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Paradoxes

ISBN: 978-0-7456-4944-3
200 pages
March 2013, Polity
Paradoxes (0745649440) cover image

Description

Paradoxes are arguments that lead from apparently true premises, via apparently uncontroversial reasoning, to a false or even contradictory conclusion. Paradoxes threaten our basic understanding of central concepts such as space, time, motion, infinity, truth, knowledge, and belief.

In this volume Roy T Cook provides a sophisticated, yet accessible and entertaining, introduction to the study of paradoxes, one that includes a detailed examination of a wide variety of paradoxes. The book is organized around four important types of paradox: the semantic paradoxes involving truth, the set-theoretic paradoxes involving arbitrary collections of objects, the Soritical paradoxes involving vague concepts, and the epistemic paradoxes involving knowledge and belief. In each of these cases, Cook frames the discussion in terms of four different approaches one might take towards solving such paradoxes. Each chapter concludes with a number of exercises that illustrate the philosophical arguments and logical concepts involved in the paradoxes.

Paradoxes is the ideal introduction to the topic and will be a valuable resource for scholars and students in a wide variety of disciplines who wish to understand the important role that paradoxes have played, and continue to play, in contemporary philosophy.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments viii

Introduction 1

1 The Care and Feeding of your New Paradoxes 9

2 The Truth about Truth 30

3 The Title of this Chapter Will Have its Revenge 62

4 Some Collections are Bigger and Badder than Others 91

5 Bald, Not Bald, and Kinda Bald 128

6 What We Know about What We Know 156

Conclusion: Many Paradoxes, One Solution? 186

References 197

Index 203

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Author Information

Roy T. Cook is Associate Professor in the Philosophy Department of the University of Minnesota.

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The Wiley Advantage

  • This is the next book in the Key Concepts in Philosophy series focusing on the core and difficult topic of paradoxes.
  • An accessible and entertaining introduction to the study of paradoxes, in which the author provides a detailed examination of a wide variety of paradoxes.
  • He concentrates on four types of paradoxes: the semantic paradoxes involving truth, the set-theoretic paradoxes involving arbitrary collections of objects, the Soritical paradoxes involving vague concepts, and the epistemic paradoxes involving knowledge and belief.
  • Also includes helpful exercises and further reading sections at the end of each chapter.
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Reviews

"The Liar Paradox and the Sorites Paradox were discovered by the Ancient Greek thinker Eubulides. Two and a half thousand years later, we have a much deeper understanding of these paradoxes, their neighbours, and their importance, but there is still no consensus on how they should be solved.  Roy Cook’s book explains current thinking on these matters in a clear, knowledgeable, and easy-going way. He has fashioned an excellent introduction to this intriguing area of thought."
Graham Priest, University of Melbourne

"Paradoxes can be the springboard of profound discovery. This book presents paradoxes that matter, and explains why and how they matter. And the book does it all in a user-friendly style that's enjoyable to read. And what's more: the book is reliable, written by one of the leading researchers on the topic. This book is henceforth on my list of required readings for anyone looking to study the philosophy of logic or the interplay of paradoxes, logic, and philosophy generally. It's a great accomplishment by one of today's exciting philosophers."
JC Beall, University of Connecticut

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