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How to Think like a Philosopher

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

An invitation to the habits of good 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


“An essential, inspiring guide to the challenges of our time, drawing on interviews with contemporary philosophers, and filled with the author’s insights and reflections. It is exactly the book that we need.”

Sarah Bakewell, author of 'At the Existentialist Cafe: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails'

“Nobody thinks about thinking like Baggini. His latest book gives us an urgently needed guide to clear thinking, brought to life by a cast of our finest philosophers and illuminated by his gentle, humane, and accessible writing. Essential reading, both for making sense of a confusing world, and for living your everyday life. I’ll be returning to this brilliant book again and again.”

Anil Seth, author of 'Being You: A New Science of Consciousness'

“If more philosophers wrote with the power and elegance Baggini achieves in this book, more of us would learn to think like them. Well, now we can!”

Richard Holloway, former bishop of Edinburgh, primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, and author of 'Leaving Alexandria: A Memoir of Faith and Doubt'

“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


1 Pay attention
2 Question everything (including your
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


Glossary of key concepts
The interviewees

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