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3rd Edition


  • Date Published: March 2009
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521720793


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About the Authors
  • A paradox can be defined as an unacceptable conclusion derived by apparently acceptable reasoning from apparently acceptable premises. Many paradoxes raise serious philosophical problems, and they are associated with crises of thought and revolutionary advances. The expanded and revised third edition of this intriguing book considers a range of knotty paradoxes including Zeno's paradoxical claim that the runner can never overtake the tortoise, a new chapter on paradoxes about morals, paradoxes about belief, and hardest of all, paradoxes about truth. The discussion uses a minimum of technicality but also grapples with complicated and difficult considerations, and is accompanied by helpful questions designed to engage the reader with the arguments. The result is not only an explanation of paradoxes but also an excellent introduction to philosophical thinking.

    • This third edition includes a new chapter on moral paradoxes
    • Each chapter contains questions to actively encourage the reader to think philosophically
    • Every paradox is introduced very simply and readers can choose to take or leave the more technical sections of the book
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    Product details

    • Edition: 3rd Edition
    • Date Published: March 2009
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521720793
    • length: 188 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 153 x 10 mm
    • weight: 0.31kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Foreword to third edition
    Suggested reading
    1. Zeno's paradoxes: space, time, and motion
    1.1 Introduction
    1.2 Space
    1.3 The Racetrack
    1.4 The Racetrack again
    1.5 Achilles and the Tortoise
    1.6 The Arrow
    Suggested reading
    2. Moral paradoxes
    2.1 Crime reduction
    2.2 Mixed blessings
    2.3 Not being sorry
    2.4 Moral dilemmas
    Suggested reading
    3. Vagueness: the paradox of the heap
    3.1 Sorites paradoxes: preliminaries
    3.2 Sorites paradoxes: some options
    3.3 Accepting the conclusion: Unger's view
    3.4 Rejecting the premises: the epistemic theory
    3.5 Rejecting the premises: supervaluations
    3.6 Rejecting the reasoning: degrees of truth
    3.7 Vague objects?
    Suggested reading
    4. Acting rationally
    4.1 Newcomb's paradox
    4.2 The Prisoner's Dilemma
    Suggested reading
    5. Believing rationally
    5.1 Paradoxes of confirmation
    5.1.1 Background
    5.1.2 The paradox of the Ravens
    5.1.3 'Grue'
    5.2 The Unexpected Examination
    5.3 Revising the Unexpected Examination
    5.4 The Knower
    Suggested reading
    6. Classes and truth
    6.1 Russell's paradox
    6.2 The Liar: semantic defects
    6.3 Grounding and truth
    6.4 The Strengthened Liar
    6.5 Levels
    6.6 Self-reference
    6.7 Indexicality
    6.8 Indexical circularity
    6.9 Comparison: how similar are Russell's paradox and the Liar?
    Suggested reading
    7. Are any contradictions acceptable?
    7.1 Contradictions entail everything
    7.2 A sentence which is both true and false could have no intelligible content
    7.3 Three dualities
    7.4 Negation
    7.5 Falsehood and untruth
    Suggested reading
    Appendix I: Some more paradoxes
    Appendix II: Remarks on some text questions and appended paradoxes

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Architecture Studio
    • Falacies and Paradoxes
    • First Year Seminar: Thinking Outside the Box
    • First Year Seminar: Paradoxes
    • Intro. to Philosophy
    • Introduction to Contemporary Logic
    • Nature and Person
    • Paradox and Infinity
    • Paradoxes
    • Paradoxes and the Limits of Knowledge
    • Perennial questions
    • Person and Nature
    • Philosophical Paradoxes
    • Principles of Mathematics and Logic
    • Propositional (zero-order) Logic
    • Puzzles and Paradoxes
    • Puzzles, Paradoxes and Games
    • Reason, Truth and Paradox
    • Skepticism
    • Wisdom and Knowledge
  • Author

    R. M. Sainsbury, University of Texas, Austin
    R. M. Sainsbury is a Professor in the Department of Philosophy, University of Texas at Austin. He also teaches in the Department of Philosophy, King's College, London. He was editor of the journal Mind for a decade from 1990 and his many publications include Reference Without Referents (2005, 2007) and Logical Forms, 2nd Edition (2000).

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