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The Duck That Won the Lottery: 100 New Experiments for the Armchair Philosopher Paperback – April 28, 2009


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The Duck That Won the Lottery: 100 New Experiments for the Armchair Philosopher + The Pig That Wants to Be Eaten: 100 Experiments for the Armchair Philosopher + The Philosopher's Toolkit: A Compendium of Philosophical Concepts and Methods
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Plume (April 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452295416
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452295414
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #589,588 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Jullian Baggini has come to the rescue...the prolific philosopher's latest work is a curiosity cabinet of spurious reasoning and spin"
(Financial Times)

About the Author

Julian Baggini is the editor of The Philosopher’s Magazine.

Customer Reviews

I loved reading this book, and have referred back to it numerous times.
Orphia Nay
The Duck That Won the Lottery, by Julian Baggini is a great book for people who actually want to learn something and learn how to think a different way.
Noorain Fatima
By only putting the excerpt and not explaining what was said before or after he successfully manipulates the quotes to fit his scrutiny.
VanDerGraafGenerator

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By John Williamson TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I like Julian Baggini's writing style. If you're unfamiliar with his works, he's possibly Britain's best-loved contemporary philosopher, and his work encompasses a wide range of interests and styles. He was awarded a PhD from University College London for his thesis on the philosophy of personal identity in 1996, then went on to found 'The Philosophers' Magazine' with Jeremy Stangroom, supporting himself with a portfolio of jobs that included teaching and, increasingly, journalism and writing.

His writing bore fruit in 2002, when five books he wrote, co-wrote or co-edited were published. In his newest offering The Duck That Won the Lottery, he presents us with a series of brief, thought-provoking and usually entertaining philosophical ideas to ponder. This is said to be the companion piece to his 2006 offering The Pig That Wants to Be Eaten, an excellent book that I reviewed earlier. This one is a sequel that continues his exploration of philosophical problems through interesting sketches and thought experiments.

His focus this time is on the 'bad arguments' that people use all the time, in the media, on the 'Net, in politics, and in everyday life. There are a hundred of them, and each entry takes an example of questionable logic as its origin, from which the author examines the argument, then invites the reader to do the same with other examples, and he manages to do it with his characteristic precision and sense of humor.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Davis on June 19, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed The Duck That Won the Lottery from beginning to end. Julian Baggini lists exactly 100 statements and explains why they're logically questionable or even flat-out fallacies. He writes in an educational but entertaining way; this book is basically an enjoyable Logic 101 class, which I didn't think was possible. Baggini spares no one,even heroes, from his criticism of bad arguments.

There are no political or religious biases in the book; Baggini even praises Donald Rumsfeld at one point! His only bias is against poor reasoning. This is by far the best book on this neglected, but crucial, subject I have seen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kayla on March 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
I thought this book brought light to the arguements that normal everyday people seem to either believe, go along with, or are stumped as to how to refute them. The arguements the Baggini details and disects are arguments that ive heard in everyday life that I never knew had actual and obvious flaws. I enjoy that Baggini begins every new chapter with a quote that demostrates each new argument then disects it and gives reasonable flaws as well as at the end of each section gives other sections that relate to the topic being discussed. If somebody is looking for a good to either help them become a better arguer or just want to see these illogical arguments made by famous people in history this book is for you. The only down side to this book is that at some point the reading is a bit dry if you arent interested in a certain topic, person, or moment in history but other than that this book offers insight into the illogical in the seemingly logical.
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Format: Paperback
About: Baggini describes and provides examples of 100 logical fallacies such as "quantity doesn't equal quality", "forced choice" and "begging the question."

Pros: Thought provoking. Made me think of how many of these fallacies I use. It's cool learning about fallacies I used to think were good arguments. 100 2-4 page chapters leads to quick reading. Sources cited.

Cons: 100 fallacies can seem overwhelming, I almost felt that there's no such thing as a valid argument. Hard to keep them all straight.

Grade: B
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Orphia Nay on November 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
I loved reading this book, and have referred back to it numerous times. I've also recommended it often to others.

While I was familiar with most of the 100 logical fallacies discussed, Julian Baggini's examples from the media and commentary on them were fresh and very thought-provoking; plus, there were fallacies that were new to me that I've come to recognise when I've seen them used. My particular favourite of these is the "Lack of Charity" fallacy.

I think this book would make a great introduction to Logic for readers of all ages, and could be a very enjoyable read for those more familiar with the subject.
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Format: Paperback
The author describes 100 (bad) arguments people use to prove their points. While it is interesting to read some of them, it felt like the interesting discussions were forced to be short due to the structure of the book, 2-3 pages per topic (bad argument). And some of the topics are not even worth to be included but to reach to 100 is not easy, I guess. Overall, I found it to be an okay book..
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By Sara Miller on January 24, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was expecting it to be just like the 1st one (The Pig Who Wants to be Eaten), but it's not. Each chapter starts off with a quote, and the author just spends the entire chapter discussing the quote, and why it's considered a fallacy. I was expecting brain teasers, logic puzzles, and paradoxes. But there were none....just quotes. To be quite frank, I found it kind of boring....
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


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.