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Customer Review

on 11 June 2012
I bought this book because I wanted to learn more about philosophy, a subject that seems to me to be quite fascinating when understood properly, but quite esoteric and a difficult one to break into. This is the second book I've purchased in the hope of finding an accessible introduction to the subject, the first book being The Philosophy Book

Unfortunately this book only served to confirm my suspicions of philosophy being a difficult and confusing subject, off limits to the uninitiated. I can tell that to those of a more philosophical bent (IE, A-Level students or perhaps undergraduates) this book would be helpful and interesting, but to a complete beginner it only adds confusion to the mix.

It is not a particularly long book, nor is it poorly written, but the philosophical jargon presented in the book does make the body of the text quite heavy. As another reviewer has mentioned, the quotes used by the author are verbose and dense, and the point they are trying to make is not entirely made clear in the quote itself, only later being explained by the author in his own words. These "own words" explanations of things I did find quite helpful, and Blackburn does highlight some of the more complicated points with tangible examples, another thing I found appealing.

So after having read this book, from which I think I expected more of than it could offer, I feel that I have learned a few things, but I am not much more knowledgeable than I was before I picked it up. Secondly, I am not sure whether my brain is just not programmed to understand philosophy, or whether I have simply not found the right sources to provide me with an introduction that fulfils my needs. I am not put off however, and this book has done nothing to tarnish my hope of one day understanding the subject.
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