buridans ass

World English Dictionary
Buridan's ass (ˈbjʊərɪdənz)
philosophy an example intended to show the deficiency of reason. An ass standing equidistant from two identical heaps of oats starves to death because reason provides no grounds for choosing to eat one rather than the other
[named after Jean Buridan, 14th-century French philosopher, to whom it was incorrectly attributed]

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