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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Philosophical Apperatif, 6 July 2007
By 
S. J. Hulbert "stephenjohnhulbert" (Cardiff, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: What Does It All Mean?: A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy (Paperback)
Nagel is well known for the clarity of his thought and writing. This small book is an excellent read for someone with little knowledge of philosophy. The topics are broad and interesting yet, by the end, you will be much closer to knowing whether you find philosophy interesting as a subject.

This book is well suited to its target audience: people with little experience of philosophy who would like to explore some very interesting ideas - and to see if philosophy is suited to them.

If you have already studied philosophy you will almost certainly find this a little too basic. If so, pick another of Nagel's books (he is a truly great and interesting thinker).
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it!, 11 Sep 2008
This review is from: What Does It All Mean?: A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy (Paperback)
Just finished reading this book. I think it's great for beginners in philosophy as it isnt too complex. It's really easy to read and to understand where Nagel is coming from. He doesnt waffle on too much like some other philosophers. I'd recommend this book to people with no philosophical background, even teenagers as it isnt too academic. This book really gets you thinking about the issues raised in the book. Overall, it's an easy read and I'd thoroughly recommend it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gives a good overview, 6 Aug 2010
This review is from: What Does It All Mean?: A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy (Paperback)
If you want a gentle introduction to Philosophy, try this. It doesn't bamboozle you with lots of jargon but simply and concisely provides a good overview. I read it and then wanted to find out more - it encouraged me to delve a bit deeper. A keeper.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Purchase, 17 Oct 2013
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This review is from: What Does It All Mean?: A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy (Paperback)
The book was in good condition and meets the needs of the student for whom it was bought. recommended for students
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars University Reading lists, 19 Jun 2013
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This review is from: What Does It All Mean?: A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy (Paperback)
A very expensive pre requisite. Did enjoy reading this book though, and gives me some understanding of the course work expected.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brief introduction to philosophy through central problems, 16 Jun 2012
By 
Paul Bowes (Wales, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: What Does It All Mean?: A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy (Paperback)
'What Does It All Mean?' is a brief introduction to philosophy by the American philosopher Thomas Nagel. It was originally published in 1987. The author states in his introduction that he intends the book to be useful for complete beginners, particularly adults, but the text is clearly written and should be accessible to intelligent teenagers.

Nagel believes that philosophy originates in certain questions that human beings have asked of themselves repeatedly. Accordingly, he divides his text into nine chapters, each of which deals with a single problematical issue. The idea is to give the novice reader a taste of the issues with which philosophy concerns itself, and its style of critical thinking, without encumbering him or her with the need to be familiar with historical philosophical movements, specific philosophers, or specialist terminology beyond the minimum for meaningful discussion.

In itself, the book is easily recommended. My only reservations concern value for money. The book is expensive for what is really an essay-length monograph (less than 25,000 words in total, or 100 pages of text). While it may seem unphilosophical to question whether wisdom has a price, this is a book aimed at "college-age" readers, and there are now several excellent introductions to the subject by well-known professional philosophers that are more recent, cheaper and more extensive in their coverage. The interested reader is in any case likely to have to supplement the Nagel with further reading; but will have to look elsewhere for suggestions, as Nagel makes none. (The book appears not to have been updated since its original appearance.) At the time of review, the Kindle edition is significantly better value.
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5.0 out of 5 stars very good, 20 April 2013
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This review is from: What Does It All Mean?: A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy (Paperback)
Enjoyed book and I now understand philosophy a little better. Would recommend this read for anyone wishing to learn a little about this fascinating subject.
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4.0 out of 5 stars 'Just for starters', 12 April 2012
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This review is from: What Does It All Mean?: A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy (Paperback)
Great little book to introduce one to philosophy. It's not too academic, therefore not daunting. Nagel addresses issues of justice, the meaning of words, right and wrong, the meaning of life and so on. He considers such problems as
:The basis of morality : Whether we have free will: What inequalities are unjust: The relationship between mind and brain......... (p.6). The concepts of physicalism, skepticism, solipsism, dualism and determinism are also discussed. For readers who are new to philosophy and wish to study it further, this is a helpful book and at 101 pages, it can be read in a short time!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The doorstep into Philosophy, 17 July 2010
By 
Joao Magalhaes (Portugal) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: What Does It All Mean?: A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy (Paperback)
For someone who forgot all about philosophy, or who doesn't even know what that is, this is _the_ starting point. It covers many questions in a colloquial manner, although not in depth -- we're just beginning, right? -- and promotes thinking about them and discussing them, which is the real point. I recommended it to many people. If you want a slightly (just slightly) more in-depth book to go with this one, still for beginners, I also do recommend Simon Blackburn's "Think".
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very useful book., 27 Jan 2010
By 
Mr. A. Buchan "Androoooooo" (Fraserburgh, Scotland.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: What Does It All Mean?: A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy (Paperback)
This book is very useful for students of philosophy. In particular, students who have just started to study the subject will find this book full of easy to grasp concepts. I found it helped me to understand the basis of some philisophical ideas.
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What Does It All Mean?: A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy
What Does It All Mean?: A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy by Thomas Nagel (Paperback - 18 May 1989)
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