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Crocodile Sophism

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#21 randallrrowland



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Posted 12 July 2007 - 09:39 PM

If the mother says "you will eat him, and she is right, she will get him back." If she is wrong she at least ensures that the croc will not eat the child. So then she can get him back. yo yo
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#22 Garrek99


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Posted 12 July 2007 - 11:31 PM

If the mother says "you will eat him, and she is right, she will get him back." If she is wrong she at least ensures that the croc will not eat the child. So then she can get him back. yo yo

No Big guy, if the mom says "you will eat him" and she is right then it will be too late for the poor sucker cause he will be eaten and that's the only way that the mom can be right with her statement.
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#23 pumpkinpye



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Posted 13 July 2007 - 12:03 AM

The crocodile would say ... "if you guess correctly" the mothers answer would be that the croc would give the child back.
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#24 Smiffy13



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Posted 15 July 2007 - 10:30 AM

Well that wouldmean shewould have to be a psychic. Or maybe if she says he'll eat him, then if he eats him that would be his fate, and OOPS! This is a variation on a man in court for something and he hasto say something. If its true he gets boiled in water, ifnot fried in oil. If he says he'll be fried in oil he gets set free because if he does get fried in oil then its true so he should be boiled in water. If he's boiled in water it's false so he should have been fried in oil anyway.
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Posted 16 July 2007 - 12:08 PM

Maybe I’m being dense but the answer to this seems some what obvious... in fact there are 2 possible answers depending on how you interpret it.

Firstly, as Cyr|s pointed out the croc only asks the mother to guess what he will do, as apposed to guess correctly. Therefore what ever the mother guesses the child will be fine...

However, if you don't guess his fate I'll eat him.

she only needs to guess his fate to save him.

But even if the croc was asking her to guess correctly, she should just say that he will eat the child. He says that if she doesn’t guess the fate of her child (correctly) he will eat him. So, although she can never be right, per se, the croc will be unable to eat the child because if he does then the mother was correct and so he must return the child. But even if the crocodile was planning to, say, tickle the child the mothers guess is therefore incorrect but this then means the croc eats the child making the mothers guess correct. So, with this statement she can't be incorrect and so the child will never get eaten...
This made sense when I wrote I hope it makes sense to read aswell.

p.s. there is a reason this crocodile is slim... he's not as clever as he thinks...
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#26 bukbonzai



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Posted 16 July 2007 - 10:11 PM

she simply has to guess he will give the child back...
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#27 bonanova



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Posted 20 July 2007 - 09:34 AM

Remember the question to answer is:
What statement shall the mother make to save her child?

First, let's ask: has the croc already decided what he'll do?

[1] Yes. [this is suggested by "if you don't guess his fate ..."]

The answer in this case is: Nothing the mother says can
affect whether the child is eaten or returned. It's a fallacy
to suggest there are Mother's words that will force the return
of her baby. Its fate is sealed; not open to negotiation.

Not a satisfying result for the puzzle solver or the mother.
Poor baby.

[2] No. [this is suggested by "If you guess [correctly] ... then I will ..."]

In this case, what the croc will do is determined by the
response of the mother. And the task is to construct a
reply which will logically bind the croc to return the child.

The best solution is reply that he will choose, and his choice
will be either to eat or to return. This is a clever approach
because it seems to cover all the bases and force the baby's

But by assuring the baby's return, the mother seals its fate:
The croc merely says, "sorry, but you're wrong. I'll prove
you're wrong by eating the baby, and thus fulfill my word which is ...
[read carefully]:

If you don't guess his fate I'll eat him.

[Only because] she secured his return by her clever answer,
she wrongly guessed its fate.

The croc had dinner that night.

Another unsatisfactory result.

Personally, I like the strategy mentioned above of threatening
the croc with unbelievably heinous consequences if the baby is
not returned.

Always appeal to enlightened self interest.
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Vidi vici veni.

#28 tatiana



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Posted 28 July 2007 - 09:20 AM

i'm not sure u guys think like i do caus i would say you will not eat my child caus if he thinks its a lie he would eat the child which would make the statment true
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#29 aberrantgenus



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Posted 01 August 2007 - 02:32 AM

The croc says paraphrased If you dont guess his phate then I shall eat him. The croc does not intend to eat the child unless the mother guesses wrong. so she should guess that he would give the child back.

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#30 youchan



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Posted 03 August 2007 - 10:02 AM

the crocodile deal is he will not eat the child if the mother guess what he would do to the child..obviously he will eat it..
but does the mother sure if the crocodile will give the baby back? well, the crocodile might say that she`s wrong..so the crocodile can eat the child..
so, all she must do is not to answer the crocodile..and w8 4 a perfect time to took her child from the crocodile..
hehe..was it funny?
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