Presuppose that you are Yossarian's advocate. Rule out the solutions in the 1961 novel that appear unlawful and too dicey, such as deliberately self-inflicting wounds or a crash

'Danby, Orr planned it that way. Don't you understand--he planned it that way from the beginning. He even practiced getting shot down. He rehearsed for it on every mission he flew. And I wouldn't go with him! Oh, why wouldn't I listen? He invited me along, and I wouldn't go with him! Danby, bring me buck teeth too, and a valve to fix and a look of stupid innocence that nobody would ever suspect of any cleverness. I'll need them all. Oh, why wouldn't I listen to him. Now I understand what he was trying to tell me. I even understand why that girl was hitting him on the head with her shoe.'

and fleeing to Sweden.

'But they'll find you,' Major Danby argued desperately, 'and bring you back and punish you even more severely.'

Getting shot down or crashing a plane could have maimed or killed Orr, obviously! Sweden and the USA signed an extradition treaty on 14 March 1983.

  1. How would you gainsay Yossarian's Catch-22 with solely logic, to excuse Yossarian from flying on the ground of insanity? Wikipedia logically formulated it.

  2. Or would you need to plead some other excuse ASIDE insanity, e.g. physical illness? But this feels like a strawman fallacy, because now I'm changing the premises behind this original Catch-22!

  • Generally speaking, editing your question such that it substantially changes what answers are acceptable after there are answers is ill thought of.
    – BillOnne
    Commented Jan 7, 2023 at 17:19

3 Answers 3


One way to argue that Yossarian should be excused from flying on the grounds of insanity using logic would be to present evidence of his mental state and the impact it has on his ability to make rational decisions. This could include a psychological evaluation showing that Yossarian is suffering from a mental illness or other condition that affects his decision-making abilities. It could also include testimony from Yossarian or others about the ways in which his mental state has deteriorated over time and how it has impacted his ability to perform his duties as a pilot.

If pleading insanity is not an option, it may be necessary to consider other excuses for Yossarian's inability to fly. However, it is important to note that the specific options available will depend on the specific circumstances and the rules and regulations in place within Yossarian's military unit. It may be possible to plead physical illness as an excuse, but this would require providing evidence of a physical condition that prevents Yossarian from performing his duties. It could also be possible to argue that Yossarian is experiencing extreme duress or trauma that makes it impossible for him to continue flying, but again, this would require providing evidence to support this claim


I don't have my copy at hand, so I can't quote the exact passages.

The solution to Catch 22 is in the book. It's the point of the book. It comes right at the end.

Orr was practicing ditching his plane the entire book. At the end we find that he actually did paddle his rubber life raft to Sweden. From the Mediterranean near Italy, all the way out to the Atlantic, up along the coast of Europe, to Sweden. He had survived by eating a kind of fish that was safe to eat raw. Though one suspects he obtained help from somebody that he offered to fix their valves.

Yossarian dodge's Nately's whore, and runs away to join Orr. You can't beat Catch 22, you can only dodge it and run away.

  • Thanks. I just edited my post to rule out these iffy solutions.
    – user64125
    Commented Jan 7, 2023 at 9:21
  • Editing your question to disallow answers is usually considered very bad form.
    – Boba Fit
    Commented Jan 8, 2023 at 20:03

Sometimes the only solution is to break the Gordian Knot. You don't always have to play with other people's rules. You shouldn't if they are unethical and unjust.

Things may be designed to be unfair to you. Unless you are forced via ethics or blunt force getting on with them is perpetuating bad things, which you shouldn't.

A clever system may have all loopholes covered. You cannot find whats not there.

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