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The Philosopher's Toolkit: A Compendium of Philosophical Concepts and Methods (Wiley Desktop Editions) [Paperback]

Julian Baggini , Peter S. Fosl
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

9 April 2010 1405190183 978-1405190183 2nd Edition
The second edition of this popular compendium provides the necessary intellectual equipment to engage with and participate in effective philosophical argument, reading, and reflection Features significantly revised, updated and expanded entries, and an entirely new section drawn from methods in the history of philosophy This edition has a broad, pluralistic approach––appealing to readers in both continental philosophy and the history of philosophy, as well as analytic philosophy Explains difficult concepts in an easily accessible manner, and addresses the use and application of these concepts Proven useful to philosophy students at both beginning and advanced levels

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 2nd Edition edition (9 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405190183
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405190183
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 16.1 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 177,164 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Julian Baggini's books include The Ego Trick, Welcome to Everytown, What's It All About? - Philosophy and the Meaning of Life and The Pig That Wants to be Eaten, all published by Granta Books. He writes for several newspapers and magazines and is co-founder of The Philosophers' Magazine.

Product Description


" The Philosopher′s Toolkit is a very good book. It could be highly useful for both introductory courses in philosophy, or philosophical methodology, as well as independent study for anyone interested in the methods of argument, assessment and criticism used in contemporary analytic philosophy. It is unique in approach, and written in a pleasant and considerate tone. Its authors are both competent philosophers, and the book visibly reflects their deep sympathy to the discipline and their appreciation of its unique character. This book will help one to get going to do philosophy, but more advanced students might find this text helpful too. I wish I had had access to this book as an undergraduate." ( Teaching Philosophy ) "This book is ... an encyclopedia of philosophy. It should be of great use as a quick and accurate reference guide to the skill of philosophy, especially for beginners, but also for instructors ... highly recommended." ( Choice ) "Its choice of tools for basic argument ... is sound, while further tools for argument ... move through topics and examples concisely and wittily... Sources are well chosen and indicated step by step. Sections are cross–referenced (making it better than the Teach Youself "100 philosophical concepts") and supported by a useful index." ( Reference Reviews ) "...the average person who is interested in arguments and logic but who doesn′t have much background in philosophy would certainly find this book useful, as would anyone teaching a course on arguments, logic, and reasoning. Even introductory courses on philosophy in general might benefit because the book lays out so many of the conceptual "tools" which will prove necessary over students′ careers." ( )


" The Philosopher′s Toolkit provides a welcome and useful addition to the introductory philosophy books available. It takes the beginner through most of the core conceptual tools and distinctions used by philosophers, explaining them simply and with abundant examples. Newcomers to philosophy will find much in here that will help them to understand the subject." — David S. Oderberg , University of Reading

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seems perfect! 25 July 2010
By Pipster
I bought this as a present for a friend studying philosophy and after reading some of it he told me it may have single handedly saved his degree! So I guess it's pretty good! It was delivered really quick and it perfect condition too.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great simple explanations 12 April 2013
By Noel
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Any student of philosophy would enjoy this bookand can be a life saver for revision of topics and concepts - better than a dictionary of philosophy - worth the cost
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
I've read and 're-read it so often because of its range and clarity: Baggini can even make deconstructionism make sense.
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By Dr. H. A. Jones TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Philosopher’s Toolkit: A compendium of philosophical concepts and methods by Julian Baggini and Peter S. Fosl, Wiley-Blackwell, 2nd edn. 2010, 304 ff.

This is a book of fundamentals of philosophy, explicitly written but with subject matter that needs concentrated reading. It is presented throughout in relatively short sections for easier assimilation. For many of these, a few particularly relevant other sections of the work are listed at the end so that the reader can join up his or her thinking with related topics or approaches. Baggini is a British professional writer and Fosl is Professor of Philosophy at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky.

There are seven chapters in this book and the first two deal with the devices used in philosophical arguments – like deduction and induction, fallacies and tautologies, analogies and anomalies. Chapter Three is about how we would assess the arguments of others (or what we need to look out for in making arguments of our own) with features like ambiguity, circularity, redundancy and somewhat more challenging features like category mistakes or conceptual incoherence.

Chapter Four teaches us how to distinguish between complementary pairs of philosophical concepts – analytic and synthetic, necessary and sufficient properties, objective and subjective arguments, and a whole lot more. In Chapter Five there is a fascinating examination of some of the most famous arguments that were used by philosophers of yesteryear – like Hume’s Fork and Ogham’s Razor.

The remaining two chapters are also written in a historical context dealing as they do with the views of some great philosophers of the past – Leibniz, Nietzsche, Sartre, and another more modern French philosopher Jacques Lacan, Gödel, and others.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Value for your mind and money. 16 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Both comprehensive and substantial, this book excels by combining easy learning of very important tools with a great lot of examples from texts by well-known philosophers.
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