This popular introductory text provides a unique diversity of teaching tools for instructors who prefer a synoptic approach. The text is visually appealing and reader friendly. The level of writing makes all philosophical concepts accessible to students. The emphasis is on synoptic thinking - going for the "big picture" - not merely the analytical ...Read MoreThis popular introductory text provides a unique diversity of teaching tools for instructors who prefer a synoptic approach. The text is visually appealing and reader friendly. The level of writing makes all philosophical concepts accessible to students. The emphasis is on synoptic thinking - going for the "big picture" - not merely the analytical skills, although those are not neglected. The biographies give the student a feeling for the great thinkers who have fashioned the Western philosophic tradition and have determined largely how we think today. Features: * The author accents his accessible writing with cartoons, quotations and related findings from the social and physical sciences, reinforcing his emphasis on philosophy as the individual's attempt to unify disparate world views. * Five new biographies have been added to this edition, along with several vignettes on topics of special philosophic significance.Read Less
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Philosophy: An Introduction to the Art of Wondering by James Lee Christian was one of my favorite textbooks in college. I recently bought a copy as a gift to my mother.
What I like most about this book is that it treats philosophy as a very human activity that any person can engage in -- not as some intimidating or dry endeavor restricted to geniuses or specialists.
The book is devoted to "wondering" about the big questions of natural and human existence, and with trying to understand "the big picture" by carefully considering different pieces of the puzzle taken altogether.
The book is also organized around several clusters of themes, which are more related to human experience than traditional, abstract chapters on epistemology, logic, etc. or a strictly chronological presentation.
Making the book especially interesting and appealing, there are wonderful illustrations and intriguing quotations on every page, along with the main text. And the text is written in a very intelligent yet conversational manner. The material is intellectually stimulating, not overwhelming or boring.
Overall, this book is an excellent and enjoyable introduction to understanding the main topics and ideas in philosophy -- and to understanding better the big questions about human existence and one's personal experiences.
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