Intuition Pumps And Other Tools for Thinking
“The best new book I’ve read.”—Richard Dawkins, New York Times Book ReviewOver a storied career, Daniel C. Dennett has engaged questions about science and the workings of the mind. His answers have combined rigorous argument with strong empirical grounding. And a lot of fun.
Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking offers seventy-seven of Dennett’s most successful "imagination-extenders and focus-holders" meant to guide you through some of life’s most treacherous subject matter: evolution, meaning, mind, and free will. With patience and wit, Dennett deftly deploys his thinking tools to gain traction on these thorny issues while offering readers insight into how and why each tool was built.
Alongside well-known favorites like Occam’s Razor and reductio ad absurdum lie thrilling descriptions of Dennett’s own creations: Trapped in the Robot Control Room, Beware of the Prime Mammal, and The Wandering Two-Bitser. Ranging across disciplines as diverse as psychology, biology, computer science, and physics, Dennett’s tools embrace in equal measure light-heartedness and accessibility as they welcome uninitiated and seasoned readers alike. As always, his goal remains to teach you how to "think reliably and even gracefully about really hard questions."
A sweeping work of intellectual seriousness that’s also studded with impish delights, Intuition Pumps offers intrepid thinkers—in all walks of life—delicious opportunities to explore their pet ideas with new powers.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - DLMorrese - LibraryThing
This offering from Daniel C. Dennett brings the reader to a few interesting philosophical points, but takes a lengthy and indirect route to get to them. Many of the destinations provide perspectives ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - nbmars - LibraryThing
This book is a collection of Dennett’s “favorite thinking tools,” which he generously shares with us because “thinking is hard.” His favorite techniques are what he calls “intuition pumps,” which are ... Read full review
What Is an Intuition Pump?
A DOZEN GENERAL THINKING TOOLS
Using Reductio adAbsurdum
Genes as Words or as Subroutines
The Tree of Life
Cranes and Skyhooks Lifting in Design Space
Competence without Comprehension
Do Locusts Understand Prime Numbers?
How to Explain Stotting
Beware of the Prime Mammal
Using Lay Audiences as Decoys
Rathering Piling On and the Gould TwoStep
A Mental Block
What Is a Deepity?
TOOLS FOR THINKING ABOUT MEANING OR CONTENT
Murder in Trafalgar Square
An Older Brother Living in Cleveland
Daddy Is a Doctor
Manifest Image and Scientific Image
The Intentional Stance
The PersonalSubpersonal Distinction
A Cascade ofHomunculi
The Sorta Operator
Trapped in the Robot Control Room
AN INTERLUDE ABOUT COMPUTERS
The Seven Secrets of Computer Power Revealed
Automating the Elevator
MORE TOOLS ABOUT MEANING
A Thing about Redheads
The Wandering TwoBitser Twin Earth and the Giant Robot
Radical Translation and a Quinian Crossword Puzzle
Semantic Engines and Syntactic Engines
Swampman Meets a CowShark
Two Black Boxes
TOOLS FOR THINKING ABOUT EVOLUTION
Vast and Vanishing
When Does Speciation Occur?
Widowmakers Mitochondrial Eve and Retrospective Coronations
What Does the Frogs Eye Tell the Frogs Brain?
Leaping through Space in the Library of Babel
Who Is the Author of Spamlet?
Noise in the Virtual Hotel
Herb Alice and Hal the Baby
TOOLS FOR THINKING ABOUT CONSCIOUSNESS
The Zombic Hunch
Zombies and Zimboes
The Curse ofthe Cauliflower
How Much Is That in Real Money?
The Sad Case ofMr Clapgras
The Tuned Deck
The Chinese Room
The Teleclone Fall from Mars to Earth
The Self as the Center of Narrative Gravity
A Boom Crutch Unveiled
TOOLS FOR THINKING ABOUT FREE WILL
A Truly Nefarious Neurosurgeon
Conways Game of Life
Rock Paper and Scissors
The 10 Percent Thats Good