What If...: Collected Thought Experiments in Philosophy

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9780321202789: What If...: Collected Thought Experiments in Philosophy
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What If. . .Collected Thought Experiments in Philosophy is a brief collection of over 100 classic and contemporary “thought experiments,” each exploring an important philosophical argument. These thought experiments introduce students to the kind of disciplined thought required in philosophy, and awaken their intellectual curiosity. Featuring a clear and conversational writing style that doesn't dilute the ideas, the value of the book is in its simplicity–in both format and tone. Each thought experiment is accompanied by commentary from the author that explains its importance and provides thought-provoking questions, all encapsulated on two pages.

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"What If. . . Collected Thought Experiments in Philosophy" is a brief, inexpensive collection of over 100 classic and contemporary "thought experiments," each with an accompanying commentary, that explore philosophical arguments and often address a genuine problem in life. The value of the book is in its simplicity in both format and tone: Each thought experiment is accompanied by commentary that explains importance of the experiment, and questions to provoke thought and discussion, all encapsulated within two pages. The book is direct, clear and conversational but does not dilute difficult ideas.

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#23 on Best Philosophy Books I've Come Across (So Far) - This is a great little book.  It contains numerous philosophical thought experiments,which are hypothetical scenarios designed to elicit intutions aboutphilosophical problems or "test" philosophical theories.  Very valuablefor philosophy instructors who want to try something new in theirclasses. - Kevin J. Murtagh Jr.

You want a mental challenge?  Put down your Sudoku and pick up What If... I've decided henonine should bepermitted, but not required.  Mr. Oreo's still black - okay,black-skinned.  And Smith and Jones are equally guilty.  I think.  Butare the randomly generated objects art?  Dunno.  And I'm still trying to figure out how I could figure out what "gavagai" means. - Anonymous

Peg Tittle's What If . . . is the most valuable instructional tool I haveever used in my philosophy classes. By ferreting out familiar thoughtexperiments that many of us have repeated so often that we can no longer remember their origins, she did the dirty work that the rest of us were too lazy to tackle. Her commentaries are just enough to highlight thedepth and acuity of these illustrations, all in language accessible toundergraduates.  If Tittle's aim was to demonstrate the richness ofphilosophy through well-chosen, succinct puzzles that the reader wouldnot soon forget, she accomplished that aim splendidly. This book belongs in every introduction to philosophy class. But make no mistake: WhatIf  . . . is not just a text for the classroom. Anyone interested inphilosophy needs this book. If you want a concise illustration of themind-body problem, Tittle gives you several that do the job. If younever understood the free will v. determinism debate, the perfectexamples are here to get you wondering. And if you need reminders aboutwhy Plato, Descartes, Hume, and the other great dead were so great,they're here alongside plenty of contemporary thinkers, all showing ushow to pursue the examined life. Tittle's ability to distill the bestfrom 2,500 years of philosophy is unsurpassed. - Ron Cooper, Ph.D., isthe author of the satirical novel Hume's Fork and many philosophicalworks. roncooper.org

The somewhat deceptive title aside (the thought experiments are much moresubstantive than silly "what if..." scenarios), this collection of(mostly) bite-sized bits of philosophy, nicely organized into categories like metaphysics, knowledge, or ethics, has its place on my shelf. It's not only a good reference for finding famous thought experiments orpuzzlements, it's also a nice way to get a taste of a variety of periods and ideas. - J. Robbins

It's terrific! - Dale Jamieson, Professor of Environmental Studies and Philosophy, NYU

This is a really neat little book. It would be great to use indiscussion-based philosophy courses, since the readings would be niceand short and too the point. This would probably work much better thanthe standard anthology of readings that are, for most students,incomprehensible. - Nathan Nobis, Morehouse College

Perfect for Intro to Philosophy. I've used many anthologies for myphilosophy courses, but none ever seemed to have all the thoughtexperiments I wanted. In addition, like many other philosophyprofessors, I'd repeated some of the same imaginative scenarios so manytimes that I couldn't remember their origin or even if I'd inventedthem.Tittle's book addressed both those problems for me. She did all the hard work when she tracked down these passages. That alone would havebeen enough for me to adopt the text for my classes, but she didn't stop there. She added short commentaries for each scenario; better, hercommentaries are not explications but distillations that underscore forthe reader exactly why these mental morsels are so philosophicallyintriguing and thereby so durable. The whole range of philosophy iscovered-logic, epistemology, philosophy of mind, ethics, politicalphilosophy-all the stuff that a good course should cover. If you knowlittle about philosophy but want an accessible introduction, or if youare a philosophy professor and want a guaranteed stimulant for classdiscussion, this is the book for you. - 5/5 stars  geometry.net/basic_p_bk/philosophy_general.html

I've been doing research for an upcoming book, and of all the collections of philosophical thought experiments I've read, this is by far the best.It is accessible, uses text from primary sources, and is very welledited. The final entry in the book -- which I won't spoil for you -- wasan instant favorite of mine.

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Book Description Pearson. Paperback. Condition: New. 256 pages. Dimensions: 8.2in. x 5.4in. x 0.5in.What If. . . Collected Thought Experiments in Philosophy is a brief, inexpensive collection of over 100 classic and contemporary thought experiments, each with an accompanying commentary, that explore philosophical arguments and often address a genuine problem in life. The value of the book is in its simplicity in both format and tone: Each thought experiment is accompanied by commentary that explains importance of the experiment, and questions to provoke thought and discussion, all encapsulated within two pages. The book is direct, clear and conversational but does not dilute difficult ideas. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9780321202789

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