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Philosophy For Dummies Paperback – September 17, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0764551536 ISBN-10: 0764551531 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: IDG Books; 1 edition (September 17, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764551531
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764551536
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (134 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #135,720 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

If you think philosophy is complicated or boring, think again! In this refreshingly different guide, author Tom Morris not only explains philosophical fundamentals, but shows you how philosophy can help you find more meaning in life, understand religious belief, and look at the world in a whole new light.

Discover how to:

*Think about lifes ultimate questions

*Apply the insights of great philosophers

*Develop your own personal philosophy

*Expand your mind

From the Back Cover

Praise for Tom Morris
"Tom Morris is no dummy and I'm no philosopher, so we're probably a matched set for his wonderful exercise in unraveling some of life's most elusive and enduring mysteries. Read it and grow wise!" —Ken Schanzer, President, NBC Sports

"Like nobody else, Tom Morris brings the field of philosophy to life." —Paul K. Moser, Professor and Chairperson of Philosophy, Loyola University of Chicago

Discover how to apply ancient wisdom to your everyday life

Brimming with great ideas that will rock your world

If you think philosophy is complicated or boring, think again! In this refreshing different guide, author Tom Morris not only explains philosophical fundamentals, but show you how philosophy can help you find more meaning in life, understand religious belief, and look at the world in a whole new light.

Discover how to:

  • Think about life's ultimate questions
  • Apply the insights of great philosophers
  • Develop your own personal philosophy
  • Expand your mind
Get Smart! www.dummies.com
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  • Talk to us, ask questions, get answers

More About the Author

I'm a public philosopher who writes and speaks on business and life, focusing on ideas that have stood the test of time.

Customer Reviews

I didnt like this book.
Kevin t
Tom Morris does a very good job of clearly explaining important philosophical issues and why they are relevant to everybody's lives.
Greg Feirman
Dr. Morris makes his bias very clear.
"tvgirl5"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

308 of 352 people found the following review helpful By Die Morgenröte on November 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
Some time ago I sat down and read through "Philosophy for Dummies" and "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Philosophy." My intentions were to find a book that I might recommend to friends who have a passing interest in the subject, so that I might encourage their understanding and gain more people to discuss ideas with.

Not only was I disappointed with "Philosophy for Dummies" but I found the presentation to be both offensive and underhanded. While appearing at first to be an introduction to the greater subject, it turns out to be a packaging of the author's own beliefs... heavily skewed and full of personal bias. Whole movements are passed over with little or nothing said other than a dismissive comment from the author, who apparently doesnt think them worth mention because he doesnt agree. This is HARDLY proper for what is supposed to be an introduction to the subject. The novice reader is left with a lopsided, limited presentation that while written well enough, leaves him needing to go buy ANOTHER book so he can actually BE introduced to what this title led him to believe he would be -- the subject of philosophy in a wide ranging sense.

As for having the intention of demonstrating the "philosophical process," and not being a general introduction, it fails in this way too. In this regard, the book becomes a subjective promotion of the author's views with at best a biased and extremely limited dabble in opposing ideas (if at times any at all), these being presented in a shallow and shakey fashion, intentionally staged by the author so he can wave them away. ~Laughs~ very convenient, and in total contradiction to the spirit of philosophy and the "battle" of opposing views that has fostered and nurtured the strengths and greatness of the subject throughout history.
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56 of 72 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
Some philosophers may be offended that their subject has been included in this series, thinking it is too serious of too profound to be made accessible to the "Dummies" of the world. Fortunately, Tom Morris knows the difference between being serious and being somber, and the difference between being profound and being obscure. He has written a book which covers the serious stuff of philosophy but has done so in a way which is downright fun to read! This book does not shrink from the classic, and difficult, problems of philosophy such as the mind-body problem, the nature of freedom and its relation to determinism, the problem of evil, and the nature of morality. But all of this material is written in an engaging style which clearly lays out the issues involved and why they matter to us. Moreover, Morris takes on the really big questions which have traditionally motivated the whole philosophical enterprise: the existence of God, the meaning of life, and life after death. Morris discusses these existentially gripping issues in a clear and evenhanded manner which reminds us why these questions are at the very heart of our humanity. This book is not intended for professional philosophers, but as one who makes his living teaching the subject, I would heartily recommend it to anyone who wants to know what the fuss is all about which has generated the two thousand plus year old debate we call philosophy.
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26 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Mrs Julia Law on December 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
I just finished Philosophy for Dummies - I had recently read a book "Get a Grip on Philosophy" by Neil Turnbull which I enjoyed - then Philosophy for Dummies caught my eye - So as you see I am a philosophy novice!
However, I found Philosophy for Dummies to be well written, positive,inspirational and thought provoking! Philosophy in a gripping, easy to read and even amusing book! Thank you! One thing that both books in fact did for me, was to bring philosophy down to earth and to give it an approachable and practical sense. I had previously imagined the subject to be the domaine of intellectual big wigs... in fact some intellectual snobbery does seem to perpetuate this notion. Personally - I found Philosophy for Dummies rather interesting since these issues I had often considered and some of my previous thoughts and beliefs are consistent with those expressed in the book.
To the criticism that there are omissions in the book; when reading, one should take what one finds to be useful and leave what one does not, accepting what a book does give us and resolving to continue to 'fill in personally perceived gaps' with further research. In this case, Philosophy for Dummies is an excellent introduction to the subject, inspiring further research, reading and reflection. As for 'history'. In my opinion, this book does not pretend to be a complete history of philosphy, but rather an over view of, and introduction to the subject, in a way that makes it relevant to people's lives today.
Anyway - I would wish Tom Morris all the best in his continuing efforts to make philosophy more practical and accessible... Any encouragement for people to reflect upon their beliefs and consequent actions is a good thing in my opinion!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By David Hardison on December 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
After reading Philosophy: The Basics, I was inspired to explore philosophy further. I've usually been pleased with the for Dummies books, so when I came across this volume at the library I checked it out. Oddly enough, though this book is bigger, it says less. As opposed to the argument-counterargument format of Philosophy: The Basics, this is a guided justification of the author's own beliefs. For example, when talking about morality and virtue theory "From the ancient world, there is another theory that not only deserves mentioning, but that I've come to think is not only insightful, but also true. Here's my version of virtue theory." (pg 100) That's very nice, but I'd like to get the sweep of many great thinkers throughout history, not any one person's particular view.

To make matters worse, he doesn't do a very good job of arguing his case. The Cosmological Argument he presents as a proof of God is based on the assumption that "the existence of something is intelligible only if it has an explanation", but when posed with the question of why God would allow evil he shrugs and says that God is so far beyond us that when it comes to his actions, "... we should not expect to understand it all." He points out (correctly) that water has characteristics very different than the hydrogen and oxygen that make it up, but argues that the mind can't have a physical basis since the mind has characteristics different than neurons. The content of the argument doesn't matter as long as it props up his beliefs.

And that, I think, is the greatest flaw running throughout the book. In the beginning, we are introduced to Plato's cave, a metaphor for how we may mistake our illusions for reality and a wonderful image of what philosophy tries to do.
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