Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Philosophy: A Discovery in Comics” as Want to Read:
Philosophy: A Discovery in Comics
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Philosophy: A Discovery in Comics

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  181 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
This illustrated primer on philosophy is a great way to be introduced to a complex topic. In her easily accessible style, Margreet de Heer visualizes the history of Western philosophy and makes it approachable for those with little knowledge of the subject. The book explains the thoughts of philosophers such as Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Spinoza, and Nietzsche, ...more
Hardcover, 120 pages
Published August 1st 2012 by NBM Publishing (first published March 1st 2010)
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 Philosophy, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Philosophy

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Ian Pindar
Dec 05, 2013 Ian Pindar rated it it was amazing
Philosophy: a discovery in comics

I really enjoyed this book.

It gives great illustrated overview of the historical development of Western Philosophy in a fun way. I particularly liked the way it linked religion and philosophy and how the author related it to her own friends and personal experience.

It is not possible to cover all philosophers, but I was a bit disappointed that Bertrand Russell and Schrödinger did not feature.

This is an ideal introductory book for anyone that is interested in Phil
So I thought this book would interest my oldest in some philosophers she has yet to read. Instead, I got to listen to my eight year-old explain, rather cogently, Plato's cave at the dinner table. Any book that can explain basic philosophical concepts and theories to a curious elementary school student is a winner. If you've already read most of the big name philosophers, you don't need this book - but there's probably someone in your life who does.
May 31, 2013 Gentle rated it really liked it
This comic book covered an amazingly wide range of philosophical information. The book covers famous philosophers and their work, major events, and philosophy in general. The comic images were funny, well-drawn, and very relevant to the information being covered on each page. I enjoyed reading this book and think it would work well as an introduction to philosophy for young people or anyone who has never studied the subject.
Jul 14, 2014 Beatrice rated it it was amazing
I read this book in Portuguese and in one sitting. I love its metafictional quality, the way the author defines philosophy according to the words of others and then applies it to the development of her comics. Very contemplative, carefully crafted, and thought provoking. Really glad that I read it, and I hope to look further into the philosophical concepts touched on in this.
Aug 20, 2012 Ward rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Toen ik dit boek tegenkwam, kon ik niet vermoeden dat het zo goed zou zijn, als dat het in werkelijkheid is. Ik ben een grote fan geworden van het werk van de striptekenares en schrijfster Margreet de Heer. De humor spat er werkelijk vanaf, en ondertussen leer je ook nog eens filosofie. Ik zie niet in waarom dit boek niet als inleiding in de filosofie kan dienen, zowel voor kinderen als voor volwassenen. Het overtreft alle vergelijkbare werkjes (denk bijv. aan 'Filosofie voor jonge denkers') in ...more
Feb 09, 2015 Courtney rated it liked it
This quaint graphic novel covers some of the basic concepts of Western philosophy. Each general school of thought is introduced via brief biographies of key philosophers in the field. It moves chronologically so that the reader is able to get a feel for the development of major philosophical ideas. de Heer's personal thoughts on each subject round out the individual elements and help to tie them together. This is a well-executed graphic novel/primer, but it's important to note that the informati ...more
Aug 05, 2015 Kayla rated it it was amazing
As a person who didn't know much about philosophy other than how to pronounce the word, this book was a great crash course introduction.

The art work as the title suggest is that of a comic. I really enjoyed that the author, Margreet pulled out of the history to say, that she didn't know what direction the book would go in next and the way if was sort of like a conversation between her, her husband, and the reader, aw well as the philosophers themselves and her family and friends.

While some peop
Sep 08, 2012 Kat rated it really liked it
Shelves: firstreads
Disclaimer: I received this book as part of a FirstReads Giveaway

I thoroughly enjoyed this comic book. The art style is cute and fairly easy to read and follow, and it suits the tone of what is being said quite well. Another advantage is that most pages are distinct in message, so it is fairly easy to pick up or put down at any point. While too short to be a comprehensive history and summary of philosophy, it makes up for its brevity by being genuinely thought-provoking. If the book has an overa
Slawka Grabowska
Dec 07, 2012 Slawka Grabowska rated it it was amazing
/I received a free copy from the First Reads/

I am generally quite enthusiastic when it comes to comics and graphic novels. But the idea of showing the most important philosophers and philosophical questions in a comics, mixed with personal opinions and experiences was more than good. I really find it brilliant and i would recommend it to anyone interested in philosophy - for those who knoww a lot it will be a relaxed evening with a funny and well drawn comic and for those who have no idea about
Jan 09, 2013 John rated it liked it
Cute and simplistic, it does a good job providing a baseline understanding of what philosophy has aimed to do and why that is important. It provides the briefest of biographies and overviews of a lineage that goes from Socrates to Aquinas, covers the trio of early modern philosophers (Erasmus, Spinoza, and Descartes) active in the Netherlands, and summarizes the philosophies & philosophers that guide a few friends and families. A very quick read that intends to spark interest rather than sat ...more
Stewart Tame
Mar 29, 2014 Stewart Tame rated it really liked it
Fun book, very reminiscent of Larry Gonick's Cartoon History of the Universe in some ways. Folks who think of philosophy as an intimidating subject will likely appreciate this stripped-down introduction to the topic. Heer helps demystify the whole thing, makes it almost user-friendly. This isn't intended to be an exhaustive history or anything. She covers the basics, gives examples of philosophy on a sort of everyday level, and encourages the curious to read further. I found this book thoroughly ...more
Amanda Coppedge
Jan 09, 2014 Amanda Coppedge rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, religion, read-in-2014
Thought-provoking intro to philosophy. Recommended for teens. If you want a more in-depth graphic novel look at philosophy, I highly recommend The More Than Complete Action Philosophers!.
Kelsey Matthews
Jun 30, 2016 Kelsey Matthews rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this. As someone who dropped Philosophy 101 because I could not for the life of me understand applied logic, I thought it was a well done 101 style text. Having it in graphic format was all the more helpful. I did pace myself, giving time to digest the information. Overall, a good introduction!
Vicki Cline
Sep 27, 2014 Vicki Cline rated it really liked it
Shelves: other-nonfiction
My local library has a rather large collection of graphic novels, which I don't usually read, but this one looked interesting. She covers the history of philosophical thought, concentrating on a few philosophers from each era, and explains their thoughts using pictures (naturally) as well as words. It was really quite enjoyable as well as a fast read.
Riya Goja
Mar 08, 2017 Riya Goja rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 17, 2014 Sowmya rated it liked it
Not quite as impressive as the other one in Discovery in comics series - on Science. However, it is still a good attempt. It became too autobiographical at a few points, but I think this also qualifies as a good gift book for teenagers and provides a good overview on early and modern western philosophy
Jun 10, 2015 Ronny rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book for the fact that is was an easy read. I liked that it was in comic form and about philosophy something i just got into. It gave me insight on many western philosophers like plato.
PJ Wallachia
Jul 03, 2016 PJ Wallachia rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book as a survey of western philosophy, but I do wish that she had spent more time exploring non-European ideas. Kudos to her for pointing out this bias in the book, and a superb overview in such a short time (117 pages).
Jesse Richards
Jan 01, 2016 Jesse Richards rated it really liked it
A good introduction but very basic. She could have left out the biographies, and expanded the excellent end section where she asks people their own personal philosophies and we see modern philosophers like George Carlin.
Yasmine Carlson
Oct 09, 2016 Yasmine Carlson rated it it was amazing
This book is fantastic and a great read for all ages. I can't wait to introduce it to my students.
Nov 25, 2015 Arlie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
Loved it - cute, entertaining, and really quite informative. A comic primer on philosophy told with insight and humour.
May 12, 2016 Cyndi rated it it was amazing
Very informative.
Dec 26, 2014 Jane rated it really liked it
good historic view of philosophy.
Emma Moulton
Nov 01, 2012 Emma Moulton rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads-read

I won this book through first reads. I'm so pleased I did. It's an amazing book. It makes you think of things you wouldn't really think of. If you're thinking about getting the book, do!
Branden Rothenberg
Mar 09, 2017 Branden Rothenberg rated it it was amazing
Who needs lecture halls? Read this comic book instead!
One of the most unorthodox history lessons I have ever experienced, Philosophy a Discovery in Comics, takes a swing at teaching the essentials of deep thinking to a younger generation and hits a home run; this comic masterfully combines intricate concepts with illustrations to bring clarity to a topic that is underappreciated and misunderstood today. The success of this book stems from its ability to appeal to such a vast audience of all ages
Julia Arscott
Nov 19, 2016 Julia Arscott rated it liked it
Throughout the book, Margreet de Heer explains the history and concepts of many philosophies. She explains the lives of famous philosophers such as Aristotle, Plato, Augustine, and many more. However, she goes beyond that and explains how each philosophy affected certain periods of time. Because there are so many different points of views and philosophies included in the book, it may seem a little all over the place. However, one of the main conclusions Margreet de Heer reaches is that not one p ...more
Sep 27, 2015 Kyrie rated it liked it
Shelves: comic, graphic-novel
This book is an overview of philosophy in comic form. It was interesting to have pictures to go with some of the philosophies. I can't say I learned anything new, but some of the thoughts will stick in my brain because now I have a picture to go with it. It might be a great book for someone who doesn't want to read terribly deep things about philosophy, but would like a better understanding. For a comic book, it got deep at times.
This was an impulse selection at the Champaign Public Library, and by the time I got to it, my wife and daughter had already both read it multiple times. We all loved this book—I thought the approach to the subject matter was great, the artwork supported the text, the coloring was subtle, and the emphasis throughout was on the personal, transformative nature of philosophy. I think everyone would benefit from reading this book, not just kids and young adults.
It started out very promising with Greek and Medieval thought, but then got off track as the author "discovered" half way in that the history of Western Philosophy is much too expansive and complex to be covered in one short cartoon book.. The author(s) would have done better to make it an entirely personal narrative about how she (and perhaps her husband) have grappled with some of the big issues in life.
Ild Flue
I love your work. I find it so well done, so amusing and cleaver, that I had to tell you thank you so much for such a good job!
I work us a hands and crafts, and ethics teacher in a college. Since I found you I often see myself thinking about your drawings as the best explanation to many things I talk to my students.
Hope you continue working for many years so we feel so lucky to have you drawing for making everyday life easier and better.

« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • 101 Philosophy Problems
  • Grant vs. Lee: The Graphic History of the Civil War's Greatest Rivals During the Last Year of the War
  • Lessness and More
  • The Adventures of Hergé
  • Introducing Continental Philosophy: A Graphic Guide
  • Kanji-Kan (Puzzle Book 1)
  • I am not a Buddhist
  • Sherlock Holmes and The Missing Snowman
  • The Divine Madman: The Sublime Life and Songs of Drukpa Kunley
  • SMASH: Trial by Fire
  • Journey by Starlight: A Time Traveler's Guide to Life, the Universe, and Everything
  • A History of Interruptions
  • How to Fake a Moon Landing: Exposing the Myths of Science Denial
  • Yiddishkeit: Jewish Vernacular and the New Land
  • Book of Prophecies
  • Lovers' Lane: the Hall-Mills Mystery (A Treasury of XXth Century Murder)
  • Introducing Particle Physics: A Graphic Guide
  • The Evolution of Human Intellect: Discover the Information that Schools and Religions Aren't Yet Teaching
Margreet de Heer lives and works in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, with her husband Yiri T. Kohl. A long time ago, she studied Theology at the University of Amsterdam, but through divine intervention she ended up being a comic artist. She worked at the famous comic store Lambiek from 2000 until 2005, and wrote a book about Dutch comics together with Kees Kousemaker.

Since 2005 she is a full-time comi
More about Margreet de Heer...

Share This Book

“Always distrust absolute statements! Even this one.” 4 likes
More quotes…