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Zeno and the Tortoise: How to Think Like a Philosopher Paperback – 8 Jul 2002


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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books; New edition edition (8 July 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903809614
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903809617
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 394,161 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Nicholas Fearn, a philosophy graduate from King's College, London, writes for the Spectator, New Statesman, Independent on Sunday and Financial Times. He lives in London and this is his first book.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Steven Unwin on 14 Feb. 2009
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed reading this book and if the topic of philosophy and thinking is of interest but seems somewhat impenetrable, this could be a book you'd enjoy.

The book is divided into 25 brief chapters each covering a major philosopher and their ideas. I was initially attracted by the intriguing title and the accessible format of the book. Each chapter is limited to around half a dozen pages which immediately creates confidence that even if you felt you were drowning, the far bank is close at hand. Add to this Nicholas Fearn's style and approach and you have an entertaining and engaging read and actually learn something of philosophy.

The danger with any book on this topic is that philosophy can feel somewhat distant and crusty. To counter this within each chapter the relevance of each idea and the desire to read on is established by setting the idea in a modern situation. For example the chapter on Plato's thinking relates this to the anti-trust law suit brought against Microsoft for including an internet browser within Windows and the thinking of Protagoras is related to the efforts of Sting to help the Kayapo Indians of the Amazon. Each chapter provides background to the philosopher's life and those ideas and other thinkers that influenced and sometimes competed with them.

The book provides a roughly chronological view of some of the key thinkers who have made a significant contribution to the development of understanding and links their work to the social, technical and other changes that have accompanied the advances, It includes one or two interesting modern names that I hadn't thought of as philosophers which further helps break down the barriers between philosophy as a subject and its application in our everyday lives.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Tim Colley on 27 Nov. 2001
Format: Paperback
For anyone with absolute minimal understanding and knowlege of philosophy, then this book is perfect. Rather than becoming a history book though, it instead serves as a self-educational tool which the reader can use to learn how the greatest philosophers through the ages thought and analysed every subject they deemed worthy. But the main idea behind the book is not so you can sit and ponder the meaning of life (although this is certainly one thing you can do) but rather how you can use philosophy to examine your own life.
a thoroughly enjoyable read that may reveal certain things about yourself
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I think this book is a fantastic introduction to philosophy. It's well-written, light-hearted yet very informative.

I used to read a fair bit of philosophy but haven't done so for years so this was an excellent re-introduction to the subject. Each of the 25 chapters introduces a philosopher and describes his theories and then the author offers some critical thinking to challenge the philosopher's thoughts. It is not too deep but if you've never read any philosophy before - or, like me, are coming back to it after a long time - it's a great read.

Nicholas Fearn (the author) writes clearly and picks good examples to demonstrate the philosophers' thoughts.

It covers the philosophies of: Thales, Protagoras, Zeno, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Lucretius, Ockham, Machiavelli, Bacon, Decartes, Hume, Reid, Rousseau, Kant, Benthem, Hegel, Nietzsche, Wittgenstein (2 chapters), Popper, Ryle, Turing, Dawkins and Derrida.

Recommended.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 9 Aug. 2009
Format: Paperback
I read this several years ago, and recommend it to all my friends. Fantastic introduction to great philosophical ideas.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By mrs m Mellars on 5 Oct. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book arrived as stated. In good condition.
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