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What the Tortoise Said to Achilles: Lewis Carroll’s Paradox in Terms of Hilbert Arithmetic

EasyChair Preprint no. 7280

32 pagesDate: December 30, 2021


Lewis Carroll, both logician and writer, suggested a logical paradox containing furthermore two
connotations (connotations or metaphors are inherent in literature rather than in mathematics or logics).
The paradox itself refers to implication demonstrating that an intermediate implication can be always
inserted in an implication therefore postponing its ultimate conclusion for the next step and those
insertions can be iteratively and indefinitely added ad lib, as if ad infinitum. Both connotations clear up
links due to the shared formal structure with other well-known mathematical observations: (1) the
paradox of Achilles and the Turtle; (2) the transitivity of the relation of equality. Analogically to (1), one
can juxtapose the paradox of the Liar (for Lewis Carroll’s paradox) and that of the arrow (for “Achilles
and the Turtle”), i.e. a logical paradox, on the one hand, and an aporia of motion, on the other hand,
suggesting a shared formal structure of both, which can be called “ontological”, on which basis “motion”
studied by physics and “conclusion” studied by logic can be unified being able to bridge logic and physics
philosophically in a Hegelian manner: even more, the bridge can be continued to mathematics in virtue of
(2), which forces the equality (for its property of transitivity) of any two quantities to be postponed
analogically ad lib and ad infinitum. The paper shows that Hilbert arithmetic underlies naturally Lewis
Carroll’s paradox admitting at least three interpretations linked to each other by it: mathematical, physical
and logical.

Keyphrases: Achilles and the Turtle, Equality, Hilbert arithmetics, Lewis Carroll’s paradox, paradox of the arrow, qubit Hilbert space, the Liar’s paradox

BibTeX entry
BibTeX does not have the right entry for preprints. This is a hack for producing the correct reference:
  author = {Vasil Penchev},
  title = {What the Tortoise Said to Achilles: Lewis Carroll’s Paradox in Terms of Hilbert Arithmetic},
  howpublished = {EasyChair Preprint no. 7280},

  year = {EasyChair, 2021}}
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