Wednesday, 29 July 2015
What a dilemma!
The Bald Man Paradox, it goes something like this: If a man loses one hair, he will still have a full head of hair but if he loses enough hairs he will become bald. As you can see, there is no particular number of hairs whose loss marks the transition to baldness.
So, how can this small series of changes, each of which makes no difference to having a full head of hair, make a difference to his having a full head of hair?
This is a perfect example of an old ancient paradox called, "Sorites" from the Greek word meaning, to heap. Another example would be removing one grain of sand from a beach. It doesn't make a difference to the beach whether one grain of sand is missing or not, but lose enough grains and you'll soon have a rocky beach.
The paradox happens when a heap becomes a non-heap by the assumption that removing one grain of sand enough times that the remaining last one grain of sand will it still be called a heap or if possible, suppose none are left, is it still called a heap? If not when did the change from a heap to a non-heap happen.
The Bald Man Paradox, what a dilemma!
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