There Are Two Errors in the the Title of This Book, Revised and Expanded (Again)
A Sourcebook of Philosophical Puzzles, Problems, and Paradoxes
  • Publication Date: October 26, 2011
  • ISBN: 9781554810536 / 1554810531
  • 408 pages; 6" x 9"

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There Are Two Errors in the the Title of This Book, Revised and Expanded (Again)

A Sourcebook of Philosophical Puzzles, Problems, and Paradoxes

  • Publication Date: October 26, 2011
  • ISBN: 9781554810536 / 1554810531
  • 408 pages; 6" x 9"

As this book richly and entertainingly demonstrates, philosophy is as much the search for the right questions as it is the search for the right answers. Robert M. Martin’s popular collection of philosophical puzzles, paradoxes, jokes, and anecdotes is updated and expanded in this third edition, with dozens of new entries.

Comments

“The sorts of questions Martin deals with range from the sublime (is it possible to prove the existence of the world outside your own mind?) to the ridiculous (what’s the best strategy to win at Let’s Make A Deal?), but all are aimed at giving his audience the tools they need to look clearly at complex problems, and distinguish false problems from real ones. Those are skills we all need, especially if we’re not very good at common sense, and that, along with Martin’s enthusiasm and sense of humour, makes this a perfect book for anyone who likes to think.” — Alex Rettie, reviewed in Alberta Views (October 2012)

“In this delightful little book Bob Martin has made philosophy both exciting and fun. I’ve recommended earlier editions to all my first-year students, and I’ve gifted it to people aged 12 to 80. Everyone loves it. Philosophy is a collection of puzzles, and Martin covers pretty much all of them, in digestible snippets. If one doesn’t grab you, there’ll be ten more that do.” — Paul Viminitz, University of Lethbridge

“I’ve used this book in teaching Critical Thinking, but really it’s for me. It’s useful and fun, and it reminds me why I love philosophy.” — Ben Caplan, Ohio State University

“A wonderful book. Martin presents a wealth of puzzles, paradoxes and jokes, more than ever before, in this new and updated third edition. Frequently these raise significant philosophical issues, which are thus introduced in a natural and interesting way. This is a superb text for stimulating students’ interest and showing them how much sheer fun can be had from doing philosophy.” — Adam Rieger, University of Glasgow

“Demonstrates in interesting ways the connections between these puzzles and the great issues that philosophers have debated.” — Peter van Inwagen, Syracuse University

“It will serve as an irresistible enticement to philosophical reflection.” — Geoffrey Sayre-McCord, University of North Carolina

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
ABOUT THIS BOOK

CHAPTER I: DIFFERENCES THAT MAKE NO DIFFERENCE

1 . THE UNANSWERABLE

  • William James and the Squirrel
    Empty Questions
    More Empties
    Something or Nothing?

2 . YOU CAN NEVER TELL

  • Double or Nothing?
    The Right-Handed Universe
    Fake Antiques

3 . SENSATIONAL PROBLEMS

  • Mildred’s Peculiar Sensations
    Another Inversion in Mildred
    The Cheezy Puzzle
    Taste-Tests

4 . THE TRUE AND THE USEFUL

  • It’s Practically True
    What’s So Good about True Beliefs Anyway?

INTO THE MAINSTREAM OF PHILOSOPHY

CHAPTER II: GOD

1 . RELIGIOUS BELIEF

  • The Invisible Gardener
    Industrial Prayer
    The Anti-Flu Flight
    I Believe in One Outpouring of Existence Itself
    Religious Truths
    • (1) Divine Geology
    • (2) One Hell of a Rainstorm

    Faith
    Brainless Spirituality
    The Philosophy Poll

2 . GOD’S DIFFICULTIES

  • God Made Me Do It
    God Knows!
    God the Counterfeiter
    A Proof That Everything Is Hunky-Dory
    God When He Was a Baby
    The Fawn in the Fire

3 . ODDBALL THEORIES OF RELIGION

  • How There Got to Be Only One God
    God Is Love?
    Where Heaven Came From

4 . PROVING THE EXISTENCE OF GOD

  • God as the Tortoise on the Bottom
    The Miracle on the Expressway
    Unusual Arguments for God’s Existence
    Miraculous Evidence
    I Believe in Love
    God and the Printing-Factory Explosion

5. BETTING ON GOD

  • Why Believing in God Is a Good Bet
    Why Believing in God Is Not a Good Bet

6 . WHAT IF THERE ISN’T ANY GOD?

INTO THE MAINSTREAM OF PHILOSOPHY

CHAPTER III : TAKING CHANCES

1. SOME PROBABLE FACTS

  • Rosencrantz Flips a Coin
    to be or not to xq
    Another Surprising Sequence
    You’re On a Roll!
    Why We’re All Nasty
    Psychic Powers in Your Classroom
    Your Extraordinary Ancestors
    How Many Ancestors Do You Have?
    The Miracle of You

2 . SOME PROBABILITY SURPRISES

  • One-Third of Two
    How to Play Russian Roulette
    Happy Birthday Dear You-Two

3 . UNHEALTHY MISTAKES

  • Canada’s Colonic Sweetheart
    Hazards to Your Mental Health
    Guess the Percentages
    Sweinfeld: The Epidemic about Nothing

4. YOU’RE WRONG

  • The Trouble with Taxis
    The Basketball Blunder
    Better Pay or Worse?
    Why It’s Not Certain That You’ll Be in a Plane Crash
    Predicting Priscilla

INTO THE MAINSTREAM OF PHILOSOPHY

CHAPTER IV: MAKING CHOICES : Decision Theory

1 . LOTTERIES AND OTHER GAMBLES

  • The Proof That Lots of People Are Crazy or Stupid
    A Good Lottery Strategy
    How to Go Home a Winner

2 . GETTING MONTY’S GOAT

  • The Monty Hall Paradox
    In Which I Try to Convince You That I’m Right
    Pigeon Reasoning

3 . MORE PROBABILITY PUZZLES

  • The Paradox of the Three Prisoners
    The Other Envelope Is Always Better
    The Sleeping Beauty Conundrum
    Paradoxical Babies

4 . PREFERENCES AND VOTING

  • Why You Shouldn’t Vote
    Fred’s Confusing Preferences
    How Not to Choose a Movie
    How to Win at Dice
    Rock, Scissors, Paper

5 . SLIPPING DOWN THE SLOPE

  • The Elusive Wine-Bottle
    Why You Should Always Have Another Glass of Beer
    Why Everyone Is Poor

INTO THE MAINSTREAM OF PHILOSOPHY

CHAPTER V: LOGIC AND PARADOX

1 . THE ILLOGIC OF ENGLISH

  • “Or” Confusions
    Nothing If Not Complicated
    “The” Confusions
    Much Ado about Nothing
    The Messy Counterfactual

2 . THINKING IN CIRCLES

  • The Divine Circle
    There’s Always a Catch
    The Münchhausen Trilemma

3 . THE UNSPOKEN IMPLICATION

  • It Never Turns Blue Either
    Has the Present King of France Stopped Robbing Banks?

4 . IMPOSSIBLE SURPRISES

  • The Surprise Quiz That Never Happens
    Why You Can’t Pick Any Number
    The Surprising Meatloaf
    Why All Numbers Are Interesting

5 . PARADOXES OF SELF – REFERENCE

  • The Non-Existent Barber
    The Trouble with Adjectives
    The Troublesome Statement in the Box
    A Silly Proof of God’s Existence
    Self-Referential Jokes
    On Being a Member of Yourself
    This Is Not the Title of This Item
    There Are Two Errors

6 . OH NO! MORE SILLY PROOFS OF GOD’S EXISTENCE!

  • The Universal Prover
    God Knows That He Exists

7. ZENO’S PARADOXES

  • The Speedy Tortoise
    The Runner Who Never Gets to the Finish
    Supertask: Able to Leap Short Time-Intervals
    How to Finish an Autobiography
    Thinking about Changing? There’s a Lot to Do.

INTO THE MAINSTREAM OF PHILOSOPHY

CHAPTER VI : BELIEF, LOGIC, AND INTENTIONS

1 . BELIEVE IT OR NOT

  • Why You Should Never Change Your Mind
    The Zen of Chicken-Sexing
    Be Careful What You Believe
    Knowing Nothing about Birds
    The Hobgoblin of Little Minds
    You’ll Believe Just Anything
    Impossible Beliefs

2 . IT HAS TO BE TRUE

  • Descartes’s Thought
    The Unexamined Life
    A Guaranteed True Belief

3 . SELF-FULFILLING/SELF-DEFEATING

  • The Power of Positive Thinking
    How to Fail at Baseball
    The Pursuit of Happiness
    Fooling Yourself
    Sorry, I’m Not Free Right Now

4 . MENTAL IMPOTENCE

  • Believe or I’ll Shoot!
    How to Intend to Kick Your Cat

INTO THE MAINSTREAM OF PHILOSOPHY

CHAPTER VII : GOOD AND BAD REASONING

1 . THOUGHT – TRAPS FOR THE UNWARY

  • The Price of a Ball
    Splitting Up the Diamonds
    The Disappearing Dollar
    Free Beer
    Nobody Works at All
    The Disappearing Day
    Who’s Looking?
    The Jelly-Bean Peculiarity
    The General Makes Some Bad Choices
    More Math Troubles
    His Father’s Son
    The Card Mistake
    Roses and Mice

2 . THE REASONING OF OTHER CULTURES AND PAST CULTURES

  • Azande Witches
    Camels in Germany
    If We Had Three Nostrils, Would There Be Eight Planets?
    Nobody Could Be That Wrong
    Charity for All?
    Warning for Tourists: Watch Out for Extreme Politeness

3 . THINKING IN GROOVES

  • Ungroovy Thinking
    (1) The Boy with Two Fathers
    (2) How to Win a Camel Anti-Race
    (3) Thinking Straight about Roman Numerals
    (4) Reducing Speeding Violations
    (5) Smashing a Fly
    (6) The Enormous Tiddly-Wink Tournament
    (7) Notes from the Underground
    Thinking Outside the Box
    Getting Out of the Box
    The the Title of This Book
    The Mushroom Hunt

INTO THE MAINSTREAM OF PHILOSOPHY

CHAPTER VIII : LEARNING FROM EXPERIENCE

1 . WHAT’S KNOWLEDGE?

  • Justification
    Lucy the Baseball Oracle
    Galileo as Scientist
    Kekulé’s Dream

2 . SCEPTICAL DOUBTS AND PUZZLES

  • Life Is But a Dream
    The Stuff That Dreams Are Made On
    The Brain in a Vat
    What Pink Socks Tell You about Ravens
    Something Even Worse about Pink Socks
    Ravens in Rutland
    Chicken Induction
    How Long Will This Keep Going On?
    The Inevitability of Scientific Error: Another Circle
    Dunno
    No Future to Know

3 . SCIENTIFIC SURPRISES

  • The Depressing Sample
    Your Popular Friends

4 . SCIENTIFIC MISTAKES

  • Bad Predictions
    The Board of Miseducation
    True Scotsmen

5 . CAUSE AND EFFECT

  • Cause and Correlation
    The Tickle Defence

6 . SCIENCE AND NON –

  • Too Good to Be True
    I Dreamed That Would Happen!
    Is It a Boy or a Girl?
    The Wisdom of the Noble Savage
    The Wisdom of the Dumbest Yokel

INTO THE MAINSTREAM OF PHILOSOPHY

CHAPTER IX : KNOWING WITHOUT EXPERIENCE

1 . THE A PRIORI AND DEFINITIONS

  • Why Your Sisters Are Female
    Truth “By Definition”
    The Dictionary with Very Few Definitions
    Sisters without Language
    Honest Abe and the Sheep
    The Disappearing Planet

2 . CONCEPTUAL TRUTHS

  • I Forget What I Saw Before I Was Born
    More on Conceptual Existence

3 . THE SYNTHETIC A PRIORI

  • The Incompetent Repairman
    Kant on the Synthetic A Priori
    Nothing Made That Happen
    The Butterfly That Destroyed Oakland
    The Tribe without Arithmetic
    7 + 5 ≠ 12
    The Numbers Made Me Believe That
    Bizarre Triangles Discovered in Space

4 . A PRIORI SCIENCE

  • Bad Physics
    The Infinity of Space
    Why It’s Dark at Night
    Thinking about Falling
    The Shadow Knows
    The Mirror Problem
    More Thoughts about Falling

INTO THE MAINSTREAM OF PHILOSOPHY

CHAPTER X : THINKING, SAYING, AND MEANING : The Philosophy of Mind and of Language

1 . THINKING MACHINES

  • Could a Machine Think?
    Artificial Insanity
    The Turing Test
    How to Think Like a Computer
    Don’t Try This Recipe at Home, Kids!
    A Robot Has Feelings, Too
    The Mystery of Meat
    Let’s Not Get Physical
    What Zombies Tell Us
    Mildred Again
    The Material Girl (and Boy)
    The Astonishing Hypothesis
    Angels and Superman
    Believing in Angels
    Why Picnics Don’t Obey the Laws of Physics

2 . THE THOUGHTS OF ANIMALS

  • Dog-Zombies
    Fido’s Logic
    Fido’s Mendacity
    Language Requirements?

3 . MEANING

  • What Could They Have Meant?
    Saying What You Don’t Mean
    Thinking about Vienna
    The Incredible Swampman
    Thinking about Santa Claus

INTO THE MAINSTREAM OF PHILOSOPHY

CHAPTER XI : HERE AND NOW; YOU NDI

1 . TIME TRAVEL

  • Not Killing Grandpa
    Meeting Yourself
    UFOs Contain Visitors from Planet Earth
    Time Travel and the End of Humanity

2 . WHEN , WHERE , AND WHO

  • Telling Space Aliens What Day It Is
    I’m Here Now
    Fred Finds Himself in the Library
    What Two Gods Don’t Know

3 . THE IDENTITY OF THINGS

  • Two Ways to Be the Same
    The Same Lump
    The Identity of My University
    The Disappearing Boat
    Three Odd Buildings
    (1) The Gold Pavilion Temple
    (2) The Hôtel de Glace
    (3) The Ugly Apartment House
    Puzzling Rivers in Klopstokia

4 . THE IDENTITY OF ANIMALS AND PEOPLE

  • My Organism Is Bigger than Yours
    Rover and Clover
    The Adventures of Amoeba-Man
    Getting Someone Else’s Body
    Keeping Your Own Body
    Two Places Are Better than One
    What It Takes to Be in Heaven

5 . IDENTITY AND ESSENCE

  • What Makes You You
    What Makes Us Us

INTO THE MAINSTREAM OF PHILOSOPHY

CHAPTER XII : WHY SHOULD I BE MORAL?

1 . WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?

  • Change for a Dollar
    The Ring of Gyges
    Rationality

2 . RELATIVISM AND REALISM

  • Finger-Lickin’ Good and Evil
    It’s All Relative
    Can Ethics Be Taught?
    The Gurgling Wave
    When God Tells You to Do Evil
    Biblical Guides to Conduct

3 . THE PRISONER’S DILEMMA

  • A Deal for the Prisoners
    The Tragedy of the Commons
    Coca-Cola Morality
    Why We Should Hire a Dictator
    Why People in Small Towns are Nicer
    Toucha Smasha

4 . THE PARADOX OF DETERRENCE

  • Bombing the Russians
    When It’s Sane to Be Crazy
    The Swerving Chicken

INTO THE MAINSTREAM OF PHILOSOPHY

CHAPTER XIII : HOW TO THINK MORALLY

1 . JUSTICE AND DISTRIBUTION

  • Why You Should Give Away Your Shoes
    Sell Whatsoever Thou Hast, and Give to the Rich
    Why You Don’t Have to Give Away Your Shoes
    Your Shoes and Your “Families”
    Supererogatory Acts
    Schadenfreude

2 . PUNISHMENT

  • Getting Back at Eichmann
    Making a Statement
    Closure
    The Paradox of Punishment

3 . RIGHTS AND WRONGS

  • Push-Pin Anyone?
    When Promise-Breaking Is Obligatory
    Don’t Torture That Baby!
    How to Prevent Crime
    Rights vs. Utility
    Special Today on Life: Only $2199.91/Day
    The Price of Life in Europe

INTO THE MAINSTREAM OF PHILOSOPHY

CHAPTER XIV: MORAL CONUNDRUMS

1 . GETTING WHAT YOU WANT

  • Past and Future Desires
    Harming and Benefitting the Dead
    What Happens to Somebody Who Is Hardly Me
    How to Get What You Want
    Electronic Pleasure

2 . RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHER PEOPLE

  • I’m Gonna Buy a Plastic Doll That I Can Call My Own
    Replaceable People in Literature

3 . YUK

  • Hello Dolly!
    Frankensurgery
    Canine Disrespect
    The Yuck Factor

4 . ACTING AND REFRAINING

  • Two Ways to Kill Granny
    Moral Technology
    Ten-to-One Dilemmas
    How to Get Organ Donors
    How to Assault a Police Officer by Doing Nothing
    Poor Joshua!
    The Bad Samaritan

INTO THE MAINSTREAM OF PHILOSOPHY

CHAPTER XV: LAW, ACTION, AND RESPONSIBILITY

1 . WHY IS THAT ILLEGAL?

  • Blackmailing Letterman
    How Not to Sell Ice in Alberta

2 . TWILIGHT – ZONE LEGISLATION

  • Legislating π
    Some Unusual Laws

3 . WHEN RULES COLLIDE

  • The Immigration Collision
    Trapped in the Airport

4 . PROBLEMS FOR JUDGES

  • The Messier Contract
    What Do Judges Do?

5 . PROBLEMS ABOUT ACTIONS

  • Why You Don’t Drive When You’re Drunk
    The Lucky Murderer
    A Time and a Place for Murder

6 . CANS AND CAN’TS

  • Can Pierre Keep His Promise?
    Ought But Can’t?
    Saving Ought Implies Can
    What You Can’t Do
    The Incapable Golfer
    No Absolution for Pierre

7. FREE WILL

  • I Just Had to Do It
    Freedom as Uncaused Action
    An Unfree Ass
    Freedom as Irrationality
    The Unpredictable Dealer
    Compatibilism
    The Evil Physiologist

INTO THE MAINSTREAM OF PHILOSOPHY

CHAPTER XVI : DEEP THOUGHTS

  • Wisdom

    Cheer
    Sub Specie Aeternitatis
    Doubt

BIBLIOGRAPHY
DISCLAIMER

Robert M. Martin is Professor of Philosophy (retired), Dalhousie University.

The companion site includes additional philosophical puzzles, paradoxes, jokes, and anecdotes, as well as an entirely new chapter. A butterfly symbol in the margin of the bound book indicates where related material is available on the website. Access to the website is not restricted by a passcode.