Introducing Raymond Smullyan


One day, when a speaker was introducing logician and puzzlist Raymond Smullyan, he remarked that “Professor Smullyan is unique.”

Smullyan, who was feeling playful that day, said, “I’m sorry to interrupt you Sir but I happen to be the only one in the entire universe who is not unique.”

On another event, Smullyan was introduced by his former student Professor Melvin Fitting at a mathematics lecture with this: “I now introduce Professor Smullyan who will prove to you that either he doesn’t exist or you don’t exist, but you won’t know which.”

This was a reference to one of the proofs provided by Smullyan in What is the Name of this Book (1978) which said that either Tweedledee or Tweedledum exists, but there is no way to find out which.


Raymond M. Smullyan, The Gödelian Puzzle Book: Puzzles, Paradoxes and Proofs, 2013



About Edmark M. Law

My name Edmark M. Law. I work as a freelance writer, mainly writing about science and mathematics. I am an ardent hobbyist. I like to read, solve puzzles, play chess, make origami and play basketball. In addition, I dabble in magic, particularly card magic and other sleight-of-hand type magic. I live in Hong Kong. I blog at You can find me on Twitter @EdmarkLaw and Facebook. My email is
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9 Responses to Introducing Raymond Smullyan

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for being far more eloquent than I.helpwithmath


  2. As I read this I was wondering if I was or if I did. The Professors all had their own unique relationships. That is what makes things unique, or maybe not.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow these are so interesting statements!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Abigail says:

    Raymond Smullyan sounds like a fun character. This business of Tweedledee and Tweedledum has me interested in his book. I shall seek it out…


  5. Interesting
    “The following sentence is true. The previous sentence it s false. ”
    – George Carlin via godels theorem.
    I’ve often thought that the only way to prove I exist, would be to cease to exist to prove I existed.
    Thanks for posting.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. masercot says:

    Reminds me of a scene from Life of Brian. Brian calls out to the crowd, “You are all individuals” and the crowd responds, in unison, “YES, WE ARE”… there’s a pause and one voice pipes up, “No, I’m not…”…

    Liked by 5 people

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