Doing Philosophy: From Common Curiosity To Logical Reasoning by Timothy Williamson

The Blurb On The Back:

For those who are new to philosophy the methodology for philosophical thinking may seem almost mystical.

And yet the processes are more familiar than we may initially fear.

Drawing on examples throughout the history of philosophy’s successes and failures, Timothy Williamson demonstrates how philosophy begins with common-sense curiosity, and develops through our capacity to dispute rationally with each other.

As he shows, philosophy can clarify our thoughts.  This depends on the development of philosophical theories, which can be tested by imaginative thought experiments, and compared against each other by standards like those in science.  Overturning the widely held dogma of the special nature of philosophy, Williamson unravels its methods, uncovers both their power and their limitations, and assesses the future of philosophy.

From thought experiments to deduction to theories, this little book will make you rethink what philosophy is.

Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.

You can order DOING PHILOSOPHY: FROM COMMON CURIOSITY TO LOGICAL REASONING by Timothy Williamson from Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

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Saturday Night Live And Philosophy edited by Jason Southworth and Ruth Tallman

The Blurb On The Back:

Is Weekend Update fake news?

How can we tell the difference between satire, smart-assert, and seriousness?

What is the benefit of jokes that cause outrage?

The Church Lady has a bad case of moral superiority.  How about you?

What can Wayne and Garth teach us about living a happy life?

Live from New York for over forty years, Saturday Night Live is seriously funny, and through decades of sketches, monologues, commercials, music acts, and a huge cast of recurring characters, NBC’s original late-night comedy sketch show has brought a touch of levity to everything that is laughable about modern life.  Many of the greatest minds in modern comedy – Bill Murray, Eddie Murphy, Steve Martin, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Chris Rock, Kate McKinnon and more – have honed their craft at SNL, finding fresh ways to highlight the ridiculous and absurd in our boardrooms, newsrooms, mailrooms, sorority houses, music studios, churches, schools, and everywhere in-between.  Politicians from Gerald Ford to Donald Trump have had their faults and foibles lampooned by SNL’s election sketches and satirical news segments, and all the while, Weekend Update has shown us that the medium is the message.

Of course, comedian-philosophers from Socrates to Sartre have always produced and provoked us, critiquing our most sacred institutions and urging us to examine ourselves in the process.  In Saturday Night Live and Philosophy, a star-studded ensemble cast of philosophers takes a close look at the “deep thoughts” beneath the surface of the award-winning late-night variety show and its hosts’ hijinks.  In this book, philosophy and comedy join forces with the strength of the Ambiguously Gay Duo to explore the meaning of life itself through the riffs and beats of the subversive parody that gives the show its razor-sharp wit and undeniable cultural and political significance.  

You can order SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE AND PHILOSOPHY edited by Jason Southworth and Ruth Tallman from Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

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Pandemic! 2: Chronicles Of A Time Lost by Slavoj Žižek

The Blurb On The Back:

In this exhilarating sequel to his acclaimed Pandemic!: COVID-19 Shakes The World, Slavoj Žižek delves into the surprising dimensions of lockdowns, quarantines, and social distancing – as well as the increasingly unruly opposition to them by a “response-fatigued” public around the world.

Žižek examines the ripple effects on the food supply of harvest failures caused by labour shortages, and the hyper-exploitation of the global class of care workers, without whose labour daily life would be impossible.  Through such examples he pinpoints the inability of contemporary capitalism to safeguard effectively the public in times of crisis.

Writing with characteristic daring and zeal, Žižek ranges across critical theory, pop culture, and psychoanalysis to reveal the troubling dynamics of knowledge and power emerging in these viral times. 

You can order Pandemic 2!: Chronicles Of A Time Lost by Slavoj Žižek from Amazon USAAmazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

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Dogs: A Philosophical Guide To Our Best Friends by Mark Alizart

The Blurb On The Back:

Man’s best friend, domesticated since pre-historic times, a travelling companion for explorers and artists, thinkers and walkers, equally happy curled up by the fire and bounding through the great outdoors: dogs matter to us because we love them.  But is that all there is to the canine’s good-natured voracity and affectionate dependency?

Mark Alizart dispenses with the well-worn cliches concerning dogs and their masters, seeing them not as submissive pets but rather as unexpected life coaches, ready to teach us the elusive recipes for contentment and joy.  Dogs have faced their fate in life with a certain detachment that is not easy to understand.  Unlike other animals in a similar situation, they have not become hardened, nor have they let themselves die a little inside.  On the contrary, they seem to have softened.  This book is devoted to understanding this miracle, the miracle of the joy of dogs – to understanding it and, if at all possible, learning how it’s done.

Weaving elegantly and eruditely between historical myth and pop-culture anecdote, between the peculiar views of philosophers and the even more bizarre findings of science, Alizart offers us a surprising new portrait of the dog as thinker – a thinker who may perhaps know the true secret of our humanity. 

You can order Dogs: A Philosophical Guide To Our Best Friends by Mark Alizart from Amazon USAAmazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

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The Joy Of Missing Out: The Art Of Self-Restraint In An Age Of Excess by Svend Brinkmann

The Blurb On The Back:

”Because you’re worth it”, proclaims the classic cosmetics ad.  “Just do it!” implores the global sports retailer.  Everywhere we turn, we are constantly encouraged to experience as much as possible, for as long as possible, in as many ways as possible. FOMO – Fear of Missing Out – has become a central preoccupation in a world fixated on the never-ending pursuit of gratification and self-fulfilment.

But this pursuit can become a treadmill leading nowhere. How can we break out of it?  In this refreshing book, bestselling Danish philosopher and psychologist Svend Brinkmann reveals the many virtues of missing out on the constant choices and temptations that dominate our experience-obsessed consumer society.  By cultivating self-restraint and celebrating moderation we can develop a more fulfilling way of living that enriches ourselves and our fellow humans and protects the planet we all share – in short, we can discover the joy of missing out. 

You can order The Joy Of Missing Out: The Art Of Self-Restraint In An Age Of Excess by Svend Brinkmann from Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

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