Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Pig that Wants to be Eaten by Julian Baggini

Julian Baggini presents 100 thought experiments - short scenarios which pose a problem in a vivid and concrete way - and invites the reader to think about possible answers for him/herself. Experiments cover identity, religion, art, ethics, language, knowledge and many more. From Zeno's paradox to Groundhog Day (how do you make sense of a life of eternal recurrence?), via the pig that wants to be eaten (so should you eat him?), Plato's cave, Minority Report (is it right to punish people for what they are going to do, but haven't yet done?), and an American Werewolf in London (how can we tell whether we are awake or dreaming?), this book makes philosophy not only mind-stretching but also entertaining.

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).
 
I love love love this book. It's so much fun to read as it makes you...think. Seeing as they are thought experiments it's very obvious that it would make you think. I started to look into philosophy as I was watching Lost and so I thought it would be fun to get a simple book about the subject. I had a few recommendations from the sales clerk at Waterstones and this was one of them. It's also nice to have just around you can pick it up read an 'experiment' and then set it down to think about it. Some of them make me feel a bit uncomfortable. Which is why I like it! I would recommend it to anyone who just needs to wake up there minds every once in a while!
 
A few my favorite ones are titled: #3 The Indian and the ice # 8 Good God #37 Nature the artist #45 The Invisible Gardner #54 The elusive I #67 The poppadom paradox

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