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"Perhaps not all the stories that follow are true. They could, however, be true, and the Reader is invited to ponder this."
So begins Insurmountable Simplicities, Roberto Casati and Achille Varzi's colorful incarnation of the many philosophical conundrums that hide in the wrinkles of everyday life. Why do mirrors seem to invert left and right but not up and down? How do we know whether strawberries taste the same for everyone? Where is it written that we must observe the law, and if it is not written, why should we observe it? What if we could swap brains-or the rest of our bodies?
Insurmountable Simplicities is filled with stories, dialogues, and epistolary exchanges that cover a range of themes-such as personal identity, causality and responsibility, fortune, the nature of things, the paradoxes of time and space, the interface between logic and language-in captivating and inventive ways.
Clear, concise, and intellectually engaging, this internationally acclaimed book brilliantly demonstrates that the beauty of philosophy resides in its thorough engagement with the simplicities of the world, insurmountable as they might initially appear.
Columbia University Press
Table of Contents Room 88About a Useless ProjectThe Poet as a Young ManThe Chain of Events Leading Up to the GoalZombie, Inc. Sleeping PillsPartial AmnesiaPerson TransplantMy Ice Cream, Your Ice CreamPlaying Lotto in Reverse CityLucky NumbersThe Invisible DisorderA Missive from the Bell-RingerSparkling Bubbles Dates of BirthFour-Seasons IslandLost Beauty SpotsHic Sunt LeonesReflectionsThe Last Case of the President of AmoebasThe Hidden StatueA Cupboard in PiecesHolter MonitorRow 13Train CancelledSatellitesVerbatimThe Intelligent DictionaryThe Traveler's PictionaryInk MarksForced ChoicesWhat Does the Majority Want? Law Number OneProud To Be ThirdThe Placebo EffectInteresting!Self-Reference Self-ExplainedThe Surprise VisitA Risky CakeCodaUniversal AcidNote
Columbia University Press
Posted August 6, 2006
Insurmountable Simplicities: Thirty-Nine Philosophical Conundrums presents a veritable smorgasbord of philosophical brain-teasers to be pondered at length by novice and veteran thinkers alike. Why do mirrors appear to invert left and right but not up and down? How do we know whether strawberries taste the same for everyone? Where is it written that we must observe the law, and if it is not written, why should we observe it? Each riddle for contemplation is presented not through tedious narration, but rather in the unusual and lively form of a hypothetical dialogue. An excellent and mentally stimulating introduction to a wide variety of difficult and deep questions.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.