Monday, April 6, 2009

Philosophy: A Graphic Guide to the History of Thinking

I’ve always wanted to read up on Philosophy. The only problem is every book that I've ever read on Philosophy works like a sleeping pill and knocks me out effectively within seconds. I have books like The Story of Philosophy by Bill Durant on my bookshelf which I could never read past the first chapter. Sad to say, even Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder suffers the same fate in my hands and it's not even non-fiction!

I stumbled upon Philosophy: A Graphic Guide to the History of Thinking in one of the local bookstores and thought that maybe this would be a better way to learn a bit about the subject. The book covers the basics ideals each philosopher believes and which school of thought they fall into such as Plato, Aristotle and Descartes to Spinoza, Feuerbach and Marx. The comic-like graphics keeps it interesting, making the book simple and easy to understand.

If you are looking for a book on philosophy that provides the basic understanding of each philosopher without going into too much details then try this book. I think it's a great introduction to the basics of philosophy and it’s worth the read.


John S. Wilkins said...

That's great, but does it allow you to think along with the authors? Philosophy is not something that you just learn by rote; that's intellectual history. Philosophy is something you learn by doing.

Unknown said...

Hi John. Thanks for the note and do agree with you that philosophy is not something you just learn by rote. This book provides only the basic introduction and is great for newbies on the subject (like me) who wants to learn the basic ideas presented by the various philosophers and I suppose you are right that it would make it a book providing 'intellectual history'. Its a good book for starters sans the thought provoking elements. Do you by any chance have any other books to recommend?

John S. Wilkins said...

I don't want to be snobby or elitist about this, so please don't take me that way. But philosophy is something that you must follow the arguments, and not merely learn the "positions". In that respect, one book that takes a bit of work, and was published a long time ago, but which takes you along with the philosophers in a kind of historical sequence, is

Flew, Antony. 1971. An introduction to western philosophy: Ideas and arguments from Plato to Sartre. London: Thames and Hudson.

If you can find a copy, I strongly recommend it. Also, go visit this site of texts which have been edited to make them easier to approach from a standing start:

It's worth bearing in mind that nobody is born knowing this, or how to do it, so don't be afraid to get your conceptual hands dirty and make a few mistakes.

Unknown said...

Hi John. Don't worry about sounding elitist or snobbish because your comments don't sound that way to me. I established this blog so that I could learn new things and accept comments openly as long as they are not nasty.:)

Thanks again for the recommendations, will definitely check out the recommendations you provided.

Drachen said...

I recommend the book Ideas That Changed the World by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto.

Unknown said...

Thanks Drachen.

Iliana said...

As soon as I saw your first line I was going to recommend Sophie's World but I see that wasn't quite a hit after all. Oh well, this sounds like a fun book actually. A bit different.

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