The Pig That Wants to be Eaten: And Ninety-Nine Other Thought Experiments Paperback – 4 Mar 2010
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It is a remarkably addictive read, like a bag of mental fun-size treats -- The Big Issue
This book makes philosophy not only mind-stretching but also entertaining -- Book Time --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Julian Baggini is the editor and co-founder of The Philosophers' Magazine. He writes regularly for the Guardian, Independent and Independent on Sunday, Prospect and the TES, and has regularly appears on Radio 4 He is the author of several books on philosophy, including What's It All About? Philosophy and the Meaning of Life (Granta).
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Top Customer Reviews
The wide range of scenarios and ideas presented is also useful as it means if you are not interested in one thing on offer there is likely to be something else for you. As well, it also means that if you have read about something before and know a bit about it this book does not feel like re-visited territory. The sceanarios that are linked to each other are referenced at the end of each segment so if you are interested in that specific theme then you can go straight to the next thought experiment without having to read through a load of others first, which is another useful feature.
The only thing about this book I was vaguely dissatisfied with was the because of the huge number of ideas presented here sometimes it felt like you were just being offered a taste of a much larger subject when you wanted to know more about it. Because of the very nature of the book I realise that this should be the way the ideas are presented but occasionally this meant it was slightly unfufilling to read.
However, it has prompted me to go on and read more about those areas I was interested in so perhaps it did a great job after all! If you do not know much about philosophy and are keen to get a broad, easily accessable overview then this book is excellent. However, if you already know what you are interested in and like to learn about in it any great depth this book is not designed for you. Pretty good though - interesting and provoking.
Julian Baggini poses this and ninety-nine other questions in this tantalising collection. Many of the topics he raises have been with us for millennia - remaining unresolved today. The author draws the old questions to centre stage, clad in modern finery and make-up. The new appearance helps bring the reader into the questions with a greater sense of comfort, one hopes. But when the last line has been read, it's clear that this isn't just an entertaining recasting of old conundrums, but of serious issues we confront daily. Reading them all in one go could be dangerous to your mental health!
Many readers will have encountered these issues previously: if your brain is transplanted to another body, are you still you? Or if that bastion of "consciousness" is instead placed in a vat of nutrients and wired into a computer that feeds it sensory information, are you still "real"? If your ATM grants you ten thousand dollars when you asked for a hundred, are you "morally bound" to return it [assuming the bank's auditors can't track where it went]? On a lighter note, we might consider whether a sculpture produced by Nature is a work of art. If it is, who sets a value on it? How much would you pay for it?Read more ›
So it's great to look at for 5-10 minutes and have a little think, if you get such pockets of time available at points dotted through a day. What it isn't is a book to sit down and read cover to cover over a rainy weekend. The shortness of each section shouldn't deceive you, Baggini doesn't just provide food for thought, he gives us a taster menu taken from a wide range of (mostly) western philosophy, ranging from Plato to Chomsky, taking in the likes of George Berkeley, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Soren Kierkegaard and David Hume along the way, along with some ideas taken from modern fiction, including Philip K Dick and, of course, Douglas Adams, whose idea gave rise to the title of this work.
The idea is not really for Baggini to pontificate (though he does this on occasion) but for him to oil your mental gears and get the reader thinking. If that is his aim, he does, for the most part, an excellent job. Some other reviewers of the book seemed to miss this point entirely, as they were disappointed he didn't go into more depth. While I think that theirs is an invalid criticism, there are others which are more pertinent.
For one, the whole approach of the book is to look at philosophy, predominantly moral philosophy, at the boundaries of possible experience.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Awesome scenarios that really make you think - the book itself is also really good quality, durable and nice looking.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
A tiny bit of wear to the paper cover, but otherwise in very good condition.Published 3 months ago by Benjamin Hedelund
My go-to book for starting discussions in my Theory of Knowledge class. Full of thought experiments which appeal to the minds of 17/18 year old students. Great stuff.Published 3 months ago by IC
Really enjoy Julian Baggini's style.
Not in-depth, dry, text-book, degree-style teaching, more a practical 'how to' approach to philosophy.
It may not examine every point of each scenario but that's why I love it... It gives you scenarios but allows you to use your own philisophical knowledge to try and answer the... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Marykate