The Grasshopper: Games, Life and Utopia

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Broadview Press, Nov 9, 2005 - Philosophy - 179 pages
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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is now re-issued with a new introduction by Thomas Hurka and with additional material (much of it previously unpublished) by the author, in which he expands on the ideas put forward in The Grasshopper and answers some questions that have been raised by critics.
 

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As an owner of a rare First Printing, I can tell you that this remarkable reverse-fable is a true gem for Any aspiring Philosopher or anyone wondering just what it means to balance work/life in order to find our own Utopia. It seamlessly blends High Philosophy with allegory and parables to illustrate a very deep and complex view on life, games, and paradise in the simplest and most approachable ways. Perfect for young adults, collegians, and casual/advanced wisdom seekers alike! 

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Contents

Introduction
7
Preface
21
Acknowledgments
22
The Players
24
Death of the Grasshopper
25
Disciples
31
Construction of a definition
37
Triflers cheats and spoilsports
57
Mountain climbing
85
Reverse English
89
The remarkable career of Porphyryo Sneak
95
The case history of Bartholomew Drag
109
Open games
119
Amateurs professionals and Games People Play
129
Resurrection
141
Resolution
149

Taking the long way home
61
Ivan and Abdul
67
Games and paradox
77
Introduction to the Appendices
161
Wittgenstein in the meadow
174
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About the author (2005)

Bernard Suits is Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, the University of Waterloo. Thomas Hurka is Jackman Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, the University of Toronto; his works include Principles (a collection of his Globe and Mail columns), Perfectionism, and Virtue, Vice, and Value.

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