5000 B.C. and Other Philosophical Fantasies — Raymond Smullyan

This random grab bag of philosophical ideas covers religion, ethics, metaphysics, logic and quite a lot more. It’s not really cohesive but it is interesting all the way through.

The book tries to give a flavour of Smullyan’s technique of philosophising. Right at the end of the book, he summarises it in the form of a maxim:

Instead of trying to prove your opponent wrong, try to find out in what sense he may be right.

As he says, much may be gained from constructing possible models of other world views within one’s own. This is a very old idea but a very powerful one. I wish more people tried to use it.

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