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The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener (edition 1999)

by Martin Gardner

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280460,603 (4.15)9
Member:hnn
Title:The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener
Authors:Martin Gardner
Info:St. Martin's Griffin (1999), Edition: 2, Paperback, 496 pages
Collections:Your library
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Tags:philosophy, UR

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The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener by Martin Gardner

  1. 21
    The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins (ehines)
    ehines: While I agree with Dawkins and disagree with Gardner about the existence of God, Gardner's open-mindedness judicious and friendly tone, even in error, serves as a rebuke to Dawkins' inability to understand or respect his intellectual opponents.
  2. 10
    The Meaning of It All: Thoughts of a Citizen-Scientist by Richard P. Feynman (bertilak)
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» See also 9 mentions

Showing 4 of 4
Very honest and enlightening reflections of a skeptical theist. ( )
  ehines | Aug 9, 2010 |
Philosophy, Agnosticism, Theism,
  rolandperkins | Jun 10, 2010 |
A fascinating collection of essays by mathematical guru and pseudo-science debunker, Martin Gardner. He is not afraid to tackle the most difficult questions ever asked and to candidly reveal his own, personal thoughts on them.

The book provides the most convincing arguments for atheism that I have ever read (and that includes Dawkin's "The God Delusion") but surprisingly Gardner is not an atheist. He calls himself a "philosophical theist". I was not convinced by the reasons he gives. I think it has more to do with his protestant fundamentalist upbringing than he is willing to face. ( )
3 vote darrow | Nov 4, 2009 |
If clear thinking is important then this book is every bit as important as Korzybskis efforts. For a summary of Korzybski look into the Cosmic Triggers and Coincidance by the late Robert Anton Wilson. ( )
  Porius | Dec 9, 2008 |
Showing 4 of 4
To put it bluntly, Gardner is a simpleminded fideist who sees himself in the tradition of Kant, William James, and Miguel de Unamuno. It is impossible to imagine anyone reading his outrageous confessional (unless the reader is a clone of Gardner) who, however impressed he may be by the author's wide-ranging erudition and rhetorical skill, will not be infuriated by his idiosyncrasies...

How seriously should we take Gardner's fideism? He seems sincere, yet one wonders. After all, the man has a reputation as a hoaxer. His April 1975 column in Scientific American purported to disclose such dramatic breakthroughs as the discovery of a map that required five colors, a fatal flaw in relativity theory, an opening move in chess (pawn to queen's rook four) that is a certain win for white, and a lost parchment proving that Leonardo da Vinci invented the flush toilet. Thousands of readers wrote to tell Gardner where he went wrong, and one irate professor tried to have him expelled from the American Mathematical Society. Happily, the society made him an honorary life member. George Groth, by the way, is one of Gardner's pseudonyms.
added by SnootyBaronet | editNew York Review of Books, George Groth
 
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Why do I dedicate this book to Charlotte? She knows.
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This is a book of essays about what I believe and why.
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I would expect Jesus to accept, as we are told he did, the historical truth of all the Old Testament stories, including Noah’s flood and Jonah’s travail in the belly of a whale. But on a question so basic to faith as the fate of the wicked, I would expect an incarnated God to rise above his culture.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312206828, Paperback)

The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener showcases Martin Gardner as the consummate philosopher, thinker, and great mathematician that he is. Exploring issues that range from faith to prayer to evil to immortality, and far beyond, Garnder challenges the discerning reader with fundamental questions of classical philosophy and life's greater meanings.
Recalling such philosophers was Wittgenstein and Arendt, The Whys of Philosophical Scrivener embodies Martin Garner's unceasing interest and joy in the impenetrable mysteries of life.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:41 -0400)

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