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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A valuable introduction to philosophical reasoning, 29 Jun 2014
By 
Dr. H. A. Jones "Howard Jones" (Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Philosopher's Toolkit: A Compendium of Philosophical Concepts and Methods (Wiley Desktop Editions) (Paperback)
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. The suggestions for further reading appear at the end of each section, so the book concludes with just a detailed Index. This is an excellent book for serious students of philosophy and, quite apart from those studying the subject per se, it would prove useful to students of English or science who need to develop techniques of presenting coherent arguments. I have studied philosophy for several decades and I found this a useful addition to my library.

Howard Jones is the author of The World as Spirit (2011) and Evolution of Consciousness (2012)
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seems perfect!, 25 July 2010
This review is from: The Philosopher's Toolkit: A Compendium of Philosophical Concepts and Methods (Wiley Desktop Editions) (Paperback)
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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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great simple explanations, 12 April 2013
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Noel (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Philosopher's Toolkit: A Compendium of Philosophical Concepts and Methods (Wiley Desktop Editions) (Paperback)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Value for your mind and money., 16 April 2014
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This review is from: The Philosopher's Toolkit: A Compendium of Philosophical Concepts and Methods (Wiley Desktop Editions) (Paperback)
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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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superb reference guide to things we need to know about thinking, 4 Dec 2013
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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