Crooked Thinking or Straight Talk?

Modernizing Epicurean Scientific Philosophy

Authors: Binmore, Ken

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  • Criticizes the complacency of traditional philosophy
  • Further develops the scientific philosophy of Epicurus
  • Explains important ideas in game theory without mathematics
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-39547-6
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Softcover $27.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-030-39546-9
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  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

Why can't we think straight about the big issues that face our society? Why are we taken in by the phony arguments of populists and scammers? Where are the philosophers hiding when we need them to tell us what makes sense?

They are hiding because they have nothing to say. The airy-fairy answers offered by writers of footnotes to Plato were wrong two thousand years ago, and they are still wrong now. All this time, we should have been listening to a different but equally venerable branch of matter-of-fact philosophy pioneered by the much-maligned philosopher Epicurus. His ideas were suppressed in ancient times as heretical, but the development of the theory of games and decisions makes it timely for those of us who care about science to revive his style of thinking–not just about the world around us but about ourselves as well. The price of transferring our allegiance to Epicurus and his modern followers is that we can no longer enjoy the luxury of being told what we want to hear. It would be nice if we were really equipped with a hotline to a metaphysical world of transcendental ideals, but the truth is that we are just the flotsam left behind on the beach when the evolutionary tide went out, and we have to get real about what will and will not work for our imperfect species before it is too late.

This book is an attempt to point the way. It has no equations and very little jargon; nor does it pull any punches, either in explaining how game theory works or in exposing the follies of famous metaphysicians.

About the authors

Ken Binmore is a mathematician turned economist and philosopher. He has held chairs at the London School of Economics, the University of Michigan, and University College London. He has been involved in a range of applied projects, including the design of major telecom auctions in various countries across the world. The telecom auction he organized in the UK raised $35 billion, prompting Newsweek magazine to describe him as the “ruthless, poker-playing economist who destroyed the telecom industry”.  He has contributed to game theory, experimental economics, evolutionary biology and moral philosophy. His books include Natural Justice (OUP), Does Game Theory Work? (MIT Press),  A Very Short Introduction to Game Theory (OUP), and Rational Decisions (PUP). He is currently a Visiting Professor of Economics at the University of Bristol and a Visiting Professor of Philosophy at LSE.


Table of contents (5 chapters)

Table of contents (5 chapters)
  • Epicurus

    Pages 1-26

    Binmore, Ken

  • Rationality as Consistency

    Pages 27-53

    Binmore, Ken

  • Valuing Lives

    Pages 55-70

    Binmore, Ken

  • Reciprocity

    Pages 71-94

    Binmore, Ken

  • Fairness

    Pages 95-126

    Binmore, Ken

Buy this book

eBook $19.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-39547-6
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover $27.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-030-39546-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Crooked Thinking or Straight Talk?
Book Subtitle
Modernizing Epicurean Scientific Philosophy
Authors
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-39547-6
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-39547-6
Softcover ISBN
978-3-030-39546-9
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
X, 130
Number of Illustrations
1 b/w illustrations
Topics