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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
This is a lively and interesting book by one of the best introductory philosophy authors around. Stephen Law gently introduces the reader to a wide range of philosophical topics with wit and intelligence. This is not a dumbed down version of the subject, but a palatable presentation of the real thing. Highly recommended. An excellent read.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on 23 April 2003
I'm a philosophy graduate and am amazed at how Law manages to get across cutting edge philosophical ideas in such an accessible and entertaining way. Ideal for someone who wants a quick introduction to the latest philosophical thinking on topics as diverse as time travel, designer babies and the origin of the universe.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on 14 March 2003
This book is a must-read for anyone starting down the road of wondering about the big issues of life - and also for those who think they know all the answers already. Stephen Law seems to have a particular gift for being able to cover all the key angles of a philosophical problem in a way that is both succinct and entertaining, dismissing with kind patience ideas which really do not stack up. Yet he is also quick to admit where difficulties still lie, providing a challenge for those who want to explore further. In short, he makes you think!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 18 November 2011
For a beginner, philosophy can be a difficult subject to delve into - often texts are specific to one area, require prior level of understanding and can be written in a complicated style. So where does one start? Well this book is a good place in my opinion. It is written in fairly short chapters, often progressing in a conversational style with two opposing trains of thought. Along the way it will stop and explain the ideas going on, introduce the philosophers, and give you thinking tools to aid your learning.

What I particularly liked about this book is that it'll quickly lead you to a conclusion and then it will push your thinking a bit further, so you realise that it's not so simple. In this way, you can easily identify the flaws in thinking that got you to that earlier point. Its short chapters are excellent for people who want to dip in and out - for example I found it particular good book for reading on the trip to work. It also has an informal style so you really can easly relate and understand the scenario in question.

The book covers a wide range of areas and like previous reviewers I would agree it a excellent place for anyone who's interested in trying to understand the big issues we all struggle with. The author appears to have little or no agenda to it i.e. it's does not use emotive or persausive language and does not bias one conclusion over another, letting you make up your own mind on these often contensious issues. However the language and process used is very clear and I often agreed with the author's conclusions.

If you want to discover more the book suggests further reading at the end of each chapter - which again is an excellent.

I've never studied philosophy in a formal way, but have had discussions with some good friends who have and I love doing so. However I often felt out of my depth in certain areas and this book has helped me greatly clarify my thinking.

I'm on Amazon to buy this book again, because I have just lost my copy. Hopefully the person who took it is appreciating it as much as I did!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Stephen Law presents 25 questions in 25 chapters, each of which are stand-alone and can be read in any order you like. They present questions of varying complexity, covering various fields, such as metaphysics and ethics.

He also writes in a non-technical manner, free of jargon, which makes the arguments easy to follow. At the end you will have a basic grasp of some of the most vexing philosophical questions that have bedeviled generations of thinkers. You will understand why creationism is not a science and why you shouldn't believe tales of miracles. Some conundrums will however lead up dead ends - the famous `brain in the vat' theory crops up here - which cast doubt as to the author's declared intention to make philosophy relevant to everyday dilemmas. Some thorny issues in ethics - such as abortion - are not discussed. Issues in political philosophy - such as distributive justice - are not discussed at all. For these reasons this text cannot serve as a comprehensive introduction but then one can't include everything.

For those of you interested in the process of philosophical reasoning, but unwilling to invest too much time and energy in ploughing through the entire philosophical canon to become acquainted with the basic concepts, this book is an ideal place to start
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 5 August 2010
When I bought this book I hoped for an introduction to many philosophical questions. The author often presents the sides of each issue by way of a dialogue, which makes for easier reading. At the end of each chapter, he often makes clears views of his own, but, quite rightly, never comes to a definite conclusion. This book forces you to think, and thereofore should not be read all in one go, but rather should be savoured.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on 13 April 2004
For a lapsed undergraduate philosopher like me, this book is perfect. It tackles some of the major philosophical questions that impact on most of our daily lives and discusses them in a easily accessible and digestable way.
For those of us who dont have time to sit down and ponder the un-abridged works of the great philosphers but want to exercise our mind, this book is a perfect refresher or starter
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 12 June 2006
When entering the world of philosophy i wanted a good, clear and understanable book to get me started. this book was clear and consise and i understood every word (well, most of them).

i have continued to read Stephen Law's books and i find them fascinating and extrodinary. i loved it, well done Dr Law
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I really recommend this book for anyone who has an interest in philosophy. You don't have to be the academic type - Law's vernacular suits any type of reader who enjoys interesting ideas and critical thought.
A great read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 22 June 2012
This book is great. Law really hits the nail on the head on the philosophy gym. The content is facinating and utterley captivatingly intresting but also easily read. Each chapter is given a rating of how easy of a read it is. I am 13 years old and for someone new to philosophy it was amazing! I enjoyed both the harder chapters as i did the easier 'warm up' ones. My favorite chapters include: does god exsist? And the brain in vat theory. I bought the book second hand too and it came in perfect condition seeing as i bought it so cheap. Buy this book straight away!
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