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What If....Collected Thought Experiments in Philosophy Paperback – May 15, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0321202789 ISBN-10: 0321202783 Edition: 1st

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What If....Collected Thought Experiments in Philosophy + Ultimate Questions: Thinking about Philosophy (3rd Edition) + Readings on Ultimate Questions: An Introduction to Philosophy (3rd Edition)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson; 1 edition (May 15, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321202783
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321202789
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #362,759 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

What If . . . Collected Philosophical Thought Experimentsis a brief, inexpensive collection of over 100 classic and contemporary “thought experiments” , each with an accompanying commentary and thought provoking questions, which 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 the 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.Anyone interested in the major issues philosophers discuss, and how they use thought experiments to explore their arguments.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By R. Cooper on August 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
I've used many anthologies for my philosophy courses, but none ever seemed to have all the thought experiments I wanted. In addition, like many other philosophy professors, I'd repeated some of the same imaginative scenarios so many times that I couldn't remember their origin or even if I'd invented them.

Tittle's book addressed both those problems for me. She did all the hard work when she tracked down these passages. That alone would have been enough for me to adopt the text for my classes, but she didn't stop there. She added short commentaries for each scenario; better, her commentaries are not explications but distillations that underscore for the reader exactly why these mental morsels are so philosophically intriguing and thereby so durable.

The whole range of philosophy is covered--logic, epistemology, philosophy of mind, ethics, political philosophy--all the stuff that a good course should cover.

If you know little about philosophy but want an accessible introduction, or if you are a philosophy professor and want a guaranteed stimulant for class discussion, this is the book for you.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Robbins on January 27, 2005
Format: Paperback
The somewhat deceptive title aside (the thought experiments are much more substantive 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 or puzzlements, it's also a nice way to get a taste of a variety of periods and ideas.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert P Schillinger on August 4, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book greatly assists you in "doing philosophy" instead of simply reading it. It helped me prepare for class discussion by presenting me with many of the questions the professor was going to ask ahead of time. Several of the though experiments showed up on quizzes and tests. You'd do well to get this or Ultimate Questions: Thinking About Philosophy to help you "do" philosophy.
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What If....Collected Thought Experiments in Philosophy
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