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Will you answer this question in the same way that you will answer my next question? Done? Good! Will you buy this book? Inside you will discover that your only truthful answer to this second question is affirmative. A Cabinet of Philosophical Curiosities is a colorful collection of puzzles and paradoxes, both historical and contemporary, by philosopher Roy Sorensen. Taking Will you answer this question in the same way that you will answer my next question? Done? Good! Will you buy this book? Inside you will discover that your only truthful answer to this second question is affirmative. A Cabinet of Philosophical Curiosities is a colorful collection of puzzles and paradoxes, both historical and contemporary, by philosopher Roy Sorensen. Taking inspiration from Ian Stewart's Professor Stewart's Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities, which assembled interesting "maths" from outside the classroom into a miscellany of marvels, these puzzles are ready to be enjoyed independently but gain mutual support when read in clusters. The volume ranges from simple examples to anomalous anomalies, considers data that seems to confirm a generalization while lowering its probability, and argues that we are doomed to believe infinitely many contradictions-and that the pain of contradictions can be profoundly stimulating. Inside this book you will learn of John Eck, who debated Luther in 1519. He devised a sequence of contracts that sidestepped usury laws, and German bankers made a fortune from this Triple Contract. Sorensen also recounts how Voltaire set himself up for life by exploiting a fallacy in the construction of a Parisian lottery. There is logic for altruists, too. You will discover how General Benjamin Butler used other-centric reasoning to protect runaway slaves. There are historical snapshots of logic in action, and the book contains tributes to Lewis Carroll, Arthur Prior, and Peter Geach. In addition to short essays, there are dialogues, cures and insults.


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Will you answer this question in the same way that you will answer my next question? Done? Good! Will you buy this book? Inside you will discover that your only truthful answer to this second question is affirmative. A Cabinet of Philosophical Curiosities is a colorful collection of puzzles and paradoxes, both historical and contemporary, by philosopher Roy Sorensen. Taking Will you answer this question in the same way that you will answer my next question? Done? Good! Will you buy this book? Inside you will discover that your only truthful answer to this second question is affirmative. A Cabinet of Philosophical Curiosities is a colorful collection of puzzles and paradoxes, both historical and contemporary, by philosopher Roy Sorensen. Taking inspiration from Ian Stewart's Professor Stewart's Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities, which assembled interesting "maths" from outside the classroom into a miscellany of marvels, these puzzles are ready to be enjoyed independently but gain mutual support when read in clusters. The volume ranges from simple examples to anomalous anomalies, considers data that seems to confirm a generalization while lowering its probability, and argues that we are doomed to believe infinitely many contradictions-and that the pain of contradictions can be profoundly stimulating. Inside this book you will learn of John Eck, who debated Luther in 1519. He devised a sequence of contracts that sidestepped usury laws, and German bankers made a fortune from this Triple Contract. Sorensen also recounts how Voltaire set himself up for life by exploiting a fallacy in the construction of a Parisian lottery. There is logic for altruists, too. You will discover how General Benjamin Butler used other-centric reasoning to protect runaway slaves. There are historical snapshots of logic in action, and the book contains tributes to Lewis Carroll, Arthur Prior, and Peter Geach. In addition to short essays, there are dialogues, cures and insults.

58 review for A Cabinet of Philosophical Curiosities: A Collection of Puzzles, Oddities, Riddles, and Dilemmas

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nick Jones

    I received a copy of this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways. The subtitle of A Cabinet of Philosophical Curiosities is a bit of a misnomer, with trivia, miscellany, bad jokes, and random quotations outnumbering the puzzles, oddities, riddles, and dilemmas. There are some interesting bits, but the flaws outnumber the good parts. The questions and answers meant to challenge the reader are often incomplete, vaguely worded, or rely on obscure assumed knowledge that the reader might not poss I received a copy of this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways. The subtitle of A Cabinet of Philosophical Curiosities is a bit of a misnomer, with trivia, miscellany, bad jokes, and random quotations outnumbering the puzzles, oddities, riddles, and dilemmas. There are some interesting bits, but the flaws outnumber the good parts. The questions and answers meant to challenge the reader are often incomplete, vaguely worded, or rely on obscure assumed knowledge that the reader might not possess, with the book also demonstrating the incredibly irritating habit of treating open-ended questions that could have a plethora of answers as having one "right" response. The book is unstructured, much of the content doesn't seem to relate to anything, there are pointless stories inserted and topic changes occurring at random, and it really feels like a book constructed from hundreds of notes scribbled on cocktail napkins haphazardly thrown together. There are also a number of mistakes, from typos to listing the form of a logical constant incorrectly, though I feel as if a lack of editorial rigor is a problem across all of publishing these days. By turns I was bored and annoyed with this book, only occasionally being interested. I doubt that anybody outside of philosophy majors will enjoy it, and even then it's a dicey proposition.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dkettmann

    A solid 3.5 book rounded up to 4. All over the place, but some really nice nuggets in it. Like a random notebook in which someone just jotted down interesting things. Disliked the little quizzes having the answers in the back, would have preferred footnotes or some other method. I skipped them hopping the questions would be recapitulated with the answers and I could enjoy it as an after book digestif, but it was only the answers back there. I passed on spending hours going back and forth but wis A solid 3.5 book rounded up to 4. All over the place, but some really nice nuggets in it. Like a random notebook in which someone just jotted down interesting things. Disliked the little quizzes having the answers in the back, would have preferred footnotes or some other method. I skipped them hopping the questions would be recapitulated with the answers and I could enjoy it as an after book digestif, but it was only the answers back there. I passed on spending hours going back and forth but wish I could have easily gained that information. This would be a good book when you are a bit aimless if you desire for philosophy and looking for something new. Otherwise I would say a good 1/4 of the book was boring or didn't appeal to me but the 1/4 that were very interesting to me made it worth it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    What am I reading? Does anyone think this makes sense? This feels like a guy who is using the biggest words possible because he wants to seem important or intelligent, regardless of the fact that they don't make hypotenuse. It's like when Joey used the thesaurus function on every single word in his essay. Paragraphs are strung together, related only very loosely. And it's 659 pages long, without any addendum-- or answers. The riddles are said to have their answers at the back of the book, but th What am I reading? Does anyone think this makes sense? This feels like a guy who is using the biggest words possible because he wants to seem important or intelligent, regardless of the fact that they don't make hypotenuse. It's like when Joey used the thesaurus function on every single word in his essay. Paragraphs are strung together, related only very loosely. And it's 659 pages long, without any addendum-- or answers. The riddles are said to have their answers at the back of the book, but they are conspicuously missing from the ARC. Reading this is like a fight, trying to tear meaning from each sentence and hold that meaning in balance while trying to string together enough sentences to get to the core thought.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Diane Graft

    This was a very odd read. It's as if a philosophy professor had been collecting little tidbits, like riddles, paradoxes, word games, and bits he liked from his favorite philosophers, over his whole career, and writing each of them on an index card meaning to use them in a book someday but never getting around to it. Then, instead of putting them in a coherent sequence, or as examples to illustrate larger points, he just gave the stack of cards to his publisher and said, "Here's my book!" There's This was a very odd read. It's as if a philosophy professor had been collecting little tidbits, like riddles, paradoxes, word games, and bits he liked from his favorite philosophers, over his whole career, and writing each of them on an index card meaning to use them in a book someday but never getting around to it. Then, instead of putting them in a coherent sequence, or as examples to illustrate larger points, he just gave the stack of cards to his publisher and said, "Here's my book!" There's a lot of thought provoking things in this book, any of which might have made a good jumping-off point for further discussion, but you won't find that discussion here.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tim

    Really enjoyed this book. Some parts are more suited to "academic philosophy," but others can be read with enjoyment by anyone. I reviewed this book for the journal Teaching Philosophy. A copy of the review can be found at this link (on scribd) or this one (on my blogspot) :) Really enjoyed this book. Some parts are more suited to "academic philosophy," but others can be read with enjoyment by anyone. I reviewed this book for the journal Teaching Philosophy. A copy of the review can be found at this link (on scribd) or this one (on my blogspot) :)

  6. 4 out of 5

    Georgi

    Всеки познава поне един wise guy, който обича да затапва хората с недобре дефинирани загадки и недодялани главоблъсканици. Е, точно такъв симпатяга е нахвърлял произволни загадки, странни истории и безсмислени заигравки със семантиката на изречения в нещо, лишено от всякаква структура и завършеност. Въпреки обещанията, връзката с философията и логиката я няма. Нещо повече - ако някога в живота си сте се сблъсквали дори бегло с математика, ще останете в ступор от някои от глупостите, написани в т Всеки познава поне един wise guy, който обича да затапва хората с недобре дефинирани загадки и недодялани главоблъсканици. Е, точно такъв симпатяга е нахвърлял произволни загадки, странни истории и безсмислени заигравки със семантиката на изречения в нещо, лишено от всякаква структура и завършеност. Въпреки обещанията, връзката с философията и логиката я няма. Нещо повече - ако някога в живота си сте се сблъсквали дори бегло с математика, ще останете в ступор от някои от глупостите, написани в тази книга.

  7. 4 out of 5

    E

    Fun stuff, mostly accessible--but some of it is very esoteric! A great number of the curiosities include stumpers for the reader to consider (with solutions in back). A bit of everything included: math, logic, philosophy, theology, history. If you like to think, and to get stretched in your thinking, you'd undoubtedly enjoy this book. Fun stuff, mostly accessible--but some of it is very esoteric! A great number of the curiosities include stumpers for the reader to consider (with solutions in back). A bit of everything included: math, logic, philosophy, theology, history. If you like to think, and to get stretched in your thinking, you'd undoubtedly enjoy this book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mouse

    I love weird books and esoteric lore. If there's interesting stories, or anecdotes, riddles, and even puzzles, then count me in. This book however left me feeling more than puzzled and mostly just frustrated. Many of the chapters are just extremely short and left open ended. I tried to get into this book but just couldn't do it. I love weird books and esoteric lore. If there's interesting stories, or anecdotes, riddles, and even puzzles, then count me in. This book however left me feeling more than puzzled and mostly just frustrated. Many of the chapters are just extremely short and left open ended. I tried to get into this book but just couldn't do it.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kari Ni

    An interesting book with a witty author, which is worth recommending :)

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mike Schneider

    Interesting, but very off-beat.

  11. 5 out of 5

    JG

    I started reading this book because I really like logical puzzles and riddles, but it disappointed me a little bit. Although I liked some of the anecdotes and stories that accompanied the riddles, to be honest most were quite boring and some were unrelated. Some logical puzzles are not clearly explained nor fully answered (or maybe I'm just too dumb to understand them). It has some good things but definitely there are better books on this topic like the ones by Clifford Pickover or Raymond Smullya I started reading this book because I really like logical puzzles and riddles, but it disappointed me a little bit. Although I liked some of the anecdotes and stories that accompanied the riddles, to be honest most were quite boring and some were unrelated. Some logical puzzles are not clearly explained nor fully answered (or maybe I'm just too dumb to understand them). It has some good things but definitely there are better books on this topic like the ones by Clifford Pickover or Raymond Smullyan.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Cam

    A desultory compilation of puzzles, anecdotes, and jokes. Many of the answers aren't well explained either. A desultory compilation of puzzles, anecdotes, and jokes. Many of the answers aren't well explained either.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mychair

    It's a subject I'm very much interested in and was looking for some fresh takes. Professor Sorensen is is a bit presumptive as regards the level of knowledge his readers possess on the subjects he delves into, but as the book goes on he gets better and better in his explanations. This assumes that the reader is as rough around the edges on the subjects as I am. I am reading it in conjunction with a data analytics course I am taking and the book helps to understand many of the logic pitfalls in d It's a subject I'm very much interested in and was looking for some fresh takes. Professor Sorensen is is a bit presumptive as regards the level of knowledge his readers possess on the subjects he delves into, but as the book goes on he gets better and better in his explanations. This assumes that the reader is as rough around the edges on the subjects as I am. I am reading it in conjunction with a data analytics course I am taking and the book helps to understand many of the logic pitfalls in data analytics.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Arlene S

    A playful collection of items (some familiar, some not) from the fields of logic, language, history, mathematics, etc. (e.g. Archimedes, Schopenhauer, Lewis Carroll) with solutions to the puzzles included at the end of the book. Judging from some of the curiosities included, it seems philosophers do love word play ( or often fail to formulate definitions before beginning their thought experiments). Notes to self: do not read too many puzzles in one sitting lest headache ensues, and do not borrow A playful collection of items (some familiar, some not) from the fields of logic, language, history, mathematics, etc. (e.g. Archimedes, Schopenhauer, Lewis Carroll) with solutions to the puzzles included at the end of the book. Judging from some of the curiosities included, it seems philosophers do love word play ( or often fail to formulate definitions before beginning their thought experiments). Notes to self: do not read too many puzzles in one sitting lest headache ensues, and do not borrow from public library if detailed study is desired (watch overdue fines).

  15. 5 out of 5

    Beautifulday4makeup The-book-and-Me

    I received the ebook on netgalley in exchange for an honest reviewed. First thing: this book was not as I expected. I expected a book filled with funny riddles. This certainly was not the case. It made me think about papers that I head to read on university. I was challenged to change my way of thinking. I like that, but I stays a dry bit of theory... Although the author tried to make it as fun as possible.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Hatice

    3.5* I don't know what I was expecting, but I feel like there were a lot of mathematical questions, which I personally didn't like. You'll probably enjoy this book if you like to train your brain cells in your free time. Turns out, I don't. 3.5* I don't know what I was expecting, but I feel like there were a lot of mathematical questions, which I personally didn't like. You'll probably enjoy this book if you like to train your brain cells in your free time. Turns out, I don't.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mills College Library

    160 S7136 2016

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jaime Hancock

  19. 5 out of 5

    Steve

  20. 4 out of 5

    Partha

  21. 4 out of 5

    Beth

  22. 4 out of 5

    Svetlana Samochkine

  23. 4 out of 5

    Almudena Lumeras

  24. 5 out of 5

    Eduardo Garcia-Gaspar

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lenle

  26. 4 out of 5

    Alex

  27. 5 out of 5

    Francesco

  28. 4 out of 5

    Daryle Waring

  29. 4 out of 5

    shrikant patankar

  30. 4 out of 5

    Steve Kemple

  31. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

  32. 5 out of 5

    Kelly S

  33. 5 out of 5

    Christina Wray

  34. 4 out of 5

    Chloe

  35. 5 out of 5

    BZat

  36. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Waggoner

  37. 5 out of 5

    Julia Frakes

  38. 5 out of 5

    Anne Marie

  39. 4 out of 5

    Ann Ellis

  40. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  41. 4 out of 5

    Micielle

  42. 5 out of 5

    Anthrochiq n2 Art

  43. 4 out of 5

    Nora

  44. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Y.

  45. 4 out of 5

    Eddy Bryant

  46. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl Bradley

  47. 5 out of 5

    Rachella Baker

  48. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

  49. 5 out of 5

    Lena

  50. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Reader

  51. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Carnes

  52. 5 out of 5

    Marcia

  53. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

  54. 4 out of 5

    Todd

  55. 4 out of 5

    Brian Mossa

  56. 5 out of 5

    Mary

  57. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Causey

  58. 5 out of 5

    Sheri L.

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