Synopses & Reviews
In the wake of his enormously popular books andlt;Iandgt;The Armchair Economist andlt;/Iandgt;and andlt;Iandgt;More Sex Is Safer Sexandlt;/Iandgt;, Slate columnist and economics professor Steven Landsburg employs concepts from mathematics, economics, and physics in this sprightly tour of the deepest problems in philosophy: What is real? What can we know? Why is there something instead of nothing? And how should we live?andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Beginning with the broadest philosophical issuesand#8212;theories of existence, knowledge, and ethicsand#8212;Landsburg then turns to a dazzling variety of specific applications. He gives us a mathematical analysis for arguments for the existence of God; explains the real meanings of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle and Gand#246;deland#8217;s incompleteness theorem; and carefully dissects the meaning of social responsibility on the playground, in the marketplace, and in the voting booth.andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Stimulating, illuminating, and always surprising, andlt;Iandgt;The Big Questions andlt;/Iandgt;reveals the relationship between the loftiest philosophical quests and our everyday lives.
"Steven E. Landsburg's latest book of economic brain teasers resembles one of those Hanayama metal puzzles that you're supposed to pull apart: They drive me crazy, yet I can't put them down. Landsburg is the University of Rochester professor who brought us The Armchair Economist and More Sex Is Safer Sex.... In The Big Questions, he attempts something more ambitious and slightly less flip: to sum up his ideas about 'the nature of reality, the basis of knowledge and the foundations of ethics."' Be prepared for a diverting journey into the maze of one man's mind, a supply-and-demand version of the movie Being John Malkovich. -- Bloomburg News
"In The Big Questions, Steven Landsburg ventures far beyond his usual domain to take on questions in metaphysics, epistemology and ethics. . . . [T]his must make Steven Landsburg history's most courageous mathematician because for Landsburg mathematical abstractions are not like Mount Everest, rather Mount Everest is a mathematical abstraction. Indeed, for Landsburg, it's math all the way down--math is what exists and what exists is math, A=A. Read the book for more on this view, which is as good as any metaphysics that has ever been and a far sight better than most." -- MarginalRevolution.com
"The Big Questions is a funky book, like an intellectual roller coaster ride through some of the most fascinating ideas in science, math and economics. These are the ideas, says the author - a University of Rochester professor of economics - that unlock the most perplexing mysteries in philosophy and life, in general. His book is a thought provoking blast." -- David Henderson
Steven Landsburg uses concepts from mathematics, economics, and physics to address the big questions in philosophy.
About the Author
andlt;bandgt;Steven E. Landsburgandlt;/bandgt; is a Professor of Economics at the University of Rochester.andnbsp; He is the author of andlt;iandgt;The Armchair Economist, Fair Play, More Sex is Safer Sex, The Big Questions,andlt;/iandgt; two textbooks in economics, a forthcoming textbook on general relativity and cosmology, and over 30 journal articles in mathematics, economics and philosophy.andnbsp;His current research is in the area of quantum game theory.an