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The Pig That Wants to Be Eaten: 100 Experiments for the Armchair Philosopher
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The Pig That Wants to Be Eaten: 100 Experiments for the Armchair Philosopher

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  2,471 Ratings  ·  242 Reviews
Both entertaining and startling, The Pig That Wants to Be Eaten offers one hundred philosophical puzzles that stimulate thought on a host of moral, social, and personal dilemmas. Taking examples from sources as diverse as Plato and Steven Spielberg, author Julian Baggini presents abstract philosophical issues in concrete terms, suggesting possible solutions while encouragi ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published July 1st 2006 by Plume Books (first published July 5th 2005)
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Jan 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 31, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
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.
May 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 17, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: philosophy
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
Jan 17, 2011 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
Feb 08, 2009 rated it did not like it
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.
Mar 15, 2009 rated it it was ok
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.
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting collection of moral dilemmas, as well as other paradoxical debates and situations.

This book can help us in changing our perception hats with more flexibility, and always find new ways to challenge ideas or tackle a problem, to finally come up with balanced solutions.
Mar 07, 2017 rated it liked it
A delightful piece of cerebral confectionary; thought experiments from many of the great philosophical sources: ranging from Plato's Republic through Descartes' Meditations to Douglas Adams' Restaurant at the End of the Universe; here presented in short pithy accessible form.

There is nothing startlingly new here, although some might be presented in slightly different ways than which the contemporary thinking person may have been accustomed.

One wonders whether there should have been a 101th self
Thomas Schneider
Oct 06, 2016 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Yasmine Alfouzan
Jul 28, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essays

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
Jan 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 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 rated it it was ok
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.
Aug 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: to-purchase
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
Amir Nakar
Nov 08, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
The Good:
- The ideas given are put in clear language, and the arguments are concise. So you can get big ideas in short paragraphs and each thought experiment is about 2 pages long (with the analysis).
- The writer makes sure to give you both the source of the original philosophies AND modern examples that are relevant.
- The ideas are the big ideas of philosophy (I think...). So there really is a lot to think about.
- The sides of each arguments are given pretty much evenly and don't leave you wit
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Personal response:
The book The Pig That Wants To Be Eaten: 100 Experiments For The Armchair Philosopher by Julian Baggini was the best book that I have read so far this year. One reason why this book stood out to me was the way it was written. The author had to do a lot of research to write this book because there were a lot of sources included in the reading. This book was written with no continuous plot, and no constant characters. Every three pages there was a completely new story, which kept
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non_fiction
DNF page 88

I wanted just to pick this up now and again but I literally do not care anymore and my gym are having a book swap sale. The problem with this book is that it has too many thought experiments which are not covered in enough depth, so it feels like a fact book where you read the experiment, think "hm that's interesting" and move on.

for me, it comes across as not academic enough for those studying philosophy, and too much of a "well I could have thought that" angle for non-academics. th
Dec 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
Jamie MacDonald Jones
A well constructed book that presents some interesting scenarios to think about. Baggini is very good at distilling the essence of complex philisophical issues to make it concise and straight-forward. His commentary on each sometimes offered interesting further avenues for thought though I did find some quite rebarbative. Towards the end the situations seem to become quite similar, though not in the positive sense of providing a different slant on another issue. Overall, a very handy book for sh ...more
May 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: abandoned, philosophy
As much as I want to learn more about philosophy, these collections of snippets continually let me down. This one in particular remains very pedestrian, with none of the thought experiments in the first quarter actually enticing me to think about them for more than a minute. Even originally interesting setups, like Plato's cave allegory, are turned boring and simplistic in Baggini's hands. In addition, I've long held that philosophy is 10% ethics and 90% intellectual masturbation, and this book ...more
Aug 15, 2017 rated it liked it
this was an entertaining read. i would definitely recommend it to anyone who is interested in philosophy but too scared to start reading philosophical texts; it explains famous arguments in a clear and concise way and puts them in contexts that are relatable to most of us. to someone with a philosophy degree, however, this might look like a mere vulgarisation of some of the most crucial thought experiments in philosophy.
Feb 05, 2018 rated it liked it
It's okay.
Seems more like a book for high school kids, or people just newly getting introduced to philosophy. There's a new thought experiment on every couple of pages, so it's not something you can sit down and read in one go. I thought some of them were interesting, and a couple were just meh... Many ideas repeat in various forms. This book could be okay to put in the bathroom or something, so you can read one or two a day while you're on the toilet. lol
Anirudh Ramanathan
Dec 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Exceptional. This is the first book on philosophy that I've tried to read and I absolutely enjoyed it. Thinking through the various thought experiments was rewarding. The experiments discuss questions of morality, religion, and theology - and almost every time, stop short of promulgating a particular viewpoint on these open-ended discussions. I loved also that there was a parable or a short story at the beginning of each thought experiment to set the stage for the discussion that followed.
Suki Ng
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is very different from the others,it makes me think a lot,and a lot of mindset was going on when I was reading.Sometimes it's not easy to judge a person in some situations,and also right and wrong are also difficult to define.Through the book,training of mindset have done,so I think I'm ready to use different perspectives to look at the same person or thing
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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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“Is it how we feel or how we think that is more important in determining whether we are morally good human beings?” 0 likes
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