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This Book Needs No Title: A Budget of Living Paradoxes (Touchstone Books) Paperback – October 15, 1986

ISBN-13: 978-0671628314 ISBN-10: 0671628313 Edition: Reissue

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This Book Needs No Title: A Budget of Living Paradoxes (Touchstone Books) + What Is the Name of This Book?: The Riddle of Dracula and Other Logical Puzzles (Dover Recreational Math) + The Gödelian Puzzle Book: Puzzles, Paradoxes and Proofs
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Product Details

  • Series: Touchstone Books
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; Reissue edition (October 15, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671628313
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671628314
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #477,847 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful By John S. Ryan on March 3, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Raymond Smullyan, of whom I am a longtime reader, is probably best known as a creator of fiendishly brilliant logic puzzles. He's also a mathematical logician of high caliber (and a magician, and a pianist, and . . . )
But some of his lesser-known works have consisted of philosophical reflections on a wide range of subjects (which nevertheless include a common thread that is devilishly difficult to pin down). There was _The Tao Is Silent_ (for my money, still his best); there was _5000 B.C._ (currently out of print); and just recently he's published _Who Knows?_ (which I recommend too).
This is one from 1980, and it's one of few "older" Smullyan works currently available in print. It's not a collection of logic puzzles; it's a collection of essays and short reflections of very much the same "flavor" as _The Tao Is Silent_.
As always, Smullyan is a sheer delight to read. In his hands, philosophy becomes what it should always be: a form of intellectual play (and nonetheless "serious" for that, although it surely isn't solemn!).
Get this while it's available. And if you like Smullyan, also check out the titles I've already mentioned, as well as his autobiographical _Some Interesting Memories: A Paradoxical Life_. He's a gifted man as well as pleasant and stimulating intellectual company.
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23 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Takis Tz. on March 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover
As with any type of gymnastics, mental or physical, one finds that certain disciplines might not be of his liking. The same applies to this book, which is loosely divided into topics (Fables and Fancies, Philosophical paradoxes, Is Zen paradoxical etc. etc.).
These topics are written in essay form, some essays being a mere small paragraph and others covering several pages. While the author isnt covering one specific subject but several, he does have a main albeit underlying theme, that of the paradox in general. He searches for paradoxes in many areas and pinpoints not only the intellectual value in them but also the entertainment value as well.
Still, i wound up having mixed feelings as many of his essays struck me more as sophisms (for sophisty's sake alone) with little to offer while others came across as profoundly deep and effective. This imbalance is prevailent throughout this book and is sort of offsetting occasionally. When the author hits his target the result is excellent such as in the chapter entitled "Is Zen paradoxical" or in specific forays within other chapters.
I've discovered that he's written a book called "Is the Tao silent", and seeing that his essays on the Zen were dead-on, I'm thinking that trying it out might be a very good idea.
Still, the overwhelming feeling that stayed with me after reading this particular book was like having listened to a musician who's a virtuoso with his instrument but who often lacked in substance.
Nevertheless, from a purely philosophical point of view it had more than its share of good moments and it would be unfair not to mention that Smullyan does have the charisma of stimulating minds even through mere sophisms. Possibly an author that will intrigue you to explore more of his works...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Carl_in_Richland on June 22, 2013
Format: Paperback
I was drawn to this book after reading Prof. Smullyan's earlier work, The Tao Is Silent, which I thought was fantastic. This earlier work presented a Taoist approach to a variety of situations found in life, with a number of short, cogent essays on such topics as work, relaxation, theology and even dogs. In contrast, `This Book Needs No Title' first comes across as disjointed and casual. But a lot of it makes sense if one reads the last essay first. The topic of this final essay is titled `Planet Without Laughter', and the drift of this short science fiction story is that life is both illogical and humorous, having many things we must simply accept, even if they don't make sense. With this attitude in mind, many of the other short, marginally coherent essays and rhetorical questions posed by Prof. Smullyan start to come together. Readers who can laugh at life will enjoy this book. More somber and serious readers should probably look elsewhere.
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By Gayle on July 13, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wise, amusing, intellectually challenging.
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6 of 14 people found the following review helpful By skeezer on April 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is another great book of puzzles by Smullyan. If you liked Satan, Cantor, and Infinity, and What is the Name of this Book? then you will like this.
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