Five Thousand B.C. and Other Philosophical Fantasies: Puzzles and Paradoxes, Riddles and Reasonings

Five Thousand B.C. and Other Philosophical Fantasies: Puzzles and Paradoxes, Riddles and Reasonings
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Puzzles and Paradoxes, Riddles and Reasonings

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We'll publish them on our site once we've reviewed them. Continue shopping. Item s unavailable for purchase. Please review your cart. You can remove the unavailable item s now or we'll automatically remove it at Checkout. Remove FREE. Unavailable for purchase. Continue shopping Checkout Continue shopping. Chi ama i libri sceglie Kobo e inMondadori. Due to the nature of its content, this book is much shorter than it seems. Regardless, it is quite good. There are a few puzzles and paradoxes in the miscellany, as one might expect from Smullyan, but most of the text is taken up by dialogues.

An assortment of philosophers, epistemologists, moralists, theologians, ontologists, and such are invariably gathered around for whatever reason, and they quarrel over seemingly simple phenomena. I found this terribly amusing all throughout, but then philo Due to the nature of its content, this book is much shorter than it seems. I found this terribly amusing all throughout, but then philosophical humor is new to me. The interlocutors often react with a sort of charming bafflement towards each other; it brings to mind a sort of scholarly archetype that I enjoy.

A nice benefit of this style is that many interesting views can be expressed quickly and with great clarity. For the first half or so of this book, I was ready to give it five stars and call this my new favorite genre. Unfortunately, it quickly became apparent from then on exactly which characters and philosophical standpoints Smullyan himself identifies with. This is not necessarily a bad thing, if from the onset one has some argument to make and has decided to use dialectic methods to go about it.

However, as I understood it, that was not the premise of this book. I'm not a huge fan of dialectics because the counter arguments offered by the author's foils rarely predict my own objections. Also, no matter how objective the author really is, I usually cannot escape the impression that these counters are straw men. Consequently, as soon as I realized whose corner Smullyan was in, I could no longer see each character's perspective as independent or equally valid.

I still plan to read more of the author's work, and knowing his true take on things didn't ruin the book. It helps that he is a Taoist, which I find impossible to disagree with or comprehend anyway. Apr 29, Jeff rated it it was amazing Shelves: philosophy. Smullyan is always a joy. A down-home, playful American version of Borgesian reflection. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

In his interviews and writings he comes across as a humorous, remarkably nice and exceptionally believable sage. And with a robe, please. I knew in the back of my mind that I HAD to read more of his books, but the thought laid dormant until last week, when I was scanning the shelves of a bookstore and got lost somewhat cluelessly in front of a ridiculous number of choices, given my time.

Nothing short of mind bending, his writings are playful inquiries on a multitude of philosophical theories with ontological implications likely unknown to the reader , from logical positivism to taoism, zen buddhism or the semantic nightmare known as solipsism.

The takeaway is obvious: intuition is both our demise and our salvation and Imagination is the fastest means of transportation between the two. In B. The more it progresses, the more hilarious the dialogues become. At least Frank is franc - he tells the truth because he must rise to the level of expectations for a Frank-named man. One after another, each argument fails to win our full acceptance, until the utility of the purpose itself is questioned.

Must we really need a purpose to tell the truth? Does a tree need a purpose to grow? I for one would argue that the concept of moral justice is ostensibly instilled a priori in the spirit and am therefore not surprised similar justice systems were independently set up all over the world, as Kant remarked in his essay on Perpetual Peace. In Dream or reality?

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We are so vulnerable in face of Probabilities! And impermanence suddenly creeps up on us, reminding us how all things in our dream disappear when we wake up - were it not for the non-sequentiality how would we differentiate between the two conditions? If we are ready to equate reality with permanence, we step in murky waters.

One day, this state of being might be considered unreal, is what is implied. As Smullyan puts it: For me, it remains an open possibility that each condition may be considered real or unreal in comparison with another condition. Zen of life and death is the ninth chapter, one I particularly enjoyed. The thing about Smullyan is that he is knowledgeable enough to bring some beautiful imagery to the thought experiments: a ray of lights reflecting innumerable images through the facets of a crystal- all distorted versions of the same point.

Such are our individual egos - multiple manifestations of an underlining universal ego. The individual death is equivalent to covering one facet and birth is the apparition of a new one. The sad thing is that the fountain of causality is indomitably poisoned.. Guess its all been a mess since the frailty or absurdity of axiomatic scaffolding has been discovered. Is anything still standing? What remains? Smullyan has great merit in managing to instill curiosity with ease and stir up forms of conventional wisdom without being a scary prick or a sophisticated bore no wonder Asimov was awed by his books, both of them having impeccable logic.

Despite the abyssal depths he probes in his essays, they reinvigorate and stimulate the mind. An inviting book I hope to reread and an author I greatly admire, a wonderful teacher! This world is missing out, it needs more Smullyans Jun 14, Hank Horse rated it it was amazing Shelves: playfulphilosophy.

Short philosophical essays, really good stuff! In one of the best chapters in this book, The Zen of Life and Death, Smullyan considers many different approaches to death and the possibility of an afterlife. My answ Short philosophical essays, really good stuff! But why should this assumption be true? Some of his other books are more narrowly focused on logic puzzles, but this is the one I enjoy the most. Mar 19, Neven rated it really liked it. An interesting, jumbled-up collection of essays, dialogs, aphorisms, and puzzles. It approaches all sorts of philosophical questions from all different directions, so in the end you may be left scratching your head, wondering just what it is you've been reading this whole time.

While this isn't nearly as ambitious or virtuousic as that, it's a fun book written in a likable, approacha An interesting, jumbled-up collection of essays, dialogs, aphorisms, and puzzles. While this isn't nearly as ambitious or virtuousic as that, it's a fun book written in a likable, approachable voice. I'll definitely check out Smullyan's other works.

Jan 07, Swarner rated it it was amazing. Raymond Smullyan is my Logician Dumbledore. I own and read every book of his I can get my hands on. Which is well over a dozen. Aug 31, Tom Quinn rated it liked it. Playful, mind-bending fun. Highly recommended, as Smullyan always is, but not a good introduction to his work. I found this collection of dialogues, essays, and philosophical one-liners less gratifying than his puzzle-centric titles. May 07, Zorn Rose rated it it was amazing. Whimsical, thought-provoking, and well-argued. Although I like moralists more than Smullyan does.

Feb 12, Maurizio Codogno rated it liked it Shelves: filosofia. Non abbiamo infatti, se non in minima parte, problemini logici: il grosso del testo consiste in dialoghi "multiloghi"?