“The best new book I’ve read.”—Richard Dawkins, New York Times Book Review
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 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.
Reviews and Endorsements:
“An excellent introduction to Dennett’s body of thought.” — Boston Globe
“One of the most original thinkers of our time.” — Michael Shermer, Science
“Perhaps America’s most widely read (and debated) living philosopher. . . . [Intuition Pumps is] a lively primer on the radical answers Mr. Dennett has elaborated to the big questions in his nearly five decades in philosophy” — New York Times
“The sharpest, cleverest, most stylish prober of how issues of human consciousness interconnect today with evolutionary theory.” — Carlin Romano, Philadelphia Inquirer
“A philosopher’s box of tools for the musing mind.” — Nature
““[Dennett] is a master at inventing tools for thought— metaphysical jokes, fables, parables, puzzles, and zany Monty-Python-like sketches that can help thinkers feel their way forward.” — Daily Beast