Student's Guide to Philosophy

Student's Guide to Philosophy

ISI Student Guides to the Major Disciplines

by Ralph M. McInerny
Trade Paperback, 75 pages
Current Retail Price: $8.00
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While there is necessarily some history in it (and, more importantly, some historical perspective), A Student's Guide to Philosophy is more about method than the ways in which philosophy has played itself out. That's not to say there isn't plenty of name-dropping here (the good, helpful kind, not the pretentious kind), just that the goal is to get students thinking philosophically, not simply to make them understand what every great thinker has taught.

Few authors are more suited to broach such a subject with young minds than author Ralph M. McInerny was. A faculty member at the esteemed Notre Dame University, he spent his long career actually doing philosophy and not just talking about others who had (or worse, simply criticizing those he felt did it poorly). Conversant as he is in the history of ideas, McInerny clearly wants to get at the truth himself and not simply perpetuate an intellectual game.

What about philosophy in an age of science? That topic is addressed. Can all philosophy be traced back to Aristotle and Plato? That, too, is discussed at some length. What is common sense? What is sophistry? How can we forge ahead in a postmodern age? All these are handled thoughtfully, gracefully and with wit by a man who seemed able to see beyond his own time into the intellectual chaos simmering just over the horizon. For any serious student who wants to engage philosophy, this is an excellent place to start.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
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Summary A noted Notre Dame professor explains the history, present, and future of philosophical inquiry.

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