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Dialogue and Universalism

Volume 15, Issue 3/4, 2005

Sources and New Dreams of Western Wisdom

Sharon M. Kaye
Pages 137-146
DOI: 10.5840/du2005153/452

Buridan’s Ass
Is There Wisdom in the Story?

This paper discusses Buridan’s Ass as a thought experiment that has been misunderstood. First, the thought experiment is presented in its traditional form and typical objections to it are discussed. Then the author argues that William of Ockham supplies the background necessary for a more meaningful formulation. Buridan’s Ass is designed to show that each individual must choose how to value the value we discover in the world and that, in so doing, we create individual preferences.

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