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- ‘Author Nicholas Fearn aims to leave readers with an array of handy instruments at their disposal, whether Ockham’s razor, Hume’s fork, or Nietzsche’s hammer. ‘The object,’ he writes, ‘is to show not merely what the great philosophers thought, but to demonstrate how they thought.’ In addition to supplying readers with the building blocks of philosophical reasoning, Fearn offers a summary history of Western philosophy running from the pre-Socratics through medieval and modern philosophy and up to Derrida. Along the way students will encounter Zeno’s reductio ad absurdum, the Socratic method, Cartesian demons, and a number of other elemental concepts drawn from the last 2,500 years of inquiry’.
- The various tools/method/approaches are introduced through 25 short chapters. Each chapter introduces a given tool/method/approach in light of a specific philosopher. The chapters are as follows: Thales’s Well, Protagoras and the Pigs, Zeno and the Tortoise, The Socratic Inquisition, Plato’s Cave, Aristotle’s Goals, Lucretius’s Spear, Ockham’s Razor, Machiavelli’s Prince, Bacon’s Chickens, Descartes’ Demon, Hume’s Fork, Reid’s Common sense, Rousseau’s Contract, Kant’s Spectacles, Bentham’s Calculus, Hegel’s Dialectic, Nietzsche’s Hammer, The Young Wittgenstein’s Mirror, The Older Wittgenstein’s Games, Popper’s Dolls, Ryle’s University, Turing’s Machine, Dawkin’s Meme, Derrida and Deconstruction, Further Reading, Index.