What the Tortoise Said to Achilles

Lewis Carroll | published Apr, 1895

added May 26, 2024
cover Image
First Date of Publication
Apr, 1895
Original Source
Additional Publication Information
Volume IV, Issue 14, April 1, 1885
Original Source Type
Magazine - Philosophy
Socratic Dialogue
Original Language
Kasman Review
Not in ISFDB
Other Links
Summary: A Socratic dialogue on logic, in classic Carrollian style.

Story Tag Line: Whatever Logic is good enough to tell me is worth writing down…

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  • Vijay Fafat
    Published on

    A very short dialogue-story, where the Tortoise teaches Achilles that in the strictest sense of Logic, the process of inference from even 2 propositions to an almost automatically-implied third proposition involves an infinity of intermediate propositions, making it an infinite schema. The logic of that Logic is infuriating and an objection hard to nail down. To illustrate this, the Tortoise uses the statements of the First Proposition of Euclid and befuddles Achilles over the next couple of pages. In the end, Achilles proposes that the Tortoise be renmed, “Taught-Us”, and in response, the Tortoise proposes the other be called, “A Kill-ease”…

    While this “story” is a piece of pedagogic catechism in the tradition of a seeker and the teacher, I suspect most people would categorize it as mathfiction since axioms & axiom-schemas, deductions, etc are all at the base of mathematics. And this story starts off with Euclid…