Loki's Wager

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Loki's Wager is the unreasonable insistence that a concept cannot be defined, and therefore cannot be discussed.[1][2]

According to the Prose Edda (Skáldskaparmál ch. 35), the Norse god Loki once made a bet with the dwarf Brok, and wagered his head. He lost, and in due time the dwarves came to collect. Loki had no problem with giving up his head, but insisted they had absolutely no right to take any part of his neck. Everyone concerned discussed the matter; certain parts were obviously head, and certain parts were obviously neck, but neither side could agree exactly where one ended and the other began. Loki kept his head indefinitely,[2] although his lips were stitched shut as punishment for getting out of the bet with tricky wordplay.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mills, Michael S. (2010). Concise Handbook of Literary and Rhetorical Terms. Lexington, KY: Estep-Nichols. p. 126. ISBN 978-0-615-27136-1.
  2. ^ a b Boudry, Maarten (January 2014). "Loki's Wager and Laudan's Error: On Genuine and Territorial Demarcation". Philosophy of Pseudoscience: Reconsidering the Demarcation Problem. University of Chicago Press: 79–98. doi:10.7208/chicago/9780226051826.003.0006.