- Paperback: 327 pages
- Publisher: Broadview Press; Revised & enlarged edition (February 19, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1551114933
- ISBN-13: 978-1551114934
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,066,121 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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There Are Two Errors in the the Title of This Book, Revised and Expanded: A Sourcebook of Philosophical Puzzles, Paradoxes and Problems Paperback – February 19, 2002
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"A delightful catalogue of over 250 philosophical puzzles - ranging from entertaining pastimes to deep philosophical problems." (Peter Vallentyne)
"Proving the pleasures of philosophy has never been so easy, thanks to Martin's compendium of philosophical conundrums; it will serve as an irresistible enticement to philosophical reflection." (Geoffrey Sayre-McCord)
"An excellent sourcebook, which demonstrates in interesting ways the connections between these puzzles and the great issues that philosophers have debated." (Peter van Inwagen)
"If I could do it all over again, I wish that the first book on philosophy I had read was this one. It would have saved me a lot of false starts, and made philosophy even more intriguing than it turned out to be." (Roland Puccetti)
"A delightful collection of brain-teasers and puzzles! There is a lot of nourishment here for the imagination, and for the philosophical intelligence." (John M. Dolan)
From the Back Cover
Martin provides fascinating discussions of each problem or puzzle, and appends suggestions for further reading. Where the puzzle or problem admits of a right answer, Martin provides it in a separate section. But he also often ends with a question; as this book richly and entertainingly demonstrates, philosophy is as much the search for the right questions as it is for the right answers. There are many new entries in this edition, including "God as the Tortoise on the Bottom," "Free Beer," "How to Win a Camel Anti-Race," "Watch out for Extreme Politeness," and "The Enormous Tiddly-Wink Tournament."
Top customer reviews
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year old's room and mine as we vie for the privilege
of reading it.
It turned his brain from mush to that of a sharp edged
thinker and our discussions provide the glue for our
Worse, some of his points are simply wrong or not very well thought out. In one section, the author starts with the premise that judges in America are supposed to "interpret" the law (as opposed to make it, which he claims is the role of the legislative branch) and then discusses a typical case where a judge interprets a vague statute. The author concludes that judges also "make" law because their decisions sometimes enlarge or expand the laws as written by the legislature, as if this is some great revelation. Anybody who has the most basic understanding of the American legal system knows that our system is based in great part on "common law," or judge-created law, so it's no surprise at all that judges often "make" law. The whole discussion seemed pointless and self evident.
I suppose the book could be somewhat of an introduction to someone who has no understanding of concepts like "circular reasoning," but anyone with the most basic, freshman-level of philosophy or critical thought will be above the level of this book.
Although I read the whole thing cover to cover, I think one of the best features of this book is that you can pick it up and turn to any page whenever you need to do some thinking.
In my experience, this is the best introduction of philosophical thinking that I have read. I also agree with another reviewer who says this should be required reading for teenagers. The problems and paradoxes presented in this book definately inspire one to think "freely", outside the bounds of your usual patterns.
Also, it's a lot of fun.
Everyone should read it, preferably between the ages of 14 and 18. I don't think too young of a reader would fully be able to grasp it depth, and while certainly a great read for an adult, some "older" people may be too stuck in their ways to really entertain some of the ideas presented in the book. It helps you understand and identify bad reasoning, and opens your mind to incredibly interesting notions that may have never occurred to you before. I am currently reading the book for the second time and am a little over halfway through, and am still enjoying it very much. It's like an activity book for philosophy and you can pick it up any time, turn to any page, and find an enjoyable exercise in thought.