Riddles of Existence: A Guided Tour of Metaphysics

Riddles of Existence: A Guided Tour of Metaphysics

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By (author) Earl Conee, By (author) Theodore Sider

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  • Publisher: Clarendon Press
  • Format: Paperback | 224 pages
  • Dimensions: 132mm x 200mm x 10mm | 259g
  • Publication date: 13 August 2007
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0199215189
  • ISBN 13: 9780199215188
  • Illustrations note: 11 figures
  • Sales rank: 137,065

Product description

The questions of metaphysics are the deepest and most puzzling questions there are. What is time? Am I free in my actions? What makes me the same person I was as a child? What is it for one thing to cause another? Riddles of Existence is the first book ever to make metaphysics genuinely accessible and fun. Its lively, informal style brings the riddles to life and shows how stimulating it can be to think about them. No philosophical background is required to enjoy this book: anyone who has thought about life's most profound questions will find plenty to provoke and entertain them here.

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Author information

Earl Conee is Professor of Philosophy at University of RochesterTheodore Sider is Frederick Whiton Professor of Philosophy at Cornell University

Review quote

Review from previous edition A series of hors d'oeuvres for intellectual diners... The entertainment value lies in picking one's way through ingenious arguments, encountering along the way basic ideas like the law of the excluded middle and the principle of sufficient reason... Mr. Conee and Mr. Sider like to start with a common-sense, real-life question-Why is the person in my baby picture the same as the person I see in the mirror today?-and then pick apart the comfortable assumptions that carry most of us through life... The questions are big. Do things occur by accident or necessity? Do humans have free will? Why does anything exist? Nothing is resolved, but a lot is discussed, and some famous arguments, like St. Anselm's devilishly clever proof of the existence of God, are presented clearly and understandably. William Grimes, The New York Times

Table of contents

Introduction ; 1. Personal Identity ; 2. Fatalism ; 3. Time ; 4. God ; 5. Why Not Nothing? ; 6. Free Will and Determinism ; 7. Constitution ; 8. Universals ; 9. Possibility and Necessity ; 10. What is Metaphysics