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Beer and Philosophy: The Unexamined Beer Isn't Worth Drinking Paperback – October 29, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Originally developed as the final installment in an Epicurean Trilogy the book stands on its own as a collection of essays on beer and its place in history its role in our lives and contributions to humanity” “Beer & Philosophy is a post exam tonic for those normally immersed in academic texts and a delightful diversion for your average post grad beer nerd” (Yankee Brew News)

“It turns out that not only have reputable psychologists at well-respected institutions done experimental studies on this effect, but it also serves as a kind of foul point for various philosophical questions. The works set out to address the intersection between philosophy and areas of everyday general concern: food, wine, and beer. In addition to straightforward philosophical discussions, the volumes include historical discussions, legal questions, some personal reflections. Beer and Philosophy … includes essays that encourage the next step of engaging philosophers themselves, has the fewest contributions with only a tangential link to philosophy … and discusses a wide range of issues.” (Gastronomica, Fall 2008)

"[T]his really is a superb and accessible book, that dares to take a different angle towards beer-writing. It’s funny, knowing and well-written and much recommended" (British Guild of Beer Writers, November 2007 Newsletter)

"Much of this book is well written and interesting as well as accessible for a casual reader coming across new and interesting ideas." (What's Brewing)

“A truly well rounded view…and a critical reflection on what and how we eat can contribute to a robust enjoyment of gastronomic pleasures.” (Gourmet Retailer)

“You’re bound to come away from the reading experiences forever changed in the way you think about beer.” (Celebrator Beer News)

Review

"Don't be intimidated. This enjoyable tome is for anyone who has ever peeled a beer label and declared, 'I drink, therefore I am'"
-Joe Sixpack, Philadelphia Daily News

“Whether your glass is half full or half empty, break out your favorite beers and contemplate the Socrates and Platos of our time. Beer & Philosophy could provoke, prod, inspire and antagonize every one of the world's beer drinkers.”
-Charlie Papazian, author, The Complete Joy of Homebrewing and Microbrewed Adventures

"There has recently been a proliferation of stimulating "philosophy of" volumes, treating topics from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to poker. But what could be more philosophically worthy than that noble draught of hop and grain? Pour yourself a cold one -- preferably your favorite craft or home brew -- have a sit with this volume, and prepare to see the mysteries of the universe unravel, or at least seem a little less pressing."
-John M. Doris, Washington University in St. Louis

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 1 edition (October 29, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405154306
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405154307
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #860,496 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Steven D. Hales, Ph.D. (Brown) is a professor of philosophy at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. He works primarily in metaphysics and epistemology, and also in popular philosophy. He has been a Visiting Professorial Fellow at the University of London and the University of Edinburgh. He is a past winner of Bloomsburg University's Outstanding Teaching Award, and has published numerous books and articles.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By R. Ledford on December 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
By turns funny, lively, and erudite, Beer and Philosophy is a must-read for any beer lover worth his hops. How can you not like essays like "Beer Goggles and Transcendental Idealism"? The essays address good beer vs. bad, whether beer buddies are true friends, Nietzsche's thoughts on intoxication, and other fun things. Most of the pieces are written by academic philosophers who appreciate beer, but there's also essays by well-known beer writer/brewers such as Garrett Oliver and Sam Calagione. Michael Jackson even contributed the foreword. Plato and porter, Aristotle and ale, Socrates and stout-- it's all good. Of all the beer books I have read, I think this is my favorite. Highly recommended.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By M. Hall on February 25, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book was, in general, a fun read, although I can't say either my knowledge of beer or knowledge of philosophy was increased much. The opening essay on phenomenology raises some interesting if decidedly non-pragmatic discussions of why we call a particular beer "good", the second essay (by Brooklyn Brewery's philosopher-brewer Garrett Oliver) investigates our cultural fascination with making imitations rather than the real things, and an essay deeper into the volume looks into the principles of pleasure and how it can be measured (i.e, do you buy the one case of really good beer or two cases of industrial lite beer?).
However, there are also a couple essays that are painfully forced, one that is outright bizarre (discussing why beer is good in the context of Intelligent Design), and another couple about which all I can say is that they are definitely printed in this book.
Good fodder for discussion with your beer geek friends or those who just like to argue academically. Others will be less amused.
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3 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Gerard J. Galasso on December 31, 2007
Format: Paperback
Great book if you are just getting into beer and want to know about the "real" stuff.
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2 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Hubert Smith on January 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
The English Campaign for Real Ale newspaper pans this book unmercifully.

Marcus Rees' review concludes: "...it had me reaching for a beer more from desperation than inspiration."
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Beer and Philosophy: The Unexamined Beer Isn't Worth Drinking
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