Franck

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About Franck

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  1. Franck added a post in a topic Crocodile Sophism   


    "If you guess correctly what I will do with him, I will return him.
    However, if you don't predict his fate correctly, I'll eat him."

    The problem with your translation is that you changed the whole outcome. The verb "to guess" is to establish an assumption based on little or no information as in "Guess who is coming for dinner!" or "Guess what I'm thinking of!"; the verb to predict however means to describe an outcome for an event that will occur in the future based on events that have occured in the past or are occuring at the time of the prediction as in "I predict it will be sunny tomorrow!" or "I predict he will be mad when he finds out!"

    The common setup of the story's conditions are:

    "If you guess what I will do with him, I will return him.
    However, if you don't guess, I'll eat him."

    With your conditions:

    Assuming the intention of the crocodile is to not eat the boy
    if the mother guesses the boy will not be eaten the boy will be returned because she guessed correctly
    if the mother guesses the boy will be eaten, the boy will be eaten because she predicted incorrectly

    Assuming the intention of the crocodile is to eat the boy
    if the mother guesses the boy will not be eaten, the boy will be eaten because she guesses incorrectly
    if the mother guesses the boy will be eaten, the boy will be eaten because in order to establish whether a prediction is true, the event have to happen

    With the original conditions:

    Assuming the intention of the crocodile is to not eat the boy
    if the mother guesses the boy will not be eaten the boy will be returned because she guessed
    if the mother guesses the boy will be eaten, the boy will be returned because she guessed

    Assuming the intention of the crocodile is to eat the boy
    if the mother guesses the boy will not be eaten, the boy will be eaten because she guesses incorrectly
    if the mother guesses the boy will be eaten, the boy will be eaten because the condition was for her not to guess
    if the mother doesn't say anything, the boy will be eaten because she is not saying anything to ask for saving the boy's life

    This said, with or without semantics, the life of the child is solely controlled by the crocodile because the beast has to honor his original proposition to the mother. Because the problem statement starts with a description of the crocodile as slim, it's probable that the crocodile has not been eating very well and thus intending to eat the child, therefore there is no answer about the fate of the child that would prevent him from having a meal.




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