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Think: A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy (1999)

by Simon Blackburn

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,2751013,120 (3.64)5
Described by Time magazine as 'The one book every smart person should read', Simon Blackburn's best-selling Think is now available in paperback. This is a book about the big questions in life: knowledge, consciousness, fate, God, truth, goodness, justice. Written with wit and intelligence, Blackburn sets out to identify these big questions and to explain why they are so important. The result is a thought provoking and highly entertaining introduction to philosophical thought.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Writing is clear and concise in the earlier chapters of the book. When Blackburn is clear and writing well, he is charming and can really drive home the point. Towards the end of the book, Blackburn gets harder to read and more confusing. Read Think only if you have no other options for easier philosophy books. ( )
  taishang | Mar 14, 2021 |
The subtitle to Think is a Compelling Introduction—a but of a misnomer. This is far from an introduction. The reader needs a thorough grounding in philosophy to comprehend this work. I thought I had such a grounding but apparently my not. I did find it surprising the philosophers are so argumentative and that so many of them were annoyed with Descartes. ( )
  varielle | Aug 12, 2020 |
I wish I had read this as a teen, when I first got interested in philosophy. A really nice whirlwind tour that leaves me with the sense that I have a good basic overview of the realm of philosophy, despite the countless philosophers, opinions, terms and -isms out there. Upon his suggestion in the introduction, I read Hume, Descartes and Berkeley alongside, and found the simultaneous reading to balance well. He would select out key passages from these (and other works), rephrase if need be, and based on them weave together a review of a few of the better-known stances on the core concepts. I foound his style comfortable and easy, though it could have been a bit shorter, and unfortunately the whole last chapter felt quite weak and out of place really. A good effort to popularise philosophy. ( )
  jculkin | Feb 1, 2016 |
9
  OberlinSWAP | Jul 20, 2015 |
I was an absolutely awful philosophy student for a couple of years in college, so I've always wanted to see if I could get back on that horse and understand some of those big, abstract thoughts that excited, scared, and mystified me in equal measure as an undergraduate. Simon Blackburn's "Think" was a pretty decent place to pick up the thread again. It's certainly written for the curious layperson, and Blackburn writes in a personable and straightforward tone on all the Big Questions. Not that I'm clear on everything: even after going over the relevant section various times, the mind/body problem is still frustrates me, but I suppose I might be in good company there. The author, to his credit, admits the problems he's addressing are likely intractable -- though it should probably be noted that he did this in the book's closing pages, not in its introduction. Some qualms: though he's usually careful to label them as such, he inserts his own opinions in the text more than many philosophy professors would, and his take on God -- he considers a theistic God to be something of a non-starter -- might alienate a few Christian readers. Others might complain that the excerpts from the philosophical texts that he includes here could probably have been more extensive. It's not a substitute for four years spent in philosophy lectures or ten years spent in a monastery, but this book's a useful item for readers in search of some new mental framing devices with which to, yah know, think about things. ( )
  TheAmpersand | Jan 20, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Simon Blackburnprimary authorall editionscalculated
Neiders, IvarsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sīlis, VentsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Described by Time magazine as 'The one book every smart person should read', Simon Blackburn's best-selling Think is now available in paperback. This is a book about the big questions in life: knowledge, consciousness, fate, God, truth, goodness, justice. Written with wit and intelligence, Blackburn sets out to identify these big questions and to explain why they are so important. The result is a thought provoking and highly entertaining introduction to philosophical thought.

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