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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 23 November 2011
Or did I just think that I did? The title implies that the book is going to be full of eureka moments where you are confronted with tricks that your mind is playing on you. In this respect, you might think that you were getting a book on psychology. If so, you would be mistaken. What you are really getting is a book on morality and philosophy in the form of a series of quizzes.

There are 12 of them and I have to say, that despite liking a good quiz, I found them somewhat unengaging. The final one just tests your knowledge of philosophers with dates, places and concepts. Not having studied the subject in any academic way, this is about as interesting as a quiz on sugar production. There are a couple of quizzes which are meant to lead you up a blind alley attempting to justify the existence of God. I have already been up this particular alley, turned round and headed back to the street, so that was two more quizzes that told me nothing. There are a couple of quizzes on deductive reasoning which are OK if you aren't very good at it.

Then there are a lot of quizzes about your moral positions which attempt to find out inconsistencies in them. As you might expect, it's all a bit glib. Can you really reduce moral questions and ethical stands to a few "If you answered A then.... If you answered B then...." I found it all most unenlightening. It might be a good start for some conversations about certain questions. I could imagine this as being distributed in 6th Form study classes for an engaging debate, but if you are going to start doing this with your dinner guests you won't have to burn the bread and butter pudding for them to decide that they never want to accept another of your invitations. Without the discussions, the quizzes aren't interesting as stand alone activities.

3 stars or 2? I think 2, on the basis that not buying it would have been better than buying it. The authors are clearly intelligent and are aware that their book could be a bit glib. It is not a stupid book, just not that interesting or useful, sadly. I have bought another Baggini book and am hoping that it is going to be a little more instructive and entertaining.
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on 9 March 2013
Nice to see somebody putting their philosophy A-levels to use I guess, but if you've already got them then you're unlikely to find anything in this book that you're not already very familiar with. Note that the book requires you to complete exercises with a pen/paper, and frequently to refer back to earlier pages... so buying it on Kindle, like me, is a pretty silly idea. Would be better as a website than a book, really.
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on 30 March 2013
An intriguing subject excellently explained by this great science writer.
Once you grasp exactly what Baggini is getting at ,you will never look at your "self" in the same way again.
A difficult concept expertly covered for the layman.
The author gives an excellent lecture on this subject on the "TED" website, which helps enormously with understanding the concept
involved in this book.
If you have an interest in the latest in the Brain/Mind Sciences this book will undoubtedly be of interest.
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on 21 January 2007
This is a great book for showing up the holes in your thinking and, as a bonus, with its accessible, quiz-style approach it's the perfect book to pick off your bookshelf if your dinner party has run out of conversation and you can't remember where you put Pictionary. Actually maybe it's not. Maybe you'll all end up having a big fight instead.

The snotty remarks to the scoring of the philosophy quiz at the back might actually put you off taking the subject any further but everything up to that point is extremely thought-provoking, especially if you've not read much philosophy before.
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on 11 October 2015
Work through this book and develop your self-reflection and analysis skills...
...and learn a bit of practical philosophy along the way.
Like the style ... but pity a book advertised by the seller as "very good" had writing all the way through it: a 5-star book in 2-star quality.
As it is, they (Sold by: the book house) have now lost all future sales - can't abide by misleading sales representations: "Condition: Used - Very Good" ... or lying as I term it!
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on 30 March 2011
This book challenges the way you think. It doesn't pass judgements, but it does make you question yourself. The book is full of quizzes that then reveal how you think about different things. If you like a bit of psychology that is also easy reading then this book is for you.
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on 17 June 2012
It's perfect for perfecting the way you think, and everyone else. I've passed this on to loads of people, and on the back of that, been able to actually have logical discussions without social convention or prejudices getting in the way. It's a great way to learn (and teach) about philosophy and logic because it's a quiz so you don't have to read it like a text book, you can have fun, while realizing what an idiot you've been. It's not preachy or patronizing, just a new approach to thinking. Please, please try it, it could fix the world if you stop being stubborn.
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on 26 November 2012
i love reading books that provoke and inspire and this certainly does that. While hardly being potted philosophy, it is an origional take on how we think, why we think and what makes us think. An excellent addition to any library of modern thinking, I liked it for both its simplicity in trying to make ideas understood and its complexity in reasononing that there are many things we cannot understand, but many things we can if we sit and think about them.
An interesting meditation on how we are moulded by society as well as how we respond to it
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on 9 August 2010
Excellent book, it does exactly what it says on the tin. If you think you think what you think you think, well think again. Enjoyed the light style and easy thought provoking questions. Would recommend to any one and have done may times.
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on 30 December 2012
Just a big quiz, not what I really wanted, fun but a bit ineffectual. Not certain I would buy another by these authors
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