The Bed of Procrustes

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The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms
Second edition
AuthorNassim Nicholas Taleb
CountryUnited States
Subjectaphorisms, philosophy
PublisherRandom House (U.S.)
Publication date
November 30, 2010
Media typePrint (Paperback)
Pages157 pp (paperback)
ISBN978-0-8129-8240-4 (U.S.)
Preceded byThe Black Swan 
Followed byAntifragile 

The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms is a philosophy book by Nassim Nicholas Taleb written in the aphoristic style. It was first released on November 30, 2010 by Random House.[1] An updated edition was released on October 26, 2016 that includes fifty percent more material than the 2010 edition.[1] According to Taleb, the book "contrasts the classical values of courage, elegance, and erudition against the modern diseases of nerdiness, philistinism, and phoniness." The title refers to Procrustes, a figure from Greek mythology who abducted travelers and stretched or chopped their bodies to fit the length of his bed.[2]

The book is part of Taleb's five volume philosophical essay on uncertainty, titled the Incerto[3] and covers Antifragile (2012), The Black Swan (2007–2010), Fooled by Randomness (2001),The Bed of Procrustes (2010–2016), and Skin in the Game (2018).


  1. ^ a b Taleb, Nassim Nicholas (30 November 2010). The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms, Hardcover, 1st Edition. ISBN 978-1400069972.
  2. ^ Pressley, James (2010-12-07). "Taleb of 'Black Swan' Mocks 'Boring' Bernanke, Suckers, Wage Slaves: Books". Retrieved 2014-01-28.
  3. ^ "Incerto".

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