Comment: No. Here's what is meant in this paradox

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No. Here's what is meant in this paradox

No. Here's what is meant in this paradox:

The village has grown men (besides women and kids, certainly, but irrelevant otherwise).

The village has exactly one barber, who is one of them men.

And, further, the property (i.e., specification) of interest of that village is its men fall in either of two, and only two groups, exclusive from each other:

Group 1: men who shave themselves

Group 2: men who don't, and for those, the barber has to shave them, and only them (since men who shaves themselves are dealt with in group 1)

Men either can shave themselves or they can't. When they can't, only the single barber is able to shave them. That's why we call him the barber.

Same question:

who shaves the barber ?

Hints :

if the barber doesn't shave himself, he is in group 2, and then he has to shave ... the barber, himself, which puts him in group 1 : it's a contradiction.

if the barber shaves himself, he is in group 1, and then he isn't supposed to shave himself, because of the very definition of his role, for shaving men of group 2 only. Contradiction again.


the barber cannot shave himself and cannot NOT shave himself either; that's the paradox: such a village and barber cannot possibly exist as defined.

The paradox relies on a specification flaw however; can you spot it ?

It's a classic. You can also lookup the liar paradox, and how all that relates to the foundations of modern Set Theory (as opposed to the naive set theory where such paradoxes would surface easily as we just saw)

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius