The Grasshopper: Games, Life and Utopia
In the mid twentieth century the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein famously asserted that games are indefinable; there are no common threads that link them all. "Nonsense," says the sensible Bernard Suits: "playing a game is a voluntary attempt to overcome unnecessary obstacles." The short book Suits wrote demonstrating precisely that is as playful as it is insightful, as stimulating as it is delightful. Suits not only argues that games can be meaningfully defined; he also suggests that playing games is a central part of the ideal of human existence, so games belong at the heart of any vision of Utopia. Originally published in 1978, The Grasshopper is now re-issued with a new introduction by Thomas Hurka and with additional material (much of it previously unpublished) by the author, in which he expands on the ideas put forward in The Grasshopper and answers some questions that have been raised by critics.
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A small book with a powerful punch.
Each chapter is a story to illustrate another proof of this statement: "playing a game is a voluntary attempt to overcome unnecessary obstacles'
Philosophically deep while holding interest.
CHAPTER ONE Death of the Grasshopper
CHAPTER TWO Disciples
CHAPTER THREE Construction of a definition
CHAPTER FOUR Triflers cheats and spoil sports
CHAPTER FIVE Taking the long way home
CHAPTER NINE Reverse English
CHAPTER TEN The remarkable career of Porphyryo Sneak
CHAPTER ELEVEN The case history of Bartholomew Drag
CHAPTER TWELVE Open games
CHAPTER THIRTEEN Amateurs professionals and Games People Play
CHAPTER FOURTEEN Resurrection
CHAPTER FIFTEEN Resolution
Introduction to the Appendices
CHAPTER SIX Ivan and Abdul
CHAPTER SEVEN Games and paradox
CHAPTER EIGHT Mountain climbing