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How to Think like a Philosopher

Twelve Key Principles for More Humane, Balanced, and Rational Thinking

A concise and engaging guide to clear thinking from philosopher Julian Baggini.

By now, it should be clear: in the face of disinformation and disaster, we cannot hot take, life hack, or meme our way to a better future. But how should we respond instead? In How to Think like a Philosopher, Julian Baggini turns to the study of reason itself for practical solutions to this question, inspired by our most eminent philosophers, past and present.

Baggini offers twelve key principles for a more humane, balanced, and rational approach to thinking: pay attention; question everything (including your questions); watch your steps; follow the facts; watch your language; be eclectic; be a psychologist; know what matters; lose your ego; think for yourself, not by yourself; only connect; and don’t give up. Each chapter is chockful of real-world examples showing these principles at work—from the discovery of penicillin to the fight for trans rights—and how they lead to more thoughtful conclusions. More than a book of tips and tricks (or ways to be insufferably clever at parties), How to Think like a Philosopher is an invitation to develop the habits of good reasoning that our world desperately needs.

336 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2023

Philosophy: Ethics, General Philosophy, Philosophy of Society

Reviews

“Hugely entertaining.”

Publishers Weekly | on 'The Pig That Wants to Be Eaten'

“Bite-size nuggets of meditation . . . provocative.”

Entertainment Weekly | on 'The Pig That Wants to Be Eaten'

“A British philosopher who specializes in translating academic theories for a popular audience.”

Wall Street Journal | on 'Freedom Regained: The Possibility of Free Will'

“Baggini is that happy thing—a philosopher who recognizes that readers go glassy-eyed if presented with high-octane philosophical discourse. And yet [it] is in all our interests to consider crucial aspects of what it means to be human.”

Observer | on 'Freedom Regained: The Possibility of Free Will'

“[This book] has practical, life-changing applications.”

Foreword Reviews | on 'The Great Guide: What David Hume Can Teach Us about Being Human and Living Well'

“Bright, engaging, and reliable.”

Los Angeles Review of Books | on 'The Great Guide: What David Hume Can Teach Us about Being Human and Living Well'

Table of Contents

Introduction

1 Pay attention
2 Question everything (including your
questions)
3 Watch your steps
4 Follow the facts
5 Watch your language
6 Be eclectic
7 Be a psychologist
8 Know what matters
9 Lose your ego
10 Think for yourself, not by yourself
11 Only connect
12 Don’t give up

Conclusion

Glossary of key concepts
The interviewees
Credits
Notes

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