[FOM] 23 syllables
T.Forster@dpmms.cam.ac.uk
T.Forster at dpmms.cam.ac.uk
Thu Dec 7 05:28:38 EST 2006
One does wonder whether or not this might be an arch little Quine joke: he
was a syntax buff, after all. It should - of course(!) - read ``*fewer*
than nineteen syllables'' not ``*less* than nineteen syllables''.
There's the extra syllable and with it your solution!
On Dec 6 2006, henri galinon wrote:
>Dear FOMers,
> in his essay "The ways of paradox", Quine has a passage on Berry's
>paradox. At the very end of the passage (last remark of the following
>quote), he offers the reader a little amusing game (implicitly at
>least) by hinting at a solution. My question is : what is Quine's
>"solution" ?
>
> I quote the entire relevant passage :
>
>" Ten has a one-syllable name. Seventy-seven has a five-syllable
>name. The seventh power of seven hundred seventy-seven has a name
>that, if we were to work it out, might run to 100 syllables or so;
>but this number can also be specified more briefly in other terms. I
>have just specified it in 15 syllables. We can be sure, however, that
>there are no end of numbers that resist all specification, by name or
>description, under 19 syllables. There is only a finite stock of
>syllables all together, and hence only a finite number of names or
>phrases of less than 19 syllables, whereas there are an infinite
>number of positive integers. Very well, then ; of those numbers not
>specifiable in less than 19 syllables, there must be a least. And
>here is our antinomy : the least number not specifiable in less than
>nineteen syllables is specifiable in 18 syllables. I have just so
>specified it.
>The antinomy belongs to the same family as the antinomies that have
>gone before. For the key word of this antinomy, "specifiable", is
>interdefinable with "true of". It is one more of the truth locutions
>that would take on subscripts under the Russell-Tarski plan. The
>least number not specifiable-0 in less than nineteen syllables is
>indeed specifiable-1 in 18 syllables, but it is not specifiable-0 in
>less than 19 syllables ; for all I know it is not specifiable-0 in
>less than 23."
>
>
>Best,
>
>H.G.
>PhD student
>Paris, France
>_______________________________________________
>FOM mailing list
>FOM at cs.nyu.edu
>http://www.cs.nyu.edu/mailman/listinfo/fom
>
More information about the FOM
mailing list