Photo by Brett Jordan
The paradox content imperative is a blast to expose students to. Here are three famous paradoxes to delight and confound your deep thinkers:
- This sentence is false.
- In a town, there is one male barber. Every male in town keeps himself clean-shaven. Some men shave themselves. The rest go to the barber. The barber shaves only those men in town who do not shave themselves. Does the barber shave himself?
- There are two sign-makers, Cellini and Bellini. Cellini always writes false signs, and Bellini always writes the truth. A sign says “Cellini wrote this.” Is this possible?
My favorite student comment after working through the these: “My brain just exploded!”
Here’s a less mind-blowing bonus from Yogi Berra: “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”
Do you have some fun paradoxes to share with students? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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