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Do You Think What You Think You Think? Paperback – August 28, 2007

3.7 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In their latest philosophical novelty book, Baggini and Stangroom refashion the kind of frivolous quiz found in women's and men's style magazines—the kind with flippant multiple-choice answers adding up to a final score—as a philosophical tool. The challenges are amusing and fun enough to pass the time during a long commute, making for a kind of Philosophy 101 student's sudoku, but not much more. As in his previous book, The Pig That Wants to Be Eaten, Baggini encourages people to question common assumptions. Unfortunately, this book feels more superficial than its charming precursor. In the case of a quiz on free will, the scoring requires more time than the test taking. In another chapter, it's possible to conclude that Britney Spears is as great an artist as Mozart. The book's final measures the reader's absorption of the history of the discipline that's provided in the overviews and analyses surrounding each of the tests—but it's clear that learning the history of philosophy isn't the point. Once readers have completed the final tally, some may be disappointed to find that, no matter what their score, what you know about philosophy isn't worth knowing. (Aug.)
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Review

  • From the author of the international bestseller, The Pig that Wants to be Eaten
  • Based on the hugely popular Philosopher's Magazine website: www.philosophersnet.com
  • Contains brand new quizzes never seen before
  • Forget Sudoku - this will really make you exercise your brain!
  • Praise for The Pig That Wants to be Eaten:
  • 'Examines received opinions, things we take for granted, and dissects them entertainingly' The Times --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; 1 edition (August 28, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452288657
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452288652
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #823,715 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Julian Baggini is the editor and co-founder of The Philosophers' Magazine. His books include Do You Think What You Think YouThink? (with Jeremy Stangroom), What's It All About? - Philosophy and the Meaning of Life and The Pig That Wants to be Eaten, all published by Granta Books.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I found Do You Think What You Think You Think? on the new releases table at the bookstore and I was immediately attracted to its premise. It promises to uncover the reader's beliefs, and to help strengthen and identify one's core philosophy. So, I bought the book and looked forward to working through its exercises on my next airplane trip.

Unfortunately, my affection for the book, if not the concept, took a turn for the worse about two hours into the trip. At first, the authors draw you in with several questions that require you to make a concrete judgement about what are usually considered to be "gray areas." For example, you're asked to agree or disagree with the statement "It is always wrong to take another's life." That pesky word "always" be damned, make your choice--there's no "maybe" option available.

Later, after many more questions where my rationale (and answers) hung on the specific phrasing of the question, I learn that my overall score indicates, in the words of the authors, that I am either a mass of contradictions or a very subtle thinker. Thus arriving at my first indication that this book is really about making snap judgments, reading a pithy observation, then moving on to the next "gotcha."

Reading this book is an active endeavor. You'll need a pen to jot down your answers and, unless you're the type who writes in books, some paper to keep track of your scores and answers. And be prepared to do a lot of flipping of pages as you compare your impressions of a question to the author's assertions. In some cases, you'll find yourself disagreeing with how a question is phrased and then later re-interpreted to "prove" some point. In fact, the authors expect you to disagree and argue with the book.
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Format: Paperback
Wow! Delightful! This book is a series of games, almost like puzzles, that shed light on how you think...and how you stack up to other readers who have done these exercises online.

If you're of scientific bent, you'll recognize that the sample is perhaps too small to make strong conclusions about where you "stack up" But no matter, because the self examination that results in doing these games is amazingly informative, and unusual for most of us.

Here are some examples:
1. You'll choose between "agree or disagree" in a list of beliefs about how the world works... or... in another game, what's right, and what's "wrong" morally, then learn how consistent (or inconsistent) your belief system is.

2. You're given a series of simple logic puzzles (no math required) and it will be revealed how we sometimes may think we're being logical but can be distracted from the real thing

and many more! A formal education is not a requirement, but some real thinking is. You'll be surprised!

The writers' tone is neither abusive nor superior, but rather witty and fun! I ended up with a short list of things I'd like to ponder further, and the inspiration to do so.

If you are interested in how the mind works, and in learning about your own thought processes, this is a terrific book. I'd recommend it for every writer, of any form, for those interested in cognitive science or in psychology, and for anyone who wants to get and stay sharp, at any age.

You do not have to have a strong educational background to enjoy this book, but you do have to be unafraid to think and examine your own thinking! Fun!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I greatly enjoyed "Do You Think What You Think You Think" on every level. The book is a series of philosophical excercises that delve into your own logic, ethical, spritual and philosophical beliefs.

It does a good job of not saying any one way of thinking is right or wrong, but helps you gain insight into your belief system while pointing out gross contradictions to how you think.

Once I picked up this book I was addicted to it and finished it within a day. I've also recommended it to many friends and will continue to do so.
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Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this book and doing the exercises. I found myself caught in a few logical traps and having to work out why it was that I made the mistakes I did. We are all prone to thinking illogically and it's an excellent thing to examine how and why that is.

My only gripe about the book is that although the authors stress that precision is the basis of logic, their own phrasing of questions is imprecise in some cases. I tend to be a pretty broad-stroke thinker and even I found myself saying that in some cases the question simply wasn't phrased precisely enough to deliver the answer claimed by the authors. My wife, a much more detail oriented person, found it very frustrating as she had to resist picking apart the questions and taking into account all the qualifiers that exist in the real world.

This is meant to be a fun book, and it is. Treat it as entertainment and it works very well. Don't expect it to hold up to a more detailed analysis.
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Format: Paperback
i received this book from my girlfriend as a gift on my last birthday, it was slightly disappointing (i was wading through really dense stuff at the time). while she knows that i'm rabid about philosophy and learning anything, she has no real interest in the topic... which plays right in to what this book does.

in the tradition of "the pig that wants to be eaten", "beyond bumper sticker ethics", and various books like them, this book doesn't try to appeal to the rigorous student or even the second year under-grad; this book is best served as a first course or as a sample. as someone that is planning to pursue a doctorate in philosophy in a few years, i found this book to be something that grabbed my attention and directed me to a problem i had ignored: bringing new minds into philosophy. while it is true that everyone doesn't have to be a philosopher, restricting the search for new ideas can only hurt everyone in the long run.

i found many of the questions lacking options, instead, polar opposites are often the only choices. some of the explanations are a little weak and some of the conclusions were almost offensive... until i reminded myself that this book is (clearly) intended for mass consumption and not intended as a daunting pillar of philosophical wisdom.

if you are seeking some light reading or a good source of conversation material for that next neighborhood block-party, this book deserves your attention. if you're a weekend philosopher that likes to keep his mind sharp or you're just feeling burnt out (we've all been there), this may be a nice piece to rejuvenate you.
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