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Single Idea 19740

[catalogued under 2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 9. Limits of Reason]

Full Idea

The man who, though exceedingly hungry and thirsty, and both equally, yet being equidistant from food and drink, is therefore bound to say where he is.

Gist of Idea

A very hungry man cannot choose between equidistant piles of food


Aristotle (On the Heavens [c.336 BCE], 296b33)

A Reaction

This is, of course, Buridan's famous Ass, but this quotation has the advantage of precedence, and also of being expressed in an original quotation (which does not exist for Buridan).

Book Reference

Aristotle: 'The Basic Works of Aristotle', ed/tr. McKeon,Richard [Modern Library Classics 2001], p.433

Related Idea

Idea 1403 A rational donkey would starve to death between two totally identical piles of hay [Buridan, by PG]