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The Big Questions: Philosophy (The Big Questions)

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  145 ratings  ·  14 reviews
The Big Questions series is designed to let renowned experts confront the 20 most fundamental and frequently asked questions of a major branch of science or philosophy. Each 3000-word essay simply and concisely examines a question that has eternally perplexed enquiring minds, and provides answers from history's great thinkers. This ambitious project is a unique distillatio ...more
ebook, 208 pages
Published January 1st 2012 by Quercus (first published November 1st 2009)
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Jason Guillemette
This is the first book I have read on the subject of philosophy. And I loved it!! The questions we all face. The problems we all want solved and the condition of the human mind and nature. All within philosophy’s realm.
Brief view on the subjects covered in this book.
Is there life after death? In short; No there isn’t. Same as there wasn’t life before life. Do you remember what it was like 4 years before you were born? Life simply stops and there is nothing. No consciousness, no feelings there i
Al Bità
For me, philosophy is one of the great pleasures for the inquiring mind. Take any subject, and there is bound to be a thinker somewhere who has expostulated upon it.

This book is one of a series put out by Quercus under the general title 'The Big Questions'. It's intent, apparently, is to make some of the major issues of various subjects (Physics, Mathematics, and the Universe, for example, are separate books in the series) more accessible to the general public. From this perspective Blackburn d
Allthough this book seems to be a good philosophy beggining, covering all the main philosophical questions, I find the way of explaining of the writer way too quick to really understand the subject. It just gives you a first impression on the question, then even before you have a moment to think about it, the "story" continues, leaving most of your questions unanswered. I wanted to read this book to have a general culture on philosophy and have some basics, and this book failed.

PS: I read the ed
Bill Lalonde
An extremely good book, as long as one remembers that it is about "the big questions" rather than "the big answers." That is, it is a fine introduction to sophisticated thought on a variety of philosophical issues, with arrows pointing in suggested directions for the answers, but those wishing for fully argued end points will need to look further (such as in the resources listed in the back of the book).
Mark Maguire
This was a challenging and yet worthwhile read.

I genuinely feel inspired to re-examine commmonly held assumptions surrounding the social order and the concept on self.

The book is divided into idependent chapters which cover areas ranging from "The Ghost in the Machine"; the Pirsoner's Dilemma, and consciousness after death. Each chapter is balanced and considered, and is written in a light-hearted but intelligent manner which aids both understanding, and inspires confidence to read further int
Bendick Ong
Must say I bought the book cos it is compact and sturdy with a strap for keeping it so like a moleskin notebook. "This will be THE book I will bring along with me wherever I go to fill up all the gaps between appointments and commuting!" Or so I thought. But of course I finished everything up in one afternoon (not that it's easy though- Blackburn's always has depth) and now it is sitting comfortably on the shelf.

This book is for the intelligent layman who wants to know more about the essential q
Excellent book. Brings together all the deliberations of great philosophers such as Hume, Kant through twenty big questions that haunt humankind.
A very interesting overview of some of the most important questions in Philosophy. Blackburn writes cogently in a way that is accessible to both the enthusiastic novice and the more well read students of philosophy.
Jonathan Hockey
Just read a few chapters of interest. Good to have a bit of a fresh update on the classic philosophical problems. I liked the idea explored of the deflationary theory of truth. And good to see a thinker happy to challenge some of the reductionist claims of people like Richard Dawkins, without resorting to anything religious or non-religious or anti-religious. A lot of it is stuff I have been over so many times, would be good to see a bit more daring and originality, but he decides to stick to ma ...more
Grant P
A little too intro level for my tastes. The topics are a little short handed (as would be for a book styled this way) which left me wanting to delve into some of the minutia in a more careful way than presented here. Good for an introduction for those without a more sophisticated philosophy background. Not good for the already philosophically well read.
Heath Lowrance
Compared to Blackburn's other work, this one feels a bit pieced-together, but I guess that's to be expected when you consider that he's trying to cover a lot of ground in a very slim volume. Regardless, it's a pretty solid introduction to the central questions of philosophy, presented in such a way that even a relatively dim lay-person like myself can follow the thread. If its central purpose is to leave the reader with much to think about after finishing, it succeeds.
Alireza Behzadnia
Very simplified but at the same time enriched with useful material.
a very good book, i would recommend it to who ever is interested in philosophy.
Simon Blackburn is one of the best writers, he keeps the reader focus and doesnt try to confuse his readers by injecting loads of information at once into their brain.
Crisp introduction into the various disciplines of philosophy. Elucidated some of the questions I had been posing to myself since I was a kid.
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Simon Blackburn is Bertrand Russell Professor of Philosophy in the University of Cambridge.
More about Simon Blackburn...

Other Books in the Series

The Big Questions (5 books)
  • The Big Questions The Universe
  • The Big Questions: Physics
  • The Big Questions: Mathematics
  • The Big Questions: Evolution
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