Perplexing Paradoxes: Unraveling Enigmas in the World Around Us (Hardcover)

Perplexing Paradoxes: Unraveling Enigmas in the World Around Us By George G. Szpiro Cover Image
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Description


Why does it always seem like the elevator is going down when you need to go up? Is it really true that 0.99999 . . . with an infinite number of 9s after the decimal point, is equal to 1? What do tea leaves and river erosion have in common, per Albert Einstein? Does seeing a bed of red flowers help prove that all ravens are black? Can we make sense of a phrase like "this statement is unprovable"?

Exploring these questions and many more, George G. Szpiro guides readers through the puzzling world of paradoxes, from Socratic dialogues to the Monty Hall problem. Perplexing Paradoxes presents sixty counterintuitive conundrums drawn from diverse areas of thought--not only mathematics, statistics, logic, and philosophy but also social science, physics, politics, and religion. Szpiro offers a brisk history of each paradox, unpacks its inner workings, and considers where one might encounter it in daily life. Ultimately, he argues, paradoxes are not simple brain teasers or abstruse word games--they challenge us to hone our reasoning and become more alert to the flaws in received wisdom and common habits of thought.

Lighthearted, witty, and conversational, Perplexing Paradoxes presents sophisticated material in an accessible way for all readers interested in the world's boundless possibilities--and impossibilities.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780231213769
ISBN-10: 023121376X
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication Date: March 26th, 2024
Pages: 360
Language: English