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241 pages, Paperback
First published January 1, 1978
My introduction to logic was at the age of six. It happened this way: On April 1, 1925, 1 was sick in bed with grippe, or flu, or something. In the morning my brother Emile (ten years my senior) came into my bedroom and said: "Well, Raymond, today is April Fool's Day, and I will fool you as you have never been fooled before!" I waited all day long for him to fool me, but he didn't. Late that night, my mother asked me, "Why don't you go to sleep?" I replied, "I'm waiting for Emile to fool me." My mother turned to Emile and said, "Emile, will you please fool the child!" Emile then turned to me, and the following dialogue ensued:
Emile: So, you expected me to fool you, didn't you?
Emile: But I didn't, did I?
Emile: But you expected me to, didn't you?
Emile: So I fooled you, didn't I!
Well, I recall lying in bed long after the lights were turned out wondering whether or not I had really been fooled. On the one hand, if I wasn't fooled, then I did not get what I expected, hence I was fooled. (This was Emile's argument.) But with equal reason it can be said that if I was fooled, then I did get what I expected, so then, in what sense was I fooled. So, was I fooled or wasn't I?
I shall not answer this puzzle now; we shall return to it in one form or another several times in the course of this book. It embodies a subtle principle which shall be one of our major themes.