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

Word Origin for Buridan's ass

named after Jean Buridan, 14th-century French philosopher, to whom it was incorrectly attributed
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012