound. However. Instead. the ability to well order any set allows certain constructions to be performed that have been called paradoxical. the pieces are not simple regions of the ball.. Then add the balls enumerated by numbers 11 to 20 and take off number 2. and the interpretation of this question using set theory gives rise to the paradoxes of the supertask. an infinite set is not considered to be created by some mathematical process such as "adding one element" that is then carried out "an infinite number of times". a theorem widely considered to be nonintuitive. 4.. after proving that the set of points of a square has the same cardinality as that of the points on just a side of the square: the cardinality of the continuum. a particular infinite set (such as the set of all natural numbers) is said to already exist. It states that it is possible to decompose a ball of a fixed radius into a finite number of pieces and then move and reassemble those pieces by ordinary translations and rotations (with no scaling) to obtain two copies from the one original copy. Cantor wrote to Richard Dedekind. no weaker assumption suffices. although the same amount of material as before has been moved. Paradoxes of well-ordering In 1904 Ernst Zermelo proved by means of the axiom of choice (which was introduced for this reason) that every set can be well-ordered. "by fiat". let the second transaction last quarter an hour. after one hour the reservoir is empty because for every ball the time of removal is known. as a logical consequence.. The paradox is further increased by the significance of the removal sequence.. writes his autobiography so conscientiously that it takes him one year to lay down the events of one day. after one hour infinitely many balls populate the reservoir. This demonstrates that the "size" of sets as defined by cardinality alone is not the only useful way of comparing sets. Let the first transaction last half an hour. mais je ne crois pas "I see it but I can't believe it". One example is the Banach–Tarski paradox. Paradoxes of the Supertask In set theory. for to each day of his life a year devoted to that day's description would correspond. If the balls are not removed in the sequence 1.9 to 10n and to remove ball number n for all natural numbers n = 3. 11. 5. ..Paradoxes of set theory 204 Je le vois. . so that all transactions are finished after one hour. as an assumption or an axiom. other infinite sets are then proven to exist as well. The Ross-Littlewood paradox An increased version of this type of paradox shifts the infinitely remote finish to a finite time. 2. 3. Measure theory provides a more nuanced theory of size that conforms to our intuition that length and area are incompatible measures of size. but in the sequence 1. . Given this infinite set.

because this real number has just been finitely defined by the last sentence. . which demonstrates a paradox in natural language. Hence in this well-order there should be a first real number that is not finitely definable. the gap between the very formalized and symbolic language of these theories and our typical informal use of mathematical language results in various paradoxical situations. by a system of codes known as Gödel numbers. The discovery of these paradoxes revealed that not all sets which can be described in the language of naive set theory can actually be said to exist without creating a contradiction. This leads to a contradiction in naive set theory. it is prey to logical paradoxes such as those exposed by Russell's paradox. After all this. As every ordinal number is defined by a set of smaller ordinal numbers. those real numbers which can be finitely defined form a subset. In 1906 he constructed several paradox sets. The 20th century saw a resolution to these paradoxes in the development of the various axiomatizations of set theories such as ZFC and NBG in common use today. Ω must belong to the set of all ordinal numbers. This paradox is avoided in axiomatic set theory. Therefore.Paradoxes of set theory 205 Paradoxes of proof and definability For all its usefulness in resolving questions regarding infinite sets. known as the Barber paradox. and he used this result to prove that every consistent set has a cardinal number. However. On the other hand. Russell recognized that the statement x = x is true for every set. Although it is possible to represent a proposition about a set as a set. the set of all ordinal numbers cannot exist. the version of the "set of all sets" paradox conceived by Bertrand Russell in 1903 led to a serious crisis in set theory. In particular. the Hungarian mathematician Julius König published a paradox based on the fact that there are only countably many finite definitions. the well-ordered set of all ordinal numbers should define an ordinal number Ω which does not belong to the set. and thus the set of all sets is defined by {x | x = x}. Early paradoxes: the set of all sets In 1897 the Italian mathematician Cesare Burali-Forti discovered that there is no set containing all ordinal numbers. naive set theory has some fatal flaws. This is paradoxical. Paradoxes by change of language König's paradox In 1905. If we imagine the real numbers as a well-ordered set. By the end of the 19th century Cantor was aware of the non-existence of the set of all cardinal numbers and the set of all ordinal numbers. there is no formula in the language of set theory which holds exactly when a is a code for a finite description of a set and this description is a true description of the set x. This result is known as Tarski's indefinability theorem. One example. In letters to David Hilbert and Richard Dedekind he wrote about inconsistent sets. it applies to a wide class of formal systems including all commonly studied axiomatizations of set theory. the most famous of which is the set of all sets which do not contain themselves. states: The male barber who shaves all and only men who don't shave themselves has to shave himself only if he does not shave himself. as well as the philosophical question of exactly what it is that such formal systems actually propose to be talking about. Russell himself explained this abstract idea by means of some very concrete pictures. There are close similarities between Russell's paradox in set theory and the Grelling–Nelson paradox. the elements of which cannot be thought of as being all together.

namely from the nth number by the nth digit.Briefe. New York 1966. • A. so is E. Soc. Cambridge University Press. The set E of all finite definitions of real numbers is a subset of A. However. Benjamin. Press. Cohen: Set Theory and the Continuum Hypothesis. Berlin 1923. Nilson: Georg Cantor . 65 (1908) p. As with König's paradox. • B. Cantor's theorem proves that there are uncountable sets. Chelsea. • S. But N has been defined by a finite number of words in this paragraph. New York 1965. Springer. As A is countable. Cambridge 1910. N. W. Wagon: The Banach-Tarski-Paradox. • B. 107-128. • E. p. • A. but can depend on the model in which the cardinality is measured. (2) 4 (1907) 29-53. Russell: Principia Mathematica I. • H. Let p be the nth decimal of the nth real number defined by the set E. Math. North Holland. to tell whether a formula is actually the definition of a single set). Levy: Abstract Set Theory. 206 Paradox of Löwenheim and Skolem Based upon work of the German mathematician Leopold Löwenheim (1915) the Norwegian logician Thoralf Skolem showed in 1922 that every consistent theory of first-order predicate calculus. Cambridge Univ. Fraenkel. Hildesheim 1966.Paradoxes of set theory Richard's paradox In the same year the French mathematician Jules Richard used a variant of Cantor's diagonal method to obtain another contradiction in naive set theory. Meschkowski. Fraenkel: Einleitung in die Mengenlehre. such as set theory. Cantor: Gesammelte Abhandlungen mathematischen und philosophischen Inhalts.). Russell: On some difficulties in the theory of transfinite numbers and order types. we form a number N having zero for the integral part and p + 1 for the nth decimal if p is not equal either to 8 or 9. This number N is not defined by the set E because it differs from any finitely defined real number. A. It is possible for a set to be uncountable in one model of set theory but countable in a larger model (because the bijections that establish countability are in the larger model but not the smaller one). Springer. Cambridge 1903. Olms. Amsterdam 1976. It should therefore be in the set E. Whitehead. Russell: The principles of mathematics I. Zermelo: Neuer Beweis für die Möglichkeit einer Wohlordnung. and unity if p is equal to 8 or 9. equivalently. B. Proc. Hausdorff: Grundzüge der Mengenlehre. London Math. Zermelo (Ed. The root of this seeming paradox is that the countability or noncountability of a set is not always absolute. • A. Berlin 1991. References • G. Cambridge 1985. 64. has an at most countable model. this paradox cannot be formalized in axiomatic set theory because it requires the ability to tell whether a description applies to a particular set (or. Consider the set A of all finite agglomerations of words. J. . Ann. • F. • P. That is a contradiction. E. A.

uk/ ~wtg10/ richardsparadox. we have a flat profile connecting them. umich. If no marbles cross point C before the first marble crosses point D. each with a higher probability of losing than winning. . cam. they will roll around randomly but towards both ends with an equal probability. ac. but none have crossed point D.rgn=full%20text. as shown in Figure 1. 001. A more explanatory description is: Given two games. html Parrondo's paradox Parrondo's paradox. who discovered the paradox in 1996. 0001. sub. Now Figure 1 consider the second case where we have a saw-tooth like region between them. hti. as shown in Figure 2. Here also.cc=umhistmath.didno=AAT3201. Illustrative examples The saw-tooth example Consider an example in which there are two points A and B having the same altitude.seq=00000086 [2] http:/ / dz-srv1. Parrondo devised the paradox in connection with his analysis of the Brownian ratchet. uni-goettingen. we will end up having most marbles back at point E (where we Figure 2 started from initially) but some also in the valley towards point A given sufficient time for the marbles to roll to the valley. they distribute themselves on the plane showing preferential movements towards point B. Now consider the game in which we alternate the two profiles while judiciously choosing the time between altering from one profile to the other in the following way. D and E now shifted one step to refer to the final valley closest to A). Here if we leave some round marbles in the middle that move back and forth in a random fashion. When we leave a few marbles on the first profile at point E.idno=AAT3201.view=pdf. de/ sub/ digbib/ loader?ht=VIEW& did=D38183& p=125 [3] http:/ / www. Spanish physicist Juan Parrondo. it is quite clear that both these cases will become biased towards B.Paradoxes of set theory 207 External links • [1] • [2] • Definability paradoxes [3] by Timothy Gowers References [1] http:/ / www. it is possible to construct a winning strategy by playing the games alternately. has been described as: A losing strategy that wins. Then we again apply the first profile and repeat the steps (points C. the marbles will roll towards either ends with equal probability. dpmms. to start over. 001. if we apply the second profile when some of the marbles have crossed the point C. However. a paradox in game theory. a thought experiment about a machine that can purportedly extract energy from random heat motions popularized by physicist Richard Feynman. In the first case. we must apply the second profile shortly before the first marble crosses point D. It is named after its creator. Now if we tilt the whole profile towards the right. edu/ cgi/ t/ text/ pageviewer-idx?c=umhistmath. 0001.

become a winning game when played in a particular alternating sequence. this is . 3. This coin-tossing example has become the canonical illustration of Parrondo's paradox – two games. Coin . The apparent paradox has been explained using a number of sophisticated approaches. the combination of the two games is.. The role of modulo . we first determine if our capital is a multiple of some integer 2. and results in it being a losing game. we toss another biased coin. as there is at least one state in which its expectation is positive. and an analysis of its state transition matrix (again with M=3) shows that the steady state probability of using coin 2 is 0. it can be a winning game under other distributions. when these two losing games are played in some alternating sequence . For example. • As the distribution of outcomes of Game B depend on the player's capital. It is clear that by playing Game A.. playing them in any sequence would lose as well. With this understanding. define to be our capital at time t. It serves solely to induce a dependence between Games A and B.. can be found in Philips and Feldman.6164. the paradox resolves itself: The individual games are losing only under a distribution that differs from that which is actually encountered when playing the compound game.. including Markov chains.. In fact. paradoxically. Not all alternating sequences of A and B result in winning games. In Game A. If it is not.[2] As coin 2 is selected nearly 40% of the time. we will almost surely lose in the long run.) is a losing game. so that a player is more likely to enter states in which Game B has a positive expectation.[3] flashing ratchets. both losing when played individually. Winning a game earns us $1 and losing requires us to surrender $1. If it is. If if we win at . It follows that step t and if we lose at step t. 1. Parrondo's paradox is an example of how dependence can wreak havoc with probabilistic computations made under a naive assumption of independence. we clearly win by playing two losing games. allowing it to overcome the losses from Game A.[7] . Coin 3. Harmer and Abbott[1] show via simulation that if and Game B is an almost surely losing game as well.. one game of A followed by one game of B (ABABAB. A more detailed exposition of this point. a winning game. For convenience. Hence for a problem defined with having marbles at point A being a win and having marbles at point B a loss.e.[6] One way to explain the apparent paradox is as follows: • While Game B is a losing game under the probability distribution that results for played individually ( modulo is the remainder when is divided modulo when it is ). However. along with several related examples. Consider playing two games. 2. with probability of winning clearly a losing game in the long run.. Coin 1. we toss a biased coin. but none at point B. In Game B. In summary. The role of now comes into sharp focus. Game A and Game B with following rules. while one game of A followed by two games of B (ABBABB. Game B is a Markov chain. with probability of winning probability of winning .g..[4] Simulated Annealing[5] and information theory. 208 The coin-tossing example A second example of Parrondo's paradox is drawn from the field of gambling. we toss a biased coin. two games of A followed by two games of B (AABBAABB.3836. it has a disproportionate influence on the payoff from Game B. with provides the periodicity as in the ratchet teeth. the two games cannot be independent.) is a winning game. If they were. immediately before we play a game.Parrondo's paradox It easily follows that eventually we will have marbles at point A. and that of using coin 3 is 0.).

Parrondo's paradox 209 Application of Parrondo's paradox Parrondo's paradox is used extensively in game theory. Center for the Study of Language and Information. whereas physicists usually don't worry about such things." He is either a genius or never really understood it in the first place. Derek Abbott. ISBN 1-57586-557-2. In the wide sense. Mathematical Statistics and Applications: Festschrift for Constance van Eeden [19]. • Neil F. • Ning Zhong and Jiming Liu. • Maria Carla Galavotti. A Mathematician Plays the Stock Market [12]. it is not worth arguing with people like that. Johnson. Constance van Eeden. and Probability [16]. 2004. Intelligent Agent Technology: Research and Development. the games need not be restricted to their original form and work continues in generalizing the phenomenon. Pak Ming Hui. People drop the word "apparent" in these cases as it is a mouthful. as we research these games. financial risk. as is the case with most of these named paradoxes they are all really apparent paradoxes. ISBN 1-56396-826-6. Simple finance textbook models of security returns have been used to prove that individual investments with negative median long-term returns may be easily combined into diversified portfolios with positive median long-term returns. • Derek Abbott and Laszlo B. The truth is we still keep finding new surprising things to delight us. and its application in engineering. Financial Market Complexity [13]. Springer. 2003. a leading Parrondo's paradox researcher provides the following answer regarding the use of the word 'paradox' in this context: Is Parrondo's paradox really a "paradox"? This question is sometimes asked by mathematicians. just like the "Braess paradox" or "Simpson's paradox. Oxford University Press. Rationality. However. and Christian Léger. The 'paradoxical' effect can be mathematically explained in terms of a convex linear combination. Nova Publishers. 2000. Similarities to volatility pumping and the two-envelope problem[9] have been pointed out. ISBN 0-19-852665-2. 2009. it was debated whether the word 'paradox' is an appropriate description given that the Parrondo effect can be understood in mathematical terms. ISBN 0-940600-57-9. 2008. ISBN 0-465-05481-1. Reasoning." Secondly. So no one claims these are paradoxes in the strict sense. Parrondo's games certainly are countertuitive—at least until you have intensively studied them for a few months. and it is obvious anyway. a paradox is simply something that is counterintuitive. Paul Jefferies. population dynamics. 2004. However. I have had one mathematician complain that the games always were obvious to him and hence we should not use the word "paradox. • Visarath In. Further reading • John Allen Paulos. [14] World Scientific. [11] Name In the early literature on Parrondo's paradox. ISBN 3-540-85631-5. etc. and Patrick Suppes. Sorana Froda. ISBN 981-02-4706-0. Basic Books. Patrick Longhini. . • Elka Korutcheva and Rodolfo Cuerno. American Institute of Physics. ISBN 1-59033-899-5. Applications of Nonlinear Dynamics: Model and Design of Complex Systems [18]. Parrondo's games are of little practical use such as for investing in stock markets[8] as the original games require the payoff from at least one of the interacting games to depend on the player's capital. a model that is often used to illustrate optimal betting rules has been used to prove that splitting bets between multiple games can turn a negative median long-term return into a positive one. Unsolved Problems of Noise and Fluctuations [17]. In either case. and Antonio Palacios. IMS. Roberto Scazzieri. Kish. The first thing to point out is that "Parrondo's paradox" is just a name. • Marc Moore. are also being looked into as demonstrated by the reading lists below. 2001.[10] Similarly. Advances in Condensed Matter and Statistical Physics [15]. 2003.

D. com. Vilar. Academic Press. Weisstein. ISBN 0-8176-4362-1.. Kiss. google. Springer. • Eric W. 19. Pickover. com. com. P. and J. [30] Sterling. Vol. D. Optimization. P. 2000 [5] G. pp. Noise in Complex Systems and Stochastic Dynamics [21]. google. Philips and A Feldman. [12] http:/ / books. au/ books?id=ZuMQAQAAIAAJ& q=parrondo* [17] http:/ / books. • Lutz Schimansky-Geier. com/ pdf169811689.Hope for Losers!". 2006. Bezrukov. google. au/ books?id=8jfV6nntNPkC& pg=PA74& dq=parrondo* [14] http:/ / books. V. 2008. ISBN 1-58488-347-2. au/ books?id=cTfwjzihuiIC& pg=PA148& dq=parrondo* . The College Mathematics Journal 34(1) (2003) 15-20 G. com. R. cfm?abstract_id=581521) [8] R. in Proc. M. • Clifford A. Vieweg+Teubner Verlag. google. Unsolved Problems of Noise and Fluctuations. ISBN 3-540-32167-5. au/ books?id=WgJTAAAAMAAJ& q=parrondo* [22] http:/ / books. R. American Institute of Physics. google. Stochastic and Chaotic Dynamics in the Lakes. 2nd Int. American Institute of Physics. Advances in Dynamic Games: Applications to Economics. P. Pearce and J. google. 23-27. 2009. Harmer. SPIE. Abbott. au/ books?id=UDk8QARabpwC& pg=PA2152& dq=parrondo* [24] http:/ / books. "Losing strategies can win by Parrondo's paradox". ISBN 3-540-66245-6. Springer. au/ books?id=PGtGAAAAYAAJ& q=parrondo* [23] http:/ / books. Ambleside. 2010. Abbott. Statistical Science 14 (1999) 206-213 G. D. Complexity and Transport: Theory and Applications [29]. P. The Journal of Investing. Unsolved Problems of Noise and Fluctuations [25]. CRC Concise Encyclopedia of Mathematics [23]. "Parrondo's paradox".K. 2010. au/ books?id=ePoaAQAAIAAJ [18] http:/ / books. com/ sol3/ papers. CRC Press. • Cristel Chandre. D. 2009. • Richard A. com. au/ books?id=FidKZcUqdIQC& pg=PA307 [19] http:/ / books. ISBN 0-7354-0127-6. au/ books?id=liNP2CpsU8EC& pg=PA10 [21] http:/ / books. com. com. 2004 [9] Winning While Losing: New Strategy Solves'Two-Envelope' Paradox (http:/ / www. 864 D. ISBN 981-281-879-0. google. 2005. pdf) at Physorg. au/ books?id=soGS-YcwvxsC& pg=PA82 [26] http:/ / books. • Susan Shannon. Minor. Harmer and D. eds. Chaos. Nova Science Publishers. E. 1999. ISBN 1-4027-5796-4." Complexity. au/ books?id=0oMp60wubKIC& pg=PA95 [25] http:/ / books. com. 2003. World Scientific. google. Abbott. José M. Nowak and Krzysztof Szajowski. com. google. Abbott. ISBN 0-8194-4974-1. Springer. au/ books?id=lIoZeb_domwC& pg=PA103 [16] http:/ / books. ssrn. google. au/ books?id=q8JwN_1p78UC& pg=PA17& dq=parrondo* [27] http:/ / books. "Parrondo's Paradox . com. and L. 2001. The Paradox of Parrondo's games. B. Parrondo. [11] Stutzer M. McClintock. ed. Xavier Leoncini. U. Business Cycle Dynamics: Models and Tools [27]. Mathematical Scientist. Kohli. Conf. M. google. ISBN 1-4020-0077-4.. and José-Miguel Rubí. 210 References [1] [2] [3] [4] G. Information entropy and Parrondo's discrete-time ratchet. E. au/ books?id=FUGI7KDTkTUC [13] http:/ / books. First Steps in the Origin of Life in the Universe [26]. Birkhäuser. stock buying. com. G.. google. com. Springer. V. Taylor. Abbott. Proc. The Math Book. in Proc. and P. au/ books?id=eZ6YCz5NamsC& pg=PA150 [15] http:/ / books. Harmer. Taylor. ISBN 0-12-374940-9. • Tönu Puu and Irina Sushko. and George M. ISBN 3-8348-0082-1. 9(1). 2006.com [10] Stutzer M.35. Nature 402 (1999). 2003.Parrondo's paradox • Ehrhard Behrends. Parrondo. Raulin. Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science [22]. and F. Royal Society of London A 456 (2000). Fünf Minuten Mathematik: 100 Beiträge der Mathematik-Kolumne der Zeitung Die Welt [20]. ISBN 1-59454-411-5. and the emergence of life. google. Taylor. P. com. "Why Parrondo's paradox is irrelevant for utility theory. and Stochastic Control [28]. Zaslavsky. • Sergey M. P. physorg. com. • Andrzej S. • Julián Chela Flores. G. 2005. google. P. M. au/ books?id=SJsDHpgsVgsC& pg=PA185 [20] http:/ / books. 2000 [7] T. • David Reguera. Abbott. 1-13 [6] G. The Paradox of Diversification. P. G. com. Harmer. Harmer and D. Iyengar and R. Finance. Epstein. Statistical Mechanics of Biocomplexity [24]. Owen. google. A Simple Parrondo Paradox.1. Parrondo's Paradox is not Paradoxical (http:/ / papers. 2003. google. No. C. G. com. The Theory of Gambling and Statistical Logic (Second edition). Tobias C.

wolfram.html) • Optimal adaptive strategies and Parrondo (http://www. Parrondo's paradoxical games (http://seneca.math.edu/uploadedFiles/Centers_of_Excellence/ Burridge_Center/Working_Papers/ParadoxOfDiversification.de/~rahmann/parrondo/parrondo.casinocitytimes.eleceng.maplesoft.goddoesntshootcraps. com. html) • Alternate game play ratchets up winnings: It's the law (http://www.pdf) .com/article/parrondos-paradox-46851) • Parrondo's paradox and poker (http://emergentfool. M.de/~roelly/WorkshopCDFAPotsdam09/Behrends.A Simulation (http://www. edu/ pickover/ math-book.ingentaconnect.edu.davalan/proba/parr/index-en.html) • Parrondo's paradox in chemistry (http://www.com/paradox.html) • Online Parrondo simulator (http://hampshire.uni-potsdam.nature.com/askthewizard/149) • Parrondo's Paradox at Wolfram (http://mathworld. au/ books?id=l5W20mVBeT4C& pg=PA650& dq=parrondo* [29] http:/ / books.fis.lu.fasebj.shtml) • Behrends on Parrondo (http://www.colorado.eleceng.se/HommageaWlodek/site/papper/ StjernbergFredrik.com/applications/view.1) • Parrondo's paradox in genetics (http://www. au/ books?id=md092lhGSOQC& pg=PA107& dq=parrondo* [30] http:/ / sprott.au/Groups/ parrondo/articles/sandiego.aspx?SID=1761) • Donald Catlin on Parrondo's paradox (http://catlin. physics.Parrondo's paradox [28] http:/ / books.molgen.html) • Official Parrondo's paradox page (http://www.fr/jean-paul.es/parr/GAMES/index.cut-the-knot.htm) • Nature news article on Parrondo's paradox (http://www. com.pdf) • A Parrondo's paradox resource (http://pagesperso-orange.mpg.adelaide. wisc.adelaide.html) • Parrondo's paradox at Maplesoft (http://www.com/news/1999/991223/full/news991223-13. google.org/cgi/content/full/176/3/1923) • Parrondo effect in quantum mechanics (http://www.com/2008/02/16/parrondos-paradox-and-poker/) • Parrondo's paradox and epistemology (http://www.edu/lspector/parrondo/parrondo.shtml) • The Wizard of Odds on Parrondo's Paradox (http://wizardofodds. R.genetics.pdf) • God doesn't shoot craps (http://www.ucm.com/ParrondosParadox.com/content/els/03784371/2003/ 00000324/00000001/art01909) • Financial diversification and Parrondo (http://leeds.org/ctk/Parrondo.au/Groups/parrondo) • Parrondo's Paradox .fil. google.org/cgi/content/meeting_abstract/23/ 1_MeetingAbstracts/514. html 211 External links • Parrondo J.edu.

take the set of all squares. and by Zermelo himself resulted in the axiomatic set theory called ZFC. This leads to the conclusion that R is neither normal nor abnormal: Russell's paradox. and evolved into the now-canonical Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory (ZF). for every property. if we take the complementary set that contains all non-squares. For example. On the other hand. and "normal" otherwise. That set is not itself a square. it would contradict its own definition as a set containing all sets that are not members of themselves. Zermelo's axioms went well beyond Frege's axioms of extensionality and unlimited set abstraction. Therefore NST is inconsistent. two ways of avoiding the paradox were proposed. Now we consider the set of all normal sets. So it is "normal". and ZFC has remained the canonical axiomatic set theory down to the present day. and therefore be abnormal. Formal presentation Define Naive Set Theory (NST) as the theory of predicate logic with a binary predicate axioms: for all expressions Substitute for with just free . Husserl and other members of the University of Göttingen. R. objects like R are called . If R qualifies as a member of itself. Attempting to determine whether R is normal or abnormal is impossible: If R were a normal set. which remained known only to Hilbert. Let R be the set of all sets that are not members of themselves. ZFC does not assume that. any definable collection is a set. it would not be contained in the set of all normal sets (itself). it would be contained in the set of normal sets (itself). According to naive set theory. Then by existential instantiation and universal instantiation we have a contradiction. that set is itself not a square and so should be one of its own members. the first constructed axiomatic set theory. and therefore be normal.[1] Informal presentation Let us call a set "abnormal" if it is a member of itself. Set-theoretic responses In 1908. Thoralf Skolem. if such a set is not a member of itself. and if it were abnormal. This theory became widely accepted once Zermelo's axiom of choice ceased to be controversial. Rather. and therefore is not a member of the set of all squares. it would qualify as a member of itself by the same definition. It is "abnormal". it asserts that given any set X. Symbolically: In 1908. there is a set of all things satisfying that property. and the following as . Russell's paradox (also known as Russell's antinomy). This contradiction is Russell's paradox. The object R discussed above cannot be constructed in this fashion. In some extensions of ZFC. Modifications to this axiomatic theory proposed in the 1920s by Abraham Fraenkel. On the other hand. such as his axiom of separation (Aussonderung). The same paradox had been discovered a year before by Ernst Zermelo but he did not publish the idea. any subset of X definable using first-order logic exists. discovered by Bertrand Russell in 1901. Ernst Zermelo proposed an axiomatization of set theory that avoided the paradoxes of naive set theory by replacing arbitrary set comprehension with weaker existence axioms. showed that the naive set theory created by Georg Cantor leads to a contradiction.Russell's paradox 212 Russell's paradox In the foundations of mathematics. and is therefore not a ZFC set. Russell's type theory and the Zermelo set theory.

You state (p. Likewise there is no class (as a totality) of those classes which. Frege then wrote an appendix admitting to the paradox. Let w be the predicate: to be a predicate that cannot be predicated of itself. Jourdain.[4] he announced the discovery to Gottlob Frege of the paradox in Frege's 1879 Begriffsschrift and framed the problem in terms of both logic and set theory.. his letter dated 22 June 1902 appears. they are the elements of the von Neumann universe. It is thus now possible again to reason about sets in a non-axiomatic fashion without running afoul of Russell's paradox.[11] For his part. 17 refers to a page in the original Begriffsschrift.[7] Frege did not waste time responding to Russell." Russell wrote to Frege about the paradox just as Frege was preparing the second volume of his Grundgesetze der Arithmetik. although some argue that Zermelo's axioms tacitly presuppose a background type theory. Therefore we must conclude that w is not a predicate. This variation of Russell's paradox shows that no set contains everything. He states: "And yet.. with van Heijenoort's commentary in Heijenoort 1967:126–127. V. the structure of what some see as the "natural" objects described by ZFC eventually became clear.[3] In a 1902 letter. it is necessary to examine more in detail the singular contradiction. Can w be predicated of itself? From each answer its opposite follows.Russell's paradox proper classes. but now this view seems doubtful to me because of the following contradiction. This I formerly believed. Other resolutions to Russell's paradox..[8] and proposed a solution that Russell would endorse in his Principles of Mathematics. include the axiomatic set theories New Foundations and Scott-Potter set theory. B cannot be in A by the same reasoning in Russell's Paradox. Whether it is appropriate to think of sets in this way is a point of contention among the rival points of view on the philosophy of mathematics. given a set A. In ZFC. 17 [p. and in particular in terms of Frege's definition of function.. 213 History Russell discovered the paradox in May or June 1901. Through the work of Zermelo and others. I may mention that I was led to it in the endeavour to reconcile Cantor's proof. ZFC is silent about types. even the elementary form that Russell9 gave to the set-theoretic antinomies could have persuaded them [J. do not belong to themselves. König.[9] but was later considered by some unsatisfactory. especially John von Neumann.[13] Footnote 9 is where he stakes his claim: .. Bernstein] that the solution of these difficulties is not to be sought in the surrender of well-ordering but only in a suitable restriction of the notion of set".[10] For his part. F. each taken as a totality. built up from the empty set by transfinitely iterating the power set operation. p. it is possible to define a set B that consists of exactly the sets in A that are not members of themselves. he "attempted to discover some flaw in Cantor's proof that there is no greatest cardinal". From this I conclude that under certain circumstances a definable collection [Menge] does not form a totality. with regard to predicates not predicable of themselves. Ernst Zermelo in his (1908) A new proof of the possibility of a well-ordering (published at the same time he published "the first axiomatic set theory")[12] laid claim to prior discovery of the antinomy in Cantor's naive set theory. 23 above]) that a function too. more in the spirit of type theory.[5] Russell would go to cover it at length in his 1903 The Principles of Mathematics where he repeats his first encounter with the paradox:[6] Before taking leave of fundamental questions. . already mentioned. and page 23 refers to the same page in van Heijenoort 1967: There is just one point where I have encountered a difficulty. namely by reasoning about the elements of V.[2] By his own admission in his 1919 Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy. Russell had his work at the printers and he added an appendix on the doctrine of types. can act as the indeterminate element. in the following.

consider five lists of encyclopedia entries within the same encyclopedia: List of articles about people: • • • • • • • • Ptolemy VII of Egypt Hermann Hesse Don Nix Don Knotts Nikola Tesla Sherlock Holmes Emperor Kōnin Tim Tebow List of articles starting with the letter L: • • • . .. now known as first-order logic. then it does not belong to itself and should be removed. • List of all lists that do not contain themselves? List of articles starting with the letter K List of articles starting with the letter M List of articles about Japan List of articles about places List of articles about people If the "List of all lists that do not contain themselves" contains itself. However. independently of Russell. I had. Applied versions There are some versions of this paradox that are closer to real-life situations and may be easier to understand for non-logicians. This is very widely – though not universally – regarded as having shown the logicist program of Frege to be impossible to complete. For example. its system gave rise to new problems.[15] It is also known that unpublished discussions of set theoretical paradoxes took place in the mathematical community at the turn of the century. discovered this antinomy myself. the Barber paradox supposes a barber who shaves all men who do not shave themselves and only men who do not shave themselves. is complete. As another example. and it cannot contain itself. This immediately becomes clear if instead of 'F(Fu)' we write '(do) : F(Ou) . They sought to banish the paradoxes of naive set theory by employing a theory of types they devised for this purpose. but the letter by itself signifies nothing. if it does not list itself. the paradox begins to emerge.[14] A written account of Zermelo's actual argument was discovered in the Nachlass of Edmund Husserl.333) Russell and Alfred North Whitehead wrote their three-volume Principia Mathematica (PM) hoping to achieve what Frege had been unable to do. That disposes of Russell's paradox. While PM avoided the known paradoxes and allows the derivation of a great deal of mathematics. For let us suppose that the function F(fx) could be its own argument: in that case there would be a proposition 'F(F(fx))'. 3. Ou = Fu'.. Ludwig Wittgenstein proposed to "dispose" of Russell's paradox as follows: The reason why a function cannot be its own argument is that the sign for a function already contains the prototype of its argument. Only the letter 'F' is common to the two functions. Peano arithmetic is necessarily incomplete if it is consistent. and had communicated it prior to 1903 to Professor Hilbert among others. then it should be added to itself... (Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. in which the outer function F and the inner function F must have different meanings. among others. List of articles starting with the letter K List of articles starting with the letter L List of articles starting with the letter M L L!VE TV L&H List of articles about places: • • • Leivonmäki Katase River Enoshima List of articles about Japan: • • • Emperor Showa Katase River Enoshima List of all lists that do not contain themselves: • • • . pp. Kurt Gödel in 1930–31 proved that while the logic of much of PM. While they succeeded in grounding arithmetic in a fashion.. • • • . When one thinks about whether the barber should shave himself or not.[16] In 1923. however. 366–368. van Heijenoort in his commentary before Russell's 1902 Letter to Frege states that Zermelo "had discovered the paradox independently of Russell and communicated it to Hilbert.Russell's paradox 9 214 1903... since the inner one has the form O(f(x)) and the outer one has the form Y(O(fx)). In any event. • • . it is not at all evident that they did so by purely logical means. prior to its publication by Russell"..

• The Grelling–Nelson paradox with "describer": The describer (word) that describes all words. because then it would belong in the other catalog. The term "that denotes all . Russell's paradox is not hard to extend. One way that the paradox has been dramatised is as follows: Suppose that every public library has to compile a catalog of all its books. that can be applied to its substantive form. However. as being self-evident. or at least does not shave (a variant of which is that the barber is a woman). or "elect" The elector (representative). When it comes to the 'Catalog of all catalogs that don't list themselves'. Note the difference between the statements "such a set does not exist" and "it is an empty set". others leave it out. A notable exception to the above may be the Grelling–Nelson paradox. However. Sometimes the "all" is replaced by "all <V>ers". in which words and meaning are the elements of the scenario rather than people and hair-cutting. but while some librarians include it in the catalog for completeness. If he does include it. and one of all those that don't. should these catalogs list themselves? The 'Catalog of all catalogs that list themselves' is no problem. it is impossible to say something similar about a meaningfully defined word. just as the librarian cannot go wrong with the first master catalog. (In this paradox. The whole point of Russell's paradox is that the answer "such a set does not exist" means the definition of the notion of set within a given theory is unsatisfactory. it remains a true catalog of those that list themselves. he is doomed to fail with the second.Russell's paradox While appealing. Now imagine that all these catalogs are sent to the national library. Either way. if the librarian leaves it out. these layman's versions of the paradox share a drawback: an easy refutation of the Barber paradox seems to be that such a barber does not exist. Paradoxes that fall in this scheme include: • The barber with "shave". that of catalogs that do include themselves. the librarian cannot include it in its own listing. Form the sentence: The <V>er that <V>s all (and only those) who don't <V> themselves. The question is now. 215 Applications and related topics Russell-like paradoxes As illustrated above for the Barber paradox. It is like saying. it is still a true catalog of those catalogs that do include themselves. • Richard's paradox with "denote": The denoter (number) that denotes all denoters (numbers) that don't denote themselves. Some of them include themselves in their listings. Take: • A transitive verb <V>. The national librarian compiles two master catalogs – one of all the catalogs that list themselves. If the librarian doesn't include it in its own listing. it can never be a true catalog of catalogs that do not list themselves. • The original Russell's paradox with "contain": The container (Set) that contains all (containers) that don't contain themselves. that elects all that don't elect themselves. or "The bucket is empty". the catalog is incomplete. "There is no bucket". Though it is easy to refute the Barber's paradox by saying that such a barber does not (and cannot) exist. An example would be "paint": The painter that paints all (and only those) that don't paint themselves. others do not. The catalog is itself one of the library's books. that don't describe themselves. all descriptions of numbers get an assigned number.

[10] Livio states that "While Frege did make some desperate attempts to remedy his axiom system. this seems to contradict the contemporary notion of a "function in extension". [14] Ernst Zermelo (1908) A new proof of the possibility of a well-ordering in van Heijenoort 1967:183–198. 350. van Heijenoort cites Quine: "For a late and thorough study of Frege's "way out". see Quine 1955": "On Frege's way out". Loewenheim's theorem. Also van Heijenoort 1967:124–125 [5] Remarkably. contains an interesting discussion of the contradiction (pp. cf van Heijenoort's commentary before Frege's (1902) Letter to Russell in van Heijenoort 1967:126 [12] van Heijenoort's commentary before Zermelo (1908a) Investigations in the foundations of set theory I in van Heijenoort 1967:199 [13] van Heijenoort 1967:190–191. As it seems very likely that this is the true solution. Thomas. II. Jena. it seems to me that the expession 'a predicate is predicated of itself' is not exact. The conclusion appeared to be disastrous. vol. pp. enclosed as a pamphlet with part of the third printing (1955) of Quine 1950 and incorporated in the revised edition (1959). by means of a self-negating statement • Curry's paradox (named after Haskell Curry). 253—260" (cf REFERENCES in van Heijenoort 1967:649) [11] Russell mentions this fact to Frege. [8] van Heijenoort's commentary. 'unsaturated' ". Michael Beaney (1997). . 1981. Begriffsschriftlich abgeleitet. see Frege's wording at page 128: "Incidentally. google. com/ ?id=4ktC0UrG4V8C& pg=PA253).. ISBN 9783110174380. 1893. in his 1908 Mathematical logic as based on the theory of types cf van Heijenoort 1967:150–182). 253. One hundred years of Russell's paradox (http:/ / books. com/ ?id=Xg6QpedPpcsC& pg=PA350). p. cf van Heijenoort 1967:126 . In the section before this he objects strenuously to the notion of impredicativity as defined by Poincaré (and soon to be taken by Russell. whose origins are ancient • The Kleene–Rosser paradox. The abbreviation Gg. 15–22. 253–265).. 8 n. I. The Frege reader (http:/ / books. . suggesting that the solution is to be found by denying that two propositional functions that determine equal classes must be equivalent. But van Heijenoort in his commentary before Frege's (1902) Letter to Russell describes Frege's proposed "way out" in some detail – the matter has to do with the " 'transformation of the generalization of an equality into an equality of courses-of-values. This was the position I was placed in by a letter of Mr Bertrand Russell. Historia Mathematica. Vol. II. [6] Russell 1903:101 [7] cf van Heijenoort's commentary before Frege's Letter to Russell in van Heijenoort 1967:126. stands for Frege's Grundgezetze der Arithmetik. which appeared too late to be noticed in the Appendix. [15] B.) 216 Related paradoxes • The liar paradox and Epimenides paradox. Mind 64. But he waffles at the end of his suggestion that a function-as-concept-in-extension can be written as predicated of its function. v. in The Frege Reader. reprinted in Quine 1955b: Appendix.Russell's paradox denoters (numbers) that don't denote themselves" is here called Richardian. translation by Michael Beaney [9] cf van Heijenoort's commentary. Rang and W. the reader is strongly recommended to examine Frege's argument on the point" (Russell 1903:522)... too. 1.279. [3] Russell 1920:136 [4] Gottlob Frege. doi:10. 145–159. suitcaseofdreams. p. Frege starts his analysis by this exceptionally honest comment : "Hardly anything more unfortunate can befall a scientific writer than to have one of the foundations of his edifice shaken after the work is finished. The added text reads as follows: " Note. just when the printing of this volume was nearing its completion" (Appendix of Grundgesetze der Arithmetik. he was unsuccessful. which does not require negation • The smallest uninteresting integer paradox Notes [1] Set theory paradoxes (http:/ / www. net/ Set_theory_Paradox. 1903. showing that the original lambda calculus is inconsistent. Completeness of quantification theory. Vol. Livio 2009:191 reports that Zermelo "discovered Russell's paradox independently as early as 1900"." Livio 2009:188.1016/0315-0860(81)90002-1 [16] van Heijenoort 1967:124 . p. cf van Heijenoort 1967:126.. The second volume of Gg. For Frege a function is something incomplete. google.Therefore I would prefer to say that 'a concept is predicated of its own extension' [etc]". "Zermelo's discovery of the 'Russell Paradox'".. htm) [2] Godehard Link (2004). this letter was unpublished until van Heijenoort 1967 – it appears with van Heijenoort's commentary at van Heijenoort 1967:124–125. Livio in turn cites Ewald 1996 and van Heijenoort 1967 (cf Livio 2009:268). ISBN 9780631194453.

Though it is mostly unknown to laymen. However.stanford. Is God a Mathematician?. in 1903. D.edu/entries/russell-paradox/)" – by A. This result is often encountered in social-science and medical-science statistics.cut-the-knot. a larger fraction of Republican legislators voted in favor of the Act than Democrats. Simon & Schuster.[12] Examples Civil Rights Act of 1964 A real-life example is the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in the United States.[11] some writers.[5] [6] Simpson's paradox for continuous data: a positive trend appears for two separate groups (blue and red). ISBN 0-674-32449-8 • Livio.shtml) at Cut-the-Knot • Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: " Russell's Paradox (http://plato.[2] Simpson's Paradox disappears when causal relations are brought into consideration (see Implications to decision making). Irvine. 1979-1931. when the congressional delegations from the northern and southern States are considered separately. et al. Simpson's paradox (or the Yule–Simpson effect) is a paradox in which a correlation present in different groups is reversed when the groups are combined. have used the impersonal names reversal paradox and amalgamation paradox in referring to what is now called Simpson's Paradox and the Yule-Simpson effect.[10] Since Edward Simpson did not actually discover this statistical paradox.[7] but the statisticians Karl Pearson. Jean (1967. Simpson first described this phenomenon in a technical paper in 1951. This arose because regional affiliation is a very strong indicator of how a congressman or senator voted. had mentioned similar effects earlier.[9] The name Simpson's paradox was introduced by Colin R. and it is described in a few introductory statistics books. Mario (6 January 2009). instead. dashed) appears when the data are combined.[3] [4] Many statisticians believe that the mainstream public should be informed of the counter-intuitive results in statistics such as Simpson's paradox. Simpson's Paradox is well known to statisticians.[8] and Udny Yule. ISBN 978-0199269730 • van Heijenoort. Simpson's paradox In probability and statistics. Cambridge. Blyth in 1972. Edward H. Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-7432-9405-8 External links • Russell's Paradox (http://www. Overall. but party affiliation is a weak indicator..[1] and it occurs when frequency data are hastily given causal interpretations. Clarendon Press (Oxford University Press). . third printing 1976). Set Theory and its Philosophy. Michael (15 January 2004). a larger fraction of Democrats voted in favor of the act in both regions. From Frege to Gödel: A Source Book in Mathematical Logic.Russell's paradox 217 References • Potter. a negative trend (black.org/selfreference/russell. in 1899.

The sizes of the groups. even if the latter used the inferior treatment B (group two).Simpson's paradox 218 House Northern Southern Both Democrat Republican 94% (145/154) 85% (138/162) 7% (7/94) 0% (0/10) 61% (152/248) 80% (138/172) Senate Northern Southern Both Democrat Republican 98% (45/46) 84% (27/32) 5% (1/21) 0% (0/1) 69% (46/67) 82% (27/33) Kidney stone treatment This is another real-life example from a medical study[13] comparing the success rates of two treatments for kidney stones. . Therefore. and the milder cases (small stones) the inferior treatment (B). which are combined when the lurking variable is ignored. the group of patients with large stones using treatment A (group three) does worse than the group with small stones. the success rate is more strongly influenced by the severity of the case than by the choice of treatment. Therefore. which creates Simpson's paradox. In this example the "lurking" variable (or confounding variable) of the stone size was not previously known to be important until its effects were included. yet treatment B is more effective when considering both sizes at the same time. and not by the two much smaller groups one and four. i. The lurking variable has a large effect on the ratios. Which treatment is considered better is determined by an inequality between two ratios (successes/total). happens because two effects occur together: 1. the totals are dominated by groups three and two. 2. The reversal of the inequality between the ratios.[14] The table shows the success rates and numbers of treatments for treatments involving both small and large kidney stones. where Treatment A includes all open procedures and Treatment B is percutaneous nephrolithotomy: Treatment A Small Stones Group 1 93% (81/87) Group 3 73% (192/263) Treatment B Group 2 87% (234/270) Group 4 69% (55/80) Large Stones Both 78% (273/350) 83% (289/350) The paradoxical conclusion is that treatment A is more effective when used on small stones. and also when used on large stones. are very different.e. Doctors tend to give the severe cases (large stones) the better treatment (A).

"[15] The data from the six largest departments is listed below. In fact. Derek Jeter and David Justice. and to do so again during the next year. (The same situation applies to calculating batting averages for the first half of the baseball season. In a given population. It is possible for one player to hit for a higher batting average than another player during a given year. it has been observed that babies of low birth weights born to smoking mothers have a lower mortality rate than the babies of low birth weights of non-smokers. babies with low birth weights have had a significantly higher infant mortality rate than others. but to have a lower batting average when the two years are combined. during the baseball years 1995 and 1996:[18] . it was found that no department was significantly biased against women.Simpson's paradox 219 Berkeley gender bias case One of the best known real life examples of Simpson's paradox occurred when the University of California. The admission figures for the fall of 1973 showed that men applying were more likely than women to be admitted. Department Men Applicants A B C D E F 825 560 325 417 191 272 Admitted 62% 63% 37% 33% 28% 6% Women Applicants 108 25 593 375 393 341 Admitted 82% 68% 34% 35% 24% 7% The research paper by Bickel. The conditions under which the admissions' frequency data from specific departments constitute a proper defense against charges of discrimination are formulated in the book Causality by Pearl. et al. babies weighing less than a certain amount (which varies between different countries) have been classified as having low birth weight. and the difference was so large that it was unlikely to be due to chance.[2] Low birth weight paradox The low birth weight paradox is an apparently paradoxical observation relating to the birth weights and mortality of children born to tobacco smoking mothers.[16] Batting averages A common example of Simpson's Paradox involves the batting averages of players in professional baseball. As a usual practice. most departments had a "small but statistically significant bias in favor of women. This phenomenon can occur when there are large differences in the number of at-bats between the years. Berkeley was sued for bias against women who had applied for admission to graduate schools there.[3] [15] Applicants Men Women 8442 4321 Admitted 44% 35% However when examining the individual departments. However. whereas men tended to apply to less-competitive departments with high rates of admission among the qualified applicants (such as in engineering and chemistry).) A real-life example is provided by Ken Ross[17] and involves the batting average of two baseball players.[15] concluded that women tended to apply to competitive departments with low rates of admission even among qualified applicants (such as in the English Department). and during the second half. and then combining all of the data for the season's batting average.

though a chart shown omitted some of the data. Illustration of Simpson's Paradox.321 149/551 .253 45/140 The Jeter and Justice example of Simpson's paradox was referred to in the "Conspiracy Theory" episode of the television series Numb3rs. In the second week. Lisa improves 60% of the 100 articles she edited. In this particular case. In the first week.298 David Justice 104/411 . Justice had a higher batting average (in bold type) than Jeter did. The red bars represent the first week.270 David Justice 104/411 .300 .321 163/495 .329 312/1046 .250 183/582 . when the two baseball seasons are combined. while Bart improves 30% of 100 articles he edited.314 190/654 . each edit Wikipedia articles for two weeks. Jeter shows a higher batting average than Justice. . However. this phenomenon would be observed about once per year among the possible pairs of interesting baseball players. and listed the 1996 averages as 1995.250 183/582 .291 385/1284 . Lisa and Bart.310 . the Simpson's Paradox can still be observed if the year 1997 is also taken into account: 1995 Derek Jeter 12/48 1996 1997 Combined . Description Suppose two people. While Bart's bars both show a higher rate of success than Lisa's. and Bart improves 90% of 10 articles he edited. The first graph represents Lisa's contribution.253 45/140 In both 1995 and 1996. the second one Bart's. Lisa's combined rate is higher because basically she improved a greater ratio relative to the quantity edited.Simpson's paradox 220 1995 Derek Jeter 12/48 1996 Combined . the triangles indicate the combined percentage of good contributions (weighted average). According to Ross.314 195/630 . the blue bars the second week. Lisa improves just 10% of 10 articles she edited.

the data given in this example is impossible. The paradox stems from the intuition that Bart could not possibly be a better editor on each set but worse overall. we see that Lisa and Bart both edited 110 articles. when two weeks of articles is combined. — Lisa improved 60% of the many articles she edited.Simpson's paradox 221 Week 1 Lisa Bart 60/100 9/10 Week 2 1/10 30/100 Total 61/110 39/110 Both times Bart improved a higher percentage of articles than Lisa. if only the 90% in the first week for Bart was provided but not the ratio (9:10). Therefore.e. Bart and Lisa's work can be judged from an equal sample size. Bart is better for each set but worse overall. we assume that the articles were assigned at random to Bart and Lisa. In this example. In the back of our mind. so is her percentage. under random assignment conditions. though. Pearl proved how this is possible. incomplete or misguided information. it would distort the information causing the imagined paradox. on those same items". Success is associated with Bart. or a lack of understanding a particular concept. and vice versa. and: • • • — Lisa improved 61 articles. — Bart had a 90% success rate during that time. the same number of articles edited by each. — Success is now associated with Lisa. Lisa's proportional total of articles improved exceeds Bart's total. 55% of the 110 total articles. which accounts for our surprise . Looked at in this more accurate manner." However. an assumption which (for large sample) would support the counterfactual interpretation of "better editor. like other paradoxes." because it does not tell us how Bart would perform on items edited by Lisa.5% This imagined paradox is caused when the percentage is provided but not the ratio. overall Lisa had improved a greater proportion. But if we combine the two sets. overall. — Bart improved only 39. but the actual number of articles each edited (the bottom number of their ratios also known as the sample size) were not the same for both of them either week. Week 1 quantity Lisa Bart 60% 90% Week 2 quantity 10% 30% Total quantity and weighted quality 55.5% 35. When the totals for the two weeks are added together. Even though Bart's percentage is higher for the first and second week. Success is associated with Bart. therefore. i. Also when the two tests are combined using a weighted average. it only appears to be a paradox because of incorrect assumptions.[2] Clearly. Lisa's ratio is higher and. — Bart achieved a 30% success rate. On both occasions Bart's edits were more successful than Lisa's. when "better editor" is taken in the counterfactual sense: "Were Bart to edit all items in a set he would do better than Lisa would. frequency data cannot support this sense of "better editor. Lisa has improved a much higher percentage than Bart because the quality modifier had a significantly higher percentage. Here are some notations: • In the first week • • • In the second week • • — Lisa managed 10% in her busy life.

with a slope of .e. Lisa is a better editor on average. Precise criteria for selecting a set of "confounding variables. as shown in the example. it also occurs with continuous data:[19] for example. as her overall success rate is higher. the two regression lines may show a positive trend. The arithmetical basis of the paradox is uncontroversial." (i. which the examples given above. the sum of the two vectors (indicated by "+" in the figure) can still have a larger slope than the sum of the two vectors . if one fits separated regression lines through two sets of data. But it is possible to have told the story in a way which would make it appear obvious that Bart is more diligent. and has a smaller slope than . However if different weights are used to form the overall score for each person then Vector interpretation Vector interpretation of Simpson's paradox (note that the x and y axes have different scales).[20] A success rate of represented by a vector . as in and . as shown on the picture above. If must be greater than reversed on the second test. Simpson's paradox can also be illustrated using the 2-dimensional vector space. Here the first test is weighted and for Lisa and we feel that for Bart while the weights are 222 . this feeling may be disappointed. with slope (in blue in the figure) has a smaller slope than another vector . If two rates and can be are combined. is given in Pearl[2] using causal graphs. While Simpson's paradox often refers to the analysis of count tables. the result can be represented by the sum of the vectors according to the parallelogram rule is the vector Simpson's paradox says that even if a vector (in red). . variables that yield correct causal relationships if included in the analysis). • • By more extreme reweighting Lisa's overall score can be pushed up towards 60% and Bart's down towards 30%. Simpson's paradox shows us an extreme example of the importance of including data about possible confounding variables when attempting to calculate causal relations. while a regression line fitted through all data together will show a negative trend. as shown in this example. .Simpson's paradox when confronting the rate reversal..

R. [4] David S. Journal of the American Statistical Association 67 (338): 364–366. This reduces Simpson's Paradox to an exercise in graph theory.2307/2684093.292. it is clear that if one is diagnosed with "Small Stones" or "Large Stones" the data for the respective subpopulation should be consulted and Treatment A would be preferred to Treatment B. R. "Comparison of treatment of renal calculi by open surgery. doi:10. S. and the size of the stone is not known. (1899). such as in the kidney stone example. depending on the story behind the data. Payne.1136/bmj. and Inference. Norton. B 13: 238–241.[21] References Notes [1] Clifford H. 19. Reasoning. "The Interpretation of Interaction in Contingency Tables".. the answer is that it is the story which encodes the causal relationships among the variables.2.1214/aos/1176350369. O. R. indeed. [8] Pearson. Webb. PMC 2541623. Y. E. and extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy". PMID 7804052. doi:10. Once we extract these relationships and represent them in a graph called a causal Bayesian network we can test algorithmically whether a given partition. ISBN 0-521-77362-8. [13] C. Biometrika 2 (2): 121–134. PMID 3083922. [10] Colin R. . with each story dictating its own choice. not data. . U. W. How likely is Simpson’s paradox? If a 2 × 2 × 2 table. "Introduction to the Practice of Statistics" (5th edition). a treatment that is preferred both under one condition and under its negation should also be preferred when the condition is unknown. Wagner (February 1982). [5] Robert L. Pearl[2] considers this to be the real paradox behind Simpson's reversal. On the other hand. [2] Judea Pearl. Julious and Mark A. Mullee (12/03/1994). not the partitioned data that gives the correct choice of action.H. 2nd edition 2009). 2007. [3] David Freedman. doi:10. Ser. Philosophical Translations of the Royal Statistical Society. gives the correct answer. J. 24–28. ISSN 0090-5364. L. PMC 1339981. 49 (1): pp. in many cases it is the aggregated. given the same table. Karl. A 173: 534–539.2307/2284382. [9] G. [11] See Stigler's law of eponymy [12] I. Cambridge University Press (2000. Yule (1903). com/ cgi/ content/ full/ 309/ 6967/ 1480). what prevents one from partitioning the data into arbitrary sub-categories (say based on eye color or post-treatment pain) artificially constructed to yield wrong choices of treatments? Pearl[2] shows that.Simpson's paradox 223 Implications to decision making The practical significance of Simpson's paradox surfaces in decision making situations where it poses the following dilemma: Which data should we consult in choosing an action. one should sometimes follow the partitioned and sometimes the aggregated data. "Simpson's Paradox in Real Life"." requires that we check whether the nodes corresponding to the confounding variables intercept certain paths in the graph. Causality: Models. JSTOR 2684093. Lee.W. W. Edward H. "On Simpson's Paradox and the Sure-Thing Principle".879. "Categorical Data Analysis" (Second edition). should dictate choices. Blyth (June 1972). John Wiley and Sons ISBN 0-471-36093-7 [7] Simpson. JSTOR 2241334. [6] Alan Agresti (2002). JSTOR 2284382. "The Amalgamation and Geometry of Two-by-Two Contingency Tables". The American Statistician 36 (1): 46–48.121. Robert Pisani and Roger Purves. "Genetic (reproductive) selection: Inheritance of fertility in man". would it be appropriate to consult the aggregated data and administer Treatment B? This would stand contrary to common sense. doi:10. the probability is approximately 1/60 that Simpson's paradox will occur purely by chance. is selected at random. called "back-door. if the partitioned data is to be preferred a priori.S. Mittal (June 1987). The American Statistician. "Notes on the Theory of Association of Attributes in Statistics". The test. The Annals of Statistics 15 (2): 694–711. the aggregated or the partitioned? In the Kidney Stone example above. "Simpson's Paradox and the Hot Hand in Basketball". Charig. bmjjournals. p. A. Wardrop (February 1995). (1951).1093/biomet/2. George P. doi:10. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. McCabe (February 2005). "Confounding and Simpson's paradox" (http:/ / bmj. Moore and D. representing confounding variables. Good. Statistics (4th edition). Freeman & Company. Ser. But what if a patient is not diagnosed. Worse yet. Bramley-Moore. As to why and how a story. ISBN 0-7167-6282-X. [14] Steven A. percutaneous nephrolithotomy. D. ISBN 13-978-0-393-92972-0.6524. Wickham (29 March 1986). BMJ 309 (6967): 1480–1481. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 292 (6524): 879–882.

baseball-reference. Bickel.cs. The American Statistician 63 (3): 226–233. (http://www. 2004.2009.4175. doi:10. Linear Models.187.J. PMID 16931545. "The Perils of Birth Weight — A Lesson from Directed Acyclic Graphs" (http:/ / aje. org/ cgi/ content/ abstract/ 164/ 11/ 1121). [21] Marios G. ISBN 0-13-147990-3. 224 References External links • Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: " Simpson's Paradox (http://plato. shtml).com/s. sciencemag. by Cari Tuna (substituting for regular columnist Carl Bialik) . 136–137 [20] Kocik Jerzy (2001).398. .cs. " "The Art and Science of Cause and Effect.edu/LECTURE/lecture_sec1.edu/entries/ paradox-simpson/)" – by Gary Malinas. oxfordjournals. edu/ kocik/ papers/ simpson2. 2009 dealt with recent instances of Simpson's paradox in the news.stanford. and Related Methods". com/ j/ justida01. doi:10.wsj. "Applied Regression Analysis. Data for David Justice (http:/ / www.org/Curriculum/Algebra/SimpsonParadox. "How Likely is Simpson's Paradox?". com/ : Data for Derek Jeter (http:/ / www.org/blue/Mediant. ISBN 0-8039-4540-X. [16] Wilcox Allen (2006).html) • For a brief history of the origins of the paradox see the entries "Simpson's Paradox" and "Spurious Correlation" • Pearl. 12–13 [18] Statistics available from http:/ / www.shtml)" • The Wall Street Journal column "The Numbers Guy" (http://online. baseball-reference. .cut-the-knot. Mathematics Magazine 74 (5): 399. American Journal of Epidemiology 164 (11): 1121–1123. "Simpson's Paradox: An Anatomy" (http://bayes.com/article/SB125970744553071829.edu/R264. pdf) (PDF).pdf) (PDF) • Short articles by Alexander Bogomolny at cut-the-knot: • " Mediant Fractions.tripod. Perlman (August 2009). Hammel and J. [17] Ken Ross. "A Mathematician at the Ballpark: Odds and Probabilities for Baseball Fans (Paperback)" Pi Press.1093/aje/kwj276. [19] John Fox (1997). "Proofs without Words: Simpson's Paradox" (http:/ / www. Judea. E. • Earliest known uses of some of the words of mathematics: S (http://jeff560.W.1198/tast. doi:10. shtml).A. • Pearl. com/ j/ jeterde01. PMID 17835295. htm)" A slide show and tutorial lecture.09007. O'Connell (1975). . html) for December 2.1126/science.ucla. (http://www. math.cut-the-knot. baseball-reference. (http://bayes.. Judea. siu.ucla.Simpson's paradox [15] P.shtml)" • " Simpson's Paradox. Sage Publications. org/ cgi/ content/ abstract/ 187/ 4175/ 398). Notably a Simpson's paradox in the comparison of unemployment rates of the 2009 recession with the 1983 recession. Science 187 (4175): 398–404. Pavlides and Michael D. "Sex Bias in Graduate Admissions: Data From Berkeley" (http:/ / www.

For example. published by Georg Cantor in 1874. the set of real numbers. Although it is not an actual antinomy like Russell's paradox. because B is countable. was the existence of uncountable sets. Löwenheim (1915) and Skolem (1920. Skolem's paradox is a seeming contradiction that arises from the downward Löwenheim–Skolem theorem. "no one has called attention to this paradoxical state of affairs. Now. was given by Skolem (1922). from those same axioms. showing that it is not a contradiction in mathematics. he proved Cantor's theorem from them to demonstrate their strength. translation by Bauer-Mengelberg) More specifically. By virtue of the axioms we can prove the existence of higher cardinalities. How can it be. The paradoxical result and its mathematical implications Skolem (1922) pointed out the seeming contradiction between the Löwenheim–Skolem theorem on the one hand. and the Cantor set. The same is true of any consistent first order axiomatisation of set theory. who argued against the limitations of first-order logic. This line of thought can be extended to question whether any set is uncountable in an absolute sense. and which contains only countable sets." Skolem writes. this implies that if the first order versions of Zermelo's axioms of set theory are satisfiable. satisfies the first order sentence that intuitively states "there are uncountable sets". then. if it is consistent. then the same axioms are satisfied by some countable structure. a sentence which intuitively says (or which precisely says in the standard model of the theory) that there exist sets that are not countable. This is Skolem's . A mathematical explanation of the paradox. and was described as a "paradoxical state of affairs" by Skolem (1922: p. and to discover the relativity of set-theoretic notions now known as non-absoluteness. 295. 295).. led to renewed interest in the philosophical aspects of Skolem's result. they are satisfiable in some countable model. the paper "Models and Reality" by Hilary Putnam. When Zermelo proposed his axioms for set theory in 1908. Thoralf Skolem (1922) was the first to discuss the seemingly contradictory aspects of the theorem. The downward form of this theorem shows that if a countable first-order axiomatisation is satisfied by any infinite structure. and is uncountable if there is no such correspondence function. This appears contradictory because it is possible to prove. An infinite set X is countable if there is a function that gives a one-to-one correspondence between X and the natural numbers. and which is provable from Zermelo's axioms. let B be a countable model of Zermelo's axioms. Skolem's paradox is that every countable axiomatisation of set theory in first-order logic. "So far as I know. One line of inquiry questions whether it is accurate to claim that any first-order sentence actually states "there are uncountable sets".. In particular. p. Thus it appears that u should be countable. and responses to it. Recently.Skolem's paradox 225 Skolem's paradox In mathematical logic and philosophy. has a model that is countable. The philosophical implications of Skolem's paradox have received much study. that the entire domain B [a countable model of Zermelo's axioms] can already be enumerated by means of finite positive integers?" (Skolem 1922. Thus the seeming contradiction is that a model which is itself countable. which implies that there is a countable model of Zermelo's axioms. which states that uncountable sets exist. Skolem's work was harshly received by Ernst Zermelo. because there are only countably many elements c in B to begin with. the result is typically called a paradox. but the result quickly came to be accepted by the mathematical community. Background One of the earliest results in set theory. such as the powerset of the natural numbers. there are only countably many elements c such that c ∈ u according to B. 1923) proved the Löwenheim–Skolem theorem. Then there is some set u in B such that B satisfies the first-order formula saying that u is uncountable. and Cantor's theorem on the other hand. u could be taken as the set of real numbers in B.

But in recent times I have seen to my surprise that so many mathematicians think that these axioms of set theory provide the ideal foundation for mathematics. 303–304) explain why Skolem's result was so surprising to set theorists in the 1920s. Gödel's completeness theorem and the compactness theorem had not yet been proved. p. 2000. Thus it is possible to recognize that a particular set u is countable. which is itself a set. p. Zermelo's further work on the foundations of set theory after Skolem's paper led to his discovery of the cumulative hierarchy and formalization of infinitary logic (van Dalen and Ebbinghaus. 147) 226 Reception by the mathematical community A central goal of early research into set theory was to find a first order axiomatisation for set theory which was categorical. (1973. note 11). not be very much concerned with it. It took some time for the theory of first-order logic to be developed enough for mathematicians to understand the cause of Skolem's result. von Neumann presented a novel axiomatization of set theory." (van Dalen and Ebbinghaus.). must exist. 2000. From their point of view. consisting of all sets. Fraenkel et al. or any other theory with an infinite model. 2000. but only to a set that is actually included in the model. In his concluding remarks. no resolution of the paradox was widely accepted during the 1920s. intended to illustrate its weakness as a foundational system: "I believed that it was so clear that axiomatization in terms of sets was not a satisfactory ultimate foundation of mathematics that mathematicians would. At the time. 147). In the context of a specific model of set theory. 148) Zermelo at first considered the Skolem paradox a hoax (van Dalen and Ebbinghaus. Very much aware of Skolem's 1922 paper. "At present we can do no more than note that we have one more reason here to entertain reservations about set theory and that for the time being no way of rehabilitating this theory is known. where the same set is included in two models of set theory. 152. 2000. (Kunen 1980 p. 2000. Contemporary set theorists describe concepts that do not depend on the choice of a transitive model as absolute. p. creating doubts about the use of set theory as a foundation of mathematics. . 406). He described this as the "most important" result in his paper." (Ebbinghaus and van Dalen. but Zermelo argued against the finitary metamathematics that underlie first-order logic (Kanamori 2004. Skolem described his work as a critique of (first-order) set theory. Enderton 2001 p. Skolem's result showed this is not possible. he wrote.Skolem's paradox paradox. Skolem's result applies only to what is now called first-order logic. Skolem used the term "relative" to describe this state of affairs. the term "set" does not refer to an arbitrary set. p. a setting in which Skolem's result does not apply. These theorems illuminated the way that first-order logic behaves and established its finitary nature.). but not countable in a particular model of set theory. 519 ff. because there is no set in the model that gives a one-to-one correspondence between u and the natural numbers in that model. Skolem's paradox simply shows that countability is not an absolute property in first order logic. Skolem went on to explain why there was no contradiction. is countable in one model."(Ebbinghaus and van Dalen. The method of Henkin models. Burgess 1977 p. pp. nor has agreement on its significance and possible solution yet been reached. therefore it seemed to me that the time had come for a critique. Zermelo published a second-order axiomatization in 1930 and proved several categoricity results in that context. for the most part. Von Neumann comments that there is no categorical axiomatization of set theory. 141. 148 ff. p. von Neumann investigated countable models of his axioms in detail. meaning that the axioms would have exactly one model. and spoke against it starting in 1929. Fraenkel (1928) still described the result as an antinomy: "Neither have the books yet been closed on the antinomy. and is not countable in the other model. In 1925. Zermelo argued that his axioms should instead be studied in second-order logic. Speaking of the impact of Skolem's paradox. The definition of countability requires that a certain one-to-one correspondence. which developed into NBG set theory.

. 304) explain that contemporary mathematicians are no more bothered by the lack of categoricity of first-order theories than they are bothered by the conclusion of Gödel's incompleteness theorem that no consistent. (1973. The fact that these countable models of ZF still satisfy the theorem that there are uncountable sets is not considered a pathology.. Springer. MR2136635 • Stephen Cole Kleene. (1967). 290) Although mathematicians no longer consider Skolem's result paradoxical. "Completeness in the theory of types". Kleene concludes "there is no absolute notion of countability. Studies in Logic and the Foundations of Mathematics. the result is often discussed by philosophers. cf pages 420-432: § 75. p. pp. Foundations of Set Theory. doi:10. ed. Mathematische Annalen 76 (4): 447–470. (1950). After surveying Skolem's argument that the result is not contradictory.2178/bsl/1102083759. Mathematical Logic. 227 Contemporary mathematical opinion Contemporary mathematical logicians do not view Skolem's paradox as any sort of fatal flaw in set theory. JSTOR 2266967. ISBN 978-1556080104 • Abraham Fraenkel. p. but rather a kind of anomaly". a merely mathematical resolution of the paradox may be less than satisfactory. "Zermelo and set theory" [2]. 324) describes the result as "not a paradox in the sense of outright contradiction." (van Heijenoort 1967. "Skolem's paradox" [1]. Analysis 1985: 45. (1982).Skolem's paradox now a standard technique for constructing countable models of a consistent first-order theory. ISSN 0025-5831 • Moore.2307/2266967. in Hazewinkel. in Barwise. Journal of Symbolic Logic (The Journal of Symbolic Logic. van Heijenoort (1967) describes it as "a novel and unexpected feature of formal systems. effective. "Models and Reality". L. ISBN 978-0-444-85401-8 • (1915). • Stephen Cole Kleene. Dirk and Heinz-Dieter Ebbinghaus. Kenneth (1980). ISBN 978-0-444-86388-1 • Van Dalen. 45. A. A. Amsterdam: North-Holland. (2001). • Kanamori. 1991 10th printing). Vol. Azriel Levy. 2) 15 (2): 81–91. Introduction to Metamathematics. doi:10. "Über Möglichkeiten im Relativkalkül".W. June 2000. • Henkin. 208) describes the contradiction as "hardly even a paradox". doi:10. Axiom systems. • Dragalin. Amsterdam NY. Yehoshua Bar-Hillel. 1980). Handbook of Mathematical Logic. Skolem's Paradox and the Tractatus".1007/BF01458217. "Zermelo and the Skolem Paradox". No. is often explained in terms of countable models. North-Holland. Forcing. No. 1971 with emendations. in 1922. Skolem's paradox. (1952. "Set Theory. p. ISBN 0 444 10088 1. Akihiro (2004).G. Countable models of ZF have become common tools in the study of set theory. Encyclopaedia of Mathematics. • Hilary Putnam. North-Holland Publishing Company. The Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 10 (4): 487–553. the particular properties of first-order logic that permit Skolem's paradox to go through were not yet understood. Jon (1977). Set Theory: An Introduction to Independence Proofs. Dirk van Dalen (1973). p. References • Barwise. 15. ISSN 1079-8986. Thus." Hunter (1971. 3 (Sep. Amsterdam: North-Holland. "An introduction to first-order logic". The Journal of Symbolic Logic. It is now known that Skolem's paradox is unique to first-order logic. Jon. if set theory is formalized using higher-order logic then it does not have any countable models. Number 2. • Kunen. Kleene (1967. Fraenkel et al. The Bulletin of Symbolic Logic Volume 6. Vol. Michiel. and sufficiently strong set of first-order axioms is complete. for example. In the setting of philosophy. the natural number sequence. was not developed until 1950. 464–482 .

let A Morin surface seen from "above".Skolem's paradox • Skolem. and is hence deemed a veridical paradox. van Heijenoort. edu/ ~tbays/ papers/ pthesis. a process often called sphere eversion (eversion means "to turn inside out"). 228 External links • Bays's Ph. nd. edu/ skolem http:/ / www. thesis on the paradox [3] • Vaughan Pratt's celebration of his academic ancestor Skolem's 120th birthday [4] • Extract from Moore's discussion of the paradox(broken link) [5] References [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] http:/ / eom. org/ query?url=http:/ / uk. geocities. Reprinted in From Frege to Gödel. htm http:/ / www. . in English translation by Stefan Bauer-Mengelberg. "Axiomatized set theory". 291–301. webcitation. de/ S/ s085750. pdf http:/ / boole. edu/ ~asl/ bsl/ 1004-toc. Thoralf (1922). More precisely. be the standard embedding. springer. 1967. math. htm http:/ / www.D. pp. ucla. com/ frege%40btinternet. Smale's paradox states that it is possible to turn a sphere inside out in a three-dimensional space with possible self-intersections but without creating any crease. stanford. htm& date=2009-10-25+ 04:16:47 Smale's paradox In differential topology. This is surprising. then there is a regular homotopy of immersions such that ƒ0 = ƒ and ƒ1 = −ƒ. com/ cantor/ skolem_moore.

"Turning a Sphere Inside Out". ISBN 978-1-56881-049-2. and do not have opposite sign as one might incorrectly guess. May 1966. There are several ways of producing explicit examples and mathematical visualization: • the method of half-way models: these consist of very special homotopies. It is difficult to visualize a particular example of such a turning. New York: Springer-Verlag. MR0104227 . 1977 (video) • Anthony Phillips. it is much easier to prove that such a "turning" exists and that is what Smale did. ISBN 978-0-387-34542-0.. References • Francis. "A classification of immersions of the two-sphere". pp. the standard embedding and the inside-out one must be regular homotopic. MA: A K Peters Ltd. later refined by many others. "Turning a surface inside out. which is a variational method. This is the original method. and consist of special homotopies (they are shortest paths with respect to Willmore energy). Since the homotopy group that corresponds to immersions of in vanishes. Smale's graduate adviser Raoul Bott at first told Smale that the result was obviously wrong (Levy 1995). The degree of the Gauss map of all immersions of a 2-sphere in R3 is 1. Silvio (1995). first done by Shapiro and Phillips via Boy's surface.Smale's paradox 229 History This 'paradox' was discovered by Stephen Smale (1958). A topological picturebook. "A brief history of sphere eversions" [1]. and worked topologically but weren't minimal. The first example was exhibited through the efforts of several mathematicians. Chicago. it takes a homotopy and perturbs it so that it becomes a regular homotopy. • Thurston's corrugations: this is a topological method and generic. His reasoning was that the degree of the Gauss map must be preserved in such "turning"—in particular it follows that there is no such turning of S1in R2. MR1357900 • Nelson Max. including Arnold Shapiro and Bernard Morin who was blind. • Smale. Wellesley. Scientific American. See h-principle for further generalizations. 978-0-387-34542-0. International Film Bureau. −f in R3 are both equal to 1. A more recent and definitive refinement (1980s) is minimax eversions. MR2265679 • Levy. The original half-way model homotopies were constructed by hand. Proof Smale's original proof was indirect: he identified (regular homotopy) classes of immersions of spheres with a homotopy group of the Stiefel manifold. On the other hand. 112–120. In principle the proof can be unwound to produce an explicit regular homotopy. JSTOR 1993205. Berlin. ISSN 0002-9947. (2007). although some digital animations have been produced that make it somewhat easier. but this is not easy to do. so there is no obstacle. George K. Making waves. Transactions of the American Mathematical Society 90: 281–290. But the degree of the Gauss map for the embeddings f. Stephen (1958).

The sum of all these progressively smaller times is exactly two minutes. who also coined the term supertask.. because he believed these questions had no answers.500 1. html http:/ / www. he turns it off. The following questions are then considered: • Is the lamp switch on or off after exactly two minutes? • Would the final state be different if the lamp had started out being on. html http:/ / video. full video (short clip here [3]) Optiverse video [4]. Thomson argued that if supertasks are possible. he turns it on again.750 1. Time 0. Thomson. physik. edu/ docs/ outreach/ oi/ history.Smale's paradox 230 External links • • • • • Outside In [2]. he turns it on again. This is because Thomson used this thought experiment to argue against the possibility of supertasks. edu/ jms/ Papers/ isama/ color/ opt2. At the end of one minute. the possibility of the completion of the supertask of flicking a lamp on and off infinitely many times creates a contradiction.875 . uiuc.. dgp. To be specific. com/ videoplay?docid=-6626464599825291409 http:/ / www. utoronto.000 1. which is the completion of an infinite number of tasks. math. he turns it off. edu/ ~sequin/ SCULPTS/ SnowSculpt04/ eversion. math. even if not necessarily physically). geom. Thomson reasoned. berkeley. instead of off? Thomson wasn't interested in actually answering these questions. edu/ optiverse/ http:/ / torus. mpg http:/ / new.000 State On Off On Off On .. Now suppose a being able to perform the following task: starting a timer. cs. But. At the next eighth of a minute. uni-bonn. ca/ ~mjmcguff/ eversion/ Thomson's lamp Thomson's lamp is a puzzle that is a variation on Zeno's paradoxes. 2. th. de/ th/ People/ netah/ cy/ movies/ sphere. htm http:/ / www. flicking the switch each time after waiting exactly one-half the time he waited before flicking it previously. google. then the scenario of having flicked the lamp on and off infinitely many times should be possible too (at least logically. ? Consider a lamp with a toggle switch. Flicking the switch once turns the lamp on. It was devised by philosopher James F. At the end of another half minute. portions available online A History of Sphere Eversions [5] "Turning a Sphere Inside Out" [6] Software for visualizing sphere eversion [7] References [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] http:/ / www. At the end of another quarter of a minute. Another flick will turn the lamp off. and he continues thus. The lamp is either on or off at the 2 minute . uiuc.000 1.. he turns the lamp on. uiuc.

231 Discussion The status of the lamp and the switch is known for all times strictly less than two minutes. at which it was flicked on. after all. This means S = 1 ..Thomson's lamp mark. the series generates the sequence {1. right before the 2 minute mark. as n takes the values of each of the non-negative integers 0. so neither does the infinite series. Analogously. …? "Now mathematicians do say that this sequence has a sum. they say that its sum is 1⁄2. just because we have the idea of a task or tasks having been performed and because we are acquainted with transfinite numbers. then there must have been some last time.}. problems do continue to present themselves under the intuitive assumption that one should be able to determine the status of the lamp and the switch at any time. 2. this manipulation can be rigorously justified: there are generalized definitions for the sums of series that do assign Grandi's series the value ½. On the other hand. +1. the lamp cannot be either on or off. Though acceptance of this indeterminacy is resolution enough for some."[2] . −1. every action of flicking the lamp on before the 2 minute mark is followed by one at which it is flicked off between that time and the 2 minute mark. since we attach no sense here to saying that the lamp is half-on. I take this to mean that there is no established method for deciding what is done when a super-task is done. in turn. By reductio ad absurdum. The sequence does not converge as n tends to infinity.. -1. he claims that even the divergence of a series does not provide information about its supertask: "The impossibility of a super-task does not depend at all on whether some vaguely-felt-to-be-associated arithmetical sequence is convergent or divergent. So. If the lamp is on. the assumption that supertasks are possible must therefore be rejected: supertasks are logically impossible. such an action must have been followed by a flicking off action since. However the question does not state how the sequence finishes. representing the changing state of the lamp.e. So..S which implies S = ½. i. the above finite series sums to 1. . "Then the question whether the lamp is on or off… is the question: What is the sum of the infinite divergent sequence +1. we have a contradiction. -1. according to other definitions for the sum of a series this series has no defined sum (the limit does not exist). . But. In fact. 3. And this answer does not help us. So. 1.. … We cannot be expected to pick up this idea."[1] Later. given full knowledge of all previous statuses and actions taken. and so the status of the switch at exactly two minutes is indeterminate. for odd values. One of Thomson's objectives in his original 1954 paper is to differentiate supertasks from their series analogies. Mathematical series analogy The question is similar to determining the value of Grandi's series. Another way of illustrating this problem is to let the series look like this: The series can be rearranged as: The unending series in the brackets is exactly the same as the original series S. 1. it sums to 0. the lamp cannot be on. In other words. He writes of the lamp and Grandi's series. the limit as n tends to infinity of For even values of n. one can also reason that the lamp cannot be off at the 2 minute mark.

it arose as a variant of the necktie paradox. Historically. You may pick one envelope and keep whatever amount it contains. .7 • Thomson. Thus the other envelope contains 2A with probability 1/2 and A/2 with probability 1/2. It is quite common for authors to claim that the solution to the problem is easy. You pick one envelope at random but before you open it you are offered the possibility to take the other envelope instead. A large number of different solutions have been proposed. The usual scenario is that one writer proposes a solution that solves the problem as stated. for which see History of Grandi's series. 15. 1) 15 (1): 1–13. even elementary. If A is the smaller amount the other envelope contains 2A. I denote by A the amount in my selected envelope. [2] Thomson p. One envelope contains twice as much as the other.Thomson's lamp 232 References [1] Thomson p. when investigating these elementary solutions they are not the same from one author to the next.[3] The switching argument: Now suppose you reason as follows: 1. is a brainteaser. philosophy. James F. each of which contains a positive sum of money. each of which contains a positive sum of money. For the mathematics and its history he cites Hardy and Waismann's books. at least a couple of new papers are published every year. Vol. One envelope contains twice as much as the other. JSTOR 3326643. No. The other envelope may contain either 2A or A/2. probability and recreational mathematics. of special interest in decision theory and for the Bayesian interpretation of probability theory. doi:10.[1] However.[2] Problem The basic setup: You are given two indistinguishable envelopes. 4. "Tasks and Super-Tasks". A statement of the problem starts with: 'Let us say you are given two indistinguishable envelopes. puzzle or paradox in logic. 5. Analysis (Analysis. This leads to the logical absurdity that it is beneficial to continue to swap envelopes indefinitely.6. 6. 2. In this way a family of closely related formulations of the problem is created which are then discussed in the literature.2307/3326643. (October 1954). Currently. but then some other writer discovers that by altering the problem a little the paradox is brought back to life again. Two envelopes problem The two envelopes problem. 3. You may pick one envelope and keep whatever amount it contains. You pick one envelope at random but before you open it you are offered the possibility to take the other envelope instead'. also known as the exchange paradox. The probability that A is the smaller amount is 1/2. and that it is the larger amount is also 1/2. It is possible to give arguments that show that it will be to your advantage to swap envelopes by showing that your expected return on swapping exceeds the sum in your envelope. If A is the larger amount the other envelope contains A/2.

pointed out that if the amounts of money in the two envelopes have any proper probability distribution. As it seems more rational to open just any envelope than to swap indefinitely. In other words how is the money in the envelopes determined or what is its probability distribution? In the real world there must be some upper limit on the sum possible in an envelope.[6] and many later authors working in probability theory. But there is no way to divide total probability 1 into an infinite number of pieces which are both equal and larger than zero.. So the expected value of the money in the other envelope is 233 8. I can denote that content by B and reason in exactly the same manner as above. not to your advantage (nor disadvantage. Applying this restriction results in a simple resolution of the problem. 12.Two envelopes problem 7. so I gain on average by swapping. step 7 in the above argument fails because. One resolution is to note that there is no proper probability distribution of sums in the envelopes that can simultaneously satisfy all the basic setup conditions exactly. the smaller amount of money in the two envelopes must be equally likely to be between 1 and 2. Thus you are more likely to lose by swapping if you have a larger sum in your envelope making it. In fact in order for step 6 to be true. there still are proper probability distributions such that the expected amount in the second envelope given what is in the first is always larger than what is in the first. First resolution Blachman.. This is greater than A. thereby appearing to support exchange of the envelopes without inspecting the amount in the first.. then it is simply impossible that whatever the amount A=a in the first envelope. as between 4 and 8 . if the envelope you hold has more than half the maximum value allowed. In other words the expected sum in the other envelope cannot be calculated without taking account of how the probability of doubling your money varies with the sum that you originally hold. suppose that the chance that the smaller of the two envelopes contains an amount between is and . is exclude the upper in each interval.[5] These cases are discussed in detail below. the other envelope cannot contain twice as much and must. and for definiteness we include the lower limit but and . and for that matter. Christensen and Utts (1996). it is equally likely that the second contains a/2 or 2a. it follows by simple algebra that . we have a contradiction. I will conclude that the most rational thing to do is to swap back again. Yet the smaller amount of money in the two envelopes must have probability larger than zero to be in at least one of the just mentioned ranges! To see this. After the switch. The puzzle: The puzzle is to find the flaw in the very compelling line of reasoning above. It follows that the conditional probability that the envelope in our hands contains the smaller amount of money of the two. If this is equal to 1/2. positive or negative. With some upper limit for the money. I will thus end up swapping envelopes indefinitely. with unrestricted sums in the envelopes. given that its contents are between . In all these cases. Introduction to resolutions of the paradox Some of the paradox results from the incomplete description of the money that is in the envelopes. the paradox can be resolved by noting that the expected sums in the originally chosen envelope and the alternative envelope are both infinite.. as between 1/4 and 1/2 . whatever a might be.[4] Mathematicians have generally concerned themselves with theoretical cases in which the possible sums in the envelopes are unrestricted. This essentially invalidates step 8 above. However. as between 2 and 4. in fact. of course) to do so. as between 1/2 and 1. Thus step 6 of the argument which leads to always switching is a non-sequitur. where n is any whole number. 11. 10. To be rational. 9. on average. contain half as much.

Therefore the conditional probability that and consequently the probability it's the {2. yet its conditionally expected amount is larger: the expected gain by switching is which is more than x. 4} pair is 2/5 since all other envelope pairs have zero conditional probability. the player should switch in all cases. Example Here we present some details of a famous example due to John Broome of a proper probability distribution of the amounts of money in the two envelopes. hence the distribution is a proper prior (for subjectivists) and a completely decent probability law also for frequentists. and the probability the pair is {2. then the other envelope contains x/2 with probability 3/5 and 2x with probability 2/5. It turns out that these proportions hold in general unless the first envelope contains 1. B is larger in expected value than a. The bad step 6 in the "always switching" argument led us to the finding for all a. 2} or {2. the second envelope is more likely to be smaller than larger. for which for all a. and hence to the recommendation to switch. the envelope pair in front of us is either {1.B = X. In this case there are only two possibilities. 4}. given A=a.4} and the first envelope contains 2 is it's the {1. 2} pair given the first envelope contains 2 is . given A=a. 234 Second variant Though probability theory can defuse the original paradox. Thus. independently of X. We think of these as random. The probability the pair is {1. yet as far as probabilities are concerned . B is equally likely to be a/2 or 2a.[8] Suppose that the envelope with the smaller amount actually contains 2n dollars with probability p(n)=2n/3n+1 where n = 0. since A. A sensible strategy is certainly to swap when the first envelope contains 1.[7] Denote again the amount of money in the first envelope by A and that in the second by B. or . he should not switch. . given the first envelope contains x. 1. unless he happens first of all to get an envelope containing 1. but it true that whatever a. Now. whether or not we know a. as the other must then contain 2.Y. This has to be true for all n. Let X be the smaller of the two amounts and Y=2X be the larger.B is fixed.Y or Y. it turns out that examples can still easily be found of proper probability distributions.2} and the first envelope contains 2 is . Note that except for the case that the first envelope contains 1. the smaller of the two amounts of money. an impossibility. such that the expected value of the amount in the second envelope given that in the first does exceed the amount in the first.… These probabilities sum to 1. whatever it might be. It cannot be true that whatever a.X each with probability 1/2. such that this bad conclusion is still true! (One example is analysed in more detail below).Two envelopes problem . 2. Now suppose the first envelope contains 2. Notice that once we have fixed a probability distribution for X then the joint probability distribution of A. This means that as far as expected values are concerned. it turns out that one can quite easily invent proper probability distributions for X. denote by x the amount found where x = 2n for some n ≥ 1.

the expectation of the amount of money in an envelope cannot be infinity. The reason. correct. if the host gives you the envelope E.[9] Suppose Averaging over a. whatever that might be. in fact. you can actually use the same reasoning to find out that you should keep the envelope F. that the reason why the puzzle is hard. The average amount of money in both envelopes is infinite. In a real-life situation. If. These are the facts of life. it follows either that . Let's denote this amount A. Thus both have infinite expectation values. The larger the amount of money in the first envelope. why the puzzle is hard The authors of [10] mention. the new paradox can be defused again. if the host gives you the envelope F. i. To determine what to put into the envelope F. why it is hard to find the error in the above reasoning is. a fair coin toss is made. we are exchanging an unknown amount of money whose expectation value is infinite for another unknown amount of money with the same distribution and the same infinite expected value. As remarked before. Probability theory tells us why and when the paradox can occur and explains to us why it gives no cause for worry. the above reasoning is. so the expectation of the amount of money under this distribution cannot be infinity. because of that. since the total amount of money in the world is bounded. and you should swap. or alternatively that for all a. provided that you do not know which envelope is E and which is F. Thus if we switch for the second envelope because its conditional expected value is larger than what actually is in the first. Typically. and hence the same expectation value. whether the envelope F will contain A/2 or 2A. the chance that the second envelope contains more money than the first decreases as the amount a in the first envelope gets larger and larger. even if the other has a larger expectation value given the specific quantity in the first. The resolution of the second paradox is that the postulated probability distributions cannot arise in a real-life situation. Alternatively. and hence so must X too. B have the same probability distribution. But A and this is possible for some probability distributions of X (the smaller amount of money in the two envelopes).e.Two envelopes problem 235 Second resolution Fortunately. therefore any probability distribution describing the real world would have to assign probability 0 to the amount being larger than the total amount of money on the world. the situation is symmetric. the more likely this is the larger amount of the pair. that it is actually the correct reasoning in a slightly modified version of the game. then. however. . the host uses a fair coin toss to decide which envelope he gives you. . by symmetry (each envelope is equally likely to be the smaller of the two). Now. Their modification is as follows: the game sponsor decides what he wants to put into the envelope E. and it is indifferent whether to swap or not. And enough resolution of the paradox for those working in probability theory. which decides. Exchanging one for the other simply exchanges an average of infinity with an average of infinity.

Solutions to Smullyan's non-probabilistic variant A number of solutions have been put forward. showing that intermediate steps are being taken. Kooi. with the amount we would lose by switching if we would indeed lose by switching. He analyses Smullyan's arguments in detail. some amount of money is placed in the specific envelope which will be given to the player. Albers. We want to compare the amount that we would gain by switching if we would gain by switching. 2. who was the first to publish a solution of the paradox. got the other envelope to the one he was actually (factually) given is a highly meaningful counterfactual world and hence the comparison between gains and losses in the two worlds is meaningful. Let the amount in the envelope not chosen by the player be B. Smullyan's arguments do not give any reason to swap or not to swap. the player may gain A or lose A/2. However. By swapping. Rather careful and often highly technical analyses have been made by many authors from the field of logic. In order to compare them at all. the other in which we lose) which is preferably indicated by the problem description. So the potential gain is strictly smaller than the potential loss. Though solutions differ. by James Chase. On the other hand Byeong-Uk Yi (2009) argues that comparing the amount you would gain if you would gain by switching with the amount you would lose if you would lose by switching is a meaningless exercise from the outset. argues that the second argument is correct because it does correspond to the way to align two situations (one in which we gain. the player may gain Y or lose Y. they all pinpoint semantic issues concerned with counterfactual reasoning. in which two amounts of money are put in the two envelopes first. James Chase (2002). In the first argument. the counterfactual world in which the player. Thus there is no paradox. Let the amount in the envelope chosen by the player be A. we must somehow "align" the two situations. the other will be a counterfactual situation. the other envelope is filled (arbitrarily or randomly) either with double or with half of that amount of money. So the potential gain is strictly greater than the potential loss. however. all three conclusions are false (or meaningless). somehow imaginary. and Schaafsma (2005) consider that without adding probability (or other) ingredients to the problem.[11] Also Bernard Katz and Doris Olin (2007) argue this point of view. and only after that is one chosen arbitrarily and given to the player. So the potential gain is equal to the potential loss. The following plainly logical arguments lead to conflicting conclusions: 1. This would only be a reasonable counterfactual world if in reality the envelopes had been filled as follows: first. by some arbitrary process. we cannot both gain and lose by switching at the same time.Two envelopes problem 236 Non-probabilistic variant The logician Raymond Smullyan questioned if the paradox has anything to do with probabilities at all. what varies is which one is first given to the player. who first added argument number 3 to the arguments 1 and 2 originally compared by Smullyan. and pinpointing exactly where an incorrect inference is made.[12] It was James Chase. the player may gain B/2 or lose B.[13] According to his analysis. in any case. (Actually Smullyan only mentioned arguments 1 and 2. This dismissive attitude is common among writers from probability and economics: Smullyan's paradox arises precisely because he takes no account whatever of probability or utility. we must give them some definite points in common. Now by swapping. see below). We are asked to compare two incompatible situations. Let the amounts in the envelopes be Y and 2Y. incidentally. argument 3 was added later. 3. By swapping. This comparison is uniquely indicated by the problem description. and secondly. we consider the amount of money in the envelope first given to the player as fixed and consider the situations where the second envelope contains either half or twice that amount. for instance. . Because that was an arbitrary and physical choice. Only one of them can factually occur. we consider the amounts of money in the two envelopes as being fixed. In the second argument. counterfactually. He did this by expressing the problem in a way which doesn't involve probabilities.

neither in the single case nor the averaged case. so fortunately there is no need to build a decision theory which allows unbounded utility. the lower amount of money X. which shows that decision theory doesn't necessarily break down when confronted with infinite expectations. So before the player opens an envelope the expected gain from switching is "∞ − ∞". as in the original problem. McDonnell and Abbott represent the values in the two envelopes by two random variables. the two envelope paradox illustrates that unbounded utility does not exist in the real world. This could either express the subjective beliefs of the player concerning the unknown values in the two envelopes in just one play of the game. Yet the expected utility based theory of economic behaviour says (or assumes) that people do in practice make economic decisions by maximizing expected utility. the more is in his possession. there remains a problem to be resolved. In the words of Chalmers this is "just another example of a familiar phenomenon.[15] Chalmers suggests that decision theory generally breaks down when confronted with games having a diverging expectation. let alone utility of infinite expectation. and the second amount is then 2X. where one wants to condition on the observed value of the amount of money in one of the two envelopes. They provide a simple example of a pair of random variables both having infinite mean but where one is always better to choose than the other. Some try to generalise some of the existing theory to allow infinite expectations. We can pretend that the amount of money in the whole world is as large as we like.[14] In the real world we presumably wouldn't indefinitely exchange one envelope for the other (and probability theory. it is generally agreed that as an amount of money increases. any distribution producing this variant of the paradox must have an infinite mean. Thus corresponds to the case when the player is given one of the two envelopes completely at random. hence excluding the paradox altogether. and hence predicts that people would switch indefinitely. However. and compares it with the situation generated by the classical St. explains quite well why calculations of conditional expectations might mislead us). Either way. McDonnell and Abbott do work first formally with the situation that X is drawn from a uniform distribution over the interval and . Petersburg paradox. For decision theory and utility theory. which is not defined. with the smaller amount given with probability p and the larger amount with probability . since in the Bayesian calculations. They are stuck with the paradoxical example just given. or it could express a frequentist model where we imagine the game played many times and the numbers in the envelopes being fixed by a physical randomization procedure. In fact. there is no uniform probability distribution over all the real numbers. Many mathematical economists are happy to exclude infinite expected utility by assumption. Fortunately for mathematical economics and the theory of utility. This can be done. Controversy among theoretical economists As mentioned above. In their analyses. its utility to the owner increases less and less. yet the owner of all that money will not have more and more use of it. one only needs to know the prior density of X up to .Two envelopes problem 237 Foundations of mathematical economics In mathematical economics and the theory of utility. However. is thought of as drawn from some probability distribution. Extensions to the Problem McDonnell and Abbott analyze a modified problem in which the player is allowed to look in the first envelope before deciding whether to switch or to stay.[16] This is the best thing to do at every instant as well as on average. which explains economic behaviour in terms of expected utility.[17] They also allow the arranger of the game to decide which amount will be given to the player. the strange behaviour of infinity". and ultimately there is a finite upper bound to the utility of all possible amounts of money. Clark and Shackel argue that this blaming it all on "the strange behaviour of infinity" doesn't resolve the paradox at all. as just discussed.

238 Randomized solutions As mentioned before. This is one popular way to mathematically represent subjectivist total ignorance of the amounts of money in the two envelopes. the prior for a completely unknown positive number is actually conventionally more often taken as the improper prior density 1/x). it is only possible with a so-called randomized algorithm. Think of each envelope as simply containing a positive number and such that the two numbers are not the same. We must think of the two numbers in the envelopes as chosen by the arranger of the game according to some possibly random procedure. Counter-intuitive though it might seem. Obviously if the player knows the arranger's strategy. as these are drawn from a larger domain over . Thinking of the arranger of the game and the player as two parties in a two person game. Cover. there is a way that the player can decide whether to switch or to stay so that he has a larger chance than 1/2 of finishing with the bigger sum of money. A player can take advantage of different probability distributions for X. We are not asking for a subjectivist solution. This variant of the problem. McDonnell and Abbott consider the situation in which the player is allowed to look in the first envelope before deciding whether to switch or to stay. or to switch and take the amount of money in the other envelope. It should thus be advantageous to keep the larger values when there is a greater likelihood that they come from the range . The arranger's strategy consists of a choice of a probability distribution of X. If probability is taken in the subjectivist sense. Suppose he is able to think up a random amount of . in other words. what if he doesn't know the arranger's strategy? This connection is further explored in the next section. the player can improve his expectation by always switching (when ) or never switching (when ). then he can compute his optimal switch-or-stay strategy by application of Bayes' theorem. Note that this prior distribution implies that for any number x. but it should be possible to take advantage of the fact that some of the larger values seen in the game can only be the 2X amount. As such. the probability distribution of X. and that neither envelope is empty. There is no constant switching strategy that will improve the player's expectations. Is it possible for the player to make his choice in such a way that he goes home with the larger amount of money with probability strictly greater than half? We are given no information at all about the two amounts of money in the two envelopes. the player finds it infinitely more likely that the smaller amount of money is larger than x than that it is smaller than x! (In Bayesian statistics. in the case where . The job of the player is to end up with the envelope with the larger number. that means to say. and fixed. In particular. he would likely limit the distribution of X to the range . as well as its solution. however the two numbers are chosen by the arranger of the game. In this case. puts the problem into the range of game theory. but in Bayesian statistics it is called an improper prior distribution. and it is well known that use of such non-normalizable prior densities can lead to incorrect deductions. so one can formally go through the usual calculations with a uniform prior density. As a practical matter. we are not told the joint probability distribution of the two numbers. However. if he would know this distribution. However. even though there is no uniform prior distribution over the whole real line. is attributed by McDonnell and Abbott to information theorist Thomas M. both amounts of money are strictly greater than zero. where K is some fixed limit. except that they are different. not surprisingly. However. and so is known. the player needs himself to be able to generate random numbers. completely unknown to us. The threshold between "small" and "large" is subjective and can be fixed at different values. it is also possible to increase our expectation by switching when we observe small amounts of money in the envelope and keeping the envelope when it contains a large amount. the arranger of the game will likely have a limit on the amount of money he can put in the envelopes.Two envelopes problem proportionality. whatever it might be. The player's strategy consists of a probability of switching for each possible amount of money he sees in the envelope he opens. then the distribution of X simply represents the player's initial beliefs as to the prior likelihood of different values of x.[17] The player is allowed either to keep this amount. by definition.

if it is large compared to Z he will stay. who credited it to the physicist Erwin Schroedinger. of some number y. The game is as follows: whoever has the least money receives the contents of the wallet of the other (in the case where the amounts are equal. In fact. presents from their wives. equally rich. One player chooses the joint distribution of the amounts of money in both envelopes. If both amounts of money are larger than Z his strategy does not help him either.. Then Z = . but to switch to the second if the first envelope has smaller contents than the second. Toss a fair coin many times. nothing happens). Think of the two amounts of money in the envelopes as fixed (though of course unknown to the player). such that the probability that Z is larger than any particular quantity z is exp(-z). This is an infinite game and von Neumann's minimax theorem does not apply. meet to compare the contents of their wallets. the amount that I'll have in my possession at the end of the game will be more than A. So we only ever need to toss the coin a finite number of times. Therefore the game is favourable to me. to any required degree of accuracy. Altogether. which is equally likely to be the larger or the smaller of the two.. The player compares his Z with the amount of money in the envelope he is given first. Think of the player's random Z as a probe with which he decides whether the number in the first envelope is small or large. he ends up with the second envelope. when Belgian mathematician Maurice Kraitchik proposed a puzzle in his book Recreational Mathematics concerning two equally rich men who meet and compare their beautiful neckties. the game is fair. this means that he ends up with the envelope with the larger amount of money with probability strictly larger than 1/2. That's the maximum that I could lose. becomes the binary representation 0.ln (1-y)." The other man can reason in exactly the same way. as follows. then his strategy leads him correctly to keep the first envelope if its contents are larger than those of the second. If I win (probability 0. in the form of a wallet game: Two people. where we make the game a two-person zero-sum game with outcomes win or lose. One of the two men can reason: "I have the amount A in my wallet. Note that exp(-z) starts off equal to 1 at z=0 and decreases strictly and continuously as z increases. If both amounts of money are smaller than the player's Z then his strategy does not help him. It is also mentioned in a 1953 book on elementary mathematics and mathematical puzzles by the mathematician John Edensor Littlewood. The game does not have a "solution" (or saddle point) in the sense of game theory. and there is a positive probability that Z lies between any two particular different amounts of money. let's call it Z.[18] 239 History of the paradox The envelope paradox dates back at least to 1953. However if Z happens to be in between the two amounts. the number Z we have described could be determined. depending on whether the player ends up with the lower or higher amount of money.Two envelopes problem money. Where is the mistake in the reasoning of each man? . If Z is larger he switches to the other envelope. So the chance is 0 that Z is exactly equal to any particular amount of money. If Z is smaller he keeps the envelope. Note that we just need to toss the coin long enough that we can see for sure whether Z is smaller or larger than the number in the first envelope. and the other player chooses the distribution of Z. In practice. tending to zero as z tends to infinity.101101. Martin Gardner popularized Kraitchik's puzzle in his 1982 book Aha! Gotcha. To be precise.. the probability that he ends with the "winning envelope" is 1/2 + Prob(Z falls between the two amounts of money)/2. Each is ignorant of the contents of the two wallets. he ends up with the first envelope. If it is small compared to Z he will switch.5). wondering which tie actually cost more money. This problem can be considered from the point of view of game theory. and convert the sequence of heads and tails into a binary fraction: HTHHTH. which again is equally likely to be the larger or the smaller of the two. Any continuous probability distribution over the positive real numbers which assigns positive probability to any interval of positive length will do the job. The particular probability law (the so-called standard exponential distribution) used to generate the random number Z in this problem is not crucial. by symmetry.

Mind 109 (435): 415–442.M. vol. Utts. The American Statistician 46 (4): 274–276. Petersburg Two-Envelope Paradox". Abott. John (1995). Land. The American Statistician 50 (1): 98–99. Ruma (2008). A. pdf) [11] Chase. Ken (2011). Olin. [7] Christensen. Teaching Statistics 30 (3): 86–88. Alex J. 240 Notes and references [1] McDonnell. Greg Restall (2007). "The other person's envelope is always greener". (letters to the editor. Abbott. Utts. Binder (1993. eq. published online (http:/ / consequently. "A tale of two envelopes". R. Barry Nalebuff presented the modern two-envelope (one containing twice what's in the other) exchange form. "Randomized switching in the two-envelope problem".2008.1093/mind/109. the paradox has been most commonly presented in the two-envelopes form. M. 50. "The Two-envelope Paradox". doi:10. The American Statistician 47 (2): 160. See also letters to editor and responses by Christensen and Utts by D.0541. [2] A complete list of published and unpublished sources in chronological order can be found here [3] Falk.2.1467-9639. utoronto. nr. (2009). doi:10. 267). The Two-envelope Paradox With No Probability (http:/ / philosophy.1093/analys/62.157. doi:10. Ingmar. James (2002). "The St.. [12] Katz. "The Two-Envelope Paradox". Barry (1989). vol.1093/analys/62.00049. (1993). [13] Byeong-Uk Yi (2009).2010. Envelopes and Indifference.1098/rspa.Two envelopes problem In 1989.1098/rspa. [9] Binder. R. Grant. D. Since then. Southwest Philosophy Review 25 (2). J. The journal of economic perspectives 3 (1): 171–181. [4] Norton. [14] Fallis. JSTOR 1942970. 160) and Ross (1994. A to appear. D. mit.2. 1. Christensen and J. 5. html . Badri N. David J. M.. pdf).A. "Gain from the two-envelope problem via information asymmetry: on the suboptimality of randomized switching". (2009).6. doi:10. .415. Analysis 62 (2): 155–157. Doris (2007).. [15] Chalmers. Christensen. p. 47. [5] Nalebuff.1093/analys/55. pp.1.1111/1468-0114. (1996). doi:10. Analysis 55 (1): 6–11. edu/ ~jdnorton/ papers/ Exchange_paradox. N. Vellambi. (2002). John (1998).155. Martin Gardner independently mentioned this version in his 1989 book Penrose Tiles to Trapdoor Ciphers and the Return of Dr Matrix. nr. Shackel. doi:10. R. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 79 (1): 38–54.x.1093/mind/fzm903. ca/ people/ linked-documents-people/ c two envelope with no probability. [18] http:/ / www.435. 3. 48. "Taking the Two Envelope Paradox to the Limit". p. [17] McDonnell. Analysis 62 (2): 157–160. D. 98-99) [8] Broome. 2. doi:10. along with the computation of the expectation value 5A/4. Mind 116 (464): 903–926. Mark D. "When the sum of our expectations fails us: The exchange paradox" (http:/ / www.M. vol.0312. D. Lever. "The Non-Probabilistic Two Envelope Paradox". and letter with correction to original article by N. (2000). [6] Blachman... doi:10. pitt. Proceedings of the Royal Society A 465 (2111): 3309–3322. org/ papers/ envelopes.2009.. edu/ ~emin/ writings/ envelopes. doi:10.1111/j.. "The Unrelenting Exchange Paradox".. Blachman. (1992). Derek. . Bernard. N. comment on Christensen and Utts (1992) [10] Graham Priest. pdf). nr. J.00318. Utts (1996. Proceedings of the Royal Society. [16] Clark. M.

we can choose one point from each orbit and call the set of these points M. But von Neumann realized that the trick of such so-called paradoxical decompositions was the use of a group of transformations which include as a subgroup a free group with two generators. In this way. Note that this puts them into set B. If we operate on any point in Euclidean 2-space by the various elements of H we get what is called the orbit of that point. We can then assign each point of the big figure to one of the copies of the small figure. and an injection from E to D (such as the identity mapping from the A type points in the figure to themselves). If we then operate on M by all the elements of H. We can cover the big figure with several copies of the small figure. having a mapping from the big figure to a subset of the A points in . We can then make a second mapping to A type points. The group of area preserving transformations (whether the special linear group or the special affine group) contains such subgroups. We then take the points belonging to B and operate on them with σ2. which are not far from the identity element. using only area-preserving transformations! We take the points belonging to and translate them so that the centre of the square is at the origin. named after John von Neumann. albeit with some points covered by two or more copies. This theorem tells us that if we have an injection from set D to set E (such as from the big figure to the A type points in it). We proceed in this manner. of which there are an infinite number with the cardinality of the continuum. and so on. According to the axiom of choice. is zero—let's call this set B. then there is a one-to-one correspondence between D and E. centred at the origin. This was proved in 1929 by John von Neumann. If we operate on M by all the elements of A or of B. σ and τ. but the set of these points will be disjoint from the previous set. using isometric transformations. where the 's and 's are all non-zero integers. except possiblly the first u and the last v. Sketch of the method The following is an informal description of the method found by von Neumann. we have mapped all points from the big figure (except some fixed points) in a one-to-one manner to B type points not too far from the centre. Banach and Tarski had proved that. It followed on the work of Stefan Banach and Alfred Tarski. In other words. All the points in the plane can thus be classed into orbits.von Neumann paradox 241 von Neumann paradox In mathematics. is the idea that one can break a planar figure such as the unit square into sets of points and subject each set to an area-preserving affine transformation such that the result is two planar figures of the same size as the original. which is a fixed point in H. we get two disjoint sets whose union is all points but the origin. We can divide this group into two parts: those that start on the left with σ to some non-zero power (let's call this set A) and those that start with τ to some power (that is. assuming the axiom of choice. the von Neumann paradox. We exclude the origin. who proved a similar paradox in three dimensional space (the Banach–Tarski paradox). Assume that we have a free group H of area-preserving linear transformations generated by two transformations. Now let us take some figure such as the unit square or the unit disk. using σ3τ on the A points from C2 (after centring it) and σ4 on its B points. we generate each point of the plane (except the origin) exactly once. We then take those points in it which are in the set A defined above and operate on them by the area-preserving operation σ τ. They will now still be in B. Let us call the sets corresponding to each copy . We then choose another figure totally inside it. This would make creating two unit squares out of one impossible. such as a smaller square. but using only isometric transformations (Euclidean motions). the result of taking apart and reassembling a two-dimensional figure would necessarily have the same area as the original. Being a free group means that all the its elements can be expressed uniquely in the form for some n. We shall now make a one-to-one mapping of each point in the big figure to a point in its interior. and it includes the identity). At this point we can apply the method of the Cantor-Bernstein-Schroeder theorem. and this opens the possibility of performing paradoxical decompositions using them. and within the big figure.

we can make a mapping (a bijection) from the big figure to all the A points in it. (In some regions points are mapped to themselves. or groups with an invariant mean. and then map each of these back into the whole figure (that is. we can separate the figure into its A and B points.4). The class of groups isolated by von Neumann in the course of study of Banach–Tarski phenomenon turned out to be very important for many areas of mathematics: these are amenable groups. . which is invariant with respect to all transformations belonging to A2 [the group of area-preserving affine transformations]. paradoxical decompositions arise when the group used for equivalences in the definition of equidecomposability is not amenable.) Likewise we can make a mapping from the big figure to all the B points in it." To explain this a bit more.R) (Wagon. The Banach measure of sets in the plane. Miklós Laczkovich proved that such a decomposition exists. already in the plane there is no nonnegative additive measure (for which the unit square has a measure of 1). As von Neumann notes. let A be the family of all bounded subsets of the plane with non-empty interior and at a positive distance from the origin.R) contains a punctured neighbourhood of the origin."[1] "In accordance with this.R)-equidecomposable. and therefore there is no measure that "works". containing both kinds of points)! We have glossed over some things. dass [sic] gegenüber allen Abbildungen von A2 invariant wäre. in others they are mapped using the mapping described in the previous paragraph. It follows that both families consist of paradoxical sets. and likewise for the sets in B. both sets can become subsets of the B points in two new polygons. In 2000. like how to handle fixed points.von Neumann paradox it. The new polygons have the same area as the old polygon. and B the family of all planar sets with the property that a union of finitely many translates under some elements of SL(2. and include all finite and all solvable groups. depends on what transformations are allowed. Question 7.[2] More precisely. is not preserved by non-isometric transformations even when they do preserve the area of polygons. Then all sets in the family A are SL(2. "Infolgedessen gibt es bereits in der Ebene kein nichtnegatives additives Maß (wo das Einheitsquadrat das Maß 1 hat). Recent progress Von Neumann's paper left open the possibility of a paradoxical decomposition of the interior of the unit square with respect to the linear group SL(2. As explained above. the points of the plane (other than the origin) can be divided into two dense sets which we may call A and B. that is preserved under certain transformations. It turns out that we have to use more mappings and more sets to work around this. which is preserved by translations and rotations. the question of whether a finitely additive measure exists. If the A points of a given polygon are transformed by a certain area-preserving transformation and the B points by another. This has consequences concerning the problem of measure. 242 Consequences The paradox for the square can be strengthened as follows: Any two bounded subsets of the Euclidean plane with non-empty interiors are equidecomposable with respect to the area-preserving affine maps. Generally speaking. So looking at this the other way round. but the two transformed sets cannot have the same measure as before (since they contain only part of the B points).

Ann. Sci. icm. pl/ ksiazki/ fm/ fm13/ fm1316. 85 of: von Neumann. Budapest. edu. 42: 141–145 . pdf). Eötvös Sect.von Neumann paradox 243 References [1] On p. (1929). "Paradoxical sets under SL2[R]". Univ. Fundamenta Mathematica 13: 73–116. [2] Laczkovich. Miklós (1999). J. "Zur allgemeinen Theorie des Masses" (http:/ / matwbn. Math.

"Bracketing paradoxes and the English lexicon. uneasier must be a combination of er with the adjective uneasy: however violates the morphophonological rules for the suffix -er. 1981. Thus. "Morphology and logical form. 1985. 2. we have older and grumpier. since uneasy is a three syllable word: However.[2] Another type of English bracketing paradox is found in compound words that are a name for a professional of a particular discipline. etc. 1988." Language 64:663-682. we see that there are at least two reasonable ways that the compound word can be bracketed (ignoring the fact that nuclear itself is morphologically complex): 1. from a semantic perspective. "Bracketing paradoxes. uneasier means "more uneasy". a subfield of physics that deals with nuclear phenomena What is interesting to many morphologists about this type of bracketing paradox in English is that the correct bracketing 2 (correct in the sense that this is the way that a native speaker would understand it) does not follow the usual bracketing pattern 1 typical for most compound words in English. D. political scientist. or bracketing.one who studies nuclear physics. E. R. but more correct and more restrictive. and who happens also to be nuclear . . Other adjectives take the analytic comparative more. [2] Sproat. [4] Spencer." Linguistic Inquiry 16:193-246. One type of a bracketing paradox found in English is exemplified by words like unhappier or uneasier. A. "On the notions 'lexically related' and 'head of a word." In Everaert et al. Phenomena such as this have been argued to represent a mismatch between different levels of grammatical structure. (eds). simultaneously.244 Miscellaneous Bracketing paradox In linguistic morphology. and other topics: The mapping between syntactic and phonological structure. not "more difficult".[1] The synthetic comparative suffix -er generally occurs with monosyllabic adjectives and a small class of disyllabic adjectives with the primary (and only) stress on the first syllable.[3] [4] Taking nuclear physicist as an example. References [1] Pesetsky. [3] Williams. preceded by a modifier that narrows that discipline: nuclear physicist. 1988.one who studies physics. .'" Linguistic Inquiry 12:245-274. the term bracketing paradox refers to morphologically complex words which apparently have more than one incompatible analysis. Thus. This suggests that a word like uneasier must be formed by combining the suffix er with the adjective easy. historical linguist. cliticization. Amsterdam: North-Holland. Morphology and Modularity.

This counter-argument is sometimes used as an attempted justification for faith or intuitivity (called by Aristotle noetic or noesis). Political cartoon ca. fools. if man does not act from free will. A typical counter-argument is that rationality as described in the paradox is so limited as to be a straw man of the real thing. 1900. confronted by both food and water must necessarily die of both hunger and thirst while pondering a decision.Buridan's ass 245 Buridan's ass Buridan's ass is an illustration of a paradox in philosophy in the conception of free will. a certain food and a certain drink. &c. The argument is that. showing the United States Congress as Buridan's ass. since one does not contradict oneself in suggesting that a man might die between two equally plausible routes of action. neither do I know how a man should be considered. which does allow the consideration of meta-arguments. hesitating between a Panama route or a Nicaragua route for an Atlantic-Pacific canal. dies of hunger alone. what will happen if the incentives to action are equally balanced.] I am quite ready to admit. A common variant substitutes two identical piles of hay for both hay and water and advances that the ass. Buridan nowhere discusses this specific problem. — Baruch Spinoza. Later writers satirised this view in terms of an ass which. each equally distant from him) would die of hunger and thirst. as in the case of Buridan's ass? [In reply. or how we should consider children. If I am asked. It refers to a hypothetical situation wherein an ass is placed precisely midway between a stack of hay and a pail of water.[1] The paradox is named after the 14th century French philosopher Jean Buridan. but have denied that it illustrates a true paradox. For example. suggests that a person who sees two options as truly equally compelling cannot be fully rational: [I]t may be objected. we must make a choice in order to avoid being frozen in endless doubt. I answer. . as perceiving nothing but hunger and thirst. but its relevance is that he did advocate a moral determinism whereby. it's entirely rational to recognize that both choices are equally good and arbitrarily (randomly) pick one instead of starving. Baruch Spinoza in his Ethics. whether such an one should not rather be considered an ass than a man. whose philosophy of moral determinism it satirises. like the starving ass. it dates to antiquity. Since the paradox assumes the ass will always go to whichever is closer. Book 2. that I do not know. where Aristotle mentions an example of a man who makes no move because he is as hungry as he is thirsty and is positioned exactly between food and drink. In other words. being first found in Aristotle's De Caelo. History The paradox did not originate in Buridan's time. that a man placed in the equilibrium described (namely. madmen. Buridan allowed that the will could delay the choice to more fully assess the possible outcomes of the choice. Discussion Some proponents of hard determinism have granted the unpleasantness of the scenario. who hangs himself. a human faced by alternative courses of action must always choose the greater good. unable to choose between the two. save for ignorance or impediment. Ethics. it will die of both hunger and thirst since it cannot make any rational decision to choose one over the other. Scholium Other writers have opted to deny the validity of the illustration. Other counter-arguments exist.

no matter what strategy it takes. html). pdf). Lamport calls this result Buridan’s principle. resulting in a metastable state.A. • E. If the input is changing and at an intermediate value when sampled. microsoft. Sci. 757-785.html) . and the values 0 and 1 represent the bales of hay. and states it as: A discrete decision based upon an input having a continuous range of values cannot be made within a bounded length of time. Belief in God. there exists an input on which the converter cannot make a proper decision. T. • Zupko." Social Research. doi:10. Having the converter make an arbitrary choice in ambiguous situations does not solve the problem. "Choice Without Preference: A Study of the History and of the Logic of the Problem of “Buridan’s Ass”". encyclopedia. Proc. pp. (2005). Mawson. "Competing interactions create functionality through frustration" (http:// www. com/ users/ lamport/ pubs/ buridan.J.S. John Buridan: Portrait of a Fourteenth-Century Arts Master.full). Knowles. PMID 18669666. Kant-Studien 51: 142–75. com/ doc/ 1O214-Buridansass. External links • Vassiliy Lubchenko (August 2008). New York. Notre Dame. Elizabeth (2006).[2] Application to digital logic: metastability A version of Buridan's principle actually occurs in electrical engineering. p. in which Lamport presents an argument that. Natl. . 258. Encyclopedia. the input to a digital logic gate must convert a continuous voltage value into either a 0 or a 1 which is typically sampled and then processed. Ullmann-Margalit and S. XLIV (1977). Like the situation of the starving ass. as the boundary between ambiguous values and unambiguous values introduces another binary decision with its own metastable state. [2] Leslie Lamport (December 1984). 105 (31): 10635–6. Retrieved 2010-07-09. U.). The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable.0805716105. • Definition of term at wordsmith. . 201.1073/pnas.org (http://wordsmith. The voltage value can then be likened to the position of the ass. References [1] "Buridan's ass: Oxford Companion to Phrase and Fable" (http:/ / www. there will always be some starting conditions under which the ass will starve to death. 2006.org/words/buridans_ass. given certain assumptions about continuity in a simple mathematical model of the Buridan's ass problem. 400n71. Acad.Buridan's ass 246 Buridan's principle The situation of Buridan's ass was given a mathematical basis in a paper by Leslie Lamport. Jack (2003).org/content/105/31/10635. Nicholas (1959/60).pnas. Rescher. NY: Oxford University (Clarendon) Press. Specifically. "Picking and Choos. the input stage acts like a comparator. PMC 2504771. Morgenbesser. Bibliography • • • • The Columbia Encyclopedia (6th ed.ing. Retrieved 2009-12-15. "Buridan's Principle" (http:/ / research. Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press.com.

[4] Miner based her film on a paper written by a high-school friend that explored the potential implications of the cat and buttered toast idea. Donald E. then dropped the cat from a large height.[7] In Science Askew. Quick.[5] [6] In humor A cartoon illustration of the thought experiment. won a 1993 OMNI magazine competition about paradoxes. The cat righting reflex is made possible in large part through being able to independently rotate the front and back sections of the body. and "What if the toast was covered in something that was not butter. with the cat's wagging tail providing propulsion. • Buttered toast always lands buttered side down. Kimberly Miner won a Student Academy Award for her film Perpetual Motion. based on Sod's Law. "Would it still work if you used I Can't Believe It's Not Butter?".[1] The paradox arises when one considers what would happen if one attached a piece of buttered toast (butter side up) to the back of a cat. These included "Would it still work if you used margarine?". where the idea was discussed.Buttered cat paradox 247 Buttered cat paradox The buttered cat paradox is a paradox based on the tongue-in-cheek combination of two adages: • Cats always land on their feet. The buttered cat paradox. they also brought up other questions regarding the paradox. the idea being that it would act like a placebo.[2] Thought experiments Some people jokingly maintain that the experiment will produce an anti-gravity effect. The March 31. it will slow down and start to rotate. but the cat thought it was butter?". Testing the theory is the main theme in an episode of the comic book strip Jack B. This allows them to rotate without violating conservation of angular momentum by tucking in the front paws to lower the front section's moment of inertia and extending the back paws to increase the back section's moment of inertia. cats do possess the ability to turn themselves right side up in mid-air if they should fall upside-down. Simanek comments on this phenomenon. submitted by artist John Frazee of Kingston. As well as talking about the idea. leading to the cat hovering above the ground. Thus.[3] In June 2003. New York. strip of the webcomic Bunny also explored the idea in the guise of a plan for a "Perpetual Motion MoggieToast 5k Power Generator". The faux paradox has captured the imagination of science-oriented humorists. 2005. the title character seeks to test this theory.[9] Cat righting reflex In reality. They propose that as the cat falls towards the ground.[8] The idea appeared on the British panel game QI. . eventually reaching a steady state of hovering a short distance from the ground while rotating at high speed as both the buttered side of the toast and the cat’s feet attempt to land on the ground. a cat can turn the front half of its body through a considerably larger angle than the back half.

htm External links • Andrews JG (1987).ouhsc. No. 2006-02-13.M. PMID 4008501. BBC One. . ac. ac. uk/ pages/ PerpetualMotion). F.newscientist.1016/0021-9290(87)90278-8. • Gregor RJ. mov [5] PG Klein. Retrieved 30 June 2010. doi:10.indiana.html#subindex) Lombard's Paradox Lombard's Paradox describes a paradoxical muscular contraction in humans. net/ files/ movies/ miner-perpetualmotion_480_360.Buttered cat paradox 248 References [1] "The Buttered Cat Paradox" (http:/ / www. LaFortune M (1985). html) [8] Simanek.. Donald E.cs. However. This paradox allows for efficient movement. htm) [7] Feline cunning and sods law (http:/ / www. comedy.frazeefinearts. John C. co. leeds. 5 November 2010. University of Leeds. scifidimensions. bunny.P. p.com.edu/dthompso/namics/lombard. American Journal of Physiology. 8.. especially during gait. Butteredcat. 201. • "Feedback" (http://www. Perpetual Motion (http:/ / www. Holden. ISBN 9780750307147.. External links • Frazee Fine Arts (http://www. W. nz/ fmd/ newsletter/ Newsletter_No14. . "Knee flexor moments during propulsion in cycling--a creative solution to Lombard's Paradox". . org/ publications/ apsnews/ 200111/ letters. which results in a knee extension force. J Biomech 18 (5): 307–16. 1993). uk/ 211. doi:10.1016/0021-9290(85)90286-6. "The functional roles of the hamstrings and quadriceps during cycling: Lombard's Paradox revisited". (2002). [9] " Hypothetical (http:/ / www. This means that contraction from both rectus femoris and hamstrings will result in hip and knee extension. Scot (July. the rectus femoris moment arm is greater over the knee than the hamstring knee moment. CRC Press.xs4all. kminer." (http:/ / www. (1907). physics. series H.com) Website of Teresa and John Frazee. co. The mechanical effects produced by the contraction of individual muscles of the thigh of the frog. J Biomech 20 (6): 565–75.edu/~oracle/bestof. BBC. [6] Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts 2003 (http:/ / www. Hip extension also adds a passive stretch component to rectus femoris. . com/ ?id=ldX0FkgurzoC& pg=PA201). • http://moon. The rectus femoris biarticular muscle acting over the hip has a smaller hip moment arm than the hamstrings. • Loopholes for the paradox (http://www. New Scientist (2056). php?module=pagemaster& PAGE_user_op=view_page& PAGE_id=2& MMN_position=30:30). aps. com/ index. [2] Morris. butteredcat. pdf) [4] Available at http:/ / www. [3] UoWaikato newsletter (http:/ / www. frozenreality. google. & Abbott. Retrieved 29 June 2010. "I have a theory. QI. cfm).com/article/mg15220568. 1-60.300). • The Usenet Oracle (http://cgi. References • Lombard.cgi?N=426-450) where this joke appeared in 1992. When rising to stand from a sitting or squatting position.. 16 November 1996. uk/ guide/ tv/ qi/ episodes/ 8/ 8/ )". Cavanagh PR. com/ Apr04/ oscaranimation. waikato. 20. both the hamstrings and quadriceps contract at the same time. Science askew: a light-hearted look at the scientific world (http:/ / books. despite their being antagonists to each other.nl/~jcdverha/scijokes/2_21. London. PMID 3611133. Omni 15 (9): 96.

. The paradox identifies apparent inconsistency between three seemingly true beliefs about population ethics by arguing that utilitarianism leads to an apparent overpopulated dystopian world. there are the extra people. The increase in happiness of the right-hand population is greater than the decrease in happiness of the left-hand population. Reasons and Persons (1984). of the same size as before. there is a single population whose size is the sum of the two populations in situation B-. and at the same level of happiness. though Parfit did not consider this essential to the argument. Therefore. but whose lives are nevertheless worth living. average happiness in B. There is the same population as in A. with each bar representing a population. there are again two separate populations. in each group of people represented. In situation B-. and appearing in his book.Mere addition paradox 249 Mere addition paradox The mere addition paradox is a problem in ethics. The Paradox The paradox arises from consideration of four different possibilities. In situation A+. In situation A. represents an alternative history in which the Americas had never been inhabited by any humans. Finally in situation B. identified by Derek Parfit. everyone is happy. everyone in the group has exactly the same level of happiness. that is. in that case. but now of equal happiness. and the group's happiness represented by column height. The following diagrams show different situations. and says that A. For simplicity. which is less happy. The two populations are entirely separate. Parfit gives the example of A+ being a possible state of the world before the Atlantic was crossed.is higher. they cannot communicate and are not even aware of each other. and another population of the same size. The group's size is represented by column width.

and says that Z is in fact worse than A.is better than A by way of A+ is not justified—it could very well be the case that B.is better than A+.is higher than A+ (though lower than A). even if their lives are worth living. This is the conclusion of "average utilitarianism". Since A+ and B. and ask if it would be better for more extra people to exist. and less happy. he argues. Furthermore. in which the population is even larger. Temkin argues for this approach. except the communication gap is removed. and A+ is better than A. The average happiness in B. then we would conclude in the same fashion that C is not worse than B. If the two populations were known to each other. all things considered.Mere addition paradox 250 Going from A to B The difference between the situations A and A+ is only in the existence of extra people at a lower level of happiness. We then arrive at a situation C. it seems that. this would arguably constitute social injustice.have the same number of people. This is a contradiction. B. But the situations B. and that it goes against what he believes about overpopulation to say otherwise. A+ is not worse than A. and it seems implausible to him that it would be worse for the extra people to exist. And if we agree that B is not worse than A.as there are in situation A+. unknown to the people in B. there are the same numbers of people on both sides of the divide in situation B. and because there is a greater level of equality and average happiness in B-. but it is not clear how to avoid it. finally arriving at a situation Z. Objections to and resolutions of the paradox The paradox is immediately resolved by the conclusion that the "better than" relation is not transitive. as they do not.is better than A+. and so on. as before. Parfit argues that for this position to be plausible. in which there are an enormous number of people whose lives are worth living. that adding people of less-than-average happiness into the world makes the overall situation worse. and imagine another divide. However. Thus. this solution may commit one to the position that it is actually bad for people of less than average happiness to be born. It seems that B is at least as good as B-.and B are the same. Parfit calls this the Repugnant Conclusion. which aims at maximizing average happiness. meaning that our assertion that B. Another position might argue for some threshold above the level at which lives become worth living. But then we could repeat that argument again. This is of course incompatible with any form of utilitarianism. and were aware of the inequality. though still with lives worth living. but just barely. and yet A is better than B-. The Repugnant Conclusion We can then repeat the argument. . The paradox can be defeated by asserting that A+ is actually worse than A. Parfit says this represents a Mere Addition. in other words. However. but below which additional lives would nonetheless make the situation worse.

Bruno. Vol. Philosophy and Public Affairs. in which two people live in separate societies. it is meaningful to ask whether A+ is better than B. html http:/ / www." and argues that its existence would not resolve the paradox because population A would still be better than an enormous population with all members having lives at the "bad level. Parfit gives the Rich and Poor example.is better than A+. com/ smpp/ content~db=all~content=a927094471~frm=titlelink . Oxford University Press 1986. Of course one can simply accept the Repugnant Conclusion. Therefore the Repugnant Conclusion really isn't so repugnant. Thus. 17 and 19. and that in our actual world.is attacked." Parfit also considers an objection where the comparison between A+ and B.. 11 Issue 1. Torbjörn Tännsjö argues that we have a false intuition of the moral weight of billions upon billions of lives "barely worth living". He argues that we must consider that life in Z would not be terrible.or not. and therefore neither is B. The comparison between A and A+ was partly dependent on their separation. and are unknown to each other. jstor. and you have to make a choice between helping one or the other. marginalrevolution. and often fall below. but are both known to you. 103–113. stanford. One could deny that B. • Contestabile. Intransitivity and the Mere Addition Paradox [3]. most lives are actually not far above. 16 No. But this rejection implies that what is most important is the happiness of the happiest people. Parfit calls this the Elitist view. Hedonistic Utilitarianism [4]. ch. Torbjörn. pp. Thus A+ and B. Routledge 2010 References [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] http:/ / plato. • Temkin. amazon. 2 (Spring 1987) pp. must be crimped and mean. 251 External links • The Repugnant Conclusion [1] (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) • Alex Tabarrok's The Philosophical Cow [2] (an application to the animal rights issue) References • Parfit. despite their separation. "though worth living . Contemporary Buddhism. Vol. 138–187 • Tännsjö. edu/ entries/ repugnant-conclusion/ http:/ / www. Reasons and Persons. informaworld. at least in some cases. Larry. com/ dp/ 0748610421 http:/ / www. On the Buddhist Truths and the Paradoxes in Population Ethics [5]. the level of "not worth living". org/ pss/ 2265425 http:/ / www." Parfit calls this hypothetical threshold the "bad level.Mere addition paradox such a threshold would be so low as to apply only to lives that are "gravely deficient" and which. com/ marginalrevolution/ 2010/ 03/ the-philosophical-cow. Edinburgh University Press 1988.might simply be incomparable. and commits one to the view that a smaller decrease in the happiness of the happiest people outweighs a bigger increase in the happiness of less happy people.. Derek.

At the same vertical error. resulted in about 60% of the mid-air collisions counted from random altitude non compliance. Machol noted "that if vertical station-keeping is sloppy. and the Amazon collision in 2006[7] . Paielli’s 2000 model corroborated an earlier 1997 model by Patlovany[5] showing in Figure 1 that zero altitude error by pilots obeying the hemispherical cruising altitude rules resulted in six times more mid-air collisions than random cruising altitude non compliance. Patlovany’s ACCAR alternative and Paielli’s linear cruising altitude rule would reduce cruising midair collisions between 10 and 33 times.[8] .[6] The Namibian collision in 1997. the Überlingen collision in Germany in 2002. the prototype linear cruising altitude rule tested produced 33. This is the ‘navigation paradox’ mentioned earlier. In other words. The International Civil Aviation Organization's (ICAO) "Procedures for Air Navigation--Air Traffic Management Manual. in the . are all examples where human or hardware errors doomed altitude-accurate pilots killed by the navigation paradox designed into the current cruising altitude rules. writing in 1964[2] . could have eliminated the navigation paradox at all altitudes. many recommend. To mitigate the described problem. Reactivity control rods fall into the reactor to cause a shutdown on loss of electrical power. hemispherical cruising altitude rules." In the "below" explanation. Reich. Patlovany’s computer model test of the Altimeter-Compass Cruising Altitude Rule (ACCAR) with zero piloting altitude error (a linear cruising altitude rule similar to the one recommended by Paielli)." Russ Paielli wrote a mid-air collision simulating computer model 500 sq mi (1300 km2) centered on Denver." authorizes lateral offset only in oceanic and remote airspace worldwide. and internationally required.Navigation paradox 252 Navigation paradox The Navigation paradox states that increased navigational precision may result in increased collision risk. that planes fly one or two miles offset from the center of the airway (to the right side) thus eliminating the problem only in the head-on collision scenario. The ACCAR alternative to the hemispherical cruising altitude rules. this workaround for the particular case of a head-on collision threat on a common assigned airway fails to address the navigation paradox in general. absent better distribution of routes. The current system as described by Paielli noted as examples that nuclear power plants and elevators are designed to be passively safe and fault tolerant. who recognized that "in some cases (see below) increases in navigational precision increase collision risk. and could have saved 342 lives in over 30 midair collisions (up to November 2006) since the Risk Analysis proof that the current regulations multiply midair collision risk in direct proportion to pilot accuracy in compliance. the Japanese near-miss in 2001. the likelihood of two craft occupying the same space on the shortest distance line between two navigational points has increased. Research Robert E. as legally allowed in very limited authorized airspace. Colorado[4] In Table 3 Paielli[4] notes that aircraft cruising at random altitudes have five times fewer collisions than those obeying with only 25 ft (7.6 m) RMS of vertical error discrete cruising altitude rule. and elevator fall-arresting brakes are released by torque from support cable tension. The navigation paradox describes a midair collision safety system that by design cannot tolerate a single failure in human performance or electronic hardware.[4] To be specific. the advent of Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation has enabled craft to follow navigational paths with such greater precision (often on the order of plus or minus 2 meters). the planes will probably pass above and below each other. or 10 times fewer collisions than the internationally accepted hemispherical cruising altitude rules. However. Machol[1] attributes the term "navigation paradox" to Peter G. Similarly.8 fewer mid-air collisions than the hemispherical cruising altitude rules. and 1966[3] . coordination between neighboring craft and collision avoidance procedures. In the case of ships and aircraft. and it fails to specifically address the inherent system safety fault intolerance inadvertently designed into international air traffic safety regulations. if adopted in 1997. which institutionalize the navigation paradox on a world wide basis. compared to the currently recognized. such as the internationally required hemispherical cruising altitude rules. that. then if longitudinal and lateral separation are lost.

org/ asw/ mar07/ asw_mar07_p40-45. html) [7] Langwiesche. Vol. 1." Journal of Navigation. pp. II. vanityfair.000 Feet". com/ rpatlovany/ PreventableMidairs. "Sidestepping the Airway.[5] 253 References [1] Machol. 88-96. "A theory of safe separation standards for air traffic control. "The Devil at 37. pdf)." AeroSafety World March 2007. 331-338. Of the 342 deaths since 1997 so far encouraged by the lack of a linear cruising altitude rule (like ACCAR) improvement to the fault intolerance of the hemispherical cruising altitude rules. 2. and III. 19.Navigation paradox cases of intersecting flight paths where either aircraft is not on an airway (for example. [6] Patlovany. Linda." RAE Technical Reports Nos. Russ A. [2] Reich. these more general threats receive no protection from flying one or two miles to the right of the center of the airway. . Interfaces 25:5. geocities. January 2009 (http:/ / www. Intersecting flight paths must still intersect somewhere. No. "A Linear Altitude Rule for Safer and More Efficient Enroute Air Traffic... Flight Safety Foundation (http:/ / flightsafety. or where intersecting aircraft flights are on deliberately intersecting airways. Royal Aircraft Establishment. W. "Preventable Midair Collisions Since 26 June 1997 Request Denied for Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) 28996 Altimeter-Compass Cruising Altitude Rule (ACCAR)." Risk Analysis: An International Journal. Vol. [5] Patlovany. Farnborough. page 154. as experienced in the Namibian. flying under a "direct" clearance. pp. pp. an offset to the right of an airway would have simply changed the impact point by a mile or two away from where the intersection actually did occur. 8. William. No. Pages 237-248. No. United Kingdom. Fall 2000. pages 40-45. 3. 2. German. [4] Paielli.. Robert E. No. 64041. archive. 3. org/ web/ 20091027124508/ http:/ / www. "U. [3] Reich. No. whether over the middle of the ocean or over high density multinational-interface continental airspace. April 1997." Preventable Midair Collisions Since 26 June 1997 Request Denied for Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) 28996 Altimeter-Compass Cruising Altitude Rule (ACCAR) (http:/ / web. com/ magazine/ 2009/ 01/ air_crash200901) [8] Werfelman. In contrast. Peter G.S.. or a temporary diversion clearance for weather threats). Amazon and Japanese accidents. "Analysis of long-range air traffic systems: Separation standards—I. Robert.. ACCAR systematically separates conflicting traffic in all airspace at all altitudes on any heading. Aviation Regulations Increase Probability of Midair Collisions. Nothing about Reduced Vertical Separation Minima (RVSM) system design addresses the inherent vulnerability of the air traffic system to expected faults in hardware and human performance. Vanity Fair. only the head-on collision over the Amazon could have been prevented if either pilot had been flying an offset to the right of the airway centerline.." Air Traffic Control Quarterly. Robert W. 64043. Volume 17. September–October 1995 (151-172). Peter G. 64042. As with the midair collision over Germany. 169-176.

Suzuki. Population Ecology 48. some researchers suggest that ecological and environmental factors continually interact such that the planktonic habitat never reaches an equilibrium for which a single species is favoured. External links • The Paradox of the Plankton (http://knol. The paradox was originally described by the limnologist G.google. and Weissing. S. A. J. iron). (2006) Spatial coexistence of phytoplankton species in ecological timescale (http:/ / sciencelinks. A. Ecology 86. E. T. the paradox of the plankton is the name given to the situation where a limited range of resources (light. J.. 1013-1031.com/k/klaus-rohde/the-paradox-of-the-plankton/ xk923bc3gp4/40#) . Evelyn Hutchinson... Haskell.J. Togashi. ultimately only one will persist and the other will be driven to extinction. Paffenhofer. 137-145. and Klinck. F.[1] More recent work has proposed that the paradox can be resolved by factors such as: size-selective grazing. jp/ j-east/ article/ 200611/ 000020061106A0324715. The paradox stems from a result of the competitive exclusion principle (sometimes referred to as Gause's Law). E.E.. Hydrobiologia 491.Paradox of the plankton 254 Paradox of the plankton In aquatic biology. G. oxfordjournals. nutrients) supports a much wider range of planktonic organisms. Huisman. hawaii. or constantly changing environmental conditions. php). phosphate.[5] References [1] Hutchinson. American Naturalist 95. T. springerlink. differential predation. biologie. symbiosis or commensalism. edu/ agouron/ 2007/ documents/ paradox_of_the_plankton.G. The high diversity of phytoplankton at all phylogenetic levels stands in contrast to the limited range of resources for which they compete with one another (e...[4] More generally. [4] Descamps-Julien. [3] Miyazaki.[2] spatio-temporal heterogeneity. Tainaka. B. M. Journal of Plankton Research 27.M. [2] Wiggert. 107-112.A. J. pdf). (1961) The paradox of the plankton (http:/ / cmore.[3] environmental fluctuations. silicic acid. 9-18. who proposed that the paradox may be resolved by factors such as vertical gradients of light or turbulence. Hofmann. org/ cgi/ content/ short/ fbi090v1). ens.g. [5] Scheffer. soest. fr/ bioemco/ biodiversite/ descamps/ ecology05. G. T. Rinaldi. which suggests that when two species compete for the same resource. (2005) Stable coexistence in a fluctuating environment: An experimental demonstration (http:/ / www.. pdf). and Yoshimura.E. 2815-2824. nitrate. and Gonzalez. light. J. (2005) The role of feeding behavior in sustaining copepod populations in the tropical ocean (http:/ / plankt. com/ content/ vn768133l633114x/ ).D.. K. (2003) Why plankton communities have no equilibrium: solutions to the paradox (http:/ / www.

and found that all of them create temporal paradoxes — long stretches between the ancestor and Archaeopteryx where there are no intermediate fossils — that are actually worse. Velociraptor. but Archaeopteryx is 155 million years old. As Dodson pointed out: I hasten to add that none of the known small theropods. First. Protarchaeopteryx. The consensus view is that birds evolved from dinosaurs. However. or time problem is a controversial issue in the evolutionary relationships of birds. and as such can at best represent only structural stages through which an avian ancestor may be hypothezised to have passed. while the very bird-like Deinonychus is 35 million years younger. be older than birds. perhaps Early Jurassic or even older.438 . It was described by paleornithologist Alan Feduccia. Third. including Deinonychus. if the temporal paradox would indicate that birds should not have evolved from dinosaurs. For example. by which time birds had already evolved and diversified. the possible therizinosaur Eshanosaurus. then what animals are more likely ancestors considering their age? Brochu and Norell (2001) [8] analyzed this question using six [9] of the other archosaurs that have been proposed as bird ancestors. then. but the most bird-like dinosaurs. This idea is sometimes summarized as "you can't be your own grandmother".466 [9]. Eoraptor. They have merely found that dinosaurs like dromaeosaurs. no one has proposed that maniraptoran dinosaurs of the Cretaceous are the ancestors of birds.[1] [2] Objection to consensus The concept of a "temporal paradox" is based on the following facts. compared to the age of some birdlike dinosaurs and feathered dinosaurs. Unenlagia.. If bird-like dinosaurs are the ancestors of birds they should. these are all Cretaceous fossils . fragmentary remains of maniraptoran dinosaurs actually had been known from Jurassic deposits in China. nor Caudipteryx is itself relevant to the origin of birds. The true ancestors are thought to be older than Archaeopteryx. North America. the femur of a tiny maniraptoran from the Late Jurassic of Colorado was reported by Padian and Jensen in 1989 [4] while teeth of dromaeosaurids and troodontids are known from Jurassic England. The MSM value for the theropod option was 0. Second. and we may never find fossils of animals in sediments from ages that they actually inhabited.[5] . including almost all of the feathered dinosaurs and those believed to be most closely related to birds are known mostly from the Cretaceous. six taxa considered in SCI and SMIG calculations (Compsognathus.0. Complete skeletons of Middle-Late Jurassic maniraptorans were subsequently described from China. Witmer (2002) summarized this critical literature by pointing out that there are at least three lines of evidence that contradict it.[3] Diagram illustrating the determined age of four different prehistoric bird genera.. nor Sinosauropteryx. and Europe for many years. the troodontids Anchiornis[6] and the as yet un-named Morrison WDC DML 001. Problems Numerous researchers have discredited the idea of the temporal paradox.Temporal paradox 255 Temporal paradox The temporal paradox. The known diversity of pre-Tithonian (and thus pre-Archaeopteryx) non-avian maniraptorans includes Ornitholestes. Dromaeosaurus. because of computational limitations. The scarcity of maniraptoran fossils from then is not surprising since fossilization is a rare event requiring special circumstances. the scansoriopterygids Epidexipteryx and Epidendrosaurus [7] and the basal alvarezsaur Haplocheirus. . troodontids and oviraptorosaurs are close relatives of birds.

[12] http:/ / sysbio.. New Haven. PMID 19794491.M. "A pre-Archaeopteryx troodontid theropod from China with long feathers on the metatarsus". Zhang. CO%3B2& id=i0272-4634-20-1-197-t02 [10] http:/ / www. and Choristodera) were not included in calculation of MSM. (1989) "Small pterosaurs and dinosaurs from the Uncompahgre fauna (Brushy Basin member. Dodson P. Marasuchus. Nature 461 (7264): 640–3.[11] Pol and Norell [12] (2006) calculated MSM* values for the same proposed bird ancestors and obtained the same relative results.640H.1105Z. doi:10. New Haven. (2009). bioone. L. org/ action/ showFullPopup?doi=10.461. Pseudolagosuchus. Jensen. 0. "A bizarre Jurassic maniraptoran from China with elongate ribbon-like feathers". http:/ / www. Feduccia. Phylogeny. Zhang. L. Bibcode 2009Natur. 63 no. C.3-30.. USA. Norell.. Christopher A.1038/nature08322. USA. org/ cgi/ content-nw/ full/ 55/ 3/ 512/ FIG6 . Hou.31 . Zhou. one should still prefer dinosaurs as the ancestors to birds.1038/nature07447. oxfordjournals. org/ pss/ 4524078 http:/ / www. Nature 455 (7216): 1105–8. (2001) "Time and trees: A quantitative assessment of temporal congruence in the bird origins debate" pp.0...Temporal paradox Herrerasauridae. PMID 18948955. western Colorado" Journal of Paleontology Vol. CO%3B2& id=i0272-4634-20-1-197-f01 [11] Brochu. X. (2008). 1671%2F0272-4634%282000%29020%5B0197%3ATCATOO%5D2." Yale University Press.373 Witmer. Xu. "Origin of birds: the final solution?". American zoologist 40: 505-506.511-535 in "New Perspectives on the Origin and Early Evolution of Birds" Gauthier&Gall. 256 References [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] Feduccia. 2000.40 [13] .. “Mesozoic Birds: Above the Heads of Dinosaurs” pp. bioone. Conn. Xu. Alan (1996) "The Origin and Evolution of Birds. X.. (2002). org/ action/ showFullPopup?doi=10. jstor. Alan (1994) "The Great Dinosaur Debate" Living Bird. Mark A. ISBN 0-520-20094-2 Hu. Brochu and Norell (2001) [10] Thus. Morrison Formation: ?Tithonian). org/ cgi/ content-nw/ full/ 55/ 3/ 512/ [13] http:/ / sysbio. ed. Sullivan. Bibcode 2008Natur. Wang. Conn.. 1671%2F0272-4634%282000%29020%5B0197%3ATCATOO%5D2. 3 pg. Z. doi:10. 364 . F. 13:29-33. Function and Fossils”. X. Late Jurassic. Kevin. James A. Yale Peabody Museum.. 0.. The MSM* value for the theropod option was 0. D. oxfordjournals. L. even if one used the logic of the temporal paradox. “The Debate on Avian Ancestry. & Padian.455.

aip. The amplitudes of the sinusoids of both complexes are determined by the same fixed amplitude envelope . "An auditory paradox". (1986).). Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 80: s93. 155.for example the envelope might be centered at 370 Hz and span a 6 octave range. one tone might consist of a sinusoid at 440 Hz. the amplitudes of which are scaled by a fixed bell shaped spectral envelope based on a log frequency scale. Diana Deutsch later found that perception of which tone was higher depended on the absolute frequencies involved: an individual will usually find the same tone to be higher. etc. or half octave. heard the tritone paradox differently from Californians who were native speakers of English. but never both at the same time.Tritone paradox 257 Tritone paradox The tritone paradox is an auditory illusion in which a sequentially played pair of Shepard tones [1] separated by an interval of a tritone. Shepard.org/ ?fa=main. ucsd. (1986).1121/1. Weblink (http://psycnet. This finding has been used to argue that latent absolute-pitch ability is present in a large proportion of the population. D. In addition. Music Perception 3: 275–280. 36(12):2346–2353. 1760 Hz. edu/ psychology/ deutsch_research6.2024050. Deutsch. 1964.doiLanding&uid=1987-27127-001) PDF Document (http://philomel. Deutsch found that subjects from the south of England and from California resolved the ambiguity the opposite way. and this is determined by the tones' absolute pitches. 110 Hz. etc. which was thought to be extremely rare. "A musical paradox". [2] Deutsch's Musical Illusions (http:/ / deutsch. Shepard predicted that the two tones would constitute a bistable figure.N. accompanied by sinusoid at the higher octaves (880 Hz. doi:10. a tonal language. For example. despite the fact that responding differently to different tones must involve the ability to hear absolute pitch. Henthorn and Dolson found that native speakers of Vietnamese. This is consistently done by a large portion of the population. php) [3] Deutsch (1986).) and lower octaves (220 Hz. Circularity in judgments of relative pitch. Also. etc. the auditory equivalent of the Necker cube. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.5 Hz. Weblink (http://scitation.[2] Different populations tend to favor one of a limited set of different spots around the chromatic circle as central to the set of "higher" tones.[3] Each Shepard tone consists of a set of octave related sinusoids.org/vsearch/servlet/VerityServlet?KEY=ASADL& . pdf) • Deutsch. References • Deutsch. The tritone paradox was first reported by psychology of music researcher Diana Deutsch in 1986. The other tone might consist of a 311 Hz sinusoid.).com/pdf/MP-1986_3_275-280. Notes [1] R. is heard as ascending by some people and as descending by others. again accompanied by higher and lower octaves (622 Hz..apa. D. that could be heard ascending or descending.

PDF Document (http://philomel.1098/rstb. (1992). PDF Document (http://philomel.. and Dolson. "The tritone paradox: An influence of language on music perception". "The tritone paradox: Effects of spectral variables". D. PDF Document (http://philomel.pdf) External links • Audio example (requires Java) (http://www. (1992). In Auditory Processing of Complex Sounds". doi:10.com/pdf/MP-1990_7_371-384. doi:10.com/pdf/ Sci_Am-1992-Aug_267_88_95. Music Perception 21 (3): 357–372.2004. (2007). PDF Document (http://philomel. Perception & Psychophysics 41 (6): 563–575. D. and Ray. North. L. PDF Document (http://philomel.com/pdf/MP-1991_8_335-347. doi:10. (1987). "Mothers and their offspring perceive the tritone paradox in closely similar ways". "The tritone paradox: A link between music and speech". "Speech patterns heard early in life influence later perception of the tritone paradox". Henthorn T. PMID 3615152. D.357.html) • Diana Deutsch's page on auditory illusions (http://deutsch.com/musical_illusions/play.edu/psychology/deutsch_research1.3.pdf) Deutsch. PMID 1641627. Current Directions in Psychological Science 6 (6): 174–180. (1997).pdf) • Deutsch.0073. PMID 1354379.1525/mp.cs.com/pdf/MP-2004-21_357-372.1992. (2004).21. com/pdf/Curr_Dir-1997_6_174-180.pdf) Deutsch. Music Perception 8: 335–347.com/pdf/P& P-1987_41_563-575.pdf) • Deutsch. PDF Document (http:// philomel.ucsd. D. doi:10. Scientific American 267 (2): 88–95. "Paradoxes of musical pitch".1038/scientificamerican0892-88. Music Perception 7: 371–384.php) • Sound example of the tritone paradox (http://philomel. D.com/pdf/ Proc_Royal_Soc-1992_336_391-397. M.ep10772951.pdf) Deutsch.1111/1467-8721. & possible1zone=title&OUTLOG=NO&viewabs=JASMAN&key=DISPLAY&docID=1&page=1&chapter=0) Deutsch. T. Archives of Acoustics 32: 3–14. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. php?fname=Tritone_paradox) . "Some new pitch paradoxes and their implications.pdf) Deutsch.ca/nest/imager/contributions/flinn/Illusions/TT/tt. Series B 336 (1278): 391–397. doi:10. (1990). PDF Document (http://philomel.Tritone paradox smode=strresults&sort=chron&maxdisp=25&threshold=0&pjournals=journals&pjournals=JASMAN& pjournals=ARLOFJ&pjournals=NOCOAN&pjournals=SOUCAU&possible1=An auditory paradox. (1991). "The tritone paradox: Correlate with the listener's vocal range for speech"..3758/BF03210490.com/pdf/archives_of_acoustics-2007_32_3-14.ubc.pdf) 258 • • • • • • Deutsch. D. PDF Document (http://philomel. D. D.

nobody would win under majority rule.e. For example. When this occurs. This is paradoxical. as it would result in a three way tie with each candidate getting one vote. by the same argument A is preferred to B. Condorcet's paradox illustrates that the person who can reduce alternatives can essentially guide the election. since two voters (1 and 2) prefer B to C and only one voter (3) prefers C to B.Voting paradox 259 Voting paradox The voting paradox (also known as Condorcet's paradox or the paradox of voting) is a situation noted by the Marquis de Condorcet in the late 18th century. and C. The requirement of majority rule then provides no clear winner. because it means that majority wishes can be in conflict with each other. and that there are three voters with preferences as follows (candidates being listed in decreasing order of preference): Voter Voter 1 Voter 2 Voter 3 First preference A B C Second preference B C A Third preference C A B If C is chosen as the winner. For example. not transitive). if an election were held with the above three voters as the only participants. Note that there is no fair and deterministic resolution to this trivial example because each candidate is in an exactly symmetrical situation. When a Condorcet method is used to determine an election. B. it can be argued that B should win instead. A. it is because the conflicting majorities are each made up of different groups of individuals. and C is preferred to A. if Voter 1 and Voter 2 choose their preferred candidates (A and B respectively). then Voter 3 can choose between either A or B . Also. in which collective preferences can be cyclic (i. and if Voter 3 was willing to drop his vote for C. However. .and become the agenda-setter. by a margin of two to one on each occasion. suppose we have three candidates. The several variants of the Condorcet method differ on how they resolve such ambiguities when they arise to determine a winner. However. a voting paradox among the ballots can mean that the election has no Condorcet winner. even if the preferences of individual voters are not.

knowing a conjunction implies knowing each conjunct. knowable. The paradox is of concern for verificationist or anti-realist accounts of truth. rendering p no longer an unknown truth. .knowledge implies truth. then p is impossible (which is the converse of the rule of necessitation: if p can be proven true without assumptions. but it is not known that p is true. He also generalised the proof to different modalities. . the sentence p is true. "A Logical Analysis of Some Value Concepts". Essentially.all truths are knowable. his proof makes only modest assumptions on the modal nature of knowledge and of possibility. . Fitch's paradox asserts that the existence of an unknown truth is unknowable. if all truths are knowable. it should be possible to know that "p is an unknown truth". so the statement "p is an unknown truth" becomes a falsity. in principle. It provides a challenge to the knowability thesis. respectively. if all truths are knowable. The paradox appeared as a minor theorem in a 1963 paper by Frederic Fitch. and thus all truths must be known. Hart wrote that Fitch's proof was an "unjustly neglected logical gem". But this isn't possible. it would follow that all truths are in fact known. that is.260 Philosophy Fitch's paradox of knowability Fitch's paradox of knowability is one of the fundamental puzzles of epistemic logic. deduce ¬Lp . knowable. So if all truths were knowable. and. the set of "all truths" must not include any of the form "something is an unknown truth". the statement "p is an unknown truth" cannot be both known and true at the same time.if p can be proven false without assumptions. In such a case. for which the knowability thesis is very plausible.D. which states that any truth is. but the omniscience principle is very implausible. Hence. because as soon as we know "p is an unknown truth". This can be formalised with modal logic. we know that p is true. It resurfaced in 1979 when W. which asserts that any truth is known. The paradox is that this assumption implies the omniscience principle. Thus LK means possibly known. the sentence "the sentence p is an unknown truth" is true. then p is necessarily true). The proof proceeds: . Proof Suppose p is a sentence which is an unknown truth. The modality rules used are: (A) Kp → p (B) K(p & q) → (Kp & Kq) (C) p → LKp (D) from ¬p. Therefore. Other than the knowability thesis. K and L will stand for known and possible. thus there must be no unknown truths. in other words.

discharging assumption 8. discharging assumption 1 from line 6 by rule (D) The last line states that if p is true then it is known. Rule (A) is replaced with: (E) Bp → BBp . Rule (A) can also be weakened to include modalities which don't imply truth. however. So if any true sentence could possibly be believed by a rational person. Bp 4. ¬Kp 6. K¬Kp 5. ¬LK(p & ¬Kp) 8. intuitionistically valid. ¬B(p & ¬Bp) from line 1 by rule (B) from line 2 by conjunction elimination from line 3 by rule (E) from line 2 by conjunction elimination from lines 4 and 5 by conjunction introduction by rule (F) from lines 6 and 7 by reductio ad absurdam. and the conclusion is that every true fact was caused by God. Suppose p & ¬Kp 9. except for the very last line which moves from there are no unknown truths to all truths are known. from line 10 by a classical tautology from line 1 by rule (B) from line 2 by conjunction elimination from line 2 by conjunction elimination from line 4 by rule (A) from lines 3 and 5 by reductio ad absurdam. BBp & B¬Bp 7. Suppose B(p & ¬Bp) 2. then it is rationally believed that p is rationally believed.Fitch's paradox of knowability 261 1. if p is rationally believed. then that person does believe all true sentences. the proof is. Generalisations The proof uses minimal assumptions about the nature of K and L. and the remainder goes as before. Suppose K(p & ¬Kp) 2.rational belief is transparent. Bp & B¬Bp 3. Salerno gives the example of "caused by God": rule (C) becomes that every true fact could have been caused by God. ¬(p & ¬Kp) 11. Kp 4. Some anti-realists advocate the use of intuitionistic logic. Since nothing else about p was assumed.rational beliefs are consistent This time the proof proceeds: 1. For instance instead of "known" we could have the doxastic modality "believed by a rational person" (represented by B). in fact. LK(p & ¬Kp) 10. BBp 5. discharging assumption 1 The last line matches line 6 in the previous proof. so other modalities can be substituted for "known". Kp & K¬Kp 3. B¬Bp 6. ¬K(p & ¬Kp) 7. . (F) ¬(Bp & B¬p) . ¬(BBp & B¬Bp) 8. it means that every truth is known. p → Kp from line 8 by rule (C) from lines 7 and 9 by reductio ad absurdam.

• Joe Salerno. • Johnathan Kvanvig. D. Hart. Berit Brogaard and Joseph Salerno offer a criticism of Kvanvig's proposal and then defend a new proposal according to which quantified expressions play a special role in modal contexts. Journal of Symbolic Logic Vol.ca/books?id=nhRZqgREEQMC).google. by Berit Brogaard and Joe Salerno. Discussion page on an article of the same name by Greg Restall to appear in Salerno's book • Joe Salerno [3] References [1] http:/ / plato. ed. stanford. Oxford University Press. vol. Article at the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2006. edu/ entries/ fitch-paradox/ [2] http:/ / consequently. google. 1979. 2 (Jun. The Knowability Paradox (http://books. No. .Fitch's paradox of knowability 262 The knowability thesis Rule (C) is generally held to be at fault rather than any of the other logical principles employed. and that rule (C) should not apply unrestrictedly. Another way to resolve the paradox is to restrict the paradox only to atomic sentences. • Not Every Truth Can Be Known: at least. 153–65. " A Logical Analysis of Some Value Concepts (http://www..com/home). Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society. com/ site/ knowability/ joesalerno • Frederick Fitch. Brogaard and Salerno have argued against this strategy in several papers that have appeared in journals such as Analysis and American Philosophical Quarterly. they propose a solution to the knowability paradoxes.org/pss/2271594)".jstor. New essays on the knowability paradox (http://knowability. 53.googlepages. On the account of this special role articulated by Stanley and Szabo. Oxford University Press. Kvanvig contends that this represents an illicit substitution into a modal context. org/ writing/ notevery/ [3] http:/ / sites. pp. 28. "The Epistemology of Abstract Objects". not all at once [2]. suppl. to appear. pp. 1963). 135–142 • W. It may be contended that this rule does not faithfully translate the idea that all truths are knowable. External links • Fitch's Paradox of Knowability [1].

the act took place in (or resulted in the creation of) a parallel universe where the traveler's counterpart never exists as a result. In layman's terms. Succinctly. Examples of parallel universes postulated in physics are: • In quantum mechanics. This would imply that he could not have traveled back in time after all. it regards any action that makes impossible the ability to travel back in time in the first place.Grandfather paradox 263 Grandfather paradox The grandfather paradox is a proposed paradox of time travel first described (in this exact form) by the science fiction writer René Barjavel in his 1943 book Le Voyageur Imprudent (Future Times Three). then multiple versions of the future exist in parallel universes. Thus each possibility seems to imply its own negation. then actions are determined by history. Despite the name. a number of hypotheses have been postulated to avoid the paradox.[1] The paradox is this: suppose a man traveled back in time and killed his biological grandfather before the latter met the traveler's grandmother. which means the grandfather would still be alive. so the grandfather must have already survived the attempted killing. such as the idea that the past is unchangeable. going back in time and killing oneself as a baby. it should result in the traveler ending up in a different branch of history than the one he departed from.[2] The grandfather paradox has been used to argue that backwards time travel must be impossible. the many-worlds interpretation suggests that every seemingly random quantum event with a non-zero probability actually occurs in all possible ways in different "worlds".[3] See also quantum suicide and immortality. the grandfather paradox does not exclusively regard the impossibility of one's own birth. the only possible time lines are those entirely self-consistent—so anything a time traveler does in the past must have been part of history all along. one of the traveler's parents (and by extension the traveler himself) would never have been conceived. because in the past he would be dead as in the future he would be alive and well. The paradox's namesake example is merely the most commonly thought of when one considers the whole range of possible actions. It conflicts with the notion of free-will. As a result. An equivalent paradox is known (in philosophy) as autoinfanticide. or the time traveler creates an alternate time line in which the traveler was never born. this is often called determinism. This theory would also apply if a person went back in time to shoot himself. Thorne expresses one view on how backwards time travel could be possible without a danger of paradoxes. his prior existence in the original universe is unaltered. and the time traveler can never do anything to prevent the trip back in time from happening. since this would represent an inconsistency. Parallel universes There could be "an ensemble of parallel universes" such that when the traveller kills the grandfather. Scientific theories Novikov self-consistency principle The Novikov self-consistency principle and Kip S. Rather. then going back in time and (whether through murder or otherwise) impeding a scientist's work that would eventually lead to the very information that you used to invent the time machine. Another example would be using scientific knowledge to invent a time machine. a type of logical paradox. Succinctly. However. this explanation states that: if time travel is possible. According to this hypothesis. However. . so that history is constantly branching into different alternatives. this explanation states that if time travel is possible. The physicist David Deutsch has argued that if backwards time travel is possible. and the traveler would have been conceived allowing him to travel back in time and kill his grandfather.

whereas some theories hold that an event may remain constant even if its initial cause was subsequently eliminated. in the mainline nothing ever happened. One possible consequence of ideas drawn from M-theory is that multiple universes in the form of 3-dimensional membranes known as branes could exist side-by-side in a fourth large spatial dimension (which is distinct from the concept of time as a fourth dimension) . is also common in science fiction—see Time travel as a means of creating historical divergences. but are soon swamped by the effect of the existing waves. holds that if one were to travel back in time. This is shown in the show Dragon Ball where in Trunks's timeline a person dies of heart disease. etc. nor is there any argument that time travel would take one to a different brane. Through this theory. of which the Novikov self-consistency principle can be taken as an example. a time traveller could assassinate a politician who led his country into a disastrous war. though. the ripples spread. The time-traveller's actions are like throwing a stone in a large lake. that nothing can occur in the absence of cause. although at present it is largely incomplete. This theory also assumes that causality must be constant: i. But a new timeline is created where that person survives. a shot fired at the traveler's grandfather misses. No action the traveler takes to affect or change history can ever succeed. if one were to do something in the past that would cause their nonexistence. Or the traveller could prevent a car crash from killing a loved one. usually by accident. they would still exist. or the person killed turns out to be not the real grandfather—or some other event prevents the attempt from succeeding. Closely related but distinct is the notion of the time line as self-healing. and the emotional effect of that would cancel out the loss of the politician's charisma. as the person never existed. the time traveler does not merely fail to prevent the actions. or at least not unlimited). the traveler cannot change history. Trunks goes back in time and brings medicine. 264 Nonexistence theory According to this theory.e. For instance. but the politician's followers would then use his murder as a pretext for the war. or fall down the stairs. Alternate timelines This theory says that if you go to the past and cause someones death. the laws of nature (or other intervening cause) would simply forbid the traveler from doing anything that could later result in their time travel not occurring. but in fact precipitate them (see predestination paradox).Grandfather paradox • M-theory is put forward as a hypothetical master theory that unifies the six superstring theories. Often in fiction. which is discussed above in the context of science. only to have the loved one killed by a mugger. free will may be an illusion. In effect. In his timeline the person is still dead. This theory might lead to concerns about the existence of free will (in this model. killed by a stray bullet. For example. Theories in science fiction Parallel universes resolution The idea of preventing paradoxes by supposing that the time traveler is taken to a parallel universe while his original history remains intact. Instead a new timeline is created that branches off at the moment of change. A famous example of this theory is It's A Wonderful Life. In the 2002 film The Time . upon returning to the future. they would find themselves in a world where the effects of (and chain reactions thereof) their actions are not present. However. or the grandfather is injured but not killed. as some form of "bad luck" or coincidence always prevents the outcome. there is currently no argument from physics that there would be one brane for each physically possible version of history as in the many-worlds interpretation. or the gun jams or misfires.see Brane cosmology. Restricted action resolution Another resolution. choke on a meal.

such as the final episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. but since this would not prevent the invention of the means for time travel. such as a time traveler who goes back in time to persuade an artist— whose single surviving work is famous— to hide the rest of the works to protect them. It also may not be clear whether the time traveler altered the past or precipitated the future he remembers. one of which was one of Hitler's parents. they would void the first party's influence and therefore the second party's actions. Temporal Modification Negation Theory While stating that if time travel is possible it would be impossible to violate the grandfather paradox. it would occur. then such an event would be successful. every element that influenced the trip must remain unchanged. history would erase all traces of the person's existence. A less destructive alternative of this theory suggests the death of the time traveller whether the history is altered or not. he finds that these works are now well-known. and has he preserved them? Or was their disappearance occasioned by the artist's hiding them at his urging. thus. and the death of the grandfather would be caused by another means (say. in others all attempted changes "heal" in this way. then such a change would hold. or even by destroying the universe among other possible consequences. the memory of the event would immediately be modified in the mind of the time traveler. he would fail. he cannot save her with the machine or he would never have been inspired to build the machine so that he could go back and save her in the first place. another existing person firing the gun). only for her to die in a car crash instead. if one tried to stop the murder of one's parents. if this event had some colossal change in the history of mankind. An example of this would be for someone to travel back to observe life in Austria in 1887 and while there shoot five people. if one traveled back and did something else that as a result prevented the death of someone else's parents. and the skill with which they were hidden. because the reason for the journey and therefore the journey itself remains unchanged preventing a paradox. the paradox would never occur from a historical viewpoint. and in still others the universe can heal most changes but not sufficiently drastic ones. On the other hand. where the lead character's alteration of history results in a risk of his own disappearance. The consequences of such an event would in some way negate that event. Hitler would therefore never have existed. an example would be in the first part of the Back to the Future trilogy. he may return to a future exactly as he remembers. by preventing the action in some way. or block it. and would hold. be it by either voiding the memory of what one is doing before doing it. On the other hand. In this theory. the works are found. For example. but the overall direction resumes after a period of conflict. This would void someone convincing another party to travel back to kill the people without knowing who they are and making the time line stick. In some stories it is only the event that precipitated the time traveler's decision to travel back in time that cannot be substantially changed. because by being successful. stemmed from his urgency? 265 Destruction resolution Some science fiction stories suggest that any paradox would destroy the universe. and so the long time to find them. or the purpose of the trip. killing one's grandfather would result in the disappearance of oneself. this scenario is shown where the main character builds a time machine to save his fiance from being killed by a mugger. In such a case. except that a week after his return. on returning to his time. In addition.Grandfather paradox Machine. as he believed when he traveled in time. you can dam it. If. he knows he has changed the past. as he learns from a trip to the future. But for it to hold. This is also the explanation advanced by the Doctor Who role-playing game. divert it. It states therefore that to successfully change the past one must do so incidentally. and such an event would not void the ability or purpose of the journey back. or at least the parts of space and time affected by the paradox. Were they actually destroyed. The plots of such stories tend to revolve around preventing paradoxes. which supposes that Time is like a stream. it goes further to state that any action taken that itself negates the time travel event cannot occur. . and he has to fix the alteration to preserve his own existence.

” However. Bibcode 1991PhRvD. htm). [7] http:/ / lounge. "Time Bandits" (http:/ / www. 266 Other considerations Consideration of the grandfather paradox has led some to the idea that time travel is by its very nature paradoxical and therefore logically impossible.Grandfather paradox These issues are treated humorously in an episode of Futurama in which Fry travels back in time and inadvertently causes his grandfather's death before he marries his grandmother. some philosophers and scientists believe that time travel into the past need not be logically impossible provided that there is no possibility of changing the past. Cambridge. he used the term autofanticide. newyorker. So. Nobody should be seriously trying to build one. Paul (1987). Bradley Dowden himself revised the view above after being convinced of this in an exchange with the philosopher Norman Swartz. The New Yorker. "Quantum mechanics near closed timelike curves". His distraught grandmother then seduces him. René (1943). Palle (2004). [2] Horwich. and on returning to his own time. [3] Deutsch. Your actions in that time might then prevent your grandparents from ever having met one another. Le voyageur imprudent ("The imprudent traveler"). . [6] Holt. the philosopher Bradley Dowden made this sort of argument in the textbook Logical Reasoning.3197.44. A World Without Time: The Forgotten Legacy Of Godel And Einstein. Fry learns that he is his own grandfather.3197D.. The argument goes like this: suppose you did have a time machine right now. com/ printables/ critics/ 050228crat_atlarge). the book refers to an ancestor of the time traveler not his grandfather. com/ on-topic/ i-have-solved-the-grandfather-paradox-37551/ . on the same order as round squares.[5] [6] He seems to have been suggesting something along the lines of the block time view in which time does not really "flow" but is just another dimension like space. Jim (2005-02-21). David (1991). and you could step into it and travel back to some earlier time. pp. doi:10. External Links Proposed Solution [7] References [1] Barjavel. with all events at all times being fixed within this 4-dimensional "block". . either. sfu. ISBN 0-465-09293-4.[4] Consideration of the possibility of backwards time travel in a hypothetical universe described by a Gödel metric led famed logician Kurt Gödel to assert that time might itself be a sort of illusion. Retrieved 2006-10-19. where he wrote: “ Nobody has ever built a time machine that could take a person back to an earlier time. because a good argument exists for why the machine can never be built. ca/ philosophy/ swartz/ time_travel1. as suggested. MIT Press. by the Novikov self-consistency principle. and thus not step into the time machine. moviecodec.. 116. Asymmetries in Time.44. [5] Yourgrau. [4] "Dowden-Swartz Exchange" (http:/ / www. Physical Review D 44 (10): 3197–3217. For example. the claim that there could be a time machine is self-contradictory. This would make you not born. Basic Books. for example. When the term was coined by Paul Horwich. actually.1103/PhysRevD.

So if there are two choices. that no one reads it ( ). prefers that either of them should read it rather than neither. The most contentious aspect is. and his first preference is that person 1 should read it. argue that degrees of choice and freedom. to contradict the libertarian notion that the market mechanism is sufficient to produce a Pareto-optimal society—and on the other hand. say Lady Chatterly's Lover. then the social choice function does not select . The three alternatives are: that individual 1 reads it ( ). his ranking is . which showed that within a system of menu-independent social choice. I am told. Person 1.) In decreasing order of preference. such that if strictly prefers to then Similarly there must be another individual called then the social choice function cannot select Sen's impossibility theorem establishes that it's impossible for the social planner to satisfy condition 1 and condition 2. and Pareto optimality. 1 may have to read Lawrence. Person 2. rather than welfare economics. 2. it is impossible to have both a commitment to "Minimal Liberty". prefers most that no one reads it. for every social choice function there is at least one set of preferences that force the planner to violate condition (1) or condition (2). but given the choice between either of the two reading it. (Prudes. For every possible set of preferences. that individual 2 reads it ( ). The planner uses a social choice function. In other words. The theorem The formal statement of the theorem is as follows. As a result it attracts commentary from both the left and the right of the political spectrum. there is one individual called the social choice function cannot chose pair of alternatives . Since this theorem was advanced in 1970.Liberal paradox 267 Liberal paradox The liberal paradox is a logical paradox advanced by Amartya Sen. Buchanan and Robert Nozick. That is. which is viewed differently by individuals 1 and 2. such that for all individuals. tend to prefer to be censors than being censored. he would prefer that he read it himself rather than exposing the gullible Mr. 2 to the influences of Lawrence. A social choice function respects the Paretian principle (also called Pareto optimality) if it never selects an outcome when there is an alternative that everybody strictly prefers. which was defined as the ability to order tuples of choices. A social choice function respects minimal liberalism if there are two individuals whose preferences can veto some social outcomes. with at least two alternatives and there is a group of at least two A benign social planner has to choose a single outcome from the set using the information about the individuals' preferences. whose preferences can veto a choice over a (possibly different) . Furthermore he takes delight in the thought that prudish Mr. who is a prude. Suppose there is a set of social outcomes individuals each with preferences over . If and one pair of alternatives and vice-versa. Sen's example The following simple example involving two agents and three alternatives was put forward by Sen. should be the defining trait of that market mechanism. building on the work of Kenneth Arrow and his impossibility theorem. however.[1] There is a copy of a certain book. There are two desirable properties we might ask of the social choice function: 1. next best that . it has attracted a wide body of commentary from philosophers such as James M. on one hand. a social choice function selects a choice .

2 ( ). ) than Since we have ruled out any possible solutions. . 2 agree that that they prefer Mr. since Alice also has personal liberty if Bob does not go. Another example Suppose Alice and Bob have to decide whether to go to the cinema to see a 'chick flick'. and that each has the liberty to decide whether to go themselves. and worst that neither should. 1 to read the book ( Mr. 2 not be forbidden from reading the book. we must conclude that it's impossible to find a social choice function.4 ↓ 3.Liberal paradox he himself should read it. The numbers represent ranks in Alice and Bob's personal preferences. so the joint preference must have Alice to go > both to go and neither to go > Bob to go. relevant for Pareto efficiency (thus. therefore. so cannot be chosen. 268 Suppose that we give each individual the right to decide whether they want or don't want to read the book. Bob Goes Alice Goes 4. then thinking it is a good film.4 the two solutions).4 is better than 1. .1 and 4.3 ↑ Doesn't 1.1 → → Doesn't 2. But Bob has personal liberty too. Then it's impossible to find a social choice function without violating "Minimal liberalism" or the "Paretian principle". and on Bob first wanting Alice to see it but then not wanting to go himself.3 and 2. clearly leading to the solution for neither to go. 1 not be forced to read the book. It also requires that Mr. However. His ranking is. But alternative cannot be chosen either because of the Paretian principle. Both Mr. 1 and Mr.2 – making 4. So the result of these individual preferences and personal liberty is that neither go to see the film. but if he did then Alice would follow. "Minimal liberalism" requires that Mr. If the personal preferences are based on Alice first wanting to be with Bob.2 The diagram shows the strategy graphically. The arrows represent transitions suggested by the individual preferences over which each has liberty. Clearly Bob will not go on his own: he would not set off alone. either 4. But this is Pareto inefficient given that Alice and Bob each think both to go > neither to go.3 or 2. then the personal preference orders might be: • Alice wants: both to go > neither to go > Alice to go > Bob to go • Bob wants: Alice to go > both to go > neither to go > Bob to go There are two Pareto efficient solutions: either Alice goes alone or they both go. and Alice's personal liberty means the joint preference must have both to go > Bob to go. the joint preference must have neither to go > Alice to go.3 is better than 3. Combining these gives • Joint preference: neither to go > Alice to go > both to go > Bob to go and in particular neither to go > both to go. so cannot be chosen.

then for A follows x P y (x is chosen). So.y) and (w.z). the collective outcome will be Pareto-inferior as the prisoner's dilemma predicts. the individuals may decide simply to "respect" each other's choice by constraining their own choice. So. so trading away one's right to act selfishly and get the other's right to act selfishly in return. B's preferences are given by y P z P w P x. The collective outcome will be (x. because w is most preferred and z is least preferred. A and B should be allowed to decide at least over one pair of alternatives. The contract makes sure that A decides between w and z and chooses w.[2] then Pareto-inefficiency could arise. Ways out of the paradox There are several ways to resolve the paradox. Hence again A and B can make each other better off by employing a contract and trading away their right to decide over (x. the way Sen preferred. For instance if one individual makes use of her liberal right to decide between two alternatives. But. no problem arises. which is Pareto-inferior. B chooses z and respects that A chooses x. w. Hence A can decide that w is chosen and at the same time make sure that z is not chosen. y.z). no one can force the other to prefer cycling. Hence A chooses x and respects that B chooses z. liberalism implies that each individual is a dictator in a least one social area. Hence. it will be impossible to achieve a Pareto-efficient outcome. For B. and z.y). But. they answer the question: What can society do. A's preferences are given by w P x P y P z.z). Furthermore assume that A is not free to decide (w. The collective outcome will be (w. whereas society wants him to go to work by bicycle there will be an externality. Then A will choose x. that B would most preferably decide between y and x. z) according to x P y P z and individual B orders the same alternative according to z P x P y: according to the above reasoning. the same applies and implies. B decides between (x. one implication of Sen's paradox is that these externalities will exist wherever liberalism exists. chooses one of them and society would also prefer this alternative. Now. • A third possibility starts with assuming that again A and B have different preferences towards four states of the world. if A and B constrain themselves and accept the freedom of the other player. Conversely. The way out (except Tit for tat) will be to sign a contract. the general case will be that there are some externalities. Hence. x. Assume that individual A orders three alternatives (x. • A second way out of the paradox draws from game theory by assuming that individuals A and B pursue self-interested actions. Nevertheless. but has to choose between y and x. when they decide over alternatives or pairs of alternatives. if A refuses to decide over z and B refuses to decide over x. Hence. if liberalism exists in just a rather constrained way. Note that this is not always the case. if the paradox applies and no corresponding social decision function can handle the trade off between Pareto-optimality and liberalism? One sees that mutual acceptance and self-constraints or even contracts to trade away actions or rights are needed.y) and chooses y. . and for B z P y (z is chosen). If the individual takes the car and drives to work. For instance. However. B is just allowed to choose between w and z and eventually will rest with z. For A. the Pareto-efficient solution can be reached. • First. the Pareto-optimal result. one individual is free to go to work by car or by bicycle. Taken all together all three ways do not resolve the paradox as such.z). y.Liberal paradox 269 Liberalism and externalities The example shows that liberalism and Pareto-efficiency cannot always be attained at the same time. the "best" pair will be (w.

However.[6] The terms pertain to the kind of doxastic error (i. or guilty of. The 'paradox' consists in explaining why asserting a Moorean sentence is (or less strongly. I am saying or doing something absurd. the unexpected hanging paradox. Moorean-type sentences are used by logicians. But the content of what I say—the proposition the sentence expresses—is perfectly consistent: it may well be raining and I may not believe it. as they have become known: 1. as the omissive and commissive versions of Moore's Paradox. Journal of Political Economy 78: 152–157. a distinction according to the scope of the negation in the apparent assertion of a lack of belief ('I don't believe that p') or belief that NOT-P. JSTOR 1829633. It can be true at a particular time both that P. while Moore's Paradox has perhaps been seen as a philosophical curiosity by philosophers themselves. 6*.[3] Wittgenstein devoted numerous remarks to the problem in his later writings. and that I do not believe that P. the liar paradox. The first author to note this apparent absurdity was G. are not (obviously) contradictions. 6. or (COM) P and I believe that NOT-P. I can assert that it is raining at a particular time. strikes us as being) weird. It is absurd to assert or believe both of them at the same time.[4] Subsequent commentators have further noted that there is an apparent residual absurdity in asserting a first-person future-tense sentence such as 'It will be raining and I will believe that it is not raining'.[2] who considered it Moore's most important contribution to philosophy. ch.E. absurd or nonsensical in some way. 2. Commentators nowadays refer to these. and the Preface paradox. which has brought Moore's Paradox the attention it might otherwise not have received. I can assert that I don't believe that it is raining at a particular time. 6. "The Liberal Paradox" Moore's paradox Moore's paradox concerns the putative absurdity involved in asserting a first-person present-tense sentence such as 'It's raining but I don't believe that it is raining' or 'It's raining but I believe that it is not raining'. respectively.[6] There is currently no generally accepted explanation of Moore's Paradox in the philosophical literature.5.[7] The problem Since Jaakko Hintikka's seminal treatment of the problem. So why can't I assert . I can assert or believe one of the two at a particular time.[1] [9] The first more fundamental way of setting the problem up starts from the following three premises: 1. are (logically) consistent. Sen (1970). can be true. Collective Choice and Social Welfare. if one is as the Moorean sentence says one is. and moreover 3. "Critique of the Pareto Principle" ch. Moore himself presented the problem in two ways. though not limited to. as examples of cases in which a knowledge.e. 3. and those working in the artificial intelligence community. If I say both at the same time. Moore. Amartya (1984) [1970]. belief or information system is unsuccessful in updating its knowledge/belief/information store in the light of new or novel information.[1] These 'Moorean' sentences. error of belief) that one is subject to. "The Impossibility of a Paretian Liberal". the knower paradox.Liberal paradox 270 References [1] Amartya.4 "Critique of Liberal Values" ch.[5] Moore's Paradox has also been connected to many other of the well-known logical paradoxes including. computer scientists. 2. [2] Sen.[8] it has become standard to present Moore's Paradox as explaining why it is absurd to assert sentences that have the logical form: (OM) P and NOT(I believe that P). The term 'Moore's Paradox' is due to Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Several versions of this view exploit elements of speech act theory. in 2007. 271 Proposed explanations Philosophical interest in Moore's paradox. The first two conditions have generally been the most challenged. of a collection of articles devoted to the problem. asserting too much) or asserting nothing (that is. The absurdity of asserting p & I do not believe that p is thus revealed as being of a more familiar kind.g. It is absurd to assert the present-tense 'It is raining and I don't believe that it is raining'. 2. Some have also denied (e. the intuition that contradiction (or something contradiction-like) is at the root of the absurdity. Sydney Shoemaker) hold that an explanation of the problem at the level of belief will automatically provide us with an explanation of the absurdity at the level of assertion via the linking principle that what can reasonably be asserted is determined by what can reasonably be believed. which can be distinguished according to the particular explanation given of the link between assertion and belief. Why not? Many commentators—though by no means all—also hold that Moore's Paradox arises not only at the level of assertion but also at the level of belief.or third-person counterparts to Moore's sentences. in fact. It is not absurd to assert the past-tense counterpart. are that way.g. has undergone a resurgence. while the third appears to be the least controversial. whether cast in terms of the Gricean intentions (see Paul Grice) or in terms of the structure of Searlean illocutionary acts[13] (see speech act). Rosenthal) that a satisfactory explanation to the problem need be uniform in explaining both the omissive AND commissive versions. To take one version of this type of explanation. though not limited to. so that the semantic content of the assertion "I believe that p" is just p: it functions as a statement . Some philosophers have claimed that there is. I can assert that I was a certain way (e. Depending on one's view of the nature of contradiction. or 'Michael is dead but they do not believe that he is'. or engaging in. 'It is raining but you do not believe that it is raining'.g. 'It was raining but I did not believe that it was raining'.g.Moore's paradox that it is so? Moore presents the problem in a second. it does not obviously apply to explaining the absurdity of the commissive version of Moore's paradox. and reveal the roots of. way: 1. including (though not limited to): • It should explain the absurdity of both the omissive and the commissive versions. then he has in that very act contradicted himself. not asserting enough).g. but not that I am that way. that you.[10] Sydney Shoemaker[11] and the first publication. An alternative view is that the assertion "I believe that p" often (though not always) functions as an alternative way of asserting "p". e. no problem in believing the content of Moore's sentences (e. since Moore and Wittgenstein. • It should explain the absurdity of both asserting and believing Moore's sentences.[12] There have been several proposed constraints on a satisfactory explanation in the literature. he. Interestingly imagining someone who believes an instance of a Moorean sentence is tantamount to considering an agent who is subject to. one might thus interpret a speaker of the omissive Moorean sentence as asserting everything (that is.[8] continuing with Roy Sorensen. Most of the explanations offered of Moore's paradox are united in holding that contradiction is at the heart of the absurdity. self-deception (at least on one standard way of describing it). 3. David Rosenthal).g. or they. It is not absurd to assert the second. Jaakko Hintikka.[6] David Rosenthal. distinct. starting with. for in effect what the speaker says is: I believe that p and I do not believe that p. One type of explanation at the level of assertion exploits the view that assertion implies or expresses belief in some way so that if someone asserts that p they imply or express the belief that p. Whatever version of this view is preferred. e. • It should preserve. Others (e. believing it was raining when it wasn't). if someone asserts p and conjoins it with the assertion (or denial) that he does not believe that p.

The Philosophy of Bertrand Russell. Merrill. New York: Oxford University Press. 313–334. Cornell. 177–225. [12] Green. apple. (1988). "Moore's Paradox and Consciousness". G. AI. 2006. would be one who. Richard (2001). ISBN 0198249810. The contradiction is revealed in various ways. Section II. E. Williams. 74–96. In Baldwin. Philosophical Investigations. [11] Shoemaker. Knowledge and Belief: An Introduction to the Logic of the Two Notions. On this view.g. E. [4] Wittgenstein.1093/mind/104. doi:10. some using the resources of doxastic logic (e. A. doi:10. Kent & Ring. "Moore's Paradox and Self-Knowledge". due to Richard Moran. p. (1991).1007/BF00485405..g. the way of the world.[15] views the existence of Moore's paradox as symptomatic of creatures who are capable of self-knowledge. Jaakko (1962). "Russell's Theory of Descriptions". 9. "'P and I Will Believe that not-P': Diachronic Constraints on Rational Belief".x. Letters to Russell. capable of thinking for themselves from a deliberative point of view. G. Daniel (1985). "Moore's Paradox Revisited". Ludwig (1953). whether it be located at the level of belief or that of assertion. ISBN 0521568714. Accordingly what someone asserts when they assert "p and I believe that not-p" is just "p and not-p" Asserting the commissive version of Moore's sentences is again assimilated to the more familiar (putative) impropriety of asserting a contradiction. Mitchell S. agrees with those at the level of assertion that contradiction is at the heart of the absurdity. Princeton: Princeton University Press. E. [3] Wittgenstein. Moore's Paradox: New Essays on Belief. G. Foundations of Illocutionary Logic. John & Vanderveken. Keynes and Moore. ISBN 0521263247. [6] Sorensen. ISBN 0631125418. while still others appeal to our putative capacity for self-knowledge and the first-person authority (e. ISBN 041509853X. E. then I consider/think about nothing but X itself. Philosophical Perspectives. [10] Rosenthal. The first. Volume I. [15] Moran. [7] Philosophical Studies 128. "Moore's Paradox". IL: Open Court Publishing. 190. M. pp. ISBN 9780199282791. pp. CA: Ridgeview. In Schilpp. The Library of Living Philosophers. [14] Linville. .[14] At the level of belief. 5.. Ludwig (1974). Sydney (1996). Rather. Roy A. New York: Cambridge University Press. David (1995). Hintikka). 272 References [1] Moore. [5] Bovens. G.. von Wright. as well as about themselves from a theoretical point of view. ISBN 0924922737. Moore: Selected Writings. eds (2007). Atascadero. broadly construed. Rationality and the First-Person. Mind 104 (416): 737–760. H. anyone who asserted or believed one of Moore's sentences would be subject to a loss of self-knowledge—in particular. the Transparency Condition: if I want to know what I think about X. pp. Another alternative view.Moore's paradox about the world and not about anyone's state of mind. ed. Blackwell Publishers. Anscombe.. others (e. Blindspots. G. Shoemaker) we have over our states of mind. Remarks on the Philosophy of Psychology. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers. E. pp. New York: Cambridge University Press. P. eds. (1993). G. there are two main kinds of explanation. e.g. Luc (1995). Connectionism and Philosophical Psychology. The First-Person Perspective and other essays. Synthese 87 (2): 295–309. person.g.416. Sorensen) principles of rational belief maintenance and formation. London: Routledge. New York: Oxford University Press. John N. Moran's view seems to be that what makes Moore's paradox so distinctive is not some contradictory-like phenomenon (or at least not in the sense that most commentators on the problem have construed it). H. much more popular one. Translated by G.737. [9] Moore. with respect to a particular 'object'. Authority & Estrangement: An Essay on Self-knowledge. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers. 207–212.. [2] Wittgenstein. [13] Searle. that the very possibility of Moore's paradox is a consequence of our status as agents (albeit finite and resource-limited ones) who are capable of knowing (and changing) their own minds. [8] Hintikka. M. Thomas. La Salle. Ludwig (1980). von Wright. Anscombe. would be in a situation which violates. NY: Cornell University Press. what Moran calls. ISBN 0691089442..

we're least aware of what our minds do best.. It is not all that intrinsically difficult."[1] Linguist and cognitive scientist Steven Pinker considers this the most significant discovery uncovered by AI researchers. The principle was articulated by Hans Moravec. and difficult or impossible to give them the skills of a one-year-old when it comes to perception and mobility. highly evolved sensory and motor portions of the human brain is a billion years of experience about the nature of the world and how to survive in it. answering a question – in fact solve some of the hardest engineering problems ever conceived. As Moravec writes: "it is comparatively easy to make computers exhibit adult level performance on intelligence tests or playing checkers. the more time natural selection has had to improve the design. As Moravec writes: “Encoded in the large. though. walking across a room. We are all prodigious olympians in perceptual and motor areas. is based on evolution. The gardeners. he writes: "The main lesson of thirty-five years of AI research is that the hard problems are easy and the easy problems are hard. In the course of their evolution. though usually unconscious. receptionists. we should not expect its implementation to be particularly efficient.Moore's paradox 273 External links • "Epistemic Paradoxes" (including Moore's) at the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (http://plato. Rodney Brooks.. . but low-level sensorimotor skills require enormous computational resources. "In general.. We have not yet mastered it. The mental abilities of a four-year-old that we take for granted – recognizing a face. In his book The Language Instinct. offered by Moravec. it will be the stock analysts and petrochemical engineers and parole board members who are in danger of being replaced by machines."[2] Marvin Minsky emphasizes that the most difficult human skills to reverse engineer are those that are unconscious. is a new trick. high-level reasoning requires very little computation.stanford. edu/entries/epistemic-paradoxes/#MooPro) Moravec's paradox Moravec's paradox is the discovery by artificial intelligence and robotics researchers that. Abstract thought. the thinnest veneer of human thought. sensorimotor knowledge. lifting a pencil. I believe. The deliberate process we call reasoning is. so good that we make the difficult look easy. and adds "we're more aware of simple processes that don't work well than of complex ones that work flawlessly. Marvin Minsky and others in the 1980s. • The oldest human skills are largely unconscious and so appear to us to be effortless." he writes. using machinery designed by the process of natural selection. and consequently. The older a skill is.”[4] A compact way to express this argument would be: • We should expect the difficulty of reverse-engineering any human skill to be roughly proportional to the amount of time that skill has been evolving in animals. perhaps less than 100 thousand years old."[3] The biological basis of human skills One possible explanation of the paradox. contrary to traditional assumptions. it just seems so when we do it. and cooks are secure in their jobs for decades to come. natural selection has tended to preserve design improvements and optimizations. Abstract thought developed only very recently. effective only because it is supported by this much older and much powerful. As the new generation of intelligent devices appears. All human skills are implemented biologically.

"[7] This would lead Brooks to pursue a new direction in artificial intelligence and robotics research. Just sensing and action. paying attention to things that are interesting. These are skills and techniques that were acquired recently. They were wrong. the difference in development time between these two kinds of skills is five or six orders of magnitude. which he called "Nouvelle AI" was highly influential on robotics research and AI. They assumed that."[7] This new direction. proving mathematical theorems and solving complicated word algebra problems. Some examples of skills that have been evolving for millions of years: recognizing a face. p. intelligence was "best characterized as the things that highly educated male scientists found challenging". motor skills. social skills and so on. 456. setting appropriate goals. Pinker 2007.[8] Notes [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] Moravec 1988. Some examples of skills that have appeared more recently: mathematics. the "easy" problems of vision and commonsense reasoning would soon fall into place. That is all I would build and completely leave out what traditionally was thought of as the intelligence of artificial intelligence. "The things that children of four or five years could do effortlessly. solved algebra and geometry problems and played games like checkers and chess. Their optimism stemmed in part from the fact that they had been successful at writing programs that used logic. catching a ball. p. mostly by cultural evolution. such as visually distinguishing between a coffee cup and a chair. logic and much of what we call science. human games. p. but incredibly difficult. symbolic integration. . quoted in McCorduck (2004. visualization. The fact that they had solved problems like logic and algebra was irrelevant. 29. or finding their way from their bedroom to the living room were not thought of as activities requiring intelligence. such as chess. p. judging people’s motivations. anything to do with perception.[6] Rodney Brooks explains that. These are hard for us because they are not what our bodies and brains were primarily designed to do. because these problems are extremely easy for machines to solve. engineering. attention. according to early AI research. He decided to build intelligent machines that had "No cognition. moving around in space. recognizing a voice.[5] 274 Historical influence on artificial intelligence In the early days of artificial intelligence research. and (Moravec would argue) there hasn't been nearly enough time for us to have "mastered" the new skills. having (almost) solved the "hard" problems. or walking around on two legs. leading researchers often predicted that they would be able to create thinking machines in just a few decades (see history of artificial intelligence). 15. Logic and algebra are difficult for people and are considered a sign of intelligence. we should expect skills that appear effortless to be difficult to reverse-engineer. Minsky 1988. pp. 15–16 Even given that cultural evolution is faster than genetic evolution. 456) [8] McCorduck 2004.Moravec's paradox • Therefore. in historical time. and have had at most a few thousand years to be refined. [6] These are not the only reasons that their predictions did not come true: see the problems [7] Brooks (2002). Moravec 1988. and one reason is that these problems are not easy at all. but skills that require effort may not necessarily be difficult to engineer at all.

Intelligence Without Representation. and knowledge of the Predictor's infallibility. and the contents of box B have already been determined. and also specifies that "what you actually decide to do is not part of the explanation of why he made the prediction he made". However. ISBN 1-56881-205-1. However. Today it is a much debated problem in the philosophical branch of decision theory but has received little attention from the mathematical side. are determined as follows: At some point before the start of the game. Rodney (2002). With this original version of the problem. and thus what the . Marvin (1986). and once the game begins even the Predictor is powerless to change the contents of the boxes. Whether the problem is actually a paradox is disputed.000. then box B will contain $1. however.pamelamc. The problem A person is playing a game operated by the Predictor. • Nilsson.000. it was first analyzed and was published in a philosophy paper spread to the philosophical community by Robert Nozick in 1969. then box B will contain nothing. By the time the game begins.). others assume that the predictor has a very low error rate. box B contains either $0 or $1. Hans (1988).com/html/machines_who_think. some of the discussion below is inapplicable. the original discussion by Nozick says only that the Predictor's predictions are "almost certainly" correct. pp. Pantheon Books Campbell. Some assume that the character always has a reputation for being completely infallible and incapable of error. as a superintelligent alien. Nils (1998). Artificial Intelligence: A New Synthesis. Flesh and Machines. also referred to as Newcomb's problem. That is. The Improbable Machine. Newcomb's paradox was created by William Newcomb of the University of California's Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. Simon and Schuster. The player of the game is presented with two boxes. The player is permitted to take the contents of both boxes. Box A contains a visible $1. Morgan Kaufmann Publishers. 30–31 Minsky. The only information withheld from the player is what prediction the Predictor made.000. Machines Who Think (http://www.. as a brain-scanning computer. The contents of box B. Mind Children. one of whom purports to be able to predict the future. the prediction has already been made. ISBN 0061336467 Newcomb's paradox Newcomb's paradox. the fact that its contents are based on the Predictor's prediction. Pamela (2004). pg. The Predictor can be presented as a psychic. p. The Society of Mind. as a deity. ISBN 978-1-55860-467-4. Peters. Steven (September 4. one transparent (labeled A) and the other opaque (labeled B). Harvard University Press McCorduck. p. and the player is called upon to choose which boxes to take.000 before the game begins. Ltd. an entity somehow presented as being exceptionally skilled at predicting people's actions. The Language Instinct. The exact nature of the Predictor varies between retellings of the paradox. is a thought experiment involving a game between two players. and appeared in Martin Gardner's Scientific American column in 1974. Rodney (1986). 2007) [1994].Moravec's paradox 275 References • • • • • • Brooks. Harper Perennial Modern Classics. 456. the player is aware of all the rules of the game. MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory Brooks. MA: A. html) (2nd ed. including the two possible contents of box B. If the Predictor predicts that both boxes will be taken. Before the game begins. 29 Moravec. 7 • Pinker. the Predictor makes a prediction as to whether the player of the game will take just box B. or just the opaque box B. K. Simon and Schuster. or both boxes. If the Predictor predicts that only box B will be taken. etc. Natick.000. Jeremy (1989).

regardless of which prediction has been made. both being seemingly correct. we can ignore the possibilities that return $0 and $1. even if the prediction is for the player to take only B. then taking both boxes yields $1. 1. if the prediction is for both A and B to be taken.000. regardless of what prediction the Predictor has made.000 (only box B)—so taking only box B is better. which is equivalent to it. and taking only B yields only $1.000. But. taking both boxes yields more money. then the game depends on how the predictor will react to (correctly) knowing that the player will use such a process. then the player should open both with 1/2 . The second strategy suggests taking only B.999. or there is something wrong with the way proposed for affecting the past.001. A powerful intuitive belief. and if the predictor places $0 whenever they believe that the player will use a random process. which was determined in the past.000 276 The problem is called a paradox because two strategies that both sound intuitively logical give conflicting answers to the question of what choice maximizes the player's payout. His choice and its prediction are part of a causal chain. If the predictor predicts by reproducing the player's process. it is perfectly clear and obvious what should be done." If the player believes that the predictor can correctly predict any thoughts he or she will have. My future action cannot determine the fate of an event that happened before the action. Since I can affect the future event. The use of first person in the formulation of the second argument is essential: only when playing the role of the chooser I feel that I determine the fate of the past event. but has access to some source of random numbers that the predictor cannot predict (say.001.000—taking both boxes is still better. then the player should open both boxes with 1/2 probability and will receive an average of $251.000.000 $0 $1.epsilon probability and will receive an average of ~$500. with large numbers thinking that the opposing half is just being silly. Either the intuition is wrong. Looking from aside at another person participating in the experiment does not arouse a feeling of contradiction. Thus. then the player's decision becomes a matter of choosing between $1. that in principle is not problematic. The crux of the problem The crux of the paradox is in the existence of two contradictory arguments.000. a coin to flip.affecting a past event. The first strategy argues that. 2. I can also affect the past event. then the traditional "paradox" holds unchanged. that past events cannot be affected. In his 1969 article.000.000.000 (both boxes) or to receive $1. Nozick noted that "To almost everyone.Newcomb's paradox contents of box B are. That is. and the problem states that the Predictor is almost never wrong. The difficulty is that these people seem to divide almost evenly on the problem.000 $1. . or a quantum process).000 (by taking A and B) and $0 (by taking just B). The prediction of the Predictor establishes equivalence between my choice (of renouncing the open box) and the content of the closed box. in which case taking both boxes is obviously preferable. if the predictor predicts the most probable player action. the choice becomes whether to receive $1. Newcomb proposes a way of doing precisely this . as they both require that the Predictor has made an incorrect prediction. A solution of the paradox must point out an error in one of the two arguments.99. Predicted choice A and B A and B B only B only Actual choice A and B B only A and B B only Payout $1.001. By this strategy.

one probabilistic and the other causal assuming backward causation removes any conflict between these two principles. then events in the future will be causing effects in the past. hence I can change P". since the Predictor cannot actually exist. Nozick's exposition specifically excludes backward causation (such as time travel) and requires only that the predictions be of high accuracy. In this there is no paradox. one can derive either strategy as optimal. yet simultaneously presumes a choice can be debated and decided. Since the content of the note was determined a while ago. Other philosophers have proposed many solutions to the problem. and an irrational person will choose just the one. In Newcomb's paradox the claim is "I can determine F. In both situations an equivalence between a past event P and a future event F is used to draw a paradoxical conclusion. specifically if a perfect simulation of a person's brain will generate the consciousness of that person. implying the "chooser" is not free to choose. only unclear language that hides the fact that one is making two inconsistent assumptions. Some have concluded that if time machines or perfect predictors can exist. Put another way. which is the same argument. It is straight-forward to prove that the two strategies for which boxes to choose make mutually inconsistent assumptions for the underlying Bayes net. since determinism enables the existence of perfect predictors. which focuses on two principles of choice. the paradox is a restatement of the old contention that free will and determinism are incompatible. I cannot change it. I cannot also change my grade. However. However if one uses the Dominance principle. More recent work has reformulated the problem as a noncooperative game in which players set the conditional distributions in a Bayes net. then there can be no free will and Chooser will do whatever he's fated to do. This suggests to some that the paradox is an artifact of these contradictory assumptions. Depending on which Bayes net one assumes. Reverse causation is defined into the problem and therefore logically there can be no free will.[3] Suppose we take the Predictor to be a machine . otherwise the chooser is not really making a choice. Taken together. Attempted resolutions Many argue that the paradox is primarily a matter of conflicting decision making models. free will is also defined in the problem. rather than prepare for the exam (hence the name "the idle argument"). therefore rational people fare better.Newcomb's paradox 277 The relationship to the idle argument There is a version of the famous idle argument (see fatalism) that is equivalent to the paradox. formulated in reverse direction. Others have suggested that an irrational person will do better than a rational person and interpret this paradox as showing how people can be punished for making rational decisions. and that knowledge affects his actions. Others have suggested that in a world with perfect predictors (or time machines because a time machine could be the mechanism for making the prediction) causation can go backwards. hence I cannot determine F". It is this: Suppose that the omnipotent predictor predicted the grade I will get in tomorrow's exam. one would expect to benefit most from taking both boxes. the paradox presupposes a perfect predictor.[2] If a person truly knows the future. So the considerations just discussed are irrelevant to the paradox as seen by Nozick. Since I believe that it reflects precisely the grade I will get. and wrote his prediction in a note.[1] Some argue that Newcomb's Problem is a paradox because it leads logically to self-contradiction. not that they are absolutely certain to be correct. Newcomb's paradox can also be related to the question of machine consciousness. Others conclude that the paradox shows that it is impossible to ever know the future. So I can just as well rest. Chooser's choice will have already caused Predictor's action. Some philosophers argue this paradox is equivalent to the grandfather paradox. Using the expected utility hypothesis will lead one to believe that one should expect the most utility (or money) from taking only box B. many eliminating its seemingly paradoxical nature: Some suggest a rational person will choose both boxes. and both use the same argumentation. while in the idle argument the claim is "I cannot change P.

Synthese Library (Dordrecht. then the Chooser cannot tell if he is standing in front of the boxes in the real world or in the virtual world generated by the simulation. (1985). html) by Eliezer Yudkowsky • The Resolution of Newcomb's Paradox (http://www. (a paper discussing the popularity of Newcomb's Problem) • John Collins.com/?id=2061419) by Jim Holt. with an extensive bibliography) • Levi. D. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press. "Newcomb's Problem"." in Essays in Honor of Carl G. Maya & Margalit.mp3) (lecture) by Roderick T. JSTOR 2027068.1343.Newcomb's paradox that arrives at its prediction by simulating the brain of the Chooser when confronted with the problem of which box to choose. Reidel).overcomingbias." Scientific American. Martin (1974). British Journal of Philosophy of Science. • Bar-Hillel.com/newcomb. Journal of Philosophy 85 (3): 135–150. Benford. Avishai (1972).ub. 278 Notes [1] Wolpert. ed.html) by Chris Langan .org/noesis/44/newcomb. "Newcomb's Problem and Two principles of Choice.de/kops/volltexte/2000/524/) by Marion Ledwig • Newcomb's Problem and Regret of Rationality (http://www. arXiv:1003.philo. 23. reprinted with an addendum and annotated bibliography in his book The Colossal Book of Mathematics (ISBN 0-393-02023-1) • Campbell. Long • Newcomb's Problem (http://w3. Puzzles of Anthropic Reasoning Resolved Using Full Non-indexical Conditioning. Paradoxes of Rationality and Cooperation: Prisoners' Dilemma and Newcomb's Problem. (2010).html) by Franz Kiekeben • Thinking Inside the Boxes (http://www.kiekeben. International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences. Neil Smelser and Paul Baltes (eds). Richmond and Lanning Sowden. Nicholas Rescher. pdf) (Requires proper credentials) External links • Newcomb's Paradox (http://www.org/multimedia/mp3/Long/Long-3. Time Travel. p. "Tachyons. Hempel.columbia. If that simulation generates the consciousness of the Chooser. the Netherlands: D. for Slate • Free Will: Two Paradoxes of Choice (http://mises.ST/0608592. (2006). William Lane (1988).megasociety. and Divine Omniscience". G. R. "A Note on Newcombmania. [3] Neal. [2] Craig. What does Newcomb's paradox teach us?. The "virtual" Chooser would thus tell the Predictor which choice the "real" Chooser is going to make." Journal of Philosophy 79 (1982): 337-42. 102. March 1974.slate. M. p. Isaac (1982). Robert (1969). References • Nozick. 295-304..uni-konstanz. "Mathematical Games. (an anthology discussing Newcomb's Problem.edu/econphil/newcomb. • Gardner. 114-115.com/2008/01/newcombs-proble. arXiv:math. H. Newcomb's paradox revisited. Elsevier Science (2001) (http://collins. ed.

because the purpose is to ask if the being's omnipotence makes its own omnipotence impossible. then there exists something it cannot do. then the concept of omnipotence does not include being subject to be exceeded. Many answers to the paradox have been proposed. instead. then it should be able to create a task it is unable to perform. If it is inherently required. thus. If it is ad hoc.Omnipotence paradox 279 Omnipotence paradox The omnipotence paradox is a family of semantic paradoxes which address two issues: Is an omnipotent entity logically possible? and What do we mean by 'omnipotence'?. if it is inherently required. One version of the omnipotence paradox is the so-called paradox of the stone: "Could an omnipotent being create a stone so heavy that even that being could not lift it?" If so. If the being cannot create a stone which it cannot lift. then there is no way to exclude either answer and.[2] Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite (before 532) has a predecessor version of the paradox. this way out is not possible in the omnipotence case. by definition. the central issue is whether the concept of the 'logically possible' is different for a reality in which omnipotence exists from that in which omnipotence does not exist. The paradox states that if a being can perform any action. it seems that the being was not omnipotent to begin with. Overview A common modern version of the omnipotence paradox is expressed in the question: "Can [an omnipotent being] create a stone so heavy that it cannot lift it?" This question generates a dilemma. then the logic which allows it to be inherently required is incoherent. The dilemma of omnipotence is similar to another classic paradox. asking whether it is possible for God to "deny himself". conversely. on the other hand. if it cannot create a task it is unable to perform. the irresistible force paradox: What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object? One response to this paradox is that if a force is irresistible. there is no truly immovable object. and hence. it cannot perform all actions. addressed by Averroës (1126–1198) and later by Thomas Aquinas. is inherently required by the concept of omnipotence. then. The only way out of this paradox is if the irresistible force and the immovable object never meet. or. if not. then it seems it is already not omnipotent. The being can either create a stone which it cannot lift.[1] The problem is whether the above question is ad hoc. no way to determine whether an omnipotent being is logically possible or impossible. then it seems that it can cease to be omnipotent. But. if an immovable object were to exist. or it cannot create a stone which it cannot lift. If the being can create a stone that it cannot lift. Yet. In either case. then no force could be defined as being truly irresistible. But.[1] 14th-century depiction of Averroes (detail from Triunfo de Santo Tomás by Andrea da Firenze) The argument is medieval. . then it seems that the being could cease to be omnipotent. dating at least to the 12th century.

[11] . As Mavrodes points out there is nothing logically contradictory about this.[10] Some modern approaches to the problem have involved semantic debates over whether language—and therefore philosophy—can meaningfully address the concept of omnipotence itself. such as René Descartes. an accidentally omnipotent being is an entity that can be omnipotent for a temporary period of time. for example. He also defines and defends a lesser notion of the "almightiness" of God. 3.[8] Some Philosophers.[4] This definition of omnipotence solves some of the paradoxes associated with omnipotence. also does not allow the paradox of omnipotence to arise. as we are in thought by the laws of logic. Anselm of Canterbury seems to think that almightiness is one of the things that makes God count as omnipotent. Again sometimes it looks as if Aquinas takes this position. "Y is omnipotent" means "Y can do X" is true if and only if "Y does X" is logically consistent. argue that God is absolutely omnipotent. then "Y can bring about X" is true.[6] Here Mavrodes' worry about X= "to make something its maker cannot lift" will no longer be a problem because "God does X" is not logically consistent.[7] St Augustine in his City of God writes "God is called omnipotent on account of His doing what He wills" and thus proposes the definition that "Y is omnipotent" means "If Y wishes to do X then Y can and does do X". Everything that can be expressed in a string of words even if it can be shown to be self-contradictory. Geach criticizes even this sense of omnipotence as misunderstanding the nature of God's promises. It has the theological advantage of making God prior to the laws of logic. However. "Y is omnipotent" means "Y can do X" is true if and only if X is a logically consistent description of a state of affairs.[3] 5. this definition has problems when X is morally or physically untenable for a being like God. as it neglects the possibility of varying degrees of omnipotence. "Y is absolutely omnipotent" means that "Y" can do everything absolutely. The omnipotence paradox can be applied differently to each type of being. Here the idea is to exclude actions which would be inconsistent for Y to do but might be consistent for others. but an omnipotent being could not."[3] This position is advanced by Descartes. and unlike definition #3 avoids any temporal worries about whether or not an omnipotent being could change the past. An essentially omnipotent being is an entity that is necessarily omnipotent. This sense. On the other hand.[9] In addition. make a boat which he could not lift.[5] It would be strange if humans could accomplish this feat."[3] 4. "Y"is not bound in action. even unsuccessfully. The notion of omnipotence can also be applied to an entity in different ways. 2.[3] In this account nothing like the omnipotence paradox arises. a man could. "Y is almighty" means that Y is not just more powerful than any creature. some philosophers have considered the assumption that a being is either omnipotent or non-omnipotent to be a false dilemma. "Y is omnipotent" means whenever "Y will bring about X" is logically possible. but genuine paradoxes might nonetheless be so. In contrast. Additionally. On this account. 1. Let X = "to make something that its maker cannot lift". This position was once advocated by Thomas Aquinas. but perhaps that is because God is not taken to be in any sense omnipotent. However. this account may still have problems with moral issues like X = "tells a lie" or temporal issues like X = "brings it about that Rome was never founded. but some modern formulations of the paradox still work against this definition.Omnipotence paradox 280 Types of omnipotence Peter Geach describes and rejects four levels of omnipotence. the omnipotence paradox is a genuine paradox. and then becomes non-omnipotent. no creature can compete with Y in power. but the theological disadvantage of making God's promises suspect.

or sword and a shield(essentially omnipotent)." So asking "Can God create a rock so heavy that even he cannot lift it?" is just as much nonsense as asking "Can God draw a square circle?" The logical contradiction here being God's simultaneous ability and disability in lifting the rock (the statement "God can lift this rock" must have a truth value of either true or false. also contain an irresistible force. Isaac Asimov. by definition. an accidentally omnipotent deity CAN remove it's omnipotence while an essentially omnipotent deity CANNOT do anything that would make it non-omnipotent.[12] [13] An alternative version would be to assume that a non-corporeal God cannot lift anything. despite the problem. is essentially omnipotent.but would be able to do something that an incarnation that could lift it couldn't. L Cowan sees this paradox as a reason to reject the concept of absolute omnipotence. it cannot possess both). God could create a stone so heavy that. In the climactic scene of the 1960 movie version. In a 1955 article published in the philosophy journal Mind. one may ask whether an omnipotent being can create a stone so immutable that the being itself cannot later alter it.[14] J. answered a variation of this question: what happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object? He points out that Albert Einstein demonstrated the equivalence of mass-energy. such as Rene Descartes. a character in the 1955 play Inherit the Wind loosely based upon William Jennings Bryan. Both however. who can be manifest as several different beings) that whilst it is possible for God to do all things. He can change it—cancel it—use it as he pleases!" But this solution merely pushes the problem back a step. have no limitations so far other than the essential omnipotent being who cannot do anything which will make it non-omnipotent like making someone equal with him. the entity must possess the majority of energy in the system. "Natural law was born in the mind of the Creator. William Jennings Bryan said this is roughly the view espoused by Matthew Harrison Brady. That is. by definition. in one incarnation. [12] John Christian Uy said that it is just the same as someone with double-bladed sword(accidentally omnipotent). argue that God is absolutely omnipotent.or to use the beliefs of Christians and Hindus (that there is one God. But a similar response can be offered to respond to this and any further steps. So the question is essentially meaningless: either the force is irresistible or the object is immovable. it is not possible for all his incarnations to do them. As such. a confirmed atheist. a universe which cannot also contain an immovable object. In order to be either "immovable" or "irresistible". cease to be omnipotent in either sense.[16] An omnipotent being with both first and second-order omnipotence at a particular time might restrict its own power to act and. Therefore. Just because we can string words together to form what looks like a coherent sentence doesn't mean the sentence really makes any sense. Therefore the question (and therefore the perceived paradox) is meaningless. Mackie attempted to resolve the paradox by distinguishing between first-order omnipotence (unlimited power to act) and second-order omnipotence (unlimited power to determine what powers to act things shall have). It could. God in the Bible. Brady argues. make someone with a power equal to 99% of the diety's power because that created being is not equal with him.[9] C. mass is simply frozen energy.Omnipotence paradox 281 Proposed answers A common response is that since God is supposedly omnipotent. he was unable to lift it . No system can have two majorities. however. L. A universe in which there exists such a thing as an irresistible force is. Lewis argues that when talking about omnipotence. He maintains that inherent contradictions and logical impossibilities do not fall under the omnipotence of God. There has been considerable philosophical dispute since Mackie. but can raise it (a linguistic pedantry) . but not both. henceforth. the phrase "could not lift" doesn't make sense and the paradox is meaningless. J.[15] while others. lowering or improving himself(for omnipotence is the highest) etc. S. And a universe which contains an immovable object cannot. Asimov points out that this question is the logical fallacy of the pseudo-question. as to the best way to formulate the paradox . "God can" before it. Nonsense does not suddenly acquire sense and meaning with the addition of the two words. according to relativity theory. energy is simply liquid mass. Thomas Aquinas asserts that the paradox arises from a misunderstanding of omnipotence. Overall. referencing "a rock so heavy that God cannot lift it" is nonsense just as much as referencing "a square circle.

Wherefore. Mavrodes argues that it is no limitation on a being's omnipotence to say that it cannot make a round square. Presumably. He would by no means be omnipotent.[8] On the other hand. the omnipotent being could create a stone which it cannot lift. He cannot do some things for the very reason that He is omnipotent.[17] Another common response to the omnipotence paradox is to try to define omnipotence to mean something weaker than absolute omnipotence. and therefore it is impossible for it to be non-omnipotent. it is a task—the task of lifting a stone which He cannot lift—whose description is self-contradictory. being perfectly rational. the omnipotent being can do what is logically impossible and have no limitations just like the accidentally omnipotent but the ability to make oneself non-omnipotent. A good example of a modern defender of this line of reasoning is George Mavrodes. ” Thus Augustine argued that God could not do anything or create any situation that would in effect make God not God. The creation of a stone which the omnipotent being cannot lift would be an impossibility. but only to be able to do anything which conforms to the laws of logic. resolves all possible paradoxes. not on account of His suffering what He wills not. because God. i.[5] Essentially. then it can also resolve the paradox (as long as we take omnipotence not to require absolute omnipotence).e. Further. . However. This was essentially the position taken by Augustine of Hippo in his The City of God: 282 “ For He is called omnipotent on account of His doing what He wills.[19] If a being is essentially omnipotent. then it can resolve the paradox by creating a stone which it cannot lift and thereby becoming non-omnipotent. but could also then lift the stone anyway. the ability to voluntarily give up great power is often thought of as central to the notion of the Christian Incarnation. such a being could also make the sum 2 + 2 = 5 become mathematically possible or create a square triangle. This might not seem like a problem if one is already committed to dialetheism or some other form of logical transcendence. which presents the paradox that non-omnipotent beings can do something (to themselves) which an essentially omnipotent being cannot do (to itself). however. The paradox can be resolved by simply stipulating that omnipotence does not require the being to have abilities which are logically impossible. that God can do and does everything that God wishes. Unlike essentially omnipotent entities. But if God is supposed capable of performing one task whose description is self-contradictory—that of creating the problematic stone in the first place—why should He not be supposed capable of performing another—that of lifting the stone? After all. Some philosophers maintain that the paradox can be resolved if the definition of omnipotence includes Descartes' view that an omnipotent being can do the logically impossible. Harry Frankfurt—following from Descartes—has responded to this solution with a proposal of his own: that God can create a stone impossible to lift and also lift said stone For why should God not be able to perform the task in question? To be sure. is there any greater trick in performing two logically impossible tasks than there is in performing one?[18] If a being is accidentally omnipotent. This raises the question. The paradox may be solved. In this scenario.Omnipotence paradox of omnipotence in formal logic. it is possible for an accidentally omnipotent being to be non-omnipotent. but nevertheless retains its omnipotence. as long as we also know the being is essentially omnipotent rather than accidentally so. St Augustine's definition of omnipotence. Such a "task" is termed by him a "pseudo-task" as it is self-contradictory and inherently nonsense. This solution works even with definition 2. or just capable of great power. such as definition 3 or 4 above. it is possible for non-omnipotent beings to compromise their own powers. The omnipotent being cannot create such a stone because it's power will be equal to him and thus. of whether or not the being was ever truly omnipotent. for if that should befall [20] Him. never wishes to do something that is paradoxical. but at the expense of making the logic a paraconsistent logic. remove his omnipotence for there can only be one omnipotent being in existence. The omnipotent being is essentially omnipotent. This attempt to resolve the paradox is problematic in that the definition itself forgoes logical consistency.

in this theory. with their whirling atoms. If God can remove His own omnipotence. it would then not be able to lift the stone. and God. but at 6. neither can the question be put into words". instead of anything important in the physical world. Wittgenstein wrote works which are often interpreted as conflicting with his positions in the Tractatus. or that a triangle did not have three angles [28] equal to two right angles.41 and following the succeeding propositions argue that ethics and several other issues are "transcendental" subjects which we cannot examine with language. Therefore. until claim 6. one incarnate babe could not lift the rocks He had made."[23] Wittgenstein's approach to these problems is influential among other 20th century religious thinkers such as D. then God can create an enormous stone. on which the essence of the thing depends.Omnipotence paradox If God can do absolutely anything.4. an omnipotent being could create a boulder that the strongest human could not lift (it needn't do that anyway since such boulders exist) and then give itself the potency of an average human. such as logic. arguing that "When the answer cannot be put into words. Wittgenstein also mentions the will. David Hemlock has proposed an incarnational resolution: "On one small planet. for example.[24] But in his later years. St. the study of how symbols are given meaning. This is a trivial solution because. we must pass over in silence. but it is phrased in terms of a debate as to whether or not God can "deny himself" ala 2 Tim 2:13. it does not deal with the matter at hand: God maintaining omnipotence even while performing a task. As Aquinas put it in Summa contra Gentiles: “ Since the principles of certain sciences. then. it follows that God could not make things contrary to these principles." [21] An atheist solution to the paradox is that omnipotence.[25] and indeed the later Wittgenstein is mainly seen as the leading critic of the early Wittgenstein. 283 Language and omnipotence The philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein is often interpreted as arguing that language is not up to the task of describing the kind of power an omnipotent being would have. the success or failure of which seems to imply impotence. Anselm argues that there are many things that God cannot do. remove His own omnipotence. but a very average being with the same potency as a human. geometry and arithmetic are taken only from the formal principles of things. lying in a manger. The solution only produces a reduced-potency "God".[27] Thomas Aquinas advanced a version of the omnipotence paradox by asking whether God could create a triangle with internal angles that did not add up to 180 degrees. This preserves the belief that God is omnipotent because God can create a stone that He couldn't lift. by Him were and ever-are all things lifted up (Col 1:17. All the rocks of all of the starfields in Him consist. life after death.[26] In the 11th century.) According to the Tractatus. since language cannot refer to the entities the paradox considers. then God can remove His own omnipotence. This solves nothing as the entity that is unable to lift the stone is not "God" as understood by the paradox. Other versions of the paradox In the 6th century. and hence God. Pseudo-Dionysius claims that a version of the omnipotence paradox constituted the dispute between St. doesn't exist. that a genus was not predicable of the species. Phil 2:5-8). but that nonetheless he counts as Omnipotent. (The retort "That's only semantics" is a way of saying that a statement only concerns the definitions of words. In his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus he stays generally within the realm of logical positivism. Phillips. For example. Z. even attempting to formulate the omnipotence paradox is futile. ” .[22] Wittgenstein's work makes the omnipotence paradox a problem in semantics. The final proposition of the Tractatus gives Wittgenstein's dictum for these circumstances: "What we cannot speak of. Paul and Elmyas the Magician mentioned in Acts 13:8. then not be able to lift the stone. or that lines drawn from the centre to the circumference were not equal. God would not be omnipotent while not being able to lift the stone.

1998. or that I could exist and not exist at the same time. he notes that "omnipotence itself" could not exempt animal life from mortality. Clive Staples Lewis. Linwood Urban and Douglass Walton eds.2307/2182966 Averroës. stanford. Ernst. The later invention of non-Euclidean geometry does not resolve this question. since change and death are defining attributes of such life. the real question is whether or not an omnipotent being would have the ability to evade the consequences which follow logically from a system of axioms that the being created. Oxford University Press. the classic statement of the omnipotence paradox — a rock so heavy that its omnipotent creator cannot lift it — is grounded in Aristotelian science. J. and in particular such an institution's ability to regulate itself. Alternative English title: Metaphysical Meditations. Descartes tried refuting the existence of atoms with a variation of this argument. T. 63–75 Aquinas. Simon Van Der Bergh. Chalice Press. any more than there could be a compact number of mountains without valleys. which holds a specific legal institution to be omnipotent in legal power. Meditations on First Philosophy. Allen accepted the notion of a divine being. Wade. However. 131–34 [6] Aquinas Summa Theologica Book 1 Question 25 article 4 response #3 [7] Anselm of Canterbury Proslogion Chap VII in The Power of God: readings on Omnipotence and Evil. trans. "Omnipotence" 1973 in Philosophy of Religion: Selected Readings. 1944 MacMillan [13] Loving Wisdom: Christian Philosophy of Religion by Paul Copan. It is even in popular culture. Cottingham. Harper and Brothers. In an episode of The Simpsons. Edward N. Rosenkrantz. Ludwig. Joshua. section IV. pp. Gary. edu/ archives/ sum2002/ entries/ omnipotence/ ) The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2002 Edition).[29] In a sense. Vol. A version of the paradox can also be seen in non-theological contexts.Omnipotence paradox This can be done on a sphere. one could easily modify the classic statement as follows: "An omnipotent being creates a universe which follows the laws of Aristotelian physics. After all. 76. [11] Wittgenstein. though throughout Reason he argues that even a divine being must be circumscribed by logic. 2007 page 46 [14] http:/ / www. however." Labeled by his friends a Deist. A second edition published the following year.[30] In Chapter 3. html#FPQ25A3THEP1 . if one considers the stone's position relative to the sun around which the planet orbits. " Some Puzzles Concerning Omnipotence (http:/ / spot. 1641. for one might as well ask. 74–79 doi:10. Linwood Urban and Douglass Walton eds. C. Latin original. Within this universe. He argues. claiming God could not create things so indivisible that he could not divide them. The Riddle of the Universe. Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (6. No. 1967). 1900. edu/ ~kaufmad/ courses/ Mavrodes. In Principles of Philosophy. can the omnipotent being create a stone so heavy that the being cannot lift it?" Ethan Allen's Reason addresses the topics of original sin. org/ a/ aquinas/ summa/ FP/ FP025. Includes six Objections and Replies. George. Luzac & Company 1969. pdf)" first published 1963 now in The Power of God: readings on Omnipotence and Evil. "The Paradox of the Stone" Philosophical Review.. Modern physics indicates that the choice of phrasing about lifting stones should relate to acceleration. 35–36 [8] Hoffman. Zalta (ed. P. theodicy and several others in classic Enlightenment fashion. sections 529–536 Geach. or that God should effect any other contradiction in nature. Tahafut al-Tahafut (The Incoherence of the Incoherence) trans. this does not in itself of course invalidate the fundamental concept of the generalized omnipotence paradox. colorado. Cambridge University Press. Oxford University Press 1978 pp. 1996. one could hold that the stone is constantly being lifted—strained though that interpretation would be in the present context.. and not on a flat surface. can an omnipotent being create a triangle whose angles do not add up to more than 180 degrees?" In either case.41 and following) [12] The Problem of Pain. Oxford University Press 1978 pp. 1 (Jan. (Accessed on 19 April 2006) [9] Descartes. Thomas Summa Theologica Book 1 Question 25 article 3 Mavrodes. Homer asks Ned Flanders the question "Could god microwave a burrito so hot that even he could not eat it?" 284 Notes [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] Savage. Rene. includes an additional ‘’Objection and Reply’’ and a Letter to Dinet [10] Haeckel. A similar problem occurs when accessing legislative or parliamentary sovereignty. ccel.. pp. "Omnipotence" (http:/ / plato.). "the one cannot be without the other. "If given the axioms of Riemannian geometry.

Zalta (ed. Linwood Urban and Douglass Walton eds. sequitur quod contraria horum principiorum Deus facere non possit: sicut quod genus non sit praedicabile de specie. 147. • Wierenga.. 144–52 [16] Mackie.html).S. and Walton uses a whole separate strategy p. 153–63 [18] Frankfurt. Oxford University Press 1978.courses. 254 (April 1955). 3rd ed. 1890. 1854. htm#C). Section 25. Chapter 10 (http:/ / www. (http://libertyonline. Charles. 1900. trans.5 [23] Wittgenstein." Mind LXIV. Ethan. edu/ ~peters/ writing/ psa/ sec01. Genius. Volition.hypermall. Book 2. • Gleick. L. [17] The Power of God: Readings on Omnipotence and Evil. . Keene and Mayo disagree p.. Cowan has a different strategy p. P. "A Kenotic Theory of Incarnation" first published 1891. "The Logic of Omnipotence" first published in 1964 in Philosophical Review and now in Necessity. J. 165–68 [20] City of God. Linwood Urban and Douglass Walton eds. Summa Contra Gentiles. Savage provides 3 formalizations p. "Divine Names" 893B in Pseudo-Dionysius: The Complete Works.P. Cornill. and Change (http:/ / www. Accessed 19 April 2006. geometriae et arithmeticae. Harry. hypermall. "Evil and Omnipotence.). vel quod lineae ductae a centro ad circumferentiam non sint aequales. "Evil and Omnipotence. L. "Omnipotence" The Nature of God: An Inquiry into Divine Attributes (http://www. ut logicae. 35–36 [28] "Cum principia quarundam scientiarum. sumantur ex solis principiis formalibus rerum. Oxford University Press 1978 pp. iv. ccel. Cambridge University Press November 28. 1998 pp. "The Paradox of Omnipotence" first published 1962. Edward Buckner [29] Suber.gutenberg. 1989. The Day the Universe Changed. City of God and Christian Doctrine. (Accessed on 19 April 2006) • Mackie. • Hoffman." Mind LXIV. (Accessed on 19 April 2006) 285 References • Allen.P.edu/archives/sum2002/entries/ omnipotence/) The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2002 Edition).html) The Christian Literature Publishing Co. J. html) [21] http:/ / katachriston. 1995 (paperback edition). Gary. ISBN 0-8091-2838-1 [27] Anselm of Canterbury Proslogion Chap. Harper and Brothers. Linwood Urban and Douglass Walton eds. trans Colm Luibheid Paulist Press. T. Brown. Little. Originally published 1784. and Love. wordpress.1–2 [19] Gore. Logic. Edward. (Accessed on 26 September 2006) • Burke. aut quod triangulus rectilineus non habeat tres angulos aequales duobus rectis". proposition 6.html) J. ISBN 0-316-11704-8. 10. Reason: The Only Oracle of Man. Pantheon. in The Power of God: Readings on Omnipotence and Evil. Joshua. org/ ccel/ schaff/ npnf102.M. com/ 2011/ 04/ 01/ can-god-make-a-stone-he-cannot-lift/ [22] Wittgenstein. No. Z. (http:/ / libertyonline. VII. Originally published 1784. Oxford University Press 1978 pp.org/etext/ 5740) via Project Gutenberg. (Accessed on 19 April 2006) • Augustine. "Omnipotence" (http://plato. html) J. Linwood Urban and Douglass Walton eds. 145. Cornell University Press. (http://www. Cornill. in The Power of God: readings on Omnipotence and Evil. Phillips "Philosophy. earlham. proposition 7 [24] D. (1990) The Paradox of Self-Amendment: A Study of Law. Peter Lang Publishing [30] Allen.Omnipotence paradox [15] Cowan. Mendum. James. Ethan.com/allen-reason. James.ccel. P. • Haeckel. Rosenkrantz. Wittgenstein's Place in Twentieth-Century Analytic Philosophy. 138–41. J. William Rowe and William Wainwright eds. Ludwig. Oxford University Press 1978 pp. 1854. Mendum. in The Power of God: readings on Omnipotence and Evil. Ernst. 1998 Oxford University Press [25] Hacker.edu/wierenga/REL111/omnipch. Ludwig. Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. No. (Accessed on 19 April 2006) • Wittgenstein. rochester. Aquinas. 254 (April 1955). V. 1996 Blackwell [26] Pseudo-Dionysius. L. com/ allen-reason. 1992.. Reason: The Only Oracle of Man. Ludwig. 1987.org/ccel/schaff/npnf102. ISBN 0-679-40836-3. Book 5. Theology and the Reality of God" in Philosophy of Religion: Selected Readings. Edward N. Omnipotence. ex quibus essentia rei dependet. The Riddle of the Universe.stanford. Available online (http://www.

joy does not move)[5] • Psychologist Alfred Adler in The Neurotic Constitution (1912): Nietzsche's "will to power" and "will to seem" embrace many of our views. But if you pay no attention to it and go about your business. toils on toils endure. The Proud to gain it. If you try to coax it or call it. which again resemble in some respects the views of Féré and the older writers. it can only be acquired indirectly.] joy is only a symptom of the feeling of attained power [. Reigns more or less supreme in every heart... and you cease to be so.. the less they are able to succeed.] Aiming thus at something else. that of pain in a feeling of feebleness. the paradox of hedonism points out that pleasure cannot be acquired directly.] joy accompanies. Those only are happy (I thought) who have their minds fixed on some object other than their own happiness[. The modest shun it. and must remain.Paradox of hedonism 286 Paradox of hedonism The paradox of hedonism.. First explicitly noted by the philosopher Henry Sidgwick in The Methods of Ethics. but to make it sure![7] • Politician William Bennett: "Happiness is like a cat.] Ask yourself whether you are happy... The more a man tries to demonstrate his sexual potency or a woman her ability to experience orgasm. is the idea in the study of ethics which points out that pleasure and happiness are strange phenomena that do not obey normal principles. they find happiness along the way[.. it will avoid you. Overview It is often said that we fail to attain pleasures if we deliberately seek them. it will never come. also called the pleasure paradox. a side-effect or by-product." [1] • Viktor Frankl in Man's Search for Meaning: Happiness cannot be pursued..[3] • Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche in The Antichrist (1895) and The Will to Power (1901): What is good? Everything that heightens the feeling of power in man. This has been described variously.[6] • Poet and satirist Edward Young: The love of praise.. and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one's personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one's surrender to a person other than oneself.. What is happiness? The feeling that power increases — that a resistance is overcome. power itself.] it is significantly enlightening to substitute for the individual ‘happiness’ (for which every living being is supposed to strive) power [.] (one does not strive for joy [. it must ensue. by many: • John Stuart Mill.. Pleasure is.[4] [.. the utilitarian philosopher. What is bad? Everything that is born of weakness. the will to power. howe'er concealed by art. [2] • Philosopher Søren Kierkegaard in Either/Or: Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it.. according to whom the sensation of pleasure originates in a feeling of power.. in his autobiography: "But I now thought that this end [one's happiness] was only to be attained by not making it the direct end. and is destroyed and spoiled to the degree to which it is made a goal in itself. you'll find it rubbing against your legs and jumping .

to illustrate that pleasure and happiness cannot be reverse-engineered. and neuroscience to eliminate suffering in all sentient life." • Novelist João Guimarães Rosa: "Happiness is found only in little moments of inattention. can obtain pleasure”. that a rational method of attaining the end at which it aims requires that we should to some extent put it out of sight and not directly aim at it. you must strangely motivate yourself towards things unrelated to happiness. one does equate happiness with pleasure. nanotechnology. one's aim is frustrated."[10] Sooner or later. However. David Pearce argues in his treatise The Hedonistic Imperative that humans might be able to use genetic engineering. Therefore pleasure also is not continuous. they find themselves in the company of misery. but this is not the process that explains why he collects stamps. for whatever reason."[9] While not addressing the paradox directly. Aristotle commented on the futility of pursuing pleasure. but merely that the principle of Egoistic Hedonism. but most economic. The hedonistic paradox would probably mean that if one sets the goal to please oneself too highly then the mechanism would in fact jam itself. including not only utilitarianism. i. for it accompanies activity. and among these is pleasure.e. then the paradox of hedonism arises. Human beings are actors whose endeavors bring about consequences. psychological and social conceptions of behavior. According to most models of behavior. It is not as though he says. if you tell Paul this. “I must collect stamps so I. Suggested explanations Happiness is often imprecisely equated with pleasure. He just likes collecting stamps. finite beings will be unable to acquire and expend the resources necessary to maintain their sole goal of pleasure. He does get pleasure from collecting stamps. Collecting stamps is not just a means toward pleasure. when applied with a due knowledge of the laws of human nature."[8] 287 Example Suppose Paul likes to collect stamps. On the other hand. he will likely disagree. When one aims solely towards pleasure itself. Stamp collecting is an avenue towards acquiring pleasure. thus. and began a stamp collection as a means towards this happiness. it would inevitably be in vain. If for example you heard that collecting stamps was very pleasurable. If.. Aristotle then argues as follows: "How. infer from this that the pursuit of pleasure is necessarily self-defeating and futile. it is believed that Paul likes collecting stamps because he gets pleasure from collecting stamps. then. like the collection of stamps. is practically self-limiting. you must not seek happiness directly. Paul. . This paradox is often spun around backwards. Henry Sidgwick comments on such frustration after a discussion of self-love in the above-mentioned work: "I should not. however.Paradox of hedonism into your lap. To achieve happiness. is it that no one is continuously pleased? Is it that we grow weary? Certainly all human things are incapable of continuous activity.

Nicomachean Ethics 1175. Richard McKeon ed. in that it "betrays a form of nihilism. Either/Or.[3] Religion Rivas locates the paradox in the "conservative attitude of Roman Catholicism" developed in reaction to Nietzschean nihilism. edu. BookSurge Publishing (1 Mar 2001) (p. archive. The Methods of Ethics (London: Macmillan & Co.. page 4 (http:/ / classics. [7] Geoffrey Brennan. Charles Eliot Norton. Autobiography in The Harvard Classics. ix. . The Neurotic Constitution (http:/ / www. F. Guimarães. assa. the paradox of nihilism is "that the absence of meaning seems to be some sort of meaning". x. (New York: P. 3) [10] Aristotle. Vol. Collier & Son Company.Paradox of hedonism 288 References [1] John Stuart Mill. 1909 (p. (New York: Random House. New York: Moffat. 25. Nicomachean Ethics.E) Book X. 2001. Tutaméia – Terceiras Estórias (8.). [3] Søren Kierkegaard.[4] . au/ publications/ occasional_papers/ 2005_No1. Diapsalmata [4] The Antichrist.[2] In a footnote in his PhD thesis. the forced oblivion of the real ambiguity and the paradox that inform the distinction between the secular and the sacred". 10. 94) [2] Viktor Frankl. Slocombe equates nihilism with the liar paradox. [9] Henry Sidgwick. The Esteem Engine: A Resource for Institutional Design (http:/ / www. Nova Fronteira. (New York: P. 3-6 in The Basic Works of Aristotle. edu/ Aristotle/ nicomachaen. php) [8] Rosa. org/ details/ neuroticconstitu00adle). Autobiography in The Harvard Classics. Man's Search for Meaning. § 688 [6] Adler. Yard and Company. Rio de Janeiro: Ed. 1909) • Henry Sidgwick. html) Further reading • Aristotle. mit. Vol. that is.a ed. Ltd.C. The Methods of Ethics. (Written 350 B. 1874/1963) Paradox of nihilism Paradox of nihilism is the name of several paradoxes. only the untrue could be the truth". Meaning According to Hegarty.[1] Truth Luhmann construes the paradox as stating "that consequently. ed. 60. § 2 [5] The Will to Power. Charles Eliot Norton. p. ed. 25. F. Alfred (1912). 1941) • John Stuart Mill. pp. Collier & Son Company.

Bal. sats .. politicsandreligionjournal. but caught in the paradox of nihilism – that the absence of meaning seems to be some sort of meaning. Will (2006). Ontario. However. "Limit-situation: Antinomies and Transcendence in Karl Jaspers’ Philosophy" (http:/ / cjas. toronto. then it creates a paradox because it is therefore false. adhering as it does to social contingency. This nihilistic paradox. 169. pdf) (PDF). ISBN 9780415975292. 1. [4] Rivas. from this point on nihilism can be considered equivalent to the statement that 'This sentence is not true'..[6] Wright sees relativism as the root of the paradox. Serbia): Centar za proučavanje religije i versku toleranciju. Postmodern Nihilism: Theory and Literature." The quoted chapter was originally published as Luhmann. New German Critique (New York: TELOS Press) (61 Special Issue on Niklas Luhmann (Winter 1994)): 9–23. . and pervasive conditionality flowing from the fundamental contradiction. pdf) (PDF). "critical legal studies: the paradoxes of indeterminacy and nihilism" (http:/ / psc. [5] Belliotti. it is only when considered true that it creates a paradox. ISSN 1820-659X. Having now introduced this stronger formulation of nihilism. dk/ index. Hent. hdl:2160/267. google. Kerstin (1994). pdf) (PDF). "the paradox of nihilism is the choice to continue one's own life while at the same time stating that it is not worth more than any other life". then no such paradox exists. Virgilio Aquino (2008). CLS' critical attack seems to cut the heart from all efforts to provide non-question-begging adjudication of epistemological and moral truth claims. Retrieved 4 April 2010.[7] References [1] Hegarty.. Nihilism and the Sublime Postmodern : The (Hi)Story of a Difficult Relationship From Romanticism to Postmodernism (http:/ / books. Richard Ian (April 1994) (PDF). The Semiotic Review of Books (955 Oliver Road. Elliott Schreiber. pp. if it is considered false. Universit of British Columbia. OCLC 62281496. the arguments used to criticize the centrist position also undermine the position of CLS. ISSN 1558-1462. jurisprudential indeterminacy.. ca/ reviews/ luhmann. ISBN 9780804741231. ". Will (September 2003). .. chass. com/ PDF/ broj 4/ rivas. Nevertheless. William Rasch (introduction). Mieke. Justifying Law: The Debate Over Foundations. "Noise Music" (http:/ / scirus. .Nordic Journal of Philosophy 7 (2). "The Role of the Church in the Politics of Social Transformation: The Paradox of Nihilism" (http:/ / www. . com/ books?id=VLx7QgAACAAJ). The Dream of Enlightenment: An Essay on the Promise of Reason and Freedom in Modernity (https:/ / circle.Paradox of nihilism 289 Critical Legal Theory In Critical Legal Studies (CLS) theory. . seems to preclude CLS from establishing a normative justification for its own vision. the loss of reference had to appear as a loss of truth. operating in the absence of meaning. cjsonline. "The Modernity of Science". Routledge. Retrieved 5 April 2010. Critical Legal Studies Movement (CLS) . Goals. JSTOR 488618. Retrieved 4 April 2010. Andrew. p. ed. . Theories of Distinction: Redescribing the Descriptions of Modernity. If it is considered true. William Whobrey. Temple University Press. In Rasch. google." [6] Bornemark. Stanford University Press. Raymond A. (1987). Behnke. com/ books?id=YK0VEi-S8m4C& pg=PA169). Thus it can be argued that they still maintain the residue of the Christian ethics and Platonic metaphysics which have permeated western thought for several thousand years and which continue to provide modem thinkers with many of their illusory presuppositions. William. Philosophy & Social Criticism 13 (2): 145–154. Marx's foundational principles are not sufficient to defend his humanistic values. ISSN 0847-1622. Therefore. Oppenheimer. Kerstin Behnke. . ISBN 9781566392037.marta 95 (Center for Studies of Religion and Religious Tolerance)) II (2): 53–77." [2] Luhmann. php/ sats/ article/ viewArticle/ 703) (PDF)." Belliotti. Raymond A. Thunder Bay. html) in Canadian Journal of Sociology Online. In other words. from a Nietzschean perspective.. ca/ handle/ 2429/ 9168). OCLC 50709608. University of Wales Aberystwyth. edu/ epc/ srb/ vol%2016. "2 The Modernity of Science" (http:/ / books. PhD theses from Aberystwyth University. Lakehead University) 16 (1-2): 2. Retrieved 5 April 2010. Retrieved 4 April 2010. "But essentially these values can be negated by extending the same critical methods which Marx uses to negate earlier philosophical idealism and liberal bourgeois ideology. "The argument supporting CLS' attack on centrist ideology. sagepub. google. 64. 154.” which states that consequently only the untrue could be truth. Retrieved 4 April 2010. Политикологија религије (Politics and Religion) (11000 Beograd (Belgrade. ubc. and Methods (http:/ / books. com/ books?id=L0G2bwV9VMMC& pg=PA64). "Failure/impossibility: noise is only ever defined against something else. [7] Wright. ISSN 1600-1974. OCLC 318368737. p. . de Vries.. (footnote 110)" A revised version was published as Slocombe. in which CLS' critical attack is so extreme that it prohibits CLS from constructing persuasively its own alternative vision. doi:10. There is a 2002 review of the book (http:/ / www. resulting in the paradox of “nihilism. com/ srsapp/ sciruslink?src=web& url=http:/ / www. Retrieved 4 April 2010.1177/019145378701300203. Cultural memory in the present. in much the same way as critics suggest that nihilism must be invalid for this very reason. one is justified in . [3] Slocombe. Canada P7B 5E1: Department of Sociology. com/ cgi/ reprint/ 13/ 2/ 145. Niklas.. translations by Joseph O'Neil. 27. ".[5] Ethics According to Bornemark. "'There is no truth' is not inherently paradoxical. Jonna (2006). Retrieved 5 April 2010. (25 January 1994). Paul (2006). Niklas (1 February 2002). . CLS' view generates a "paradox of nihilism" which CLS has recognized and tried unsuccessfully to resolve.

Barbara Pasamonik in Social Studies. • The Paradoxes of Tolerance (http://www.gov/ERICWebPortal/custom/portlets/recordDetails/ detailmini. Vol.php). which includes a large portion of the world's population. hence intolerant of it. Notes to the Chapters: Ch. Hans Oberdiek.[2] have discussed this paradox. particular values can only be maintained through a "will to power. Many philosophers." (page 97)" 290 Paradox of tolerance The tolerance paradox arises from a problem that a tolerant person might be antagonistic toward intolerance. does not the critique of law.Paradox of nihilism asking: Without such presuppositions. politics. in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. v95 n5 p206 Sep-Oct 2004. google.ed. .eric. This problem is at the heart of the dilemma faced by pluralist societies who wish to embrace diversity.com/archives/2006/07/tolerating-the-intolerant. 2001.com/books?id=S1j8KXp20qwC&pg=PA9& lpg=PA9&dq#v=onepage&q=&f=false). The tolerant individual would then be by definition intolerant of intolerance. • Tolerating the Intolerant (http://www. and as such.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=EJ707855& ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=EJ707855).edu/entries/toleration/#ConTolPar). 7. but in doing so ostensibly exclude those who do not embrace diversity. 1.michaeltotten. or "this earth" lose its ultimate justification or meaning? How can one critique laws without holding on to a sense of justice? And herein lies the crux of the paradox of nihilism.google. com/ books?id=TdvHKizvuTAC& pg=PA216& lpg=PA216#v=onepage& q=& f=false) External links • The Concept of Toleration and its Paradoxes (http://plato. • "Puzzles and Paradoxes of Tolerance" (http://books. The Open Society and Its Enemies. References [1] Karl Popper. 216 (http:/ / books.stanford. If nihilism is the basis of human existence then all values are relative. including Karl Popper[1] and John Rawls. Note 4 [2] Rawls. A Theory of Justice. Michael Totten.

Examples A dual example of a predestination paradox is depicted in the classic Ancient Greek play 'Oedipus': Laius hears a prophecy that his son will kill him and marry his wife. you were born into the universe. While trying to prevent a school fire he had read about in a historical account he had brought with him. In layman's terms. but in doing so overexerts himself. Or that the time-traveler's personal knowledge of history already includes their future travels to their own experience of the past. Fearing the prophecy. meanwhile. leaves home in fear of the same prophecy that he would kill his father and marry his mother. causality loop. Laius pierces newborn Oedipus' feet and leaves him out to die. it means this: the time traveller is in the past. and they do something that causes the future to occur in the same way that their knowledge of the future has already happened.Predestination paradox 291 Predestination paradox A predestination paradox (also called causal loop. He marries the widow queen Jocasta not knowing she is his mother. ventures out to find a solution to the Sphinx's riddle. A variation on the predestination paradoxes which involves information. A typical example of a predestination paradox (used in The Twilight Zone episode "No Time Like the Past") is as follows: A man travels back in time. It exists when a time traveller is caught in a loop of events that "predestines" or "predates" them to travel back in time. Unbeknownst to Oedipus the man is Laius. closed loop or closed time loop) is a paradox of time travel that is often used as a convention in science fiction. but a herdsman finds him and takes him away from Thebes. He explains his theory to Brian. Oedipus crossed paths with a wealthy man leading to a fight in which Oedipus slays him. He discovers that they match. and. He resolves to get fit so as to avoid that fate. It is very closely related to the ontological paradox and usually occurs at the same time. rather than objects. A deep-thinking temporal engineer wonders what would happen if a time machine were sent back to the singularity from which the . who replies with "That doesn't make any sense. telling him that he will die from a heart attack. Episode 16): Stewie and Brian travel back in time using Stewie's time machine. intentionally or not. Oedipus. They are warped outside the space-time continuum. Laius. A time traveler attempting to alter the past in this model. Here is a peculiar example from Barry Dainton's Time and Space: Many years from now. Because of the possibility of influencing the past while time traveling. which is an example of a predestination paradox. not knowing he was adopted. before the Big Bang. How could you create it?" Stewie explains that it is a temporal causality loop. Oedipus then defeats the Sphinx by solving a mysterious riddle to become king. would only be fulfilling their role in creating history as we know it. Stewie overloads the return pad and they are boosted back into the space-time continuum by an explosion. To return home. As prophesied. their presence is vital to the future. a transgalactic civilization has discovered time travel. Stewie later studies the radiation footprints of the Big Bang and the explosion of his return pad. one way of explaining why history does not change is by saying that whatever has happened must happen. not changing it. Therefore. causing him to suffer the heart attack that kills him. An example of a predestination paradox in the television show Family Guy (Season 9. he accidentally causes it. and he concludes that he is actually the creator of the universe. which means they were in the past before. traveling through time is similar to the self-fulfilling prophecy: A man receives information about his own future. less frequently.

In a self-fulfilling prophecy. inherits a time belt from his "uncle" that allows him to travel in time. with the paradoxical result that he is his own mother and father. thereby failing to cause the Big Bang. In The Big Loop the Big Bang owes its causation to the temporal engineers. physical. the attempts to avert the course of past or future history both fail. when the player travels to the future and meets a man in a windmill. at different stages of her/his life. he thus turns out to be the offspring of that union. the paradox lies in the temporal causality loop. In either situation. But the Big Bang failing to happen is obviously impossible because the universe does exist. • "The Man Who Folded Himself" is a 1973 science fiction novel by David Gerrold that deals with time travel and the predestination paradox. it seems the engineers could have chosen not to send the time machine back (after all. Bob goes back in time to sight-see. This strange man was later honored by having a statue of him erected. the protagonist in a series of twists. One example of a predestination paradox that is not simultaneously an ontological paradox is: In 1850. and almost took Bob over a cliff. 292 Examples from fiction Time travel Many fictional works have dealt with various circumstances that can logically arise from time travel. The predestination paradox is a common literary device in such fiction. the person is fulfilling their role in an event that has yet to occur. Daniel Eakins. in the form of a prophecy) rather than a person. The character spends much of his own contorted lifetime at an extended party with dozens of versions of himself at different ages. producing an explosion resembling the big bang. Another example is in "The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time". and sees someone's horse about to go over a cliff. so Stewie would not have existed. it could not have created Stewie. So. if Stewie had never traveled back in time. and it is usually information that travels in time (for example. The protagonist. on the show Mucha Lucha a teacher goes back in time to stop a flash from blinding him in an important wrestling match. Bob's horse was spooked by something. Interestingly enough. a young man (later revealed to be intersex) is taken back in time and tricked into impregnating his younger. In the third example. As the story unfolds. as the flanking events are both causes and effects of each other. causality is turned on its head. This results in a series of time paradoxes. In another example. so perhaps in the situation where the engineers decide not to send a time machine to the Big Bang's singularity. Much of the book deals with the psychological. interacts with future versions of himself. Two hundred years later. who tells him about a mean Ocarina kid who played a song that did something to his windmill. and his true identity. which are only resolved by the existence of multiple universes and multiple histories. the universe would not exist.Predestination paradox big bang emerged. Since it would not have existed. In another of his stories. His calculations yield an interesting result: the singularity would be destabilized. usually dealing with paradoxes. they knew what the result would be). "By His Bootstraps". the person travels back in time and ends up fulfilling their role in an event that has already occurred. had it not been for a strange man stopping the horse. who plays it in the past. He rushes to his aid and saves his life. much like Heinlein's. who repeatedly encounters alternate versions of himself. before understanding the true nature of the gathering. a time machine was quickly sent on its way.[1] In all five examples. and this is where the paradox lies. finds himself in progressively more bizarre situations. all the major characters are revealed to be the same person. when the three main protagonists try to stop him due to dangerous possible outcomes he unleashes a disco ball move thereby blinding himself in the past causing the future he knows to that day. female self (before he underwent a sex change). Eakins. Needless to say. some other cause will turn out to have been responsible. and . He then teaches Link the song. • In Robert Heinlein's "—All You Zombies—". In most examples of the predestination paradox. causing him to learn the song in the future.

that relationship ends up with a male child who he finally realizes is him. sends evil robots back in time to kill Bill and Ted. the Prince is chased by the Dahaka. the Prince travels to the Island of Time to kill the Empress of Time. Eakins repeatedly meets himself. who created the time-manipulating sands from the first game. which leads indirectly to the formation of the group. • In the video game Timesplitters: Future Perfect the main protagonist. The father proceeds to introduce this son to his guests as "Adolf". and she presents this baby to the father as his own. The resulting atomic test kills Enos. he goes back himself and takes control of the world's satellites so the whole world can see them defeated. only to realize afterward that she is his grandmother and therefore he is his own grandfather. New Mexico. However. • In the film 12 Monkeys. Upon reaching the point at which the Dahaka is supposed to kill him. teaches prehistoric SpongeBob and Patrick to catch a jelly in a net. Fry later comforts Enos' fiancée. even trying to kill him at one point. told that the death of his grandfather Enos would nullify his own existence. In the episode. A secondary paradox is the Sand Wraith. Squidward. Sergeant Cortez. becomes obsessed with protecting the man. sparking the Roswell UFO Incident.Predestination paradox personal challenges that manifest when time travel is possible for a single individual at the touch of a button. He learns that the wraith (who he now understands to be his future self) was trying to protect him. inspired by 'jellyfishing'. Fry. • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode SB-129m. presumably the Adolf Hitler known to history in the first place. Meanwhile. and hence he becomes the architect of his own fate. and then go back in time to rescue themselves. are rescued by future versions of themselves. cementing their place in history. This means that Squidward invented Jellyfishing. Unable to fight the monster. the Prince realizes too late that killing the Empress is what creates the sands. whose purpose is to preserve the timeline by erasing the Prince from it. failing to realize that the house is in a nuclear testing site. He hopes to prevent the sands from being created. the main characters go back in time to 1947 in Roswell. and protects himself during hard situations. She kills the baby (whom she presumes to be actual Adolf Hitler. the whole world watches them play their music. Eventually. and he is now his own "uncle". Instead. • In Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey the antagonist. Vikki Line and the Space Hopper fall into a black hole. though the viewer might note it seems like a very normal baby. The wraith is killed by the Dahaka shortly before the Prince kills the Empress. and ultimately cohabitates with an opposite-sex version of himself. In Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure we see that the band could not have formed if not for Rufus appearing from the future to help them with their history project. unhappy with the future. no longer believing her to be his future grandmother. the Prince realizes that he can change his fate by using the Mask of the Wraith. since it was the sands that put him in his current predicament. but Fry does not disappear. • The video game Prince of Persia: Warrior Within. • In Flatterland. but the nanny (discovering the death) replaces the baby with a street gypsy's baby (the mother being a very crazy looking woman who has black hair resembling the Hitler we know). ending the mask's power and creating a grandfather paradox as well. • In The Twilight Zone 2002-2003 revival. which transforms him into the Sand Wraith and sends him back in time a short distance. has sex with himself. there is an episode in which a character (played by Katherine Heigl) goes back in time to assassinate Adolf Hitler while he is a baby. who seems to stalk the Prince throughout the first half of the game. He shuts Enos in a deserted house in the desert in order to protect him. the Prince uses his knowledge of the encounter to have his younger self die instead. The fatal shooting at the end of the movie is witnessed by his childhood version and leads to the nightmares that haunt him throughout his life. perhaps not very dark hair). often helps himself solve puzzles. 293 . James Cole travels into the past to stop an attack attributed to the elusive "Army of the Twelve Monkeys". • The episode "Roswell That Ends Well" of the animated television series Futurama puts a more humorous spin on the paradox. rather than attack him. After killing the Empress. He has sex with her. When his robots are defeated.

only to later. explains that the surviving arm and CPU chip of the original Terminator was analyzed and found that the technology was so advanced. However when he does this by shooting him. in the film. Sayid Jarrah. In a not yet made movie. • In Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban. • In Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox. Harry is saved from the Dementors by a stag patronus. • In the Legacy of Kain video game series. Defiance ends in Raziel being stabbed by the Reaver. Soul Reaver 2.he himself casts the spell. One of them. Harry and his friends are alerted to the presence of the Minister for Magic when a rock hits Harry in the head. at different points of his life: once before he is conceived (by killing his mother. more specifically Soul Reaver. allowing his soul to be transferred to it. despite the fact that it has been a part of the weapon the whole time. Kyle Reese would have no reason to go back in time to protect Sarah. and thus John Connor would not have been born). In the second film Dr. several characters travel back into the 1970s. the manipulation and deceit towards various people on the show and caused much strife to Sayid personally including recruiting him to become an assassin during his wife's funeral. Hermione recognizes the same rock and throws it at Harry herself. implying that it was inevitable. the humans somehow successfully invaded the complex in which the time machine is placed. Sarah Connor). This is explained through use of a tangent universe and a physical and temporal theory. because of information he has learned since. and Defiance. manage to send someone else to the past so that the Connors can be protected. the machines send the T-800 and the humans send Kyle Reese: Kyle will be John Connor's father (that is. Spelltropy. a computer program that controls nearly the whole world in the future. which he kills at age 10 by handing to the Extinctionists. Donnie avoids death by a jet engine that appears out of nowhere. • In the Terminator films. however because of the purification his soul had gone through earlier the cycle is broken rather than beginning again. send the engine back in time himself so that he may die by it. In the present. At that time. he travels into the past to save the Silky Sifaka lemur. However. and a man who has committed various acts such as betraying the Dharma Initiative and causing their complete genocide by the Others. Dyson (Joe Morton). who follows Artemis into the future. Artemis's mother contracts the deadly magical disease. again when he is 10 years old (in Terminator 2: Judgment Day) and a final time a few days before Judgment Day happens (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines). Ben is taken to the Others where they state that they could heal him in a mysterious temple but. After traveling back in time. To save his mother.after watching himself being attacked and seeing that no one had produced the stag patronus. which is what starts the series. the leader of the Others. Artemis the elder meets Opal Koboi. but after traveling back in time. the future leader of the human resistance. sends a machine to the past in order to kill John Connor. "his innocence would be lost" and he would "always be one of them. Sayid actually caused him to become the evil manipulator that he is and caused all of the evil acts he committed. which causes Artemis to time-travel in the first 294 . Through the storyline of the 3 games it is learned that Raziel's soul must become part of the Reaver. In the past. they (humans) would have never invented the technology themselves and was used to create Skynet in the first place. • In the episode "He's Our You" of the television series Lost. whose soul is contained inside. In The Terminator. all the components and research were destroyed in an attempt to prevent Skynet. Similarly. he realizes he was the one who produced the patronus. including his learning of the reason that he must die. the lead scientist for the Skynet project. producing the stag patronus he had seen earlier." By trying to prevent Ben from doing the things he did. but in (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines) Skynet is built anyway without any information or components from the future. When Sayid meets Ben's younger version he believes that it is his destiny to kill him and prevent all of the bad things he does from ever happening. Opal gives Artemis's mother Spelltropy-like symptoms. he thought it was his dead father's spirit of some sort watching over him. He thereby negates all activity that occurred between the appearance of the engine and him sending it back. if Skynet had not have happened. encounters the younger version of Benjamin Linus. the predestination is evident in the Soul Reaver as well as Raziel. Skynet.Predestination paradox • The film Donnie Darko incorporates an example of fictional predestination paradox.

trying to shoot O'Malley with the rocket launcher only to shoot Tucker because of the launcher's highly defective targeting system and his inability to aim.Predestination paradox place. the conversation is overheard by Thickie Holden (who sleeps in the next bed) and he is able to patent the idea before young Rimmer can. but killing him because the captain is allergic to aspirin. In the process of returning to the present. thus activating the signal. and sees the apocalypse. falls in love with Yuri Hyuga. a vortex appears. When the present Kowalski spots his future selves. She also takes back a cross Yuri gave to her. to give his own younger self the idea of inventing the Tension Sheet instead. in an attempt to experience fame and fortune for himself. It's obvious the woman in the picture is Karin. She is gently rejected because Yuri still has feelings for the exorcist Alice Elliot. Arnold Rimmer. until at the end of the game when she is flung into the past and meets Yuri's father. • In the PlayStation 2 video game Shadow Hearts: Covenant Karin Koenig. who died in the previous game. and tells Kowalski to invent something that will not destroy the world. telling the tank and robot that they should not leave and build a robot army. • In The Penguins of Madagascar. and Martha to find the source of the Doctor's Daughter's signal. This causes Iron Man to become angry. while he is giving young Rimmer the idea. Donna. • In the Red Dwarf episode "Timeslides". Unrequited love does not stop her from fighting alongside Yuri. the Doctor is released from the Pandorica by Rory Williams. instead it was kept and later got stuck. A future Kowalski tells Private to convince his present self not to complete it. he tries to prevent certain things from happening. the future Kowalski then goes back in time to talk to Skipper. The cross becomes an Ontological paradox. the TARDIS takes the Doctor. thereby giving them the idea to do it. There you finally see a picture she is given earlier in the game by Yuri's aunt that shows his father. His attempts to communicate are ignored and mocked. He is rendered mute. Skipper simply states that Rico is a maverick who makes his own rules. trying to make the tank not kill him by disabling the friendly-fire protocol. After he decides to destroy the Chronotron. In the 2010 episode "The Big Bang". causing the destruction seen in his vision. 295 . This causes him to become rich and famous in the past and never get stuck on Red Dwarf. The present Kowalski activates the Chronotron and goes back in time to talk to Private. which later proves his death. unable verbally to warn people of his time of the impending destruction. using the sonic screwdriver supplied by the Doctor after his release. the TARDIS arrives early. However. • In the 2008 episode of Doctor Who: "The Doctor's Daughter". Dave Lister travels back in time using a mutated photograph of a pub in Liverpool where his band once played a gig to give his teenage self the idea of inventing the Tension Sheet (a stress relief tool invented by Fred 'Thickie' Holden. Rico then throws the Chronotron into the vortex. thus making her Yuri's mother. when the character Church is thrown back in time in Episode 50. which leads the Doctor to the accidental creation of his daughter. When Private points out that if Kowalski had not invented the Chronotron then he would not have gone back in the first place to tell himself not to make it. the episode "It's About Time" sees Kowalski constructing a time machine called the "Chronotron". in the process leading to everything becoming the way it was: kicking dirt on a switch hoping it to be replaced. he is turned into steel by a magnetic field. which is the same cross that belongs to his mother. mother and Yuri as a child. • In Red vs Blue. sealing it. a former classmate of Arnold Rimmer. She ends up being the only one staying in the past because she knows she is to become Yuri's mother and assumes the alias "Anne". • The Black Sabbath song "Iron Man" tells the story of a man who time travels into the future of the world. though. giving his captain painkillers to prevent a heart attack. which earned him millions). and have his revenge on mankind. therefore putting everything back to how it was at the start of the episode. one of the main protagonists. another Kowalski from the future tells Skipper to convince him to save the Chronotron. While a baffled Kowalski tries rationalizing that such a simple thing defies all laws of the universe. travels back even further in time to his school days. Unfortunately for Rimmer.

which eventually leads her to die in childbirth. prior to the events of Fallout 1. the prediction itself is what had set the chain of events in motion. he finds out from his future self from 5 years later that he is going to pass through a wormhole and end up in a parallel universe version of Earth in 1985 but after 8 whole series. Later. In his anger. The three Witches give Macbeth a prophecy that he will eventually become king. Yet there are examples of prophecies that happen slowly. he uses his power to hurt her. • In "Chariots of the Dogs". other prophecies foretelling his downfall are given. In the movie Minority Report. in What's new Beelzebub S&M give their past selves the egg and get the remote from them which. Optimus Prime assists in the creation of the Aerialbots who. 296 Prophecies Prior to the use of time travel as a plot device. the Dark Lord attempted to kill . Anakin Skywalker has visions of his wife dying in childbirth. When police chief John Anderton is implicated in a murder-to-be. as Macbeth is killed by a man who was never 'born' as the man was torn from his mother's womb by caesarean section. there is a side quest where the protagonist enters a time travel device and travels back in time to Vault 13. During this time travel period. in the later episode "War Dawn". but the offspring of his best friend will rule after him. if he had not believed his death was crucial in the rescue of the other castaways. murders are prevented through the efforts of three psychic mutants who can see crimes before they are committed. where he cannot stop himself from killing the other man. Macbeth kills his king and his friend Banquo. To stop the prophecy from coming true. • In Sam & Max Season Two there exist 2 examples of this paradox: • In "Ice Station Santa". His wife is heartbroken upon learning this and argues with him. this has never happened (although similar events happen in "Backwards"). and his search leads him inexorably to the scene of the crime. Rowling it is prophesied by Sybill Trelawney to Albus Dumbledore about the birth of a wizard "with the power to vanquish" Voldemort. K. thus starting the series of events of the first game and ultimately the birth of our hero. he falls to the dark side of the force and becomes Darth Vader. Sam and Max are given an egg by their future selves from "What's New. Shakespeare's Macbeth is a classic example of this. he sets out on a crusade to figure out why he would kill a man he has yet to meet. the self-fulfilling prophecy variant was more common. are sent back in time and become instrumental in the creation of Optimus Prime. Beelzebub?" who they also give a remote control too. creates a never ending cycle. once again. • In The Transformers episode "The Key to Vector Sigma". Many of the signposts on his journey to meet fate were predicted exactly as they occur. However it is still unknown how the egg got into the hands of the Future S&M's in the first place. In his attempt to gain enough power to save her.Predestination paradox • In the PC game Fallout 2. such as that he will not be attacked until a forest moves to his castle. Beelzebub?" they are saved by their past selves. In the end. fate is what drives the House of Macbeth mad and ultimately kills them. Sam and Max must save their future selves from being killed. In "What's New. thus ensuring their own creation in the future. In addition to these prophecies. In the Harry Potter Universe by J. After sabotaging the water chip the game informs us that the hero "feels better about his future". if at all. However when the event occurs. events happen slightly differently than in Desmond's vision and it is suggested that Charlie may have been able to save himself without jeopardizing the hopes of rescue. who relayed what he heard to Voldemort. this creates a never ending cycle of "save and later be saved. In Red Dwarf: "Stasis Leak". In Revenge of the Sith. and that no man ever born of a woman can kill him. the hero sabotages the vault's water chip. when Lister travels back in time to meet with Kochanski to marry her. Desmond has a vision in which Charlie pushes a button below a flashing light which allows the other castaways to be rescued just before he drowns. This prophecy was partly overheard by Severus Snape. In the end. the savers are later saved". In Lost. Desmond Hume's future flashes regarding Charlie's deaths eventually lead to his death.

a fourth source for information about Zeno and his teachings. that Zeno took on the project of creating these paradoxes because other philosophers had created paradoxes against Parmenides's view. explaining that Favorinus disagrees. then after some finite time. David (1973). Barry (1958). Achilles allows the tortoise a head start of 100 metres. It will then take Achilles . ” —Aristotle. (Parmenides 128d). California: McGill-Queen's University Press. but the fact that Voldemort will never turn his back on it. 126. They are also credited as a source of the dialectic method used by Socrates. and in particular that motion is nothing but an illusion. bringing him to the tortoise's starting point. 297 References [1] Dainton. makes it inevitable that Harry will have to kill Voldemort. The Man Who Folded Himself.[7] The Paradoxes of Motion Achilles and the tortoise “ In a race.[2] Some mathematicians. If we suppose that each racer starts running at some constant speed (one very fast and one very slow). Physics VI:9. But in a later passage. since the pursuer must first reach the point whence the pursued started. citing Favorinus. Random House.Predestination paradox Harry while he was an infant. the Dichotomy argument. Laertius attributes the origin of the paradox to Zeno. During this time. It is usually assumed. Plato makes Socrates claim that Zeno and Parmenides were essentially arguing exactly the same point (Parmenides 128a-b). p. Zeno's arguments are perhaps the first examples of a method of proof called reductio ad absurdum also known as proof by contradiction. based on Plato's Parmenides 128c-d. Harry is free to turn his back on it. Diogenes Laertius. Montreal. Aristotle offered a refutation of some of them. Zeno's paradoxes Zeno's paradoxes are a set of problems generally thought to have been devised by Zeno of Elea to support Parmenides's doctrine that "all is one" and that. 239b15 In the paradox of Achilles and the Tortoise. the quickest runner can never overtake the slowest. for which modern calculus provides a mathematical solution.[3] Some philosophers. but his curse backfired on him. say that Zeno's paradoxes and their variations (see Thomson's lamp) remain relevant metaphysical problems. the tortoise has run a much shorter distance. the belief in plurality and change is mistaken. contrary to the evidence of our senses.[4] [5] [6] The origins of the paradoxes are somewhat unclear. and therefore never rest until he has killed Harry. Thus Zeno can be interpreted as saying that to assume there is plurality is even more absurd than assuming there is only "the One".[1] Three of the strongest and most famous—that of Achilles and the tortoise. Achilles is in a footrace with the tortoise. say. or vice versa. ISBN 0-7735-2306-5 • Gerrold. however. and that of an arrow in flight—are presented in detail below. 10 metres. was the first to introduce the Achilles and the Tortoise Argument. Some of Zeno's nine surviving paradoxes (preserved in Aristotle's Physics[1] and Simplicius's commentary thereon) are essentially equivalent to one another. ISBN 1-932100-04-0. Dumbledore tells Harry several times that the prophecy is only true because the Dark Lord believes it. Time and Space. such as Carl Boyer. vanquishing him for 13 years in the process. so that the slower must always hold a lead. and transferring some of his powers to Harry. says that Zeno's teacher Parmenides. for example. Achilles will have run 100 metres. hold that Zeno's paradoxes are simply mathematical problems.

because there are an infinite number of points Achilles must reach where the tortoise has already been. but with a more apparent conclusion of motionlessness. he must complete the next quarter of the distance. 239b10 Suppose Homer wants to catch a stationary bus. This sequence also presents a second problem in that it contains no first distance to run. for any possible (finite) first distance could be divided in half. the trip cannot even begin. It is also known as the Race Course paradox. he must get a quarter of the way there. one-sixteenth. Therefore.[10] There are two versions of the dichotomy paradox. he must then cover the next eighth of the distance. The resulting sequence can be represented as: This description requires one to complete an infinite number of tasks. Reaching the next quarter. which Zeno maintains is an impossibility. Some.Zeno's paradoxes some further time to run that distance. In the other version. Before traveling a quarter. before Homer could reach the stationary bus. Hence. This argument is called the Dichotomy because it involves repeatedly splitting a distance into two parts. Before reaching the last half. and so all motion must be an illusion. Before he can get halfway there. while the tortoise moves ahead. There are thus an infinite number of steps that must first be accomplished before he could reach the bus. Before he can get there. and so on. by which time the tortoise will have advanced farther. . and then more time still to reach this third point. then the next sixteenth. Thus. and hence would not be first after all.[8] [9] 298 The dichotomy paradox “ That which is in locomotion must arrive at the half-way stage before it arrives at the goal. ” —Aristotle. he must travel one-eighth. before an eighth. he must reach half of the distance to it. It contains some of the same elements as the Achilles and the Tortoise paradox. regard the Dichotomy as really just another version of Achilles and the Tortoise. whenever Achilles reaches somewhere the tortoise has been. the dichotomy paradox is very much analogous to that of Achilles and the tortoise. Expressed this way. and so on. with no way to establish the size of any "last" step. he can never overtake the tortoise. The paradoxical conclusion then would be that travel over any finite distance can neither be completed nor begun. he still has farther to go. he must get halfway there. Physics VI:9. like Aristotle.

(See: Geometric series. nor to where it is not. To fully solve any of the paradoxes. passing each other on a race-course as they proceed with equal velocity in opposite directions. 239b5 In the arrow paradox (also known as the fletcher's paradox). because no time elapses for it to move there. one needs to show what is wrong with the argument. Through history. If everything is motionless at every instant.. He gives an example of an arrow in flight. then motion is impossible. the time needed to cover those distances also decreases. it cannot move to where it is. place too will have a place. ” —Aristotle. Diogenes the Cynic said nothing upon hearing Zeno's arguments. however. each row being composed of an equal number of bodies of equal size. this paradox starts by dividing time—and not into segments. and time is entirely composed of instants.. Whereas the first two paradoxes presented divide space. not just the conclusions. in order to demonstrate the falsity of Zeno's conclusions.[12] Three other paradoxes as given by Aristotle Paradox of Place: "… if everything that exists has a place.[11] It cannot move to where it is not. see Simplicius' commentary On Aristotle's Physics. He states that in any one (durationless) instant of time.[16] [17] Aristotle also distinguished "things infinite in respect of divisibility" (such as a unit of space that can be mentally divided into ever smaller units while remaining spatially the same) from things (or distances) that are infinite in extension ("with respect to their extremities"). the flying arrow is therefore motionless."[15] For an expanded account of Zeno's arguments as presented by Aristotle. because it is already there. In fact it does not of itself move even such a quantity of the air as it would move if this part were by itself: for no part even exists otherwise than potentially. at every instant of time there is no motion occurring. Aristotle (384 BC−322 BC) remarked that as the distance decreases.Zeno's paradoxes 299 The arrow paradox “ If everything when it occupies an equal space is at rest. the one row originally occupying the space between the goal and the middle point of the course and the other that between the middle point and the starting-post. so that the time needed also becomes increasingly small.involves the conclusion that half a given time is equal to double that time. among the earliest recorded being those of Aristotle and Archimedes."[13] Paradox of the Grain of Millet: "… there is no part of the millet that does not make a sound: for there is no reason why any such part should not in any length of time fail to move the air that the whole bushel moves in falling. but into points."[14] The Moving Rows (or Stadium): "The fourth argument is that concerning the two rows of bodies.[18] Before 212 BC. an object must change the position which it occupies. Zeno states that for motion to occur. several solutions have been proposed. and if that which is in locomotion is always occupying such a space at any moment. and so on ad infinitum. the arrow is neither moving to where it is. The Quadrature of the . but stood up and walked. 1/4 + 1/16 + 1/64 + 1/256 + · · ·. Physics VI:9. In other words. This. Proposed solutions According to Simplicius. Archimedes had developed a method to derive a finite answer for the sum of infinitely many terms that get progressively smaller.

and that discretization can therefore remove the paradox. These works resolved the mathematics involving infinite processes. become infinite. hence there is no infinite sequence of movements. However. is listed as convergent).[3] [19] Aristotle's objection to the arrow paradox was that "Time is not composed of indivisible nows any more than any other magnitude is composed of indivisibles. the assumption that space is made of finite and discrete units is subject to a further problem. and at appropriate points between those two points for intervening times. Without this assumption there are only a finite number of distances between two points. and one cannot reach even the beginning of a "last event"?[4] [5] [6] [31] Today there is still a debate on the question of whether or not Zeno's paradoxes have been resolved. In a theory like general relativity. i.[22] [23] Nick Huggett argues that Zeno is begging the question when he says that objects that occupy the same space as they do at rest must be at rest. none of the original ancient sources has Zeno discussing the sum of any infinite series. given by the "tile argument" or "distance function problem". That is. "Although Zeno's argument confounded his contemporaries.[12] Peter Lynds has argued that all of Zeno's motion paradoxes are resolved by the conclusion that instants in time and instantaneous magnitudes do not actually exist. if an infinite number of (non-instantaneous) events can be identified that need to precede the arrival at B. it could not be in motion). This presents Zeno's problem not with finding the sum. but also the distance to be travelled. and contends that all that is required for motion is that the arrow be at one point at one time. the paradox may be blocked. philosophers such as Brown and Moorcroft[4] [5] claim that mathematics does not address the central point in Zeno's argument. Another proposed solution is to question one of the assumptions of Zeno used in his paradoxes (particularly the Dichotomy). Simplicius has Zeno saying "it is impossible to traverse an infinite number of things in a finite time".[27] According to this. the amount of time taken at each step is geometrically decreasing. the length of the hypotenuse of a right angled triangle in discretized space is always equal to the length of one of the two sides. Burton writes. According to Hermann Weyl.[30] While mathematics can be used to calculate where and when the moving Achilles will overtake the Tortoise of Zeno's paradox. and so cannot have its motion fractionally dissected as though it does as in the paradoxes.[3] [28] Hans Reichenbach has proposed that the paradox may arise from considering space and time as separate entities. but rather with finishing a task with an infinite number of steps: how can one ever get from A to B. in contradiction to geometry. where the "reciprocals of powers of 2" series. Hence it does not follow that a thing is not in motion in a given time. Zeno's arguments are often misrepresented in the popular literature.[29] 300 The paradoxes in modern times Infinite processes remained theoretically troublesome in mathematics until the late 19th century. for time is not made up of instants any more than a magnitude is made of points."[21] Bertrand Russell offered what is known as the "at-at theory of motion". Jean Paul van Bendegem has argued that the Tile Argument can be resolved. which presumes a single space-time continuum. using more rigorous methods (see convergent series. In this view motion is a function of position with respect to time. wrote "Instants are not parts of time.e. and the paradox is resolved. equivalent to the Dichotomy Paradox."[20] Saint Thomas Aquinas.[24] [25] [26] Lynds argues that an object in relative motion cannot have a determined relative position (for if it did. The epsilon-delta version of Weierstrass and Cauchy developed a rigorous formulation of the logic and calculus involved. It agrees that there can be no motion "during" a durationless instant. a satisfactory . In The History of Mathematics. there is always another point. commenting on Aristotle's objection. at another point another time. These methods allow the construction of solutions based on the conditions stipulated by Zeno.Zeno's paradoxes Parabola. Zeno is often said to have argued that the sum of an infinite number of terms must itself be infinite–with the result that not only the time. which is that between any two different points in space (or time).) Modern calculus achieves the same result. and that solving the mathematical issues does not solve every issue the paradoxes raise. just because it is not in motion in any instant of that time. as we have already proved.

the many recurrences of this paradox in works of philosophy. in an essay entitled "Avatars of the Tortoise"."[4] 301 The quantum Zeno effect In 1977. the notion of a 'convergent infinite series. ignoring factors other than rebound. Escher. because of their simplicity and universality. the philosopher George Moore attempts a practical disproof with bow and arrow of the Dichotomy Paradox. Bach by Douglas Hofstadter. will always serve as a kind of 'Rorschach image' onto which people can project their most fundamental phenomenological concerns (if they have any). Lewis Carroll describes what happens at the end of the race. De compositie van de wereld (Amsterdam. The successive references he traces are Agrippa the Skeptic.Chapter I) discusses the race of Achilles and the tortoise when critiquing "historical science".H. Bradley and William James. Sudarshan and B. it's probably foolhardy to think we've reached the end. to predict an infinite number of bounces. Achilles fails in demonstrating the argument because the tortoise leads him into an infinite regression. • In the dialogue "What the Tortoise Said to Achilles".[37] [38] In systems design these behaviours will also often be excluded from system models. G. Writings about Zeno’s paradoxes Zeno’s paradoxes have inspired many writers • Leo Tolstoy in War and Peace (Part 11. C.[40] • In Tom Stoppard's play Jumpers. but Brown concludes "Given the history of 'final resolutions'. Jorge Luis Borges traces. 1980) is based on Zeno's Paradoxes mostly. showing their relationship with infinity.Zeno's paradoxes explanation incorporates a now-familiar idea. if they are not equivalent to non-Zeno behaviour. Thomas Aquinas. the various chapters are separated by dialogues between Achilles and the tortoise. . the system behaviour is called Zeno if it includes an infinite number of discrete steps in a finite amount of time. Hermann Lotze.[36] Some formal verification techniques exclude these behaviours from analysis. • Harry Mulisch's philosophical magnum opus. Misra studying quantum mechanics discovered that the dynamical evolution (motion) of a quantum system can be hindered (or even inhibited) through observation of the system. with disastrous consequences for the hare and the tortoise. The physics of a bouncing ball can be mathematically analyzed in such a way.[34] This effect is usually called the "quantum Zeno effect" as it is strongly reminiscent of Zeno's arrow paradox. since they cannot be implemented with a digital controller.[39] A simple example of a system showing Zeno behavior is a bouncing ball coming to rest.[35] Zeno behavior In the field of verification and design of timed and hybrid systems. It may be that Zeno's arguments on motion. F. • In Gödel.'"[32] Bertrand Russell offered a "solution" to the paradoxes based on modern physics. This effect was first theorized in 1958.[33] physicists E. Along with Herakleitos' thoughts and Cusanus' coïncidentia oppositorum they constitute the foundation for his own system of the 'octave'. from Aristotle onwards. inspired by Lewis Carroll’s works • The Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges discusses Zeno’s paradoxes many times in his work. The tortoise discusses with Achilles a simple deductive argument. Borges also used Zeno’s paradoxes as a metaphor for some situations described by Kafka.

250a20 (http:/ / classics. ISBN 0262082713.41." [4] Brown. edu/ Aristotle/ physics. Retrieved 5 March 2010. [8] "Math Forum" (http:/ / mathforum. Thomas. JSTOR 2251675. doi:10. Causality and Explanation (http:/ / books. Fishwick.J. Part 9 verse: 239b5. Carl (1959).Zeno's paradoxes 302 Notes [1] Aristotle's Physics (http:/ / classics.2 Achilles and the Tortoise" (http:/ / plato. Francis. . Wesley C. google. edu/ entries/ paradox-zeno/ #ZenInf). . The Review of Metaphysics. . philosophers. 1/3 s for next 1/4 m gain. Retrieved 26 February 2010. IX.23 and 9. Retrieved 2011-03-07. ISBN 1116719002. . Commentary on Aristotle's Physics. E. [24] Lynds.Itano. (1998). 7. "Are Zeno's Paradoxes Based on a Mistake?".Wineland (1990).41. ISBN 9781584885658.6 "Pathological Behavior Classes" in chapter 15 "Hybrid Dynamic Systems: Modeling and Execution" by Pieter J. Retrieved 2011-03-07. . edu/ entries/ paradox-zeno/ #Dic). the sum of which has no limit.. html). In this case. ed (1 June 2007). 6.2295I. Diogenes (about 230 CE). "If the paradoxes are thus stated in the precise mathematical terminology of continuous variables (. [35] Khalfin. IX (http:/ / classicpersuasion.18. but the times form a divergent series. [32] Burton. google.J. 2010. 1/4 s for next 1/8 m gain. Handbook of dynamic system modeling. Nick (2010). Book 6. mit.756M. org/ isaac/ problems/ zeno1. doi:10. [23] Salmon. Journal of Mathematical Physics 18 (4): 756–763. L.) the seeming contradictions resolve themselves. mit. Physics (http:/ / classics. . uk/ cafe/ paradox5. 6. Diogenes Laertius.2. html). google.523304 [34] W. stanford. Hardie and R. C. [6] Papa-Grimaldi. "Zeno's Paradox" (http:/ / www. boulder. edu/ entries/ paradox-zeno/ #AchTor). Dover [30] Lee. JSTOR 187807. B. . Kevin. Reflections on Relativity. edu/ 1197/ ) [25] Lynds. etc. "Zeno and the Paradox of Motion" (http:/ / www.J. html) [15] Aristotle Physics VI:9. D.A. com/ ?id=w3xKLt_da2UC& dq=zeno+ calculus& q=zeno#v=snippet& q=zeno). vi. wikisource. ISBN 978-0073383156 [33] Sudarshan. 295. Alba (1996). (1977). html) "Physics" by Aristotle translated by R.1063/1. [11] Laertius. com/ ?id=uPRbOOv1YxUC& pg=PA198& lpg=PA198& dq=at+ at+ theory+ of+ motion+ russell#v=onepage& q=at at theory of motion russell& f=false). Gaye [2] ([fragment 65]. "Zeno's Paradoxes: 3.. [31] Huggett. Nick (2010). Addison Wesley. Philosophy of Science (Belgium) 54 (2): 295–302. 1/6 s for next 1/32 m gain. Peter. stanford. Retrieved 2011-03-07. "15. in every case. Chapman & Hall/CRC Computer and Information Science (hardcover ed. com/ rr/ s3-07/ 3-07. Retrieved 6 June 2010. it/ keithalba/ timeandreality/ zeno_revmet. stanford. Nick (2010). 6. p. . [12] Huggett. Physics 6.1 The Dichotomy" (http:/ / plato.861 [22] Huggett. pp. ISBN 9780486605098. Bibcode 1977JMP.. edu/ Aristotle/ physics. The Mathworks. Harold (1965). Dover Publications. Boca Raton. [29] Hans Reichenbach (1958) The Philosophy of Space and Time. USA: CRC Press. edu/ entries/ paradox-zeno/ #Arr). Issue 4. Physics 6. Foundations of Physics Letter s (Vol. D. the distances form a convergent series. mathpages. 4. 239b33 (http:/ / classics. Peter. stanford. htm). Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. [5] Moorcroft. Soviet Phys.3 The Arrow" (http:/ / plato. html) [14] Aristotle Physics VII:5.9 [17] Aristotle's observation that the fractional times also get shorter does not guarantee. vi. wbabin. Zeno's Influence on Philosophy" (http:/ / plato. . Zeno's Paradoxes: a Timely Solution (http:/ / philsci-archive. Mosterman. passage 72.1023/A:1025361725408 [26] Ricker's critique of Lynds (http:/ / www." (http:/ / books. Inc. Nick (2010). [7] Diogenes Laertius. mit. "Pyrrho" (http:/ / en. .. co. [21] Aquinas. Jean Paul (1987). Misra. "Zeno's Paradoxes: 3. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. . htm).M.. nist. Archimedes developed a more explicitly mathematical approach than Aristotle. . 1951 [20] Aristotle. Mind (Oxford University Press) 74 (296): 563–570. p. 233a21-31 [19] George B. 1/5 s for next 1/16 m gain. edu/ Aristotle/ physics. that the task can be completed. doi:10. David. [18] Aristotle. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.. J. such as: 1/2 s for 1/2 m gain.2295. 198. 209a25 (http:/ / classics. K. webalice. McGraw Hill.Heinsen. JETP 6: 1053 [36] Paul A. P.. doi:10. Florida. pdf) [27] Geometrical Finitism (http:/ / plato. (1958).1103/PhysRevA. org/ wiki/ Lives_of_the_Eminent_Philosophers/ Book_IX#Pyrrho). while the distances decrease geometrically. iv. "The Zeno’s paradox in quantum theory". edu/ Aristotle/ physics. Lives. vii.). Nick (1999). Discontinuity. Time and Classical and Quantum Mechanics: Indeterminacy vs. stanford.org [9] Huggett. edu/ Aristotle/ physics.. "Quantum Zeno effect" (http:/ / www. [10] Huggett. ISBN 9780195108644. 16. "Discussion:Zeno's Paradoxes and the Tile Argument". pdf) (PDF). . "Why Mathematical Solutions of Zeno's Paradoxes Miss the Point: Zeno's One and Many Relation and Parmenides' Prohibition" (http:/ / www. com/ ?id=cM-eFv1m3BoC& pg=SA15-PA22). edu/ entries/ geometry-finitism/ ) [28] van Bendegem. G. The History of the Calculus and Its Conceptual Development (http:/ / books. htm). Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 9. mit. mit.. . Calculus and Analytic Geometry. A History of Mathematics: An Introduction. 15–22 to 15–23. Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers. "Zeno's Paradoxes: 3. "Zeno's Paradoxes: 5.29. gov/ timefreq/ general/ pdf/ 858. matchforum. VI. html) [16] Aristotle. [13] Aristotle Physics IV:1. One case in which it does not hold is that in which the fractional times decrease in a harmonic series. htm) 25ff and VIII 57) [3] Boyer. ISBN 0585092052.9. Bibcode 1990PhRvA. org/ pw/ diogenes/ dlzeno-eleatic.Bokkinger. Space From Zeno to Einstein. PRA 41 (5): 2295–2300. 2003). Retrieved 2011-03-07. .1086/289379. pitt. net/ science/ ricker34.

G. 2nd ed. Henzinger. . pp. Jorge Luis (1964). " Zeno meets modern science. Wolfram Demonstrations Project. Labyrinths. Addison-Wesley. • Kevin Brown on Zeno and the Paradox of Motion (http://www. R.M. Retrieved 2010-03-02. . ISBN 0-321-14306-X. International Journal for Robust and Nonlinear control. ISBN 0811200124. Johansson. Specifying Systems (http:/ / research. Z . H. John. pdf). Fowler (Translator). 128. Raven.. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. ISBN 0521274559. 2nd ed. [40] Borges. ISBN 0674991850. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. M. • Sainsbury. • Huggett. [39] Franck. • Plato (1926) Plato: Cratylus. "Zeno hybrid systems" (http:/ / aphrodite. Lesser Hippias.wolfram. which is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License. com/ en-us/ um/ people/ lamport/ tla/ book-02-08-08. 237–243. Retrieved 2011-03-07. microsoft.com/ ZenosParadoxAchillesAndTheTortoise/) by Jon McLoone.edu/entries/paradox-zeno/). [38] Zhang. Cambridge University Press. Jean-Francois (2002). (2003) Paradoxes. Leslie (2002) (PDF). Lygeros. "Zeno's Paradoxes" (http://plato. A Comparison of Control Problems for Timed and Hybrid Systems (http:/ / mtc.stanford. Retrieved 6 March 2010. .stanford. J. Jun. John (2008).edu/entries/zeno-elea/). External links • Silagadze.mathpages. Karl. S.arxiv. epfl. ISBN 0521483476. kth. London: Penguin. se/ ~kallej/ papers/ zeno_ijnrc01.htm) • Palmer. Nick (2010). "Zeno of Elea" (http://plato. Sastry.Zeno's paradoxes [37] Lamport. Thomas. Cambridge University Press.org/abs/physics/0505042)" • Zeno's Paradox: Achilles and the Tortoise (http://demonstrations. Retrieved 2010-02-28.com/rr/s3-07/3-07. N. ch/ ~tah/ Publications/ a_comparison_of_control_problems_for_timed_and_hybrid_systems. Cassez. html). (http://uk. Parmenides. s3. Raskin. Greater Hippias. K. 303 References • Kirk. E. pdf). Shankar (2001). Loeb Classical Library. This article incorporates material from Zeno's paradox on PlanetMath. Schofield (1984) The Presocratic Philosophers: A Critical History with a Selection of Texts. . p.

The Archimedes Paradox implies that if a mould of the hull of ship is made and a relatively small amount of water is placed in the mould. if its average density is less than that of water. entering either a subgiant or giant phase. the faster this evolution. Eventually. Thus the more massive star. then the ship will float. the Algol paradox is an apparently paradoxical situation when elements of a binary star seem to evolve in discord with the established theories of stellar evolution. Initially. rather than the less massive one." In the case of a ship. In the case of Algol and other binary stars we can observe something completely different: The less massive star is already a subgiant. named after Archimedes of Syracuse. disturbing the normal process of stellar evolution. and the star with much greater mass is still on the main-sequence. The paradox is resolved by the fact that in many binary stars. massive object can float in a relatively small volume of liquid. there can be a flow of material between the two stars. the evolutionary stage of the stars will advance. states that an object can float in a quantity of water that has less volume than the object itself. the originally more massive star will reach the next stage in its evolution despite having lost much of its mass to its companion. should have left the main sequence.304 Physics Algol paradox In stellar astronomy. If this upward force is greater than the weight of the ship. Archimedes paradox The Archimedes paradox. even as the relative masses change. this seems paradoxical as the partner stars of the binary are thought to have formed at approximately the same time and so should have similar ages. As the flow progresses. then the ship would float on the thin layer of water between itself and the mould. The implication of this is that a large. A fundamental feature of these theories is that the rate of evolution of stars depends on the mass of the star: The greater the mass of the star. provided that it is completely surrounded by it. provided that the water surrounds the hull completely and that the ship would have floated had it been in open water. the upward force exerted on it is equal to the weight of water of equal volume to the part of the ship that is submerged. Origin Archimedes' principle (also referred to as the Law of Buoyancy) states that "The buoyant force is equal to the weight of the displaced fluid. One extreme application of the paradox is that a battleship can float in a few buckets of water. even though the total volume of water is much less than the volume of the ship. . and the more quickly it leaves the main-sequence.

A modern approximation of such an experiment is often performed by car drivers who park too close to a curb. nasa. The fallacy is the assumption that the smaller wheel indeed traces out its circumference. too. without ensuring that it. References • Prof. External links • Can a Battleship Float on a Gallon of Water? [3] References [1] http:/ / www. the slipping is evidenced by a screeching noise. uiowa.Fluids at rest" [1]. which are apparently the wheels' circumferences. The car's outer tire rolls without slipping on the road surface while the inner hubcap both rolls and slips across the curb. Instead of a ship suspended in the water. ppt [2] http:/ / www. gov/ WWW/ K-12/ WindTunnel/ Activities/ buoy_Archimedes. The paths traced by the bottoms of the wheels are straight lines. so the wheels must have the same circumference. Physically. therefore the ship would also float. In other words. the bucket would remain suspended. The object merely needs to be surrounded by the fluid. In fact. Robert L. physics. there is a bijection between them. Nothing changes hydrostatically by replacing the bucket with a ship of equal or lower density than water (which it would have to be or else it would sink in open water anyway). The wheels roll without slipping for a full revolution. But the two lines have the same length. or floating. Merlino (2003). whose rims take the shape of two circles with different diameters. not the actual volume of water that is displaced by it. if two joined concentric wheels with different radii were rolled along parallel lines then at least one would slip.e.Archimedes paradox 305 Explanation The paradox originates from the fact that the volume of the immersed part of the object is important. imagine a lightweight bucket filled with water. no fluid needs to be actually displaced for Archimedes' principle to take effect. so the . rolls without slipping on a fixed surface. "Buoyancy: Archimedes Principle" [2]. Retrieved 2006-11-26. "Statics . One method offered to visualize the solution to the paradox is to conduct a simple thought experiment. Retrieved 2006-11-26.[1] Mathematically. This does not apply to physical wheels because they are made of discrete atoms. There are two wheels. com/ marilyn/ battleship. grc. edu/ ~rmerlino/ 6Fall06/ 6S06pp_L13. Since the density of the bucket of water is the same as the water in the dock. if a system of cogs was used to prevent slippage then the wheels would jam. it is impossible for both wheels to perform such motion. the number of points in the inner circle is equal to the number of points in the outer circle. • Carol Hodanbosi (1996). html Aristotle's wheel paradox Aristotle's wheel paradox is a paradox from the Greek work Mechanica traditionally attributed to Aristotle. html [3] http:/ / www. i. wiskit. contradicting the assumption that they have different sizes: a paradox. one within the other.

Further reading • Rota Aristotelica. Eric W. While J. . Mathematical Fallacies and Paradoxes. Bell's 1976 version[1] of the paradox is the most widely known. both spaceships start to accelerate. Therefore the string breaks. the spaceships themselves and the string undergo a length contraction to 80% of their length at rest. width and thickness (only their radii are different). in the spaceship launcher's reference frame the distance between the ships will remain constant while the elastic limit of the string is length contracted. because of the relativity of simultaneity. The situation from the viewpoint of an observer at rest: Above the spaceships at takeoff. Bell's thought experiment In Bell's version of the thought experiment.com/AristotlesWheelParadox.de/ cgi-bin/toc/toc. Van Nostrand Reinhold.wolfram. S. pp. Bell's spaceship paradox Bell's spaceship paradox is a thought experiment in special relativity involving accelerated spaceships and strings.. ISBN 0-442-24905-5. which are initially at rest in some common inertial reference frame. This allows before and after comparisons in suitable inertial reference frames in the sense of elementary special relativity. Bryan H. The captain of each ship shuts off his engine after this time period has passed. Their distance L remains the same.mpiwg-berlin. Question: Does the string break (i. At time zero in the common inertial frame.mpg.step=textonly) • Weisstein. as measured by an onboard clock. two spaceships.Aristotle's wheel paradox number of atoms of the larger wheel is greater if the wheels have the same density. it was first designed by E. are connected by a taut string. Note that one ship will observe the other accelerating differently from itself if the two ships are to accelerate identically in the original rest frame. Dewan and M. (1982).dir=hutto_dicti_078_en_1795. below at 60% of the speed of light. The Archimedes Project. html)" from MathWorld. The results of this thought experiment are for many people paradoxical. does the distance between the two spaceships increase in the reference frame of either spaceship)? In a minor variant. Digital Research Library (http://archimedes. so that at a certain point in time the string should break. both spaceships stop accelerating after a certain period of time previously agreed upon. According to discussions by Dewan & Beran and also Bell.cgi?page=1106. 306 References [1] Bunch. in such a way that they remain a fixed distance apart as viewed from the original rest frame. Beran in 1959[2] as an argument for the physical reality of length contraction. 3–9.e. " Aristotle's Wheel Paradox (http://mathworld.

The function f(t) depends on engine thrust over time and is the same for both spaceships. 307 Analysis In the following analysis we will treat the spaceships as point masses and only consider the length of the string. "Of course. For example. where both spaceships shut off their engines after some time period T. Bell goes on to add. however. Following this reasoning. . for t > 0. the distance L remains the same.[1] Later. Thus the details of the form of f(t) are not needed to carry out the analysis. an informal and non-systematic canvas was made of the CERN theory division. In other words. the position coordinate of each spaceship as a function of time is where f(0) is assumed to be equal to 0 xA(t) is the position (x coordinate) of spaceship A at time t xB(t) is the position (x coordinate) of spaceship B at time t a0 is the position of spaceship A at time 0 b0 is the position of spaceship B at time 0. This may be illustrated as follows. Matsuda and Kinoshita[5] reported receiving much criticism after publishing an article on their independently rediscovered version of the paradox in a Japanese journal. The displacement as a function of time along the x-axis of S can be written as a function of time f(t). in the spaceship launcher's reference system (which we'll call S) the distance L between the spaceships (A and B) must remain constant by definition.Bell's spaceship paradox Objections and counter-objections have been published to the above analysis. We will analyze the variant case previously mentioned. Note that the form of the function f(t) for constant proper acceleration is well known (see the article hyperbolic motion). many people who get the wrong answer at first get the right answer on further reflection". This argument applies to all types of synchronous motion.[3] while Edmond Dewan defends his original analysis from these objections in a reply. independent of time. stating only that these objections were written in Japanese. Matsuda and Kinoshita do not cite specific papers. According to Bell. which is a constant. Paul Nawrocki suggests that the string should not break. This implies that xA(t) − xB(t) = a0 − b0. According to the discussions by Dewan & Beran and also Bell.[4] Bell reported that he encountered much skepticism from "a distinguished experimentalist" when he presented the paradox. To attempt to resolve the dispute. a "clear consensus" of the CERN theory division arrived at the answer that the string would not break.

we can see that both spaceships will stop accelerating at events A′ and B′. This is an example of the relativity of simultaneity.Bell's spaceship paradox 308 Referring to the space-time diagram on the right. We can also say that the velocities of A and B in frame S. the line A′B″ is a line of constant t′ by definition. are equal to v. Mathematically. where so Calculate . Finally. The dotted lines are "lines of simultaneity" for observer A. after the end of the acceleration phase. which are simultaneous in the launching frame S. we can say that the length of the line segment A′B′ equals the length of the line segment AB. The line A′B″ is defined to be a line of constant t′. since both ends of the rope are marked simultaneously. we can represent the above statements by the following equation which results in In frame S′. Is the spacelike line segment A′B″ longer than the spacelike line segment AB? Transformed into a frame comoving with the spaceships. in terms of the coordinates in frames S and S′. From our previous argument. a time coordinate which can be computed from the coordinates in frame S via the Lorentz transform The world lines (navy blue curves) of two observers A and B who accelerate in the same direction with the same constant magnitude acceleration. and represents a line between the two ships "at the same time" as simultaneity is defined in the comoving frame. which is equal to the initial distance L between spaceships before they started accelerating. where t′ is the time coordinate in the comoving frame. We can also see from this space-time diagram that events A′ and B′ are not simultaneous in a frame comoving with the spaceships. we can say that the proper distance between spaceships A and B after the end of the acceleration phase in a comoving frame is equal to the Lorentz length of the line segment A′B″. the observers stop accelerating. At A' and B'.

Bibcode 1963AmJPh.[6] [7] In order for the two spaceships. John Stewart (1987).1941785. American Journal of Physics 30 (10): 771–772. Beran. (October 1962). An equivalent problem is more commonly mentioned in textbooks. American Journal of Physics (American Association of Physics Teachers) 27 (7): 517–518. "Note on stress effects due to relativistic contraction" (http:/ / scitation. Bibcode 1959AmJPh. org/ getabs/ servlet/ GetabsServlet?prog=normal& id=AJPIAS000030000010000771000001& idtype=cvips& gifs=yes).. Retrieved 2006-10-06. (May 1963). Bibcode 1962AmJPh. the distance between the spaceships appears to increase by the relativistic factor Consequently. The distorted intermolecular fields cause moving objects to contract. 1959).31.30.27. one can arrive at the same last equation with a bit less effort starting from the equation Remembering that (the two ships stop accelerating simultaneously in the "launching" frame S). .1119/1.. Rather than ask about the separation of spaceships with the same acceleration. using Maxwell's laws. Edmond M. when switching the description to the comoving frame. but appears occasionally in special relativity notes on the internet. and using the above formula and the definition of L. "Stress Effects due to Relativistic Contraction" (http:/ / scitation... American Journal of Physics 31 (5): 383–386. [4] Dewan. org/ vsearch/ servlet/ VerityServlet?KEY=AJPIAS& ONLINE=YES& smode=strresults& sort=chron& maxdisp=25& threshold=0& possible1=Note+ on+ stress+ effects+ due+ to+ relativistic+ contraction& possible1zone=article& fromyear=1959& fromvolume=27& OUTLOG=NO& viewabs=AJPIAS& key=DISPLAY& docID=1& page=1& chapter=0). doi:10. aip.. Edmond M. . aip.1969514. org/ getabs/ servlet/ GetabsServlet?prog=normal& id=AJPIAS000031000005000383000001& idtype=cvips& gifs=yes)..[7] References [1] Bell.1119/1.) . to maintain a constant proper distance. one easily gets Bell pointed out that the length contraction of objects as well as the lack of length contraction between objects in frame S can be explained physically. doi:10. Speakable and unspeakable in quantum mechanics. (March 20.Bell's spaceship paradox so 309 Therefore Thus. A widely available book which contains a reprint of Bell's 1976 paper [2] Dewan. the lead spaceship must have a lower proper acceleration. aip. the problem of Born rigid motion asks. Alternatively.. Retrieved 2006-10-06.771N. ISBN 0-521-52338-9. no such forces act on the space between objects. . Michael J.517D.1119/1. The Bell spaceship paradox is very rarely mentioned in textbooks.383D. the string is stretched. (Note that this reference also contains the first presentation of the ladder paradox. [3] Nawrocki. initially at rest in an inertial frame. This is the problem of Born rigid motion. "Stress Effects due to Lorentz Contraction" (http:/ / scitation. In contrast. "What acceleration profile is required by the second spaceship so that the distance between the spaceships remains constant in their proper frame?" The accelerations of the two spaceships must in general be different. Retrieved 2006-10-06. doi:10. Paul J. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.1996214. or to become stressed if hindered from doing so.

Gravitation. Thorne.(2009). and Kinoshita. Bell's spaceships.pp.springerlink. 307–312."Relativistic length expansion in general accelerated system revisited".aapps. Bibcode 1999AmJPh. Gravitation and Cosmology.com/content/j8kr55831h411365/> <http://www.2298> • Podosyonov S.pdf) • Franklin.1: L3–L5.(2010)"Relativistic length agony continued" <http://arxiv..30L.. "A Paradox of Two Space Ships in Special Relativity". European Journal of Physics (L3: Institute of Physics) 30.1088/0143-0807/30/1/L02. Bibcode 2010EJPh.org/archive/bulletin/vol15/15-5/15_5_p17p21. Jong-Ping. Jacques E. "Lorentz contraction. doi:10. Bibcode 2009EJPh. doi:10. USENET Relativity FAQ Further reading • Romain. H. arXiv:physics/9810017.16. 165. <http://www..ISSN 0202-2893. San Francisco: W. eprint version (http:/ / arxiv.A. and rigid body motion in special relativity".Vol. eprint version (http://www.V.576R.1919> • Redžić D.. Atsuya (2004). and Potapov A. <http://arxiv. Potapov A. [7] Nikolić. American Journal of Physics (American Association of Physics Teachers) 67 (11): 1007–1012.1007N.html) (1995).com/doc/38943606/Gravitation-and-Cosmology-BELL> . Kip S. doi:10..ucr..1969686. Freeman. "Letters And Comments: Comment on 'Note on Dewan-Beran-Bell's spaceship problem'"..1119/1. Jerrold (2010).edu/home/baez/physics/Relativity/SR/ spaceship_puzzle.. Nobuhiro (2005).. 2010. wdfiles. aip. pdf) [6] Misner.A. (1963). and Suzuki.31. org/ getabs/ servlet/ GetabsServlet?prog=normal& id=AJPIAS000067000011001007000001& idtype=cvips& gifs=yes). com/ local--files/ materialy/ space_ships.4623> • Peregoudov.<http://arxiv. American Journal of Physics 31 (8): 576–579. D V (2009).org/abs/0906.291F. • Hsu.. Charles.19161. "Relativistic contraction of an accelerated rod" (http:/ / scitation. Bell's Spaceship Paradox (http://math. AAPPS Bulletin February: ?.org/abs/0910.Bell's spaceship paradox [5] Matsuda.31.No..3P. European Journal of Physics 31 (2): 291–298..scribd. p. and Wheeler. eprint version (http:/ / skfiz. Podosyonov S. Association of Asia Pacific Physical Societies (AAPPS) Bulletin October: ?.org/abs/1005. "Extended Lorentz Transformations for Accelerated Frames and the Solution of the "Two-Spaceship Paradox"". doi:10.. Bibcode 1963AmJPh. . ISSN 01430807.1088/0143-0807/31/2/006. org/ abs/ physics/ 9810017) 310 External links • Michael Weiss. Hrvoje (6 April 1999).(2010) "A Study of the Motion of a Relativistic Continuous Medium". ISBN 0-7167-0344-0.1119/1. Takuya.67. "A Geometric approach to Relativistic paradoxes". John Archibald (1973).A.... OCLC 311827234 • Foukzon J.4. Retrieved 2006-10-07. Foukzon J.A.

online (http:/ / www."[1] References and notes [1] "This Month in Physics History . . reversibility. Artist's representation of a black hole There are two main principles at work: quantum determinism. the von Neumann entropy ought to be conserved. cfm) Black hole information paradox The black hole information paradox results from the combination of quantum mechanics and general relativity. Quantum determinism means that given a present wave function. Nr. aps. The solution for this paradox is that. org/ publications/ apsnews/ 200507/ history. It suggests that physical information could disappear in a black hole. The theory of Big Crunch suggests a same thing. 7. and a conserved Liouville measure. hence. This is a contentious subject since it violates a commonly assumed tenet of science—that in principle complete information about a physical system at one point in time should determine its state at any other time.[1] A postulate of quantum mechanics is that complete information about a system is encoded in its wave function. that the Universe will collapse by a bang at a point where all matter meets. but should all fall together to some central point. Vol. all the stars are not influenced by one gravitational force but there are many forces acting on the body. forcing it to be either temporarily stationary. Several proposals have been put forth to resolve this paradox. each star in the universe ought to be attracted towards every other star. Newton admitted as much in a letter to Richard Bentley. and unitarity implies that information is conserved in the quantum sense. if coarse graining is ignored. With quantum determinism. or to undergo very slight motion. 14. allowing many physical states to evolve into the same state. meaning that the past wave functions are similarly unique. The evolution of the wave function is determined by a unitary operator.Einstein's Biggest Blunder". July 2005. They should not remain motionless. APS News. at a constant distance from each other. Reversibility refers to the fact that the evolution operator has an inverse. an abstract concept not present in classical physics.Bentley's paradox 311 Bentley's paradox Bentley's paradox is a cosmological paradox pointing to a problem occurring when Newton's theory of the gravitation is applied to cosmology: "According to Newton. Stephen Hawking presented rigorous theoretical arguments based on general relativity and thermodynamics which threatened to undermine these ideas about information conservation in the quantum realm. a leading Cambridge philosopher of the time. its future changes are uniquely determined by the evolution operator. and reversibility.

The book carefully notes that the "war" was purely a scientific one. the result is a mixed state after the partial trace is taken over the interior of the black hole.. as the title of an article puts it. and one part of the entangled system is thrown into the black hole while keeping the other part outside. paying Preskill with a baseball encyclopedia "from which information can be retrieved at will". one would expect the Hawking radiation to be completely independent of the material entering the black hole. However. Hawking also conceded the 1997 bet. This violates Liouville's theorem and presents a physical paradox. who in 1997 bet Hawking and Kip Thorne that information was not lost in black holes. His argument assumes the unitarity of the AdS/CFT correspondence which implies that an AdS black hole that is dual to a thermal conformal field theory. which would resolve the information paradox[4] . With this. which was first proposed by 't Hooft but was given a precise string theory interpretation by Susskind. In November 2010. Thorne remains unconvinced of Hawking's proof and declined to contribute to the award. In July 2004.[3] There are various ideas about how the paradox is solved. . The Conformal Cyclic Cosmology advocated by Penrose critically depends on the condition that information is in fact lost in black holes.Black hole information paradox 312 Hawking radiation In 1975. More precisely. Stephen Hawking and Jacob Bekenstein showed that black holes should slowly radiate away energy. loss of unitarity in quantum systems is not a problem: quantum measurements are by themselves already non-unitary. the transformation of that state into the mixed state of Hawking radiation would d