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The Heart of Philosophy

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  98 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Philosophy as it is frequently taught in classrooms bears little relation to the impassioned and immensely practical search for self-knowledge conducted by not only its ancient avatars but also by men and woman who seek after truth today. In The Heart of the Philosophy, Jacob Needleman provides a "user's guide" for those who would take philosophy seriously enough to unders ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 25th 2003 by TarcherPerigee (first published 1982)
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Dec 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fascinating book and a great introduction to philosophy but one with a very clear agenda from the outset. I am surprised by his many omissions, especially Thomas Aquinas, because we seem to jump in time from Plato to Descartes.
His re-interpretation of the thought processes behind both Socrates and Hume was interesting. It is a book I intend to re-read.
Maughn Gregory
"Whether we are speaking about the education of young people, or the education of what is young and searching in ourselves, it is first of all necessary to support the love of wisdom, the sensitivity to universal ideas that throw the whole of our common life in question. To think in new categories; to envision life within a vast, new frame of reference; and, through that, to awaken and orient that impulse in human nature which is deeper and higher than ego--this is the first task of real philoso ...more
Mar 13, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book would be a nice introduction to philosophy. Unfortunately for me, it does assume a familiarity with Plato, Socrates, Pythagoras, Hume, Kant, and Wittgenstein. So there were sections of this book that I did not understand as I have never studied philosophy. My personal experience reading this book was probably at 2 stars.

But I gave it 3 stars, because I did like the parts I understood. I found Needleman's description of teaching philosophy to high school students and their par
May Ling
Jun 13, 2011 added it
Shelves: philosophy
The book delivers on that which the description describes. This book attempts to make philosophy more approachable by recounting significant discourses in the context of the authors life experience. It is actually a fairly effective technique for introducing the subject.

As an entry into some of the major ideas and faces of Philosophy, it's not bad. I think if it wasn't trying to broadly tackle philosophy but started smaller, it might be slightly even more effective. I always think of Phaedrus a
Will Hammack
Mar 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read with great ideas

some of the book is a little out there and hard to understand but only in a few small parts. definitely more difficult towards the end. however, most of the reading was easy to understand and the material is great for anyone starting out with an interest in philosophy. I read this book for college but that has not stopped me from recommending it to a few friends already!
Aug 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
Needleman explores our need for meaning in life. Probing our deep, even subconscious, desires to know our place in existence. Using Plato, Aristotle, and many others he weaves an entrancing theory.
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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This was one of my first introductions to philosophy.
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Jacob Needleman is Professor of Philosophy at San Francisco State University, former Visiting Professor at Duxx Graduate School of Business Leadership in Monterrey, Mexico, and former Director of the Center for the study of New Religions at The Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. He was educated in philosophy at Harvard, Yale and the University of Freiburg, Germany. He has also ser ...more

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