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50 Philosophy Ideas (You Really Need to Know) Hardcover – 2 Aug 2007


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus; First Edition edition (2 Aug. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847240062
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847240064
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 1.9 x 20.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 50,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Ben Dupré read Classics at Exeter College, Oxford before pursuing a career in reference publishing. He was Children's Reference Publisher at Oxford University Press from 1992 until 2004 and, all told, has more than 20 years' experience of bringing complex and challenging concepts to the widest possible audience.

Product Description

From the Inside Flap

Have you ever lain awake at night fretting over how we can be sure of the reality of the external world? Perhaps we are in fact disembodied brains, floating in vats at the whim of some deranged master-scientist? If so, you are not alone - and, what's more, you are in exalted company. For this troubling question and other ones like it - from the ship of Theseus to the 'other minds' problem, from Occam's razor to the barber paradox - have been the stuff of philosophical rumination from Plato to Putnam.
In a series of 50 accessible and lucidly written essays, Ben Dupré introduces and explains the problems of knowledge, consciousness, identity, ethics, belief, justice, language, meaning and aesthetics that have engaged the attention of thinkers from the era of the ancient Greeks to the present day.
Demystifying and entertaining, 50 Philosophy Ideas You Really Need to Know is the perfect introduction to Western philosophy for the uninitiated, from a writer with a real gift for popularizing its often complex and challenging concepts.

--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Ben Dupré read Classics at Exeter College, Oxford before pursuing a career in reference publishing. He was Children's Reference Publisher at Oxford University Press from 1992 until 2004 and, all told, has more than 20 years' experience of bringing complex and challenging concepts to the widest possible audience.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Kishan P on 20 Dec. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am only a teenager,(I don't read extremely complex/ degree level books etc.) but this book is very easy to read and to understand. It is split up into 50 sections on the topics: 'Problems of knowledge', 'Mind matters', 'Ethics', 'Animal Rights', 'Logic and meaning', 'Science', 'Aesthetics', 'Religion' and 'Politics, Justice and Society'. These sub-heading allow you to read how you wish (read what you want to read).
At the beginning of every 'Idea' there is a short paragraph that summarizes the 'Idea', this is so helpful.
I read 1 'Idea' a night before I go to bed and only 1 so that from the time when I finish the section to the time I fall asleep I can think about the 'Idea'. Unlike most people of my age I look forward to reading this book and opening my mind. This book gives you a different perspective of life and the world around you, it's mind-blowing!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By S. Horrocks on 29 Jun. 2009
Format: Hardcover
Studying for a psychology degree, one of our modules was philosophy. This book was fantastic to help me understand philiosophy, it gives you the basics in a readable understandable format, and gives you a good understanding of philosophy before you hit the hard stuff. All round this book made philosophy for me a pleasurable and understandable subject and spurned me on to read more. Had I picked up a philosophy text first i probably would have cried. Thank You Ben Dupre, you sold philosophy to me.

Sarah
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Steve on 19 May 2009
Format: Hardcover
A fascinating - and more to the point, enjoyable - collection of 50 essays, each spanning 4 pages and accompanied with various sidepanels, quotations and notes. From slippery slopes to the prisoner's dilemma, from the cosmological argument to animal rights, Dupré brings a welcome clarity to questions that we should all care about. If you're looking for an accessible introduction to the ideas of Plato, Descartes, Hume and other influential thinkers throughout history, and if you don't know your consequentialist from your deontologist, this is a superb starting point.
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75 of 79 people found the following review helpful By K. Roycroft on 28 Mar. 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book presents the reader with 50 short and to-the-point essays on philosophy ideas. Dupre draws upon significant published works and discusses the meaning of them, also comparing the differences between older and newer studies. I found it to be well written with useful factual information, as well as specualtion on the thoughts and arguments that arise before and after a new idea is put forward. I was pleased to note that there is no hint of bias toward any particular school of thought, and empiricism, realism, dualism, naturalism, consequentialism...etc are all refered to in a relevant manner. I have little knowledge of philosophy but the essays reached out to me and I was able to understand them easily (and give them a lot of thought!). A wonderful starting point for students, beginners or anyone with a slight interest in how we think about life, the universe and everything.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Den on 7 Jan. 2011
Format: Hardcover
I loved reading this book, it's the sort of book you can pull off the shelf when you hit a slump, open the book at random and read up on any one of philosophy's big ideas. 'The writing style is easy going yet informative, no pretensions here, just good skill at getting the ideas across in an accessible format.

Brains in vats, aesthetics, religion, epistemology, a wide cross section of philosophy is covered and if nothing else this book will offer the reader an even greater appreciation of what philosophy can do and it's vital importance in the world.

Too much attention is paid to science, which gives us toys such as genetic babies, but cant answer whether we should actually choose to have genetic babies, that's where philosophy comes in.

Cracking, must read book for fun, inspiration or even a little escapism.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Stephen H. Campbell on 16 Jun. 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book should have taken me two days to read, but kept my attention for six months! Not a book for academic study perhaps, but a brilliantly written and entertaining book, in a most interesting format. Having introduced each topic with wit and clarity, the author compares and contrasts the various strands of philosophical argument and gives examples from popular culture, which even a layman such as me can understand and relate to.

For those wishing to initiate themselves into thinking about the meaning of things in greater depth, but wishing to be entertained as well, this is the book. Be prepared to return to the same passage or chapter several times over, as you find yourself debating the issue and changing your mind every time you read it!
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 14 Feb. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This review is of the Kindle version of this book. The content, book, writing etc - no complaints, plenty of reviews here will cover that.
HOWEVER, it just does not work on a Kindle.

Point 1 - The author constantly refers you to pages in the book - you can't search for these, the Kindle version has no page numbers. Bad.

Point 2 - Page formatting is poor, text quality is poor due to the need to try and see the width of a whole page.
I had to read this book with my Kindle rotated 90 degrees.

Point 3 - Graphics - the timelines made no sense unless you rotated the page 90 degrees and the selected the smallest font size to get it all on the page.

Unless you intend to buy the hardcopy and have the Kindle version for reference it's useless and hard to read.
I would not buy this for Kindle if I had the choice, and there will be more books out there that are the same.
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