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Paperback Think: A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy Book

ISBN: 0965025330

ISBN13: 9780199690879

Think: A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy

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Book Overview

Here at last is a coherent, unintimidating introduction to the challenging and fascinating landscape of Western philosophy. Written expressly for "anyone who believes there are big questions out... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Think!

Blackburn thoroughly and succinctly provides an overview of the major problems of modern (Western) philosophy in a clear and evenhanded manner. He challenges the reader to consider these problems without overwhelming or patronizing him. The reader is given solid ground from which he or she can further investigate issues of particular interest. Notes and bibliography are particularly helpful. I intend to use this volume as a springboard for a college-level introductory philosophy course.

Thinking is not as easy as it once was

Blackburn has written this book as a defense of philosophy as a practical tool for making sense of the world in which we live. To be perfectly frank making sense of the world is a relatively difficult task. Rather than discuss the history of philosophy Mr. Blackburn turns his attention to the topics of philosophy: Does free exist, is there a god, how do we know what we know. Over its two thousand year-history, the philosophical tradition hasn't come a long way toward answering these big questions. What it has done, however, is give thinkers methods for revealing obvious fallacies in a whole range of arguments."Think" is designed to give the general reader access to some of the methods and ideas developed by thinkers from Descartes onward. What the book does not do is give the reader any prefabricated answers to these Big questions. Mr. Blackburn is less interested in giving us the answers than he is in showing us how to approach the questions. Although he occasionally offers his own opinion, he is careful to show that there is no easy way to access philosophical truth.

This is not an Idiot's Guide to Philosophy

Blackburn takes a different approach to introducing philosophy: rather than provide a chronological survey (a la Will Durant) or a cartoon- & -sidebar summary (a la the Dummies and Idiot books), he focuses on eight of the most important philosophical problems and invites the reader to work through them, with the author's help and guidance from some of the leading thinkers in the Western tradition. He is by and large successful in this effort, pitching his discussion to the "intelligent" beginner. By the end of the book, you have both observed philosophers at work and taken a crack at philosophy yourself.

Making philosophy relevant

Neither a history of philosophy nor a dry, scholarly work, Simon Blackburn's book will appeal to those who have some knowledge of the subject and want an up-to-date primer on the big questions in philosophy. Using references to and quotations from the 'big names', Blackburn nevertheless ensures that the topics are always related to real life (including a hilarious reference to Microsoft when discussing the Problem of Evil), showing both the contemporary relevance of philosophy, and the current 'consensus' on the topics in question. A must read for non-philosophers interested in philosophy, or anyone interested in rejecting the 'unexamined life'.
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