The world's person

The world's oldest person keeps dying over and over again. I am getting suspicious that this person ever died to begin with. I argue the world's oldest person never dies. What is wrong with that argument? 

asked on Wednesday, Mar 31, 2021 11:27:18 AM by Shawn

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Bo Bennett, PhD

Confusing the being with the being currently associated with the title. It is a form of equivocation .

The world's oldest person keeps dying over and over again. 

This is incorrect. If we say that "the world's oldest person" is referring to a specific person, then it is incorrect that the specific person has died more than once. If we say that "the world's oldest person" is referring to the person whomever happens to hold that title at the time, then it is incorrect because each person who held that title died just once.

answered on Wednesday, Mar 31, 2021 12:54:07 PM by Bo Bennett, PhD

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LogicG writes:

This seems to confirm a hypothesis but I might be in a confirmation bias.

posted on Thursday, Apr 01, 2021 08:14:05 AM

As an attempt at logic, the sequence is equivocating between "the currently oldest person" and "all those who were the oldest when they died".   The "this person" could be taken as either, depending on how one wanted to argue.

As an attempt at humour, the sequence is essentially an expanded pun ... not a word with double meaning; rather the concept of "world's oldest person" having double meaning.

answered on Thursday, Apr 01, 2021 10:38:28 AM by Arlo

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LogicG writes:

"The world oldest person" is not a plural.

Is it not the case that the reading could only be "the currently oldest person" unless there exists other clues?

posted on Thursday, Apr 01, 2021 11:40:49 PM