# Readers ask: If A Barber Shaves Everyone That Doesn’t Shave Themselves Then Who Shaves The Barber?

## Who shaved the barber?

…to be known as the barber paradox: A barber states that he shaves all who do not shave themselves. Who shaves the barber? Any answer contradicts the barber’s statement. To avoid these contradictions Russell introduced the concept of types, a hierarchy (not necessarily linear) of elements and sets such that…

## How do you solve the barber paradox?

Answer: If the barber shaves himself then he is a man on the island who shaves himself hence he, the barber, does not shave himself. If the barber does not shave himself then he is a man on the island who does not shave himself hence he, the barber, shaves him(self).

## What is the Russell Barber paradox?

Russell’s paradox is based on examples like this: Consider a group of barbers who shave only those men who do not shave themselves. Suppose there is a barber in this collection who does not shave himself; then by the definition of the collection, he must shave himself. But no barber in the collection can shave himself.

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In the Barber’s Paradox, the condition is “shaves himself”, but the set of all men who shave themselves can’t be constructed, even though the condition seems straightforward enough – because we can’t decide whether the barber should be in or out of the set. Both lead to contradictions.

## Can the barber shave himself?

The barber is the “one who shaves all those, and those only, who do not shave themselves”. The barber cannot shave himself as he only shaves those who do not shave themselves. Thus, if he shaves himself he ceases to be the barber.

## Does the barber cut his own hair?

Sometimes barbers will cut their own hair, but more often they will trade with another barber in the same shop as part of professional courtesy. A barber who is really skilled at cutting hair can do a pretty great job at cutting their own hair, but sometimes cutting the back of the head back can be a little tricky.

## What are examples of paradox?

Here are some thought-provoking paradox examples:

• Save money by spending it.
• If I know one thing, it’s that I know nothing.
• This is the beginning of the end.
• Deep down, you’re really shallow.
• I’m a compulsive liar.
• “Men work together whether they work together or apart.” – Robert Frost.

## How many types of paradoxes are there?

• ACHILLES AND THE TORTOISE.
• THE BOY OR GIRL PARADOX.
• GALILEO’S PARADOX OF THE INFINITE.
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## Can a set contain itself?

No: it follows from the axiom of regularity that no set can contain itself as an element. (Any set contains itself as a subset, of course.) And that’s a good thing, because sets containing themselves is exactly the kind of thing that leads to Russell’s paradox and other associated problems.

A mathematical paradox is a mathematical conclusion so unexpected that it is difficult to accept even though every step in the reasoning is valid. Since both are infinite, they are for both practical and mathematical purposes equal.

## Why does Russell have a paradox?

The significance of Russell’s paradox is that it demonstrates in a simple and convincing way that one cannot both hold that there is meaningful totality of all sets and also allow an unfettered comprehension principle to construct sets that must then belong to that totality.