The Philosopher's Toolkit: A Compendium of Philosophical Concepts and Methods
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The Philosopher's Toolkit: A Compendium of Philosophical Concepts and Methods

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  239 ratings  ·  27 reviews
The second edition of this popular compendium provides the necessary intellectual equipment to engage with and participate in effective philosophical argument, reading, and reflectionFeatures significantly revised, updated and expanded entries, and an entirely new section drawn from methods in the history of philosophyThis edition has a broad, pluralistic approach--appeali...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published August 24th 2011 by Wiley-Blackwell (first published September 12th 2002)
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Troy
I've been looking about for a good reference-work on the conceptual tools used in philosophy, and even a bit curious about the tools used by those often dismissed as philosophical cranks.

This book is well-organized and well-describes, in the limits imposed by its size, the methods and ideas that thinkers throughout history have used.

This is not a book for telling you what is true, you must look elsewhere for that, but one that gives you a basic outline of ways to properly frame and ask your qu...more
Pspealman
Nov 08, 2007 Pspealman rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Armchair Philosophers
This book is a solid introduction to the tools of the debate. Not a philosophical text, not a dictionary, it lives up to it's name as a serviceable toolkit for the back and forth of various philosophical stances.

Each chapter is a brief of the subject at hand, historical approaches, the assumptions of those approaches, and lastly how every single philosophical stance is ultimately undermined by either a succinct argument, logical inconsistency, or pithy quip.

If you've ever wanted to be a smug kn...more
Ian Pollock
A clear explanation of a huge number of philosophical concepts, with excellent examples, written engagingly. This book is exactly what it says on the tin, and it's absolutely fantastic as a crash course in the philosophical style of thinking.
Mohamed
واضح ومختصر لكنه موجز في بعض النقاط بطريقه لا تكفي لشرح الفكرة.
أفضل الفصول واكثرها تشويقا هي
الفصل الرابع الخاص بتمييز المفاهيم وهو يوضح عده مفاهيم فلسفيه عن طريق التقابل .
الفصل السادس وهو يتكلم عن ادوات مدارس النقد الشهيرة اعجبني شرحه لنقد السلطة عن ميشيل فوكو.
الفصل السابع يناقش مواضيع عده ذات اهمية فلسفية كبيرة
واخيرا الاستفاده الاكبر كانت من الاحالات على كتب للقراءة في نهاية كل جزء.
الكتاب مناسب جدا لي كهاوي للفلسفة بفضل لغته البسيطه.
Daniel Viramontes
A very concise, relatively clear handling of quite a few philosophical topics and tools. There were many sections that were great refreshers, but also many things that I had either never been taught or had forgotten over the last couple years. Reading through this from cover to cover will give you a cursory knowledge of various aspects of philosophy, but to really get the most out of it you would need to read it multiple times or study some of the denser sections in order to begin to truly incor...more
Nicky
True to its title, this book is basically an index of philosophical techniques. The author doesn't go into much depth talking about the techniques, although he does give recommended readings for them. And this, I think, is the book's best use.

Beware: The author's treatment of some topics is brief and lacking nuance. Of course, this is understandable given the nature of the text. But at other times, it is dubious. (For instance, his first example of a question-begging argument is an otherwise val...more
KC Anton
Reading this one off-and-on through December 2011. A great primer for critical and creative thinking to understand and use rhetoric in daily decision making. A must for anyone doing business presentation, or college classes for debate, communication, critical and creative thinking.

The authors are college prophesors presenting their 101 and 201 philosophy classes in down to earth conversational use. And it is indexed! For none technical writers that means things are cross-referenced for topic or...more
Alex Hui
The book is divided in to 7 chapters and with each a number of tools are discussed. The author has done a great job to lay out many arguments in comprehensive manner and gives readers a board pictures of many philosophic principles. While the book is not entirely an easy read, it encourages deep thinking on many topics such as the meaning of knowledge, the truthfulness of statement, and distinctiveness of similar concepts. I would say this book is more like a reference for people who love thinki...more
Andrew
The Philosophers Toolkit is a sort of encyclopaedia of philosophical ideas. Each topic is briefly defined and described. These descriptions are usually pretty clear and often a little humorous. Given the complex nature of the subject matter, it’s no surprise that I’m still unclear on some of these subjects, but in general this book is quite understandable. Most of the information here could probably be found fairly easily on Wikipedia, but if you are looking for this kind of info in a physical i...more
Reinhard Gobrecht
The book describes philosophical methods in an interesting way.
It is very useful not only for beginners in philosophy.
Hesham Kamel
To be honest I didn't finish the book, I read about half of it, it's just awesome, I suggest it to everyone wants to improve his way of thinking.
Jeff
A decent summary and explanation of common philosophical arguments. I got this book a while ago and have been reading it in short stints, kinda like reading an encyclopedia. I lost interest in this for a while, read a bunch of other works since, then decided to finish it all in one night because I had the additional context to be interested again. I'll probably use this as a touch stone in the future.
William
Baggini is one of the truly great philosophical authors. He writes in a way that makes philosophy approachable for people who, like me, are not trained in philospohy.

The book explains the basic tools and concepts of philosophy in nice digestible bites. Each day I would read a section and consider what I had learned.

I strongly recommend not only this book, but anything written by Baggini.
Stephen Cranney
I took a couple of upper-level philosophy courses as an undergraduate, and would occasionally come across concepts and vocabulary that were foreign to me but seemed to be common knowledge in the philosophy-major community. This book systematically introduces a lot of these concepts in easy-to-read language. Some of the explanations weren't too clear, but overall a decent read.
Victoria Adams
This is, in some ways, a text book. It is written in small articles and with a style that is quick and easy to read. Since I am currently involving myself in the discussion of theology and philosophy in my current work, I wanted to know more about the foundations of debate in such fields of study. This book helped me a great deal and will become a handy resource in years to come.
Björn
Concise and somewhat clear, but rather convoluted, introductory book on the subject of philosophy. Not so much a history of philosophy, as an introduction to various ways of doing work in the discipline. Very interesting, but one occasionally wonders if the authors didn't try to squeeze a bit too much into it.
Ben Pace
Works fine as a very low-level introduction for someone who really hasn't read any philosophy. Purely functional, though, not overly engaging. Just really, really basic. I'd advise against reading it if you're looking for something meaty or with substantial ideas in it.
Lyndon Bailey
Lots and lots of useful ideas and so succinct.
Matthew Carlson
Like the cover says, an excellent toolkit. Not exactly a page turner having been written as a reference guide just as much as an introductory text but still, well written and useful.
Ali Alyami
As the title suggests, it's a philosopher's toolkit. I keep it with me all the time to refer to logic and fallacies. Very useful indeed.
Eddie Black
good book. ought to be required reading in high school and before people can vote (that is, learn how to think damn it).
Ian Kloester
A great way of making philosophical analysis more understandable and practical for people beginning the philosophical path
Tyler
Apr 18, 2008 Tyler rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who want to think straight
Recommended to Tyler by: "Free Inquiry" magazine
Shelves: philosophy
A good overview of the common threads in philosophy, suitable for a lay reader.
Tim McGrath
Great primer to philosophical thought. :D
BLACK CAT
Arid.
Not a introduction in my opinion.
Michael
Oct 09, 2013 Michael marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Birthday present 2013
Cameron Silverglate
Cameron Silverglate marked it as to-read
Jul 21, 2014
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Julian Baggini is a British philosopher and the author of several books about philosophy written for a general audience. He is the author of The Pig that Wants to be Eaten and 99 other thought experiments (2005) and is co-founder and editor of The Philosophers' Magazine. He was awarded his Ph.D. in 1996 from University College London for a thesis on the philosophy of personal identity. In addition...more
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“2.1 Abduction No, we’re not talking about kidnapping but, rather, an important dimension of scientific and ordinary as well as philosophical rationality. Consider the following example. A man is found in a cabin in a remote forest, with all the doors and windows securely locked from the inside, hanging dead from a noose. A suicide note in the man’s handwriting lies on the table nearby. What would best explain this set of facts? Abduction, a term coined by the American pragmatist philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce (1839–1914), is a tool to do just that.” 0 likes
“Working out whether or not the claims you make in your premises are true, while important, is simply not enough to ensure that you draw true conclusions. People make this mistake all the time. They forget that you can begin with a set of entirely true beliefs but reason so poorly as to end up with entirely false conclusions. The problem is that starting with truth doesn’t guarantee ending up with it.” 0 likes
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