Buridan's Ass

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Buridan’s Ass


ASS, a story ascribed to Buridan about a don-key that could not decide between two absolutely identical piles of hay and was doomed to starvation by his indecision. Metaphorically, an indecisive person.

Buridan’s ass

placed exactly between two equal haystacks, could not decide which to turn to in his hunger. [Fr. Philos.: Brewer Dictionary, 154]
See: Dilemma
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References in periodicals archive ?
As we shall see, those who (implicitly or explicitly) adhere to the univocity assumption cannot accept the decisional impotence one finds in Buridan's ass cases, and so devise ways to avoid it.
Mark Balaguer, for instance, distinguishes Buridan's ass scenarios from "torn" decisions.
Chapter One, on "Choice Without Preference: The Problem of Buridan's Ass," considers how it is possible to make a rational choice with symmetric desires.
In the famous philosopher's paradox of Buridan's Ass, the logical donkey cannot choose between equal piles of fodder, and starves as a result.