I found this to be a wonderfully cogent introduction to the philosophy of science and the major debates within it. It made no assumptions about the background that a listener would have, providing short explanations of major concepts without patronizing or pandering. The whole series is excellent, so I'm not surprised.
The voice actor on this one is extremely talented; so it's not the same as listening to an audiobook like _The Help_ with multiple voices, but almost as good. The story of a high-school teacher traveling back through a time wormhole to 1958, having been convinced to stop Kennedy's assassination, is gripping. The details of the time period come alive fairly well even if the main character's motivations don't ring true at times.
The only reason I give the story 4 stars rather than 5 is that the middle of the book dragged a bit. Any tale told over 30 or so hours is likely to have a few snoozy portions.
With their second volume of the application of the economic method to practical human problems, Leavitt and Dubner have just chosen topics that are boring. I'm sorry, but the idea that simple, cheap solutions can be the best is not pathbreaking, and neither is the idea that people respond to incentives. Since the two authors had no deep thoughts, then, the least they could have done was to pick interesting topics. However, geoengineering and climate change really isn't one of them. It's a far cry from abortions, drug dealers, and weird names.
Is this really the kind of thing that issues from the pen of an Oxford don?
I like Philosophy, I really do. But this book is a random jumble of shallow thoughts about everyday life. As a previous reviewer noted, topical chapters purport to cover things like "Waking up" and "Going to the Doctor." The author then goes on in the most glancing way possible to link experiences with philosophy.
Great philosophers are given very short shrift, while the author seems to have a lot of interest in things that are not philosophical at all: a chapter on "lunch with your parents" is all about Bert Hellinger, the inventor of "Family Constellations" therapy, who is not a philosopher of any kind. You get the feeling that the author must have gone to Family Constellations Therapy himself, though, since the whole chapter seems like an advertisement for it.
Stay away from this one, it was annoying and boring.
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