Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Does The Center Hold?: An Introduction to Western Philosophy” as Want to Read:
Does The Center Hold?: An Introduction to Western Philosophy
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Does The Center Hold?: An Introduction to Western Philosophy

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  218 ratings  ·  20 reviews
"Does the Center Hold?" is an entertaining, topically-organized introductory text with more than 500 original illustrations. The ideas and issues typically covered in introductory courses are presented here in a remarkably accessible and enjoyable manner. The author demonstrates that serious philosophical inquiry may be perplexing but is ultimately enlightening and liberat ...more
Paperback, 496 pages
Published July 27th 2001 by McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages (first published May 1st 1991)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Does The Center Hold?, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Does The Center Hold?

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 447)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Palmer's book organizes philosophy into broad themes and presents a variety of figures, schools of thought, and issues related to these categories (epistemology, ontology, ethics, sociopolitical thought, art and aesthetics). The selection of thinkers and ideas is pretty diverse considering the traditional bias in Western philosophy, and Palmer does a pretty good job of giving thorough summaries in a short amount of space. Of course, as with any introductory book, controversial topics are glossed ...more
I really need to buy my own copy of this book because Palmer is a brilliant writer and teacher.
The complexity of Western philosophy is simplified and made interesting through the witty and dexterous storytelling Mr. Palmer presents us with. The concepts are also accompanied by satirical and often humorous drawings and sketches relevant to the subject matter that the reader would definitely enjoy.

Come take a crash course in Philosophy through this amazing piece of Philosophical material thanks to
Sam Jones
I think this book explains the basics and history of philosophy fairly well, but I also feel I’m not retaining anything I read. Probably not a good choice to read straight through — needs some exercising so you actually remember what you learned
Roger Hao
Very basic introduction to the main branches of philosophy. Not enough details on many topics. Maybe if there wasn't so much space taken up by the cartoons, the author could include more material.
I'd like a copy of this book again. Philosophy made very brief and easy to understand.
Very fun and full of satire. very much enjoyed the cute cartoons as well!
Aug 01, 2009 Crystal marked it as non-fiction-someday
I took PHIL 101 as a Sophomore at a crappy JuCo. The text used was nothing but excerpts of original text, WAY over my head.

At my 4-year U, this was the text used (a fact I knew because I worked in the Campus Bookstore). I LOVED flippin through it when I had the chance, but I never bothered to buy it.

There were funny pictures, too! Come ON, PHILOSOPHY is already a tough egg to crack - cartoons help.
This book is marvelous for beginners to the study of Western philosophers and theories....from Cartesian Dualism to Existensialism, the book is written (and illustrated! Don't miss these gems!) in such as way that it's easy to comprehend even the most labrynthine arguments. Thanks Padre Mike!
May 13, 2008 Wendy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who are interested in philosopy that get bored easy
Recommended to Wendy by: Kevin Willis
This book is a great way to introduce philosophy to people who get bored easily. There are illustrations by the author that are quite humorous, and the references make up for what is lost in seriousness.
Peter Neiger
Good introduction into basic philosophy. It was a great way for me to be reminded of stuff that I went over years ago. I also found the list of Suggested Reading at the end of each chapter to be useful.
Eric McGreevy
For years now, whenever I have needed a quick fix of philosophy I return to this book. Funny, well-written, and insightful it makes difficult philosophy accessible to everyone.
Luis Villasenor
Oct 04, 2009 Luis Villasenor rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Luis by: Professor
An awesome overview of philosophy. A great book to have also for reference and very will written. Illustrations just give the book another extra touch.
I learned more than a lot from this book. And it also introduced me to many other good philosophers that I was to read later, e.g.Jean-Paul Sartre.
Luther Wilson
The best overview philosophy book I've yet found, by far. If you're interested in this subject, but just starting out, I would recommend this book.
An entertaining, thorough look at the main aspects of western philosophy. A great read, both for long-time philosophers and beginners.
Travis Combs
Love this book. Love it, love it, love it.
Sep 07, 2010 Howlsatthemoon is currently reading it
question everything!
May 23, 2010 Erin rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Erin by: boyfriend #1
This was so much fun to read!
Jim S.
Very disappointing.
Joey Campbell
Joey Campbell is currently reading it
Jun 29, 2015
Benoit Ehounoud
Benoit Ehounoud marked it as to-read
Jun 16, 2015
Ronnie Steele
Ronnie Steele marked it as to-read
Jun 12, 2015
Jay Ugalde
Jay Ugalde marked it as to-read
Jun 09, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 14 15 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Basic Writings: On Liberty/The Subjection of Women/Utilitarianism
  • Kant's Transcendental Idealism: An Interpretation and Defense
  • Intentionality: An Essay in the Philosophy of Mind
  • Science of Survival
  • The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy
  • The Great Philosophers
  • The Analytic Theist: An Alvin Plantinga Reader
  • A Spinoza Reader: The Ethics and Other Works
  • The Methods of Ethics
  • The Present Age
  • Readings in Ancient Greek Philosophy: From Thales to Aristotle
  • Rousseau's Dog: Two Great Thinkers at War in the Age of Enlightenment
  • A Handbook to Literature
  • Experience and Nature
  • The Communist Manifesto and Other Writings
  • The Philosophical Writings of Descartes (Volume I)
  • Essential Works of Foucault (1954-1984), Volume 3: Power
  • The Major Works (Oxford World's Classics)
Looking at Philosophy: The Unbearable Heaviness of Philosophy Made Lighter Kierkegaard for Beginners Structuralism and Poststructuralism For Beginners Sartre for Beginners (For Beginners) Visions of Human Nature: An Introduction

Share This Book