Critics’ Reviews

“This unique book quite bowled me over, both intellectually and as a gorgeous literary feast. Bernard Suits not only makes philosophy enjoyable, as it should be, but does so without any compromise of real profundity. He engages not only Wittgenstein but human life itself at the highest level, in a book that challenges philosophical orthodoxies, while all the time flowing like honey.”
Simon Blackburn
“Like Erasmus’s Praise of Folly and Diderot’s Rameau’s Nephew, Suits’s The Grasshopper sparkles with wit and fun; and outranks those wonderful works in clear, firm philosophical conclusions. Defying certain discouragements, Suits constructs an illuminating definition of games, which he defends in lively dialogues, amusing parables, and cascades of subtle analytical distinctions. That is achievement enough to make a new classic in the history of philosophy. Suits offers more: an application of his definition in a discussion of how much we may have to rely on games——deliberately using relatively inefficient means to reach freely stipulated goals——if life is to continue to have meaning. We may be able to regain thereby the meaning lost as advances in technology enable us to escape one by one the tasks that necessity used to impose on humankind.”
David Braybrooke
“The Grasshopper is an amazing book. Philosophically profound, yet genuinely funny. While primarily an articulation and defense of a highly plausible definition of games, it also manages to raise some of the deepest and most challenging questions about the meaning of life. All in the form of dialogues between an insect and his disciples! There is simply nothing else like it.”
Shelly Kagan

Posted on November 2, 2015