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What Is the Name of This Book?: The Riddle of Dracula and Other Logical Puzzles (Dover Recreational Math) Paperback – July 21, 2011

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What Is the Name of This Book?: The Riddle of Dracula and Other Logical Puzzles (Dover Recreational Math) + The Lady or the Tiger?: and Other Logic Puzzles (Dover Recreational Math) + The Gödelian Puzzle Book: Puzzles, Paradoxes and Proofs
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Raymond Smullyan received his PhD from Princeton University and has taught at Dartmouth, Princeton, Indiana University, and New York's Lehman College. Best known for his mathematical and creative logic puzzles and games, he is also a concert pianist and a magician.

Raymond Smullyan: The Merry Prankster
Raymond Smullyan (1919– ), mathematician, logician, magician, creator of extraordinary puzzles, philosopher, pianist, and man of many parts. The first Dover book by Raymond Smullyan was First-Order Logic (1995). Recent years have brought a number of his magical books of logic and math puzzles: The Lady or the Tiger (2009); Satan, Cantor and Infinity (2009); an original, never-before-published collection, King Arthur in Search of His Dog and Other Curious Puzzles (2010); and Set Theory and the Continuum Problem (with Melvin Fitting, also reprinted by Dover in 2010). More will be coming in subsequent years.

In the Author's Own Words:
"Recently, someone asked me if I believed in astrology. He seemed somewhat puzzled when I explained that the reason I don't is that I'm a Gemini."

"Some people are always critical of vague statements. I tend rather to be critical of precise statements: they are the only ones which can correctly be labeled 'wrong.'" — Raymond Smullyan

Critical Acclaim for The Lady or the Tiger:
"Another scintillating collection of brilliant problems and paradoxes by the most entertaining logician and set theorist who ever lived." — Martin Gardner

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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Recreational Math
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; Unabridged edition (August 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486481980
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486481982
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,941 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Jason Dowd on May 12, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
At the time this book was written, Raymond Smullyan was one of the world's leading experts on Godel's Incompleteness Theorems -- some of the deepest mathematical results of the 20th century.

This book is actually a gentle intro to these topics, and the most amazing part of it is that Dr. Smullyan keeps the level suitable for children.

That does NOT mean this book is not suitable for adults. It is extremely entertaining no matter what your age is.

The book is mostly a progression of logical conundrums. You are started out on the island of knights and knaves. These two types of people are visually indistinguishable, but knights always tell the truth while knaves always lie.

You are then presented with various scenarios where the objective is for you to ask one yes/no question from which you obtain some meaningful information without knowing whether the person you are asking is a knight or a knave. The obvious example of this, you meet one person on the island, and you want to ask them one yes/no question that allows you to determine whether they are a knight or a knave. Obviously, this would be pretty handy under the circumstances. Can it be done? Yes. Ask them, "If I were to ask you if you were a knight, would you say 'yes'?" A knight will always answer this question "Yes" and a knave "No". If you can follow the logic through to conclude this, you are on your way!! It's very easy to follow through for the knight, but the knave is a bit more tricky, but this example indicates the importance of case analysis and the use of hypotheticals in your questions to induce lying about lying.

The situations in the book steadily grow more complex.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
Raymond Smullyan introduces the readers to simple logic problems and then starts to grow them more complex. Answers to the puzzles are provided with explaination, but Smullyan's more recent books clearly dig deeper. However, if you want some good knight/knave and dracula puzzles, this is a good place to start to learn about Godel. I recommend also obtaining: "Lady or the Tiger? And Other Logic Puzzles Including a Mathematical Novel That Features Godel's Great Discovery"
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By M. Brenneman on July 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
A true delight to read, although the one reviewers comments (John Morrison from Houston) brought to mind the truth of Pope's comment,"A little learning is a dangerous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, And drinking largely sobers us again." As you read this book hopefully your brain will be stimulated to ask questions AND to dig deeper to learn ther answers. Smullyan is NOT wrong when he says that a false hypothesis yields a true conditional statement. I haven't read the book in decades, so I can't comment on whether or not Smullyan explicits says this, but conditional statements do not express causal relations (I can understand how a physicist would think this.)
Anyhow, this is a great book for young children with inquisitive minds and even for old children who think they know it all.
MB
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By F. Peraldi on January 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a book that parents should buy for their adolescent children (until it becomes compulsory reading at school). It provides both the entertainment of tales and the much needed ability to reason.

Solving the riddles set forth by the author is one of the best investment of their time the readers can do. It will repay many times whatever line of work they end up embarking on. It is also fun.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Erik Ableson on July 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
An amazing book that trains you to use your brain effectively through a careful structure that increases in complexity as you progress. I read it when very young and would like to get copies for all my staff as it is an excellent tutorial on logic and perfect for orienting systems programmers into looking at complex problems with a fresh viewpoint. Sadly it appears to be out of print and I join the cry in asking the publisher to pull it out of the archives.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John H. Morrison on December 30, 1997
Format: Paperback
This book is a chockful of puzzles and riddles, humorous and bizarre. The author (Raymond Smullyan) uses these puzzles to introduce formal logic in a particularly fun and interesting way. This book also illustrates the unique sense of humor many mathematicians. He characterizes a drunken mathematician as one who says, "I can prove anyshing!"
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 9, 1997
Format: Paperback
This was a mind boggling book.
One of my favorites in logic puzzles. Surely fits a brain addicted to Hofstadter, Douglas Adams, (Martin Gardner) and other wizards.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By William J. Letzkus on November 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
I use this book to give puzzle exercises to my University students. Publisher should re-print the book!
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