28 - Ours is a reluctant genie. He shrinks from the thought...

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Unformatted text preview: Ours is a reluctant genie. He shrinks from the thought of reaching 1. In fact, being a rational genie, he shows his repugnance against reaching 1 by shrinking so that the ratio of his height at any point to his height at the beginning of the race is always equal to the ratio of the unrun portion of the course to the whole course. He is full grown at 0, half-shrunk at , only 1/8 of him is left at 7/8, etc. His instructions are to continue in this way and to disappear at 1. Clearly, now, he occupied every point to the left of 1 (I can tell you exactly when and how tall he was at that point), but he did not occupy 1 (if he followed instructions, there was nothing left of him at 1). Of course, if we must say that he vanished at a point, it must be at 1 that we must say that he vanished, but in this case, there is no temptation whatever to say that he occupied 1. He couldnt have. There wasnt enough left of him. The mistake in Thomsons argument (which tries to show that a contradiction can be derived...
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This note was uploaded on 01/31/2011 for the course PHILOSOPHY 101 taught by Professor Markelwin during the Summer '09 term at UC Davis.

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