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Reviews elsewhere on the web:
Guardian Unlimited
Curled Up
Sue Crawford

Raimond Gaita

The philosopher's dog

Philosophy can be an obscure subject. In The philosopher's dog Raimond Gaita uses the medium of stories about his dogs and other animals to introduce some deep philosophical ideas, about the status of animals and much more besides. However, it is not a 'Philosophy made simple' sort of a book - some of the philosophy is pretty challenging - and this is where I felt the book falls down. Those who are interested in the doggy anecdotes are likely to be turned off by the philosophising, which increases as the book progresses - there was too much philosophy and not enough dog.

On the other hand, those who's interest lies on the philosophical side are also likely to find the book lacking. For one thing there are no suggestions for further reading and no index. I also felt that Gaita used the structure of the book to introduce some highly dubious claims. He makes the point that some things, such as animal consciousness, aren't things that we can scientifically investigate or even philosophise about: we just know. As the book goes on he adds more things to this category, while I found myself thinking that he was being too dogmatic, and that of course we can speculate about such things.

Product Description
In this lyrical and beautifully written book, Raimond Gaita tells inspirational, poignant, sometimes funny but never sentimental stories of the dogs, cats and cockatoos that lived and died within his own family. The Philosopher's Dog is above all a book about our creatureliness and its place in the understanding of our humanity.