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The Philosopher's Dog

3.07  ·  Rating Details ·  111 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Drawing acutely on philosophers such as Rene Descartes, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Simone Weil and writers such as Isak Dinesen, George Orwell and J.M. Coetzee, The Philosopher's Dog is about our creatureliness and its place in the understanding of our humanity.
Paperback, 228 pages
Published April 22nd 2004 by Routledge (first published 2002)
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(showing 1-30)
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Lacin
Feb 19, 2015 Lacin rated it liked it
Shelves: power, nonhuman, affect
Essay-style writing in this book can make you think about life & death, automatons, emotions, meaningfulness/meaninglessness of killing, saving, protecting and loving animals. One theme/question that seems to come up repeatedly seems to be: 'why so affectionate towards some animals some times and why not so affectionate at other times and towards certain other species?' Well, answer to this one is not really quite intriguing: Because this is life, and we are practical creatures, and that ...more
Joe Rowan
Jun 04, 2012 Joe Rowan rated it it was amazing
I found this a tremendously moving and thought-provoking book. I have to confess that although I was well aware that there would be quite a lot of philosophy (unlike some reviewers who seem to have been taken unawares) I did find it quite difficult in parts. As with all philosophy, though, I suspect the meaning will become clearer on further readings and it is certainly a book I woud like, and feel I ought, to re-read some day. Very beautiful in its own way, and I will have to have a good long ...more
Inder
I admit, I couldn't make it all the way through this book. The personal anecdotes are great, but sections on the "philosophy" of our relationships with dogs and other animals were ponderous and boring. I am too pragmatic to read 200 pages of wandering prose discussing whether or not dogs are "sensate creatures." I mean, duh! Of course they are! (Which is the conclusion of the book, too, but he just takes longer to get there.) Don't waste my time!
Thomas Vincent
Apr 28, 2016 Thomas Vincent rated it it was amazing
Having read and enjoyed this book, I was astonished to find that it had been rated poorly on here, and many reviewers questioned the author's reasoning, methodology and his target audience. I do not ordinarily write reviews, but thought I would write down my thoughts on this book while they were still fresh.

The Philosopher's Dog is a work of philosophy, and as such, having only read it once, there will be much that I didn't allow time to seep in or grapple with as I read the book. It is well wri
...more
Merinde
Aug 08, 2011 Merinde rated it it was ok
Shelves: philosophy
I'm not quite sure how I feel about this book. I liked how thoughtful it was and how it seemed torn between objective analysation and what we actually experience in the begining. The stories were nice, but simply not enough, and after a while he starts repeating himself. I agree with the final conclusion, but I think it could have taken a lot less long to come up with it. And perhaps could have had some more depht. The intent was good and after reading it I'm pretty sure I'd probably like the ...more
Miranda
Jun 25, 2012 Miranda rated it it was ok
I've never wanted to finish a book so badly because I was frustrated by it. Rather than put it down, I was pushed to finish it because I could not understand the continuity between the author's arguments. His argumentative style at times leaves much to be desired. While at times searingly thought-provoking, I found some of his actual evidence he used misunderstood and not well connected. The author appears blind to his own statements made earlier in the book. I don't think I'll ever pick this ...more
Katie
Dec 28, 2008 Katie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: class, non-fiction
Gaita's use of anecdote is an effective tool--at first. However, it quickly becomes apparent (and maddening) that he relies almost entirely upon these anecdotes, to the detriment of the work as a whole. The end result is, unfortunately, a book that comes across as absolute fluff for mass-consumption, whatever the original intent. This is, in essence, a less efficient, less compelling attempt at what Scully so elegantly penned in [Dominion].
Kathy
Nov 30, 2010 Kathy rated it it was ok
Wow, this was heavy. Too heavy for me. I was expecting some nice stories of people and their relationships with their pets. While there is some of that, it's really more a deep philosophy treatise. Not exactly a quick, pleasant read. Perhaps I would have enjoyed it more if I'd know what I was getting into.
Jennifer O'Kelly
Aug 25, 2016 Jennifer O'Kelly rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading this book, but did not find it particularly innovative in terms of philosophy and animal rights. The book is, however, very readable, and might prove thought provoking for anyone in need of a little nudge towards thinking about animal ethics.
Ragnheiður
Aug 12, 2008 Ragnheiður rated it liked it
Have finally finished this book - and found a lot of thoughtprovoking things in it - but on the whole I am not sure I really like it.
Brenda Deflem
Jul 04, 2012 Brenda Deflem rated it did not like it
Filosophy can be written either extremely interesting or eccentricly boring. This author, unfortunately, chose the last option. Didn't even make my way through it.
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“God went forth to create the world, and he took his dog with him.

- Kato Indian creation story
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