Barber paradox

The barber paradox is a bit of mental gymnastic derived from Russel’s paradox, that shows that an apparently plausible scenario is allegedly logically impossible:

Suppose there is a town with just one barber, who is male. In this town, every man keeps himself clean-shaven, and he does so by doing exactly one of two things:

  1. shaving himself; or
  1. being shaved by the barber.

Also, “The barber is a man in town who shaves all those, and only those, men in town who do not shave themselves.”

Starting from this, one is supposed to ask the question “Who shaves the barber?”, which allegedly leads to the paradox…

In this day and age the solution ought to be simple though; the barber is logically a woman*. Simple as that!

*) At least in Norwegian that is – the term “a man” is often used (correctly or incorrectly) as a somewhat genter neutral way of saying “a person”.

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