Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking

  • by Daniel C. Dennett
  • Narrated by Jeff Crawford
  • 13 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 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 listeners 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 listeners 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.


What the Critics Say

“A philosopher of rare originality, rigor, and wit.” (Jim Holt, Wall Street Journal)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Not a book for listening

Any additional comments?

Dennett starts off with some simple and obvious propositions. Then things get complicated. This is probably an interesting and book to read but to listen to? Fuggedaboutit. Books like this I want to go back and reread a section, ponder a thought, etc. If you are momentarily sidetracked while gardening, driving, etc., you’ll probably lose the thread. I did. Audible should consider a warning label books of this ilk: Caution – deep thinking required, cannot be listened to while doing anything else.

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- Concerned Reader "Michael"

Science book written by philosopher

This book reads more like a science book than a philosophy book. The author, a philosopher, uses the tools of philosophy to fill in the blanks about how we proceed with science.

The book starts off by how we sometimes can be mislead by 'intuition pumps", thought experiments, and how we should correctly use them. He sets up the listener in how to think about problems and then delves into some big problems, such as design within the universe and what does it mean, and what is consciousness and how to think about it.

The author is a philosopher but is much more interested in understanding the scientific method as opposed to the meaning of words.

I've listened to most of the science books audible has available and a book like this helps me see beyond just the science but also how to think about the science.

This author had a theme throughout this whole book. That the start of all understanding first comes about by realizing the role of evolution in the design of all non-trivial systems.

I will read more of this author's work.
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- Gary "l'enfer c'est les autres"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-06-2013
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio