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Catch Me If You Can - Thought Experiment

Philosophy : Thought Experiments

"I'm going to win the race - if only you give me a headstart" said the tortoise to the hare.

"Fine - I'm much quicker than you, so have as much a start as you want".

They shook hands, and the tortoise set off at, well, tortoise pace. After it had moved fifty metres, the hare set off. Sure enough, as the hare had predicted, he soon zipped past the tortoise and won the race whist the tortoise still had a fair way to go.

The tortoise scratched his shell and wondered how it had happened. In the time it took the hare to cover the fifty metres lead, he had moved forward a small amount. Then in the time it had taken the hare to catch up that new distance, he had moved a little further forward again, and so on.

So how on earth could the hare catch him as he had always moved slightly forward in the time it took the hare to catch up on the previous distance he had moved? This really was most confusing; the logic seemed compelling yet something was clearly going wrong!


By: Dan

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