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  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-03-23
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press

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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.

Author Biography

R.M. Sainsbury is a Professor in the Department of Philosophy, University of Texas at Austin. 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).

Table of Contents

Foreword to third editionp. vii
Introductionp. 1
Suggested readingp. 3
Zeno's paradoxes: space, time, and motionp. 4
Introductionp. 4
Spacep. 5
The Racetrackp. 11
The Racetrack againp. 15
Achilles and the Tortoisep. 19
The Arrowp. 19
Suggested readingp. 21
Moral paradoxesp. 22
Crime Reductionp. 22
Mixed Blessingsp. 27
Not Being Sorryp. 31
Moral dilemmasp. 34
Suggested readingp. 39
Vagueness: the paradox of the heapp. 40
Sorites paradoxes: preliminariesp. 40
Sorites paradoxes: some optionsp. 46
Accepting the conclusion: Unger's viewp. 48
Rejecting the premises: the epistemic theoryp. 49
Rejecting the premises: supervaluationsp. 51
Rejecting the reasoning: degrees of truthp. 56
Vague objects?p. 63
Suggested readingp. 66
Acting rationallyp. 69
Newcomb's paradoxp. 69
The Prisoner's Dilemmap. 82
Suggested readingp. 88
Believing rationallyp. 90
Paradoxes of confirmationp. 90
Backgroundp. 90
The paradox of the Ravensp. 95
"Grue"p. 99
The Unexpected Examinationp. 107
Revising the Unexpected Examinationp. 110
The Knowerp. 115
Suggested readingp. 120
Classes and truthp. 123
Russell's paradoxp. 123
The Liar: semantic defectsp. 127
Grounding and truthp. 129
The Strengthened Liarp. 132
Levelsp. 133
Self-referencep. 137
Indexicalityp. 138
Indexical circularityp. 139
Comparison: how similar are Russell's paradox and the Liar?p. 142
Suggested readingp. 145
Are any contradictions acceptable?p. 150 è
Contradictions entail everythingp. 151
A sentence which is both true and false could have no intelligible contentp. 152
Three dualitiesp. 153
Negationp. 155
Falsehood and untruthp. 157
Suggested readingp. 158
Some more paradoxesp. 160
Remarks on some text questions and appended paradoxesp. 168
Bibliographyp. 172
Indexp. 179
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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