• Hans van DitmarschEmail author
  • Barteld Kooi


At a trial a prisoner is sentenced to death by the judge. The verdict reads “You will be executed next week, but the day on which you will be executed will be a surprise to you.” The prisoner reasons as follows. “I cannot be executed on Friday, because in that case I would not be surprised. But given that Friday is eliminated, then I cannot be executed on Thursday either, because that would then no longer be a surprise. And so on. Therefore the execution will not take place.” And so, his execution, that happened to be on Wednesday, came as a surprise.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LORIA, CNRSUniversité de LorraineVandoeuvre-lès-NancyFrance
  2. 2.Faculty of PhilosophyUniversity of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands

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