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The Philosophers Toolkit: A Compendium of Philosophical Concepts and Methods
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The Philosophers Toolkit: A Compendium of Philosophical Concepts and Methods

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  613 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews

The Philosophers' Toolkit provides all the intellectual equipment necessary to engage with and participate in philosophical argument, reading and reflection. Each of its 87 entries explains how to use an important concept or argumentative technique accurately and effectively.
Paperback, 232 pages
Published October 30th 2002 by Wiley-Blackwell (first published 2001)
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Jan 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
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
Nov 08, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
Antti Sorri
Nov 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Erilaisia elämänhallintaoppaita harrastaville heti alkuun suorasukainen varoitus: Ajattelun pikkujättiläisen kannesta kanteen lukeminen ei tee täydelliseksi ajattelijaksi. Se ei edellä mainittujen oppaiden luonteen mukaisesti lupaa parantaa muistia, tehdä menestyväksi osakesijoittajaksi tai auttaa laihduttamaan syömällä enemmän. Parhaimmassa / pahimmassa tapauksessa se saattaa johtaa kriittiseen suhtautumiseen kaikenlaisia kvasifilosofisia viisauksia ja äkkiseltään objektiiviselta kuulostavia el ...more
Feb 29, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: philosophy
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
Apr 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
Ian Pollock
Nov 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
Daniel Viramontes
May 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
KC Anton
Dec 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Alex Hui
Sep 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy, thinking
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
Jun 25, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
Mar 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nia Nymue
Jul 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A very useful, but not exhaustive, compilation of important distinctions and critical thinking tools that we need to know about in order to do philosophy. Seems accessible to the layman and a good starting point. This is only the second book by him I'm reading but I'm already convinced Julian Baggini's books are worth reading. Good writer.
Jan 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
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.
Ben Pace
Feb 17, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Kerryn Whiteside
Oct 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Great concise intro to Philosophical concepts. The Structure of the book allows you to move back and forth through concepts to gain a greater understanding. Valuable addition to any budding philosopher's bookshelf.
Jul 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-shelves
I have never studied philosophy (other than a great book by Alain de Botton called The Consolations of Philosophy) but from my perspective as a novice it does exactly what it says it will do and manages to keep you engaged with cogent examples.
Apr 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great primer to philosophical thought. :D
Lyndon Bailey
Jan 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Lots and lots of useful ideas and so succinct.
Oct 09, 2013 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Birthday present 2013
Eddie Black
Oct 07, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
good book. ought to be required reading in high school and before people can vote (that is, learn how to think damn it).
Basically a really nice textbook and nothing more. A bit too dry if you want to read it for fun.
Nov 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: misc, philosophy
Excellent resource for argumentation techniques. Definitely one I would keep as a reference book. (The book got a little dense for me in the middle but it was all excellent material.)
Matthew Carlson
Oct 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
Ian Kloester
Aug 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A great way of making philosophical analysis more understandable and practical for people beginning the philosophical path
Apr 18, 2008 rated it liked it
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.
Reinhard Gobrecht
Apr 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The book describes philosophical methods in an interesting way.
It is very useful not only for beginners in philosophy.
Jul 30, 2008 rated it liked it
Not bad, I think.
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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
More about Julian Baggini
“Any philosophy that can be put in a nutshell belongs there.” 5 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.” 2 likes
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