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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An accessible and humorous introduction to philosophy.
'Philosophy for Dummies' is an accessible and often humorous introduction to what can be a difficult and intimidating subject. The 21 chapters are divided into six parts: 'What is Philosophy?', 'The History of Philosophy', 'The Nuts and Bolts of Philosophy', 'Exploring the Mind, Consciousness and Morality', 'Philosophy and Science' & 'The Part of Tens'. The latter gives...
Published on 16 Feb. 2011 by Jazzrook

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars A real disappointment, a grating read that leaves me none the wiser
Bought a few books around areas I was keen to learn more about. Philosophy was one of them. Bought this as hoping for an easy and generalist introduction - but after giving it a good go have given up. First of all it's oddly set out, the connection between chapters / paragraphs seems random and leaves me disorientated. However the worst aspect is the silly 'for dummies'...
Published 13 months ago by Tim Parker


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An accessible and humorous introduction to philosophy., 16 Feb. 2011
By 
Jazzrook - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Philosophy For Dummies (UK Edition) (Paperback)
'Philosophy for Dummies' is an accessible and often humorous introduction to what can be a difficult and intimidating subject. The 21 chapters are divided into six parts: 'What is Philosophy?', 'The History of Philosophy', 'The Nuts and Bolts of Philosophy', 'Exploring the Mind, Consciousness and Morality', 'Philosophy and Science' & 'The Part of Tens'. The latter gives brief guides to ten famous philosophical books and ten philosophical puzzles.
Despite the poor proofreading, anyone wishing to get some idea of what philosophy is all about could do no better than acquire a copy of this enlightening and entertaining book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars `From isms to nuts and bolts', 11 Nov. 2011
By 
Susman "Sussman" (London Mills IL) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Philosophy For Dummies (UK Edition) (Paperback)
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This is straight forward, and uncomplicated, introduction to the subject of philosophy. At times quite humorous and certainly unpretentious. The whole subject often conjures up `word spaghetti `of the most complex kind in my mind. The book is aimed total beginners, or students and gives a good grounding in the various areas. It's not bad as quick reference guide, so that you can jump to any topic that may take your fancy. A great way to see if you enjoy the subject, after which you can move to `heavier' texts. Dr Cohen has also done a number of other interesting books in this field of study.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, light intro for budding philosophers and social scientists alike!, 7 Aug. 2012
By 
R. WEST-SOLEY "Rich West-Soley" (Birmingham, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Philosophy For Dummies (UK Edition) (Paperback)
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As you'd expect from Dummies books, there's a light-hearted, fresh approach to this edition, pitched squarely at those completely new to the history of philosophy. So how does it do at breaking down such a vast and potentially confusing subject? Pretty well, actually. Layout is king with these editions, and the clear, easy-to-read and concise nature of each chapter makes each topic very accessible.

You'll find all the big philosophical discussion represented here - the nature of truth, how language constructs the worlds we live in (or vice versa!), morality, freedom - more than enough to set the newcomer off on fresh learning paths. The 'big names' and influential thinkers are peppered throughout the volume, so you should get a grand and useful overview by the end of it all - and hopefully be motivated by the pace and friendly style of the text to go out and do some follow-up reading.

What is great is that it doesn't deal with Philosophy as an isolated subject, but acknowledges the links between the Social Sciences and positions this one as just one tool in understanding and thinking about society. As such, I found it really useful as a background reader (and a quick read at that) to support my own Social Sciences studies.

While it's not going to make you an in-depth expert, it's a great start to get into the subject, or an excellent side-read for anyone studying related topics. Or just for those interested in different ways of thinking about life!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cogito, ergo sum, 25 Jan. 2012
By 
James B. Spink "Jim" (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Philosophy For Dummies (UK Edition) (Paperback)
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I thoroughly enjoyed Philosophy for Dummies - it covers a complex subject in an informative yet still light and humorous way, as is the "Dummies" style. You will know a lot of the names of the thinkers referenced in the text - but you may not know exactly what they actually thought! Martin Cohen helps to explain some difficult concepts in an accessible and understandable way.

If, like me, you studied with Bruce at the Philosophy Department of the University of Woolloomooloo you may only know of the drinking prowess of some of the more famous thinkers featured here - this book will expand your understanding! Cogito, ergo sum: I drink therefore I am, as the famous philosopher E. Idle once said! Understand that and you'll like this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A handy resource and great kicking off point for future study., 10 Feb. 2012
By 
Mr. A. J. D. White - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Philosophy For Dummies (UK Edition) (Paperback)
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If you are at all aware of the Dummies guides and their quality then I can happily reassure you that this book lives up to the high expectations these books garner. It contains a huge amount of information that is quickly and easily accessible about all the major and many of the minor philosophies as well as a brief grounding in the history of philosophy.

Everyone from my 8 year old niece to my 90 year old Gran has at some point picked this up and flicked through and found something interesting to read...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very accessible, 7 Mar. 2012
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This review is from: Philosophy For Dummies (UK Edition) (Paperback)
Congratulations to Martin Cohen on producing a very accessible approach to the ins and outs of philosophy. Mr Cohen speaks in simple terms but does not talk down to you. He is witty, up front and does not use three words where one will do. No philosophical stone has been left unturned. I am now sufficiently enlightened to be able to read and understand other authors. Highly recommended!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great intro of Philosophy for newbies, 4 Mar. 2012
By 
Uncle Barbar (Essex, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Philosophy For Dummies (UK Edition) (Paperback)
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Let me first say that I am a complete novice when it comes to Philosophy. I did study it for all of about 2 weeks on an OU course as part of my degree but it didn't really give me a decent grounding in it - just gave me a tiny peek preview of a couple of areas of argument and interest.

Despite not knowing anything much about philosophy I've always thought that one day I would get down to studying it so when the opportunity to get this book came along - Philosophy for Dummies - I thought I was the ideal person to read it - pretty much the audience it was aimed at!

So, what did I think of it? I think it's excellent - yes it IS aimed at me - the novice philosophy who wants to know all of the basics - the history of philosophy, the giants of philosophy from the past and how to come to terms with the world around us and the way human beings attempt to live within it.

At the end you get the penultimate chapter which gives advice for those who want to study the subject further - a recent guide as to what other books are out there for a more advanced look at the subject. The very last chapter gives "ten Philosophical Puzzles to Keep you thinking." these are excellent and are still keeping me thinking weeks after reading them.

I really cannot recommend this book enough. OK so if you are already a Philosopher of experience then this book may not hold much for you. But if you are a newbie like me - buy it and enjoy!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Big thoughts in short sentences, 6 Sept. 2012
By 
C. A. Austin "chezza99" (England, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Philosophy For Dummies (UK Edition) (Paperback)
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I love this book! I'm one of a swathe of people with good, enquiring minds and a good but functional education. I never really grew out of wondering "But WHY is ... the sky; grass green; ice cold; etc", only added more sophistication to my questions as my knowledge grew. Over time I became aware that philosophy is all about such questions - and all toddlers are philosophers! - but classic philosophy texts tended to irritate me: interesting as it was to read great thinkers, they were mostly wedded to one viewpoint. Either that or they went off in tedious arguments which meant little to me. I needed an overview; something to help me ask the right questions and explore different ways of addressing them. This book is it.

"Philosophy For Dummies" has become one of my easy-reach books. Whenever I find myself wondering "What if ..." or "Why ...?", it's a real pleasure to turn back to my philosophy primer for clues! Written in the easy, jovial style that's made For Dummies famous, it nonetheless leaves few stones unturned. I find it an education and an inspiration.

If you grew out of asking unanswerable questions, or you prefer to believe there's only one correct answer, then it's likely you already know philosophy's not your thing. For more questioning types: I think you'll enjoy it!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Painless exercise for the mind?, 4 Dec. 2011
By 
Sentinel (Essex) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Philosophy For Dummies (UK Edition) (Paperback)
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This is another success in the 'Dummies' range of books. The structure and layout helps guide the reader through the various philosophical schools and debates gently and clearly, without inducing a headache. Chapters don't over-reach themselves, and the use of 'jargon-buster' and 'closer look' inserts within these help present the 'nuts & bolts' of the particular theory/school/approach neatly and digestibly. In addition there's a good comprehensive index, if you're unable to find what you're looking for in the fairly detailed chapter breakdown at the start.

Although attractively presented, and well-packed with information, this volume sits surprisingly lightly in the hand, and can easily be toted around. Happily, this 2011 revision has also corrected the historical and other mistakes my fellow-reviewers previously identified. Well recommended for anyone who wants to exercise their mind, and avoid an accompanying headache.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars both entertaining and instructive, 10 Jan. 2012
By 
Graham R. Hill (Ilkley) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Philosophy For Dummies (UK Edition) (Paperback)
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One reason that this avoids being somewhat dry is that the author is not afraid to tell us what he thinks about some of the revered thinkers of the past (and he clearly doesn't think much of many of them) whilst at the same time explaining clearly and concisely what they thought and wrote and the influence it had on others. I did read it from cover to cover, but I don't think that I would recommend that to others; instead I suggest one starts to read the bits that interest you first; you'll probably find that you automatically cross refer to other chapters as you go anyway.
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Philosophy For Dummies (UK Edition)
Philosophy For Dummies (UK Edition) by Martin Cohen (Paperback - 13 Aug. 2010)
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