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The Pig That Wants to Be Eaten: And 99 Other Thought Experiments
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The Pig That Wants to Be Eaten: And 99 Other Thought Experiments

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  2,154 Ratings  ·  210 Reviews
The author presents 100 thought experiments 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. Baggini offers some ways of approaching each problem.
Unknown Binding, 306 pages
Published July 3rd 2006 by Not Avail (first published July 5th 2005)
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Thomas
Jan 19, 2013 Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Here's a question for vegetarians: if a pig were raised in a comfortable and humane slaughterhouse, would you eat it? What if that pig were also genetically modified to want to be eaten - if being eaten was indeed its life's ambition? How about a genetically modified chicken that had lost its sense of self, environment, pain, pleasure etc.? It'd be like plucking a potato from the ground.

Another one, for everyone: let's say you're a doctor, and you have a patient who falls unconscious while on li
...more
David
Dec 31, 2007 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010
I thought this deserved 3.5 stars, but I'm perfectly happy to round up to 4 on the grounds that it was entertaining, thought-provoking, unpretentious and well-executed. Other reviewers have faulted it for lacking philosophical depth, but really - what could they have been expecting? The author makes no pretences, and the format of the book couldn't be clearer. It is what it sets out to be - 100 brief "philosophy" puzzles, each following a strict 3-page format, in which the puzzle/paradox/point o ...more
Berrett
Mar 03, 2012 Berrett rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is like being forced to hang out with a high school philosophy teacher who tries to get the cool kids to like him by demonstrating how "crazy" philosophy can be.

Well, maybe it wasn't that bad.

But it wasn't that good either.
Arimo
May 26, 2014 Arimo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ei-fiktio
You have to admit it: the title and tagline of the book instantly rise your curiosity. Fortunately, the intriguing and entertaining presentation continue in the content, too. Big and small philosophical questions are presented in light, easily digestible form.

While the book could be examined every now and then and read only occasionally, I ended up finishing it very quickly. The "experiments"/examples and their analyses are very short, so reading "just one more piece" became very addicting.
Sumit Singla
This one barely made it to my philosophy list. Barely.

I confess, I've been guilty of judging the book by its cover. I picked it up because I couldn't resist the lure of bacon that's practically begging to be eaten. For a meat-lover turned vegetarian due to issues of animal cruelty, a pig that wants to be eaten would be a blessing, right?

Not really, as it turns out. For, I found much of this book unpalatable and the rest indigestible. Ok, enough with the bad puns and onwards to the review. I thin
...more
Gibb
Feb 08, 2009 Gibb rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this as with 100 short one page 'thought experiments' it looked like Martin Cohen's book of 101 short 'Philosophy Problems'. And indeed there are a lot of similarites, but I found the style repetitious and in places, condescending. I don't think it's as 'funny' as it wants to appear (with the quirky title and cover) and it sure ain't going to teach anyone much philosophy. Triumph of marketing over content, I guess. Bit like 'Sophie's World', in that respect.
Jason
Mar 15, 2009 Jason rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Someone standing in a bookstore with five minutes to kill
Recommended to Jason by: Wes B.
Amusing at times, but completely pointless at other times. Baggini's thought experiments seemed to repeat. He goes too far into "what if" land. Throughout the book he takes ideas from philosophers like Descartes and Plato and writers like Douglas Adams (hence the title) and Ray Bradbury and changes the philosopher's original scenario or vignette into his own version. I found this approach useless; I would have rather had the original at my fingertips.
Victoria
Jan 17, 2011 Victoria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Budding philosophers
Recommended to Victoria by: Rachael Elward
This book was a Christmas gift from an old friend who clearly knows me well. Despite having studied philosophy reasonably intensively in the past, this little book of thought experiments was both entertaining and engaging. One of the things that I love about philosophy is that it can be read and understood at many different levels and this book is no exception. Baggini has taken 100 famous philosophical conundrums, re-written them in his own words and then added a brief discussion of the topic ...more
Thomas Schneider
Oct 06, 2016 Thomas Schneider rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Yasmine Alfouzan


This book delivers what it promises: engaging 100 thought experiments that are a wonderful introduction to the most basic philosophical puzzles. It is a great read for anyone new to philosophy and those who feel overwhelmed by the history of philosophy and keep asking themselves, "Well, where do I start?"
I, being someone who knew about half of the things discussed in this book, did not feel that it's boring or stale since the author cleverly wrote out different hypothetical scenarios as an intr
...more
Scotty
Jan 24, 2013 Scotty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Is it right to eat a pig that wants to be eaten? The Pig That Wants to be Eaten by Julian Baggini is a very intriguing book centered on moral philosophy. The book also questions whether thinking morally or thinking rationally would be more acceptable given a number of situations. On top of that, Baggini writes the book in a way that makes the reader question their morality and own thoughts. Baggini writes in reflection of thought experiments. These are obscure stories that isolate the real worl ...more
Tim
Sep 13, 2013 Tim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to steal another reviewer's opening sentence - Is it right to eat a pig that wants to be eaten?

The answer is - of course! Because even the ones that don't want to be eaten taste great. Mmmm, bacon...

I waffled on giving this a 4 or a 5. It has some truly great observations and discussion points. Most of the intro stories are outstanding. And writing a book like this just has to be really hard. But -

I had two things that kept me from rating this a 5. One was that some of the topics just di
...more
Holmes
Jun 19, 2012 Holmes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rarely have I come across such a thought-provoking book. The 100 interesting and mind-boggling - sometimes even otherworldly - questions make me reexamine my logical thinking. What's especially praiseworthy about this book is that it's not all about rationality. It makes references to other considerations such as social responsibility and trust, and does it in a non-didactic way.

All in all, it's a wonderful book for people who like to think about thinking.
Dudu Zen
Apr 11, 2015 Dudu Zen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Um daqueles livros pra botar na estante e dar uma olhadinha sempre que der na telha.
São 100 experiências de pensamento que trazem uma puta reflexão e fazem a gente enxergar o mundo de uma outra maneira, em todos os aspectos.
Recomendo pra todos, sem exceção. É definitivamente um dos meus favoritos!!! =D
Min Yee
Mar 29, 2014 Min Yee rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
Slightly disappointed but planning to read the book again in the future. Probably reading the book more than once will be easier to understand the philosophy stories. Most of the stories are related to problem-solving and decision making which can be happened in our daily lives.
Queenie
Aug 10, 2012 Queenie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Short articles that allows you to think about questions that you might or might not have thought of. Good way to train your brain in being critical about things around you and how you should make decisions.
Outdoors Nerd
Oct 14, 2015 Outdoors Nerd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The most thought provoking book I have read... Literally!

I read it over a period of months as it deserves as each thought experiment requires a good mulling over.

It helped me challenge so much received wisdom and predefined opinions as well as helped to develop my critical thinking
Lieblingsbuch
I really struggled with how I wanted to rate this book because, at first, I really liked it. The layout of the book is this: the author provides a thought experiment from another book that takes up about a page (usually less though) and then the author then writes about the thought experiment for 1 to 3 pages. His goal is to provide the starting point for discussions and debates about these topics in a controlled setting.

Early on this works pretty well for me. I don't know much about philosophy
...more
Erikka
Dec 19, 2016 Erikka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a thinker! I loved the discussions that this book spawned. We talked and talked about the ramifications of these questions without answers--so many of them were interesting quandaries that made us second guess some of our beliefs and views. I especially liked how so many fed into discussions about 2016, Year of the Dumpster Fire. Lots of philosophical queries are reflected in this absolute disaster of a year and the impact it has had on global society--this book helped to guide those discus ...more
Tiago Jacinto
Very interesting approach on some philosophy, sociology and economics topics.
Sometimes, the thought experiments seem too repetitive, and I feel that it would be better if the number of thought experiments would be shortened, and the explanation and theories could be more expanded, even with the inclusion of references, or a section of "do you want to know more?".
Bob Haven
I stopped after number 15. I didn't find the thought experiments to be very interesting or thought provoking.
Joe
Jan 21, 2017 Joe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
Overall interesting. Some problems more so than others. A great introduction to some of the best thought experiments in philosophy.
Bill
Feb 02, 2017 Bill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
needlessly dumbed down, but good material
Lucy
Dec 19, 2016 Lucy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What a silly book. This isn't what philosophy is about.
Oh, and it's dreadfully written, too.
Maggie
In this book, Julian Baggini presents 100 thought experiments, questioning definitions, introducing paradoxes, posing ethical dilemmas, challenging assumptions and identifying fallacies. Each thought experiment is about three pages long, with an introduction in the form of a short, often out-of-this-world scenario that presents a dilemma, followed by a quick summary of the arguments in favour of either side of the dilemma. While he says in the preface that "Many lines of thought can be started f ...more
Stine Kristin
Jul 21, 2016 Stine Kristin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I suppose this is a good introduction to philosophy and different ethical problems, but for those of us who have tread through this field already (in fear of sounding obnoxiously pretentious, although I probably already have) it's not really anything new and it's quite clear from the first page that this is written for an audience that haven't really reflected over these questions before.
Berrett writes in his review of this book that 'This book is like being forced to hang out with a high school
...more
Mike
Dec 18, 2008 Mike rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who never took philosophy in college
Shelves: philosophy
This book endeavors to present 100 mind-puzzles from the world of philosophy, each with a small narrative to introduce the idea followed by a short discussion of the principles involved. The book is wide-ranging, covering many classic philosophic concepts (Zeno's paradox, Pascal's wager, theodicy, the gambler's fallacy) and areas (the roots of identity, sensation and perception, fairness, the basis for ethics, the theory of meaning and language, etc.)

I got the impression that he had gotten to th
...more
Aries
Aug 01, 2012 Aries rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Avendo avuto una preparazione scolastica estremamente tecnica e quindi piuttosto carente dal punto di vista "classico" ed essendo io, come forse si à notato, molto curioso, sono stato sempre piuttosto affascinato dalla filosofia, combattutto tra il ritenerla un insieme di seghe mentali a raffica ed, invece, farmi rapire da qualche testo ad hoc.E' abbastanza naturale, quindi, che un libro come "Il maiale che vuole essere mangiato ed altri 99 esperimenti mentali" abbia attirato la mia attenzione.L ...more
Jun Kai Chan
Sep 18, 2016 Jun Kai Chan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An easy read for some powerful thought experiments.
Klerik
Dec 23, 2012 Klerik rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
All in all, this is exactly what it says on the cover. You get 100 thought experiments and a page or two of discussion. Granted, I found some experiments tedious, either because I didn't care much about the issues involved or because I'd read more extensively about them before, but because of the brief format they didn't drag on for too long. The converse of this is that you might be disappointed by the lack of depth involved in the treatment of the more interesting examples, but I don't think t ...more
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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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