Paradox Lost

Paradox Lost : Logical Solutions to Ten Puzzles of Philosophy

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Paradox Lost covers ten of philosophy's most fascinating paradoxes, in which seemingly compelling reasoning leads to absurd conclusions. The following paradoxes are included:







The Liar Paradox, in which a sentence says of itself that it is false. Is the sentence true or false?

The Sorites Paradox, in which we imagine removing grains of sand one at a time from a heap of sand. Is there a particular grain whose removal converts the heap to a non-heap?

The Puzzle of the Self-Torturer, in which a series of seemingly rational choices has us accepting a life of excruciating pain, in exchange for millions of dollars.

Newcomb's Problem, in which we seemingly maximize our expected profit by taking an unknown sum of money, rather than taking the same sum plus $1000.

The Surprise Quiz Paradox, in which a professor finds that it is impossible to give a surprise quiz on any particular day of the week . . . but also that if this is so, then a surprise quiz can be given on any day.

The Two Envelope Paradox, in which we are asked to choose between two indistinguishable envelopes, and it is seemingly shown that each envelope is preferable to the other.

The Ravens Paradox, in which observing a purple shoe provides evidence that all ravens are black.

The Shooting Room Paradox, in which a deadly game kills 90% of all who play, yet each individual's survival turns on the flip of a fair coin.




















Each paradox is clearly described, common mistakes are explored, and a clear, logical solution offered. Paradox Lost will appeal to professional philosophers, students of philosophy, and all who love intellectual puzzles.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 260 pages
  • 148 x 210 x 16.51mm | 384g
  • Cham, Switzerland
  • English
  • 1st ed. 2018
  • 20 Illustrations, black and white; XXVII, 260 p. 20 illus.
  • 3319904892
  • 9783319904894

Back cover copy

Paradox Lost covers ten of philosophy's most fascinating paradoxes, in which seemingly compelling reasoning leads to absurd conclusions. The following paradoxes are included:



The Liar Paradox, in which a sentence says of itself that it is false. Is the sentence true or false?
The Sorites Paradox, in which we imagine removing grains of sand one at a time from a heap of sand. Is there a particular grain whose removal converts the heap to a non-heap?
The Puzzle of the Self-Torturer, in which a series of seemingly rational choices has us accepting a life of excruciating pain, in exchange for millions of dollars.
Newcomb's Problem, in which we seemingly maximize our expected profit by taking an unknown sum of money, rather than taking the same sum plus $1000.
The Surprise Quiz Paradox, in which a professor finds that it is impossible to give a surprise quiz on any particular day of the week . . . but also that if this is so, then a surprise quiz can be given on any day.
The Two Envelope Paradox, in which we are asked to choose between two indistinguishable envelopes, and it is seemingly shown that each envelope is preferable to the other.
The Ravens Paradox, in which observing a purple shoe provides evidence that all ravens are black.
The Shooting Room Paradox, in which a deadly game kills 90% of all who play, yet each individual's survival turns on the flip of a fair coin.




Each paradox is clearly described, common mistakes are explored, and a clear, logical solution offered. Paradox Lost will appeal to professional philosophers, students of philosophy, and all who love intellectual puzzles.
show more

Table of contents

Chapter 1: Introduction
PART I: SEMANTIC PARADOXESChapter 2: The LiarChapter 3: The Sorites
PART II: PARADOXES OF RATIONAL CHOICEChapter 4: The Self-TorturerChapter 5: Newcomb's ProblemChapter 6: The Surprise Quiz Paradox Chapter 7: The Two Envelopes
PART III: PARADOXES OF PROBABILITYChapter 8: The Principle of IndifferenceChapter 9: The RavensChapter 10: The Shooting RoomChapter 11: Self-Locating Belief
Chapter 12: Concluding Remarks
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About Michael Huemer

Michael Huemer is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Colorado at Boulder, USA. He is the author of four other bestselling philosophy books, including The Problem of Political Authority, the winner of the 2013 PROSE Award for philosophy.
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