25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
The Best you'll find,
This review is from: The Philosophy Files (Paperback)
An absolute masterpiece of a book. When reviews say ‘a must read’ then it usually means the book is good and that is why the reviewer is reccommending it, but this book is a lot better than good, and ‘a must read’ is a degrade of it. It deserves a much more profound and bigger compliment, more like ‘you gotta gotta gotta buy this book’ or ‘an absolute superb non fiction book - best ever’.
Dont let the word philosophy put you off. This book is fully comprehendable to anyone from young teenagers (and even younger if you give it a good stab) up to the worlds oldest person (whoever that is.) It is a superb introduction to the huge and daunting field of philosophy but Stephen Law breaks it down into little pieces, puts it on a plate so it is easy for you to use the information and by the end of the book you will know about Plato and other famous philosophers and also you’ll be debating with yourself about wheteher we are real or not and other big questions that have puzzled philosophers for centuries whatever position you started out at. Also it gives you some great arguing tips that can help win you any kind of intellectual debate with your friends.
The only disadvantage about this book is that it is not very academic - you couldn’t get a degree in this subject just by reading this book time and time again, yet Stephen Law didnt mean for this - otherwise you would find yourself with a massively heavy text book full of language that is absolut gobeldigook, yet once you have read this book (as it explains some jargon in the glossary at the back of the book) any big text book that gives the word philosophy its daunting reputation you will find will be a lot easier to handle and take in than if you just jumped into the deep end straight away, so, as I said, this is a brilliant and fun introduction to philosophy and it certainly got me interested.
The book is divided into eight ‘files’, or different philosophical questions. These are, Should I eat meat?, How do I know the world isn’t virtual?, Where am I?, What’s real? (containing Plato’s ‘forms’), Can I jump in the same river twice?, Where do right and wrong come from?, What is the mind? and Does God Exist? Each file is set out usually with a story to explain a different situation and provide a point for arguing. Each argument is set out first by explaining each others position and argument points and then by putting them into action by putting an argument on the page. This helps you see both sides of the argument and then helps you make up your own mind about what you think. This must have been very hard for Stephen Law as he would have had to see both sides of the argument and put them on paper regardless of what side he was on.
This is a superb book and if you have read this far I hope you have been pursuaded to buy it.