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Action Philosophers! Paperback – November 11, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
The pictures and writing are hilarious. You'll be impressed at just how well a mere comic book can illuminate complex ideas. Credit is to be given to writer Fred Van Lente and illustrator Ryan Dunlavey. And their series has been widely praised. One suspects they took a look at previous series like "For Beginners" or "Introducing" which use illustrations to communicate philosophy to students and said "we can do this way better". And also take it to the next level by making original stories with the philosophers as comical (anti-)heroes and do it in a hip, tongue-in-cheek and savvy fashion. Nobody could come up with more imaginative ways to bring philosophy to life and the eccentric characters that shaped "the great conversation of mankind" through this medium.
A couple examples: Picture a beady-eyed, walrus mustachioed Nietzsche reading his philosophy to two innocent young lads for their bed time story. The overjoyed expressions on their beaming, bright eyed little faces in eager anticipation of being read a story by Uncle Fritz. I also got a kick out of Karl Marx: "I kick a$$ for the proles!" He takes one perhaps not-so-lucky boy on a tour of the "splendiferous world of commodities" and demonstrates for us first hand real Communists mean business! Action philosopher indeed. (None of this academic lefty identity politics nonsense for Mr. Marx! is the message of this tale). Oh and Derrida as "The Deconstructor". You get the idea. This is all up there with the legendary Monty Python football match with German philosophers vs. the Greeks.Read more ›
If everyone had learned philosophy in that smart way I believe much more people wolud be interested on that subject that is so important for our life, to comprehend why we are as we are and why we are here.
I truly recommend this book.
An enjoyable time on reading.
The format of Action Philosophers is as such: Each chapter is devoted to a different philosopher, with a narrator explaining the philosopher's thoughts as the panels depict visual aid, either in a picture of the philosophy or a picture of the philosopher demonstrating this concepts. The philosophers displayed are given appearances that parody either their philosophies or their personal lives (for instance, Plato is drawn as a pro wrestle and talks like an unintelligent brute, while the earliest greek philosophers are drawn with traits of the elements they believed formed the universe). While some of the chapters are written as literal biographies, others depict fictional events, either to display the philosophy better (Kant is depicted as a lawyer defending God) or simply add humor (Mill's chapter is a Charlie Brown parody.)
Of the visual aids.. I often found them amusing but otherwise uninformative. Very often a panel that could really help explain things feels rushed, and on more than one occasion a "humorous" picture is given far too much priority on a page. For instance, in Craig Thompson's "Blankets," Craig tells of Plato's "cave" analogy, using excellent images to depict what can be difficult to imagine while also comparing it to a situation the reader can better relate to.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Learnt more from this book than a year doing philosophy at university. Distills philosophical ideas to basic concepts.Published 20 months ago by Ramjet
Learned a lot and it was fun and funny. Images are very well done. Can't wait for the new book, Action Presidents.Published on June 16, 2014 by Amazon Customer
does not include some well known philosophers who even a high school graduate would recognize as important or influential. Read morePublished on October 18, 2013 by DEADHEAD ASTRA
The book has, at rare points, hilarious and insightful jokes (as opposed to lame Thomas Aquinas fat jokes). Read morePublished on October 18, 2013 by Lance Goebel
This was purchased for teenagers starting college. It is a good overview and makes philosophy courses easier to understand. Highly recommended.Published on October 2, 2013 by dw
My 15 year old science geek son loved this book. I'm getting him to read more books by getting him excited with graphic novels about science.Published on January 21, 2013 by Gayle K. Bodine
I bought this book in the hopes that it would be philosophical and amusing (like SMBC or XKCD). It is very instructive and well-written, but I just didn't think it was that funny.Published on January 5, 2013 by machuni
I found this collection of philosophy paraphrases, and sometimes full quotes, to be enlightening and helpful to students who do not take to philosophy when presented in the normal... Read morePublished on August 25, 2012 by Julian R. Gonzalez