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