Sunday, May 19, 2013

Daniel Dennett's "Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking"

I recently ordered a new book called "Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking," by philosopher Daniel Dennett. I assumed the title was a dead giveaway about the content, and I hoped it would help to expand my tiny little brain as much as possible before law school starts. The book was highly recommended by evolutionist professor at Oxford, Richard Dawkins, a scholar I have come to greatly admire, so I figured it wouldn't hurt to drop the $17 dollars for the book. I am now around 50 pages deep, and I must say I am tentatively disappointed; I say TENTATIVELY disappointed because I have been bored so far with the common sense tips like "don't be afraid to make mistakes" and "watch out for people trying to fool you," but I'm still hopeful that the most interesting parts in the book will be found in later chapters. The book has a unique layout in that it is split into several chapters that are each only around 2-4 pages long. This makes for a fast-paced read, but at times I feel like Dennett has a little bit of ADHD, switching from one idea to another so quickly. Another component of the organization is that it starts with simple thinking tools and moves into progressively more advanced philosophic hypothetical situations, eventually making its way to the brain stretchers Dennett calls "Intuition Pumps" (this is the part I'm really looking forward to). In all, I do like Dennett's light-hearted and humorous take on philosophy, and I look forward to getting to the real meat of the book. More to come on how the book turns out!

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