Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking Paperback – 3 Apr 2014
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One of the world's most original and provocative thinkers (Daily Telegraph)
Intelligence, insight and flair ... They don't come much bigger than Daniel Dennett (Julian Baggini Guardian)
About the Author
Daniel C. Dennett is the University Professor and Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University. He is the author of numerous books including Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking, Breaking the Spell, Darwin's Dangerous Idea, and Consciousness Explained.
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The work is undermined from pompous, name-dropping relentlessly, and criticism of other philosophers without providing sufficient frame of reference for the reader to actually evaluate the criticism. Admittedly, Dennet manages to cover a wide range of interesting philosophical topics including consciousness, free will, determinism, artificial life, evolution, and meaning. Although the prose could have been tighter to make the work seem like a continuous thread as opposed to several unconnected chunks
Notable chapters include "Trapped in the Robot Control Room" and “Mary the Color Scientist".
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My advice would be to avoid this one if you like Dennett; it might change your mind about him. It is a shame that such a once great thinker has succumbed to the vanity that he has solved philosophy (or at least parts of it). Wittgenstein thought that but then realised he had not... not sure if Dennett's ego will let him into that same realisation.
Perhaps it is too much like a compilation of techniques, many of them usefully collected together, but not usefully organised for application. The writing is a bit too breezy and perhaps at times pejorative.
I have had to extract the material and draw on my own use of these and other methods to turn them into methods I can use in my work (so they don't just stay as philosophical oddities or games philosophers play!). My charting of the methods in the book has been added to my own tool kit of analytical and methodological policy and problem solving tools.
If you're interested in collecting ideas, book is useful. If you actually want to use the book, you'll be disappointed. Having said that, if you feel stuck in a rut, then the book will at least show you there are many ways to get out, and perhaps in the end that is all many of us need. Sorry DD.
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