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Insurmountable Simplicities: Thirty-nine Philosophical Conundrums

Roberto Casati and Achille Varzi

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Paper, 144 pages,
ISBN: 978-0-231-13723-2
$19.95 / £13.95

May, 2006
Cloth, 144 pages,
ISBN: 978-0-231-13722-5
$65.00 / £45.00

"Perhaps not all the stories that follow are true. They could, however, be true, and the Reader is invited to ponder this."

So begins Insurmountable Simplicities, Roberto Casati and Achille Varzi's colorful incarnation of the many philosophical conundrums that hide in the wrinkles of everyday life. Why do mirrors seem to invert left and right but not up and down? How do we know whether strawberries taste the same for everyone? Where is it written that we must observe the law, and if it is not written, why should we observe it? What if we could swap brains-or the rest of our bodies?

Insurmountable Simplicities is filled with stories, dialogues, and epistolary exchanges that cover a range of themes-such as personal identity, causality and responsibility, fortune, the nature of things, the paradoxes of time and space, the interface between logic and language-in captivating and inventive ways.

Clear, concise, and intellectually engaging, this internationally acclaimed book brilliantly demonstrates that the beauty of philosophy resides in its thorough engagement with the simplicities of the world, insurmountable as they might initially appear.

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About the Author

Roberto Casati is research director at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Paris. He is the author of The Shadow Club and (with Achille Varzi) Parts and Places: The Structures of Spatial Representation and Holes and Other Superficialities. Achille Varzi is professor of philosophy at Columbia University. In addition to the books coauthored with Casati, he is the author of several volumes, including An Essay in Universal Semantics and Theory and Problems of Logic.

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