Book: The Pig That Wants to Be Eaten

Book: The Pig That Wants to Be Eaten: Books: Julian Baggini

I know it’s been a while since I posted a book review: the nature of the study I’m doing is that I’m reading pieces of all kinds of books, but it’s rare that I get the chance to read a book in its entirety.

I made an exception in this case. The strange title, and my limited understanding of "thought experiments" led me to grab this from the library shelf. It’s written by a philosopher – Julian Baggani, and it attempts to distill a range of philosophical puzzles into single page scenarios, with commentary.

A thought experiment is the method of taking a complex problem – say an ethical one – and creating a scenario that takes away most of the complexity. In the "Pig that wants to be eaten" example, we consider whether eating meat is right or wrong, but discard such concerns as whether the animal has been raised in healthy conditions, or whether the creature could have had a longer, happier life.

The range of problems discussed reach various aspects of thought, self-awareness and even the existence of God, although it takes a fairly hostile view in the latter case.

An enjoyable read, while it probably won’t significantly deepen your understanding of different philosophers, it gives some insights into the paradoxes that philosophy examines.

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