Swords' Points: [Analysis 'Problem' no. 18]
Levin (Margarita R.)
Source: Analysis, Vol. 40, No. 2 (Mar., 1980), pp. 69-70
Paper - Abstract

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  1. Margarita Levin does not admit to seeing many of the difficulties with the story, and she is excessively phlegmatic about the arrival ex nihilo of a machine containing one eccentric human being and the remains of another. She also swallows rather uncritically the distinction between personal and external time. I think it is better to regard these alleged time-travellings as cases when whole cross-sections in the life of a human being, mental and physical, have got displaced (though this does not explain the travelling part, and David Lewis dispenses with it).
  2. But Mrs. Levin's views are the most level headed and carefully logical and, though her diagram is a bit inelegant, she is the only competitor except Miss Denruyter to have worked everything out correctly – better than I had myself in fact, for I had not realised that Jocasta, poor woman, could commit incest by only one act of sexual intercourse2.
  3. Since two competitors have accused me of sexism3, one overtly and one by implication, may I point out that both the winner and one of the runners up are women?


In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1: Taken from "Harrison (Jonathan) - Report on Analysis 'Problem' no. 18".

Footnote 2:
  • If you were to define 'incest' as having sexual intercourse with a person who was the product of your own previous act of sexual intercourse, then Jocasta would, so to speak, have committed a logically impossible crime.
Footnote 3: See my comment on "Harrison (Jonathan) - Analysis Problem No. 18: 'Jocasta's Crime'" (written independently).

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  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2019
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)

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