Intuition Pumps And Other Tools for Thinking

Intuition Pumps And Other Tools for Thinking

Daniel C. Dennett / Feb 18, 2020

Intuition Pumps And Other Tools for Thinking Over 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 In

  • Title: Intuition Pumps And Other Tools for Thinking
  • Author: Daniel C. Dennett
  • ISBN: 9780393348781
  • Page: 172
  • Format: Paperback
  • Over 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 liOver 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 Pumpsnbsp offers intrepid thinkers in all walks of life delicious opportunities to explore their pet ideas with new powers.

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    About "Daniel C. Dennett"

      • Daniel C. Dennett

        Daniel Clement Dennett III is a prominent philosopher whose research centers on philosophy of mind, science, and biology, particularly as they relate to evolutionary biology and cognitive science He is the co director of the Center for Cognitive Studies and the Austin B Fletcher Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University Dennett is a noted atheist, avid sailor, and advocate of the Brights movement.Dennett received his B.A in philosophy from Harvard University in 1963, where he was a student of W.V.O Quine In 1965, he received his D.Phil from Christ Church, Oxford, where he studied under the ordinary language philosopher Gilbert Ryle.Dennett gave the John Locke lectures at the University of Oxford in 1983, the Gavin David Young Lectures at Adelaide, Australia, in 1985, and the Tanner Lecture at Michigan in 1986, among many others In 2001 he was awarded the Jean Nicod Prize, giving the Jean Nicod Lectures in Paris He has received two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Fulbright Fellowship, and a Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Studies in Behavioral Science He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1987 He was the co founder 1985 and co director of the Curricular Software Studio at Tufts University, and has helped to design museum exhibits on computers for the Smithsonian Institution, the Museum of Science in Boston, and the Computer Museum in Boston He is a Humanist Laureate of the International Academy of Humanism and a Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry.


    1. I had to quit after 68 pages. Dennett apparently had a class of freshmen review this book - I wish he would have had a couple actual philosophers review it as well. If you have an understanding of philosophy and basic thinking tools, this book is not for you. If you already are an independent thinker, this book is not for you. If you are easily impressed by name-dropping and misleading examples, this book is for you.The book starts out poorly with way too much name-dropping and Dennett admitting [...]

    2. "Intuition pumps and other tools for thinking" is a mixed bag of goods. Don’t let the title fool you: this books is less about "thinking tools" than it is about Daniel Dennet's favorite philosophical thought experiments. Dennet devotes a short and wanting section to general 'thinking tools' (think Okham’s razor), but otherwise spends the majority of your time laying out his personal ideas concerning evolution, meaning, mind, and free will.First, the pros: the subject matter is fascinating, a [...]

    3. If you've read other Dennett masterpieces, you come away thinking both that the man is a genius and that he's a genius that tends to ramble on. That is not the case in his latest work. He combines many of his previous ideas and some new thoughts into this volume of brief insightful chapters. Dennett covers a wide range of philosophy favorites including consciousness, free will, determinism, artificial life, evolution, and meaning. He gives the reader tools to use when thinking about complex prob [...]

    4. هذا الكتاب يستخلص ببراعة العشرات من أدوات التفكير ومعدات الاستدلال التي تتعلق بالأسئلة الكبرى في الفلسفة: المعنى، الفكر، التطور، الإرادة الحرة، معنى الوعي، وما شاكل.لا زلت معجبا بمدى براعة المؤلف، وهو الفيلسوف التحليلي القدير، في النفاذ لصلب الموضوع دون التعكّز على مصطلح [...]

    5. It's ironic that Dennett concludes his book with a chapter on why philosophy is still valuable, because halfway through it I was starting to toy with the idea that the world would be better off if philosophy departments all over it were shut down and its inhabitants told to find a real job :-) But first, a disclaimer: I am firmly in the positivist camp, Dan is basically preaching to the choir here. Only he's doing it badly. But wait! What's this about preaching? Isn't this book about thinking to [...]

    6. Reading this book is basically like reading Daniel Dennett in blog format.I read a lot of Dennett's work as an undergraduate and it had a fairly profound impact on me -- I think the collection "The Mind's I" that he edited with Douglas Hofstadter is essentially my atheist bible. I hadn't realized just how much of his work I had read -- almost nothing in this recent collection was new to me. I guess I hadn't realized (or had forgotten) that Dennett is a big fan of Sturgeon's Law (90% of everythin [...]

    7. An intuition pump is a thought experiment or similar cognitive "device" designed to elicit answers to difficult philosophical problems. In --Intuition Pumps And Other Tools For Thinking-- Dennett uses his favorite intuition pumps to (sort of) dismantle difficult philosophical questions such as: evolution, meaning, mind, and free will.I avoided Dennett for a long time because he comes off as such a grumpy old dick in his lectures and Ted talks. I am pleasantly surprised to find that his writing i [...]

    8. As clearly advertised on the front cover, this is a book about "tools for thinking"—and, yes, the first 12 chapters, out of 77, are devoted precisely to that. In contrast, the remaining 65 chapters are summaries, in easy to consume bites, of most of the other books that Dennett has published during the last 20 or 30 years, on the topics of meaning and content, evolution, consciousness, and free will—each updated with relevant new results and references. As such, he presents, and effectively [...]

    9. I liked this well enough. Dennett can write clearly and engagingly. But I never got over the nasty taste in my mouth induced by some really mean-spirited drive-by ad hominem assassination of someone I guess Dennett still holds a shiv for -- Stephen Jay Gould. The odd thing is that, on the issues in question, intellectually I would side with Dennett rather than Gould. But continuing to attack an opponent after the person in question is dead and in no position to mount a defence strikes me as bein [...]

    10. A very interesting book, though Dennett could certainly have stood to tighten up the prose and organize it better. I think the title also doesn't reflect the contents of the book very well. The book describes Dennett's theories of the philosophy of mind, using what he calls "intuition pumps". An intuition pump is basically a thought experiment, designed to poke/pump your intuitions about a topic, like Einstein's clock thought experiments or Searle's Chinese Room argument. I sort of dislike the t [...]

    11. I have enjoyed reading Dennett long before he became one of the four horsemen. I discovered him in the nineties and enjoyed his take on evolution and the mind body problem as well as the problem of consciousness. He is a good writer and clear. He is also probably the least abrasive of the new atheists. He writes in an enjoyable way about deep topics in the philosophy of mind, evolution and religion. I don't agree with him on consciousness. I think the hard problem can't be dissolved away as Denn [...]

    12. This was a great primer to philosophy to the novice. Dennett uses some clever thinking tools to cut to the heart of some classic problems in philosophy. I especially liked his take-down of the idea that free will depends on non-determinism.

    13. Daniel C. Dennett cites himself a lot. Just sayin'.Right, so his thing is that free will and determinism are not incompatible. He's really big into non-incompatibles. the idea that you can predict the choice someone will make does not effect his ability to make that choice. So, its predictable that i would write this but i still also made a choice to write it. i really hope he explains how this is so because i still don't get it. I had no idea this book would be so much about rhetoric, linquisti [...]

    14. Didn't finish bc tons of unnecessary acerbic ad hominem attacks on Gould started to get very annoying. Superficial otherwise too.

    15. I stayed with it until Consciousness, where I lost mine several times before limping to the end. The title is a misnomer; it is not a handy guide to navigating your decisions in life, etc, or even a practical 80 steps to improving your mind. It is a series of short chapters of philosophical tidbits designed to introduce as much of Dennett's own nomenclature as possible to see what sticks (immortality!), and in the meantime showing how terribly misguided his fellow philosophers are, supported by [...]

    16. Summary: There's a lot of interesting stuff here if you can struggle through it and are prepared to put in some hard thinking time over it (which you should be, if you're reading a book on philosophy). It's like taking a journey which you have heard is arduous but rewarding. However in this case the journey is also uneven and sometimes tedious, and your companion won't stop playing a Spice Girls medley on the kazoo.In a bit more detail:First off, this is a hard book. It wants you to think and it [...]

    17. Date first finished: 21 September 2013Date second finished: 19 January 2014This is an excellent book that gives a good introduction to some of the ways of doing philosophy. The first section has perhaps some of the most valuable advice for engaging with ideas and their proponents, and is something I will probably return to again and again to sharpen my tools for evaluating claims. The very first thing that Dennett encourages is for thinkers to make mistakes. It is important not to be afraid of m [...]

    18. I won't plagiarize another reviewer by pointing any prospective reader of Dennett's book to Sturgeon's Law, but for those listening: consult Sturgeon's Law. 10% of this book is extremely interesting - which for a 500 page book can seem reasonable and tiring on the same plane. Cf. every book Dennett has ever written on consciousness if you want to avoid the hassle (it's the topic he has theorized on tenaciously during his 30-year career as a mainstream philosopher). You'll notice he conveniently [...]

    19. This introduces itself as a collection of tricks and tips for philosophical reasoning. What is an essay papering over a gap? What makes a good thought experiment? When faced with one of the classic philosopher's parables (the Chinese Room, the Duplicating Teleporter) how do you figure out whether it's leading your intuition in a useful direction or only distracting you from the point?(Some of these tips are nifty examples of "turning the knobs" on thought experiments, creating variants with diff [...]

    20. Somehow I didn't enjoy this book nearly as much as I was expecting to. What was I expecting? I dunno a textbook on critical thinking written from the perspective of a philosopher? A list of important human mental techniques that an ideal AI should contain?Something was just too folksy-abstract for me to really get into it. I liked Dennett's books Kinds of Minds: Towards an Understanding of Consciousness and Inside Jokes: Using Humor to Reverse-Engineer the Mind much better.But on my library's 20 [...]

    21. What a mind Dennett is that rarest of beings: a philosopher who presents his ideas undumbed down, and with crystal clarity, for a lay readership. Not only does he respect his untrained readers, he genuinely strives to educate them and to spur their own deeper learning and inquiry. The long and the short is this: every time I finish one of his books, I am (I think) smarter than I was when I began. It's amazing how much food for thought Dennett packs between the covers of each, and how artfully he [...]

    22. Interessant, maar die filosofen kunnen soms toch wel heel lang stilstaan en blijven tobben over een probleem dat veel sneller en korter kan beredeneerd worden.Ik hoopte dat dat bij Dennett anders ging zijn. Maar nee

    23. A wonderful little book about how to think. The "turning the knobs" idea is something I've already begun to use.It's actually a surprisingly nice introduction to computer science if you need it.

    24. Dennett, Daniel C. (2013). Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking. London: Allen Lane. 2013. ISBN 9780141970127. Pagine 458. 14,03 €images-amazonHo incontrato Dan più di 30 anni fa, e da allora ci siamo sempre frequentati, anche se a volte ci siamo persi di vista per lunghi periodi. Me l'aveva presentato Doug Hofstadter, ma poi siamo diventati amici indipendentemente da luiMi piacerebbe poterlo scrivere non soltanto metaforicamente, ma la realtà letterale è che – dopo avere letto Go [...]

    25. ~6.5h @ 2x. Contents:(view spoiler)[Dennett DC (2013) (13:22) Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for ThinkingPrefacePart I: Introduction: What Is an Intuition Pump?Part II: A Dozen General Thinking Tools01. Making Mistakes02. "By Parody of Reasoning": Using Reductio ad Absurdum03. Rapoport's Rules04. Sturgeon's Law05. Occam's Razor06. Occam's Broom07. Using Lay Audiences as Decoys08. Jootsing09. Three Species of Goulding: Rathering, Piling On, and the Gould Two-Step10. The "Surely" Operator: A Men [...]

    26. Nice addition to demonology of mind. Not five, because it's not one theme related and barely scratches the top of the iceberg, unlike, for example Consciousness Explained. I've got an idea about "demons", whether they're politburo or just switching (probably both*) from that book, was easy to get, because I deal with computers daemons almost every day."I am" is different each morning, depends either on politburo votes (like Google's Pagerank algorithm :-D) of mind demons who will act as "I", or [...]

    27. Whew, got in a little bit over my head with this one. It got three stars because I liked it - what I understood of it, that is. He covers a lot of challenging topics - evolution, consciousness, free will, and so on, subjects I find fascinating - and even though he does his best to make it accessible to non-philosophers, I still think I needed more foundational philosophy knowledge than I actually have to get the most out of it. The chapters were mercifully short, many just 3-5 pages, and I know [...]

    28. Finally, a book worth reading and reviewing. The one thing that I dislike about the book is perhaps the long winded (but playful) narration that seems to be an overkill. Simple concepts that can be explained in a sentence or a paragraph goes on to be chapters. But since Dennett is a philosopher it's all forgiven. If you don't like this playful elongated writing style, and prefer concise and direct communication, it may ruin a perfectly good book. There are several things I found fascinating abou [...]

    29. At this point, it has been nearly 25 years since I read Douglas Hofstadter and Daniel Dennett's anthology, "The Mind's I," as part of a philosophy class on artificial intelligence at the University of Pittsburgh. One of the most-enduring essays in that volume was Dennett's "Where am I?", a tour-de-force of a thought experiment that became a cultural referent, the "brain in a vat" controlling a body containing a substitute brain via radio waves. Dennett would refer to such a construction as an "i [...]

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