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11 February 2017 @ 03:40 pm
Raymond Smullyan 1919-2017  
A logician approaches two men, knowing that one always tells the truth, and one always lies. She does not know which is which.
She asks the man on the left "Would your fellow tell me that Raymond Smullyan has died?"
The man replies "no."
The logician weeps.
Thanx to Metafilter
He was best known for his books of logic puzzles, such as Alice in PuzzleLand and The Riddle of Scheherazade. He followed up a puzzle book entitled What Is the Name of This Book with a book named This Book Needs No Title, a paradoxical look at life, the universe, and everything that went from great one-liners:
The reason Adam ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge was that he didn't know any better.

I believe that solipsism is the proper philosophy, but that is just one man's opinion.
to the remarkable concluding parable, "World without Laughter." He has also written The Tao Is Silent and another collection of philosophical tales, 5000 B.C.

Who Knows? is a marvelous look at the Big Questions. Part 1 is based on his friend Martin Gardner's The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener. For instance, Smullyan asks how we should describe an approach such as "I don't know whether there's a God, but I sure hope there is one."* The second part discusses Hell, and here he and I are in complete agreement: It is conduct unworthy of a deity. Finally, he turns his attention to R.M. Bucke's Cosmic Consciousness and offers some insights on that. He has also written an autobiography called Some Interesting Memories, whose only flaw is that he remembers too many old jokes.
*I have suggested sperotheist (which is WRONG for the same reason as polyamory).
eub on February 13th, 2017 08:06 am (UTC)
He will be missed. I'll tell a logic puzzle in his memory.