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The Path of Philosophy: Truth, Wonder, and Distress 1st Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0495509325
ISBN-10: 0495509329
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The following features of this textbook are desirable, innovative, and vital to higher learning. The fact that each chapter begins with guiding questions is innovative and coincides with a learning-centered emphasis, viz., critical thinking and evaluative thinking. Also, that the textbook makes connections between philosophy and contemporary events is essential to the ongoing development of higher learning and for the academic survival of the humanities" -- John Wesley Holder III, Pensacola Junior College

"I admire the author for approaching philosophy in a new and intriguing way. His prose style is simple, elegant and precise." -- Dr. Charles Fethe, Kean University of New Jersey

"The discussion of Wondrous Distress in Existentialism is grand." -- Michael McClure, Prince George's Community College

"It is clear that the author has a passion for philosophy and probably for teaching as well." -- John F. Millard, Boston College

About the Author

John Marmysz received his Ph.D. in philosophy from the State University of New York at Buffalo. In addition to The Path of Philosophy: Truth, Wonder and Distress, he is the author of The Nihilist's Notebook (Moralinefree Publishing, 1996), Laughing at Nothing: Humor as a Response to Nihilism (SUNY Press, 2003) and he is coeditor (with Scott Lukas) of Fear, Cultural Anxiety and Transformation: Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy Films Remade (Lexington Books, 2009). Marmysz has written articles and reviews for various journals including Film and Philosophy, Consciousness, Literature and the Arts, Film-Philosophy, The Journal of Popular Culture and The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism. He is the recipient of a SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creativity and has served as an NEH fellow. He currently teaches philosophy at the College of Marin in Kentfield, CA.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning; 1 edition (January 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0495509329
  • ISBN-13: 978-0495509325
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #296,847 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In his book "The Path of Philosophy: Truth, Wonder, and Distress," author John Marmysz skillfully chronicles the history of western philosophy spanning from the presocratic era, all the way up through the existential philosophy of Kierkergaard, Nietzsche and Sartre during the 19th and 20th centuries. Despite covering a time period of philosophical history that would typically fill up entire volumes of books, Marmysz is able to craft an account that is condensed enough to be palatable, but without sacrificing important and relevant details and analysis. The book is rich in information to the extent that nearly every single paragraph, sentence and word is relevant and necessary, a quality that is not that common in very many books on philosophy.

As much as it is informative, "The Path of Philosophy" is equally engaging as well, due mainly in part to the quality of Marmysz's writing, as well as the personality which he evokes through his writing. It is clear he has a strong passion for philosophy, something I can attest to as a student of his at college when I read this last spring. Perhaps the most appealing part of Marmysz as a writer and a teacher is his profound ability to humbly present a narrative that provokes the reader to transcend the material in order to gain a more evocative insight. Most importantly, Marmysz ascribes the philosophical perspective, not through the specific details of his writing, but rather through the inherent analysis and interpretation that the reader devises upon reading it, a quality that is difficult to accomplish to the extent which it occurs in "The Path of Philosophy".
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"The Path of Philosophy: Truth, Wonder, and Distress" is a remarkable introductory commentary on Western Philosophy. It presents a rich and well represented understanding of Western Philosophy in a manner that is well considered, well constructed and well written, by an author who remains true to the conflicts of philosophy, leaving them to the reader to draw his or her own conclusions. The author does this in a straight forward, easy to digest format that is a pleasure to read.

This book provides one with entree into the modern philosophical scene by giving historical chronology and description of the philosophers and philosophies that have provided the foundations for current thought. This prepares one to understand everything from why we think the way we do, to the foundation of governments and the forces involved in shaping their political makeup, to current day approaches to science and psychology.

With this book, one comes to understand that Western Philosophy is like a lush, diverse and complex river system with many tributaries, plants and wildlife, each worthy of study for the sake of its own uniqueness and all feeding off of philosophy's nourishing waters. We find that philosophy is the primary, intellectual life-giving system of Western Culture and that it is at the center of our everyday lives, whether we know it or not. One begins to see how philosophy feeds education, literature, science, business, psychology and even how it feeds film and media. One comes to understand that it is philosophy that initiates the greatest questions available to society itself and one comes to see how philosophy nourishes the very essence of intellectual life in Western Culture.
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Format: Paperback
This is an excellent textbook for the layperson who is interested in dipping their toes into the enormous pool of philosophy and its many sub categories (nihilism, existentialism, transcendental idealism, etc.). The author is clear, concise and really distills the concepts, doctrines and theories of past philosophers in a way that can be easily digested and understood. An added bonus is the background history of the philosophers - their lives and the times they lived in, which gives good context when beginning to try to understand these various ideologies.

If you're fortunate enough to live in Northern California and be able to take a class with him, Mr. Marmysz is brilliant in the way he additionally brings the material to life (if you're a visual learner like me, you'll love his stick figure drawings!), as well as engages his students in ongoing critical thinking and discussion. I'm taking on Philosophy as a second major now - it is something I never expected and am now completely devoted to. It's writers and teachers like Mr. Marmysz that help bring richness and depth to others, whether they be students in school or students of life.
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I am not going to try to convince anyone to buy this book. TO THE POINT: This is worth the investment!! I've taken 3 of his classes in undergrad and received an A in all 3 classes because of his awesome teaching and this book. Philosophy is very complex subject manner; this textbook breaks it down as simple as it can get!
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Hate the class. Hate wastelosohpy!!! Having said that, book was in good condition. Happy with the purchase. Will def buy again.
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