Solution to Russell’s Paradox

It’s nearly 3:00 A.M. in the morning. I had surgery a couple of days ago. On my way back home from the hospital, my stepfather reminded me of Russell’s Paradox. He stayed with me during my hospital stay and has always been a dear friend to me, so it is in the spirit of friendship that I thought I would propose my solution to Russell’s Paradox for him. I previously typed this solution on Facebook at about 2:30 A.M. today (4/1/2019). And here, for your reading pleasure, is my full solution:

Regarding Russell’s Paradox: I propose the Barber does, in fact, shave himself. Here’s how: Break ^Barber^ into two roles: 1. Customer and 2. Barber. As a Barber, he shaves the Customer’s beard. Voila! (Jennifer Lawson, Facebook, 4/1/2019)

It appears to me, after thinking about the paradox, that Russell actually perplexes us by being vague with the concept of roles a person may have. But imagine this: Let’s call the Barber ‘Joe’. At one point, Joe may have the hands of a Barber and the face of a customer, yet be the very same self. During this time, he is, in fact, shaving himself and participating in two distinct roles in life. This is not an uncommon practice for many. For example, when I prepared food at Woody’s BBQ during college, I prepared food for people who did not prepare food for themselves. I also, many a night, prepared food for myself.

Russell’s Paradox only seems paradoxical when we forget the different roles we may have in our practical experience.

-Jennifer Lawson

Author: Jennifer Lawson

Philosopher. That is all.

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