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Publisher's Summary

Thinking is at the heart of our everyday lives, yet our thinking can go wrong in any number of ways. Bad arguments, fallacious reasoning, misleading language, and built-in cognitive biases are all traps that keep us from rational decision making. What can we do to avoid these traps and think better? Is it possible to think faster, more efficiently, and more systematically? 

The Philosopher’s Toolkit: How to Be the Most Rational Person in Any Room, taught by award-winning Professor Patrick Grim of the State University of New York at Stony Brook, arms you against the perils of bad thinking and supplies you with an arsenal of strategies to help you be more creative, logical, inventive, realistic, and rational in all aspects of your daily life.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2013 The Great Courses (P)2013 The Teaching Company, LLC

Editorial Review

Have you ever wanted to become a master of defusing bogus arguments? Or develop mental shortcuts (heuristics) that make life more efficient? Do mental models, game theory, statistics, and visualization pique your interest? Then this Great Course has your number. Far from a dry series of college lectures, this detailed but tightly written title is designed to provide you with a strong, working knowledge of logic that will immediately and positively affect your day-to-day life. —Sean T., Audible Editor

What listeners say about The Philosopher's Toolkit: How to Be the Most Rational Person in Any Room

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This should NOT be an audio book

At best it should be a video as Professor Grim constantly points to visual aids: "look at these pictures"/"watch this video". I ignored that the first couple of times, but it just got more and more annoying to the point where I stopped listening.

Unfortunately, I can't return this title and so at some point I will force myself to finish it. But, that's the point- if you have to force yourself through a book, then the book is not really doing its job.

224 people found this helpful

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Disappointed

I was looking forward to listening to this on my commute. It does not translate well from the classroom with references to visuals used by the instructor to move forward.

113 people found this helpful

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Not an audiobook if you need visuals not included

I am on lecture 5 and it consistently refers to visuals that are not provided. This a failure and should not be considered an audiobook! I will give it a couple more lectures but so far I want to return this. Disappointed!

80 people found this helpful

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Didn't get good until chapter 9

If you need a basic introduction to logic, the first 8 chapters will be useful. Otherwise skip to the latter chapters (chapter 9 and later) which really shine.

109 people found this helpful

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The benchmark by which I will judge other courses

This is the second Great Courses product I have listened to. The other was a course on Chemistry (which was essentially a combination of Chem 1 and Chem 2 courses)

The speaker’s voice was pleasant, and his word choices endeared himself to me. He was pleasant to listen to.

The information was dense. I admit I often listened to this while doing something else - but even if I were to focus all of my attention on this, there were some lectures I just wanted to hear more than once, to really make sure I absorb everything.

The knowledge here is not only interesting, but also extremely practical. Chemistry is cool... but I generally don’t come across situations where I need to understand valence shells or that everything is both a particle and a wave. This class goes over fundamental concepts about how we think, and gives a bunch of great tools for how to rationally debate, and how to logically make a choice between competing options.


I like this course, and will probably listen to it in its entirely every couple of years.

64 people found this helpful

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no visuals provided

"PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio."

No pdf accompanies this book, despite constant references to graphics.

25 people found this helpful

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Great listen

I was very happy with my decision to listen to this book. I would recommend this to anyone with an interest in philosophy, especially good as a broad introduction.

24 people found this helpful

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Descriptive, to the point, way to understand

This is essentially "Engineering Guide to Phylosophy and It's Applications"
WILL read/listen again, 11/10, no way not to profit by absorbing this

33 people found this helpful

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Good Introductory Course

A good introductory course to the topics presented. It was more of a review of many of the topics for me personally but I did learn and get insights into a few additional areas like game theory. Several of the chapters do have sections where it is apparent you are supposed to be looking at some text or diagrams which isn't great for an audible book but not enough to be detracting.

25 people found this helpful

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Philosophy for the rest of us without being watered down.

One of the few books I’ve seen by a modern philosopher written as advice on how we might live our lives better. It looks like Prof Grim has descended the ivory tower, or perhaps never entered it, because he realizes philosophy should be a guide to everyday life and let’s us down if it can’t be. A highly recommend listen!

36 people found this helpful

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  • Adam colley
  • 02-15-20

it's a recording of a seminar

kept asking if you can see the graph or watch this. how can we see that it's a recording....useless as an audiobook

10 people found this helpful

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  • Wendy
  • 02-08-20

Brilliant!

Wish this lecture series had been available when I was younger and trying to make sense of the world. The thinking frameworks Grim provides are incredibly helpful, particularly when we are bombarded with so much information every day, and it's so useful to have them all in one place like this.
100% recommended.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Alex
  • 11-26-19

Loved it.

Amazing book for anyone dipping their toe into philosophy for the first time. The word 'lecture' usually conjures up images of stuffy classrooms and struggling to stay awake, but I lapped this up chapter after chapter. Set out for the layman, and very easy to understand. I will definitely be revisiting this book. Very enjoyable.

6 people found this helpful

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  • David G.
  • 11-18-20

am I missing something

where can I get the videos the lecturer keep referencing? Did I miss a link or something?

5 people found this helpful

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  • Louis
  • 05-16-20

not suitable for an audiobook

Quite simply unusable because of the visual references needed for the lectures. It seems to be better suited for a paper version

5 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-21-20

Shouldn’t be an audiobook

With how often it refers to visual services I am disappointed in audible. I think the lectures are set out very well, amazingly even, but I can’t get past the constant reference to videos that I cannot access. I’ve rated it well because some people can get past this, but it’s not for me

4 people found this helpful

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  • Finnigan
  • 06-18-20

Not suitable for audio

Straight away you are asked to comment on video clips as learning points. The answers only available if you CAN view the video clips. This is likely to cause blocks to leaning through frustration. The narrators voice, tone and pace are very inexpressive so caused a block to understanding whether the narrator is quoting something, asking a question or expressing an opinion.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Michlas Pedersen
  • 03-28-21

money grap

constant references to videos and pictures. even the references pictures are not in the accompanying PDF. first video reference starts by "pay attention to this dialogue" the. he references changes in the scenery. without ever saying it's a video.
it a scam and a money grap. I will write and demand a refund from audiable!!!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Geraint
  • 09-15-21

Excellent backgrounder for aspiring philosophers.

An excellent general insight, touching on all of the areas I covered in first year. A great reminder and thoroughly enjoyable.

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  • Mark Dana Floden
  • 01-18-21

Well paced, informative 👏

I really enjoyed this. The presenter gave accessible examples for each topic and wove a interesting story.