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I Think, Therefore I Draw: Understanding Philosophy Through Cartoons

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  225 ratings  ·  44 reviews
A hilarious new exploration of philosophy through cartoons from the duo who brought you the New York Times bestselling Plato and a Platypus Walk Into A Bar...

Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klien have been thinking deep thoughts and writing jokes for decades, and now they are here to help us understand Philosophy through cartoons, and cartoons through Philosophy. Covering topic
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 30th 2018 by Penguin Books (first published October 29th 2018)
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Average rating 3.62  · 
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Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Philosophy always seems like a big subject to me, especially when it's written in a second language. However, this book enables me to understand basics of philosophy with modern cartoons. For each piece of cartoon, there is a simple philosophical issue or question involved. Author then uses his witty narration to describe what is portrayed in the cartoon, followed by a right to point elaboration of the philosophical theory. At the end of the book, there is a collection of short biographies of va ...more
Mar 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Contrary to expectations, this book shows a cartoon and goes on to explain the cartoon itself using philosophy and not the other way around. So I didn’t find it useful in a philosophical sense to actually learn and connect more concepts. I wanted to use the book to complement some philosophy classes I teach but was unable to because although it’s a light and funny read, it does require some background otherwise the jokes won’t make sense to a beginner.

Overall, good for entertainment and gene
Mehwish Mughal
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very refreshing and entertaining.
Who knew Metaphilosophy was a thing!
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a fun, short, easy read. Some of the philosophical points were a bit dry to read through, but overall I found more to like than dislike. It is a very accessible entry into some philosophical ideas that I may be looking more into from other sources.
Ambrose Miles
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've spent my life explaining things with cartoons. Though funny to me, they did not always tickle others funny bones or help the explanation. The problem being, of course, if you have to explain what it means it stops being funny. This book is great, though sometimes there was a tad of too much explanation. I assume that's the problem of philosophy. ...more
Joséphine (Word Revel)
Initial thoughts: Two days shy of a year — FI-NAL-LY! Yes, it took me that long to read this book cover to cover.

You know that disappointment when you don't want to accept that reality and expectation didn't match up? That's what I felt with I Think, Therefore I Draw. That's also why it took me so long to slog through, even though it wan't by any means a terrible book. I also didn't have much appreciation for the authors' brand of humour.

The writing style was such that the book was meant to be r
Isa Kreimerman
Feb 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I've never been a fan of philosophy, nevertheless, I loved this book. Funny and intriguing. Fascinating. ...more
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
This book was a 100% impulse buy--I saw it in Barnes & Noble and added it to what I was purchasing. It is a short, easy, and enjoyable read.

The format of the book is set up so that a cartoon is presented and then there is a discussion of a one or more philosophers or philosophical schools that is somehow tied back to the meaning of the cartoon. Often it seemed like the philosophical discussion was only vaguely related to the cartoon in question, and the attempts to make the two parts of the boo
Mar 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Great cartoons with a funny and thought provoking texts.
Roshnara Mohamed
Dec 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
Philosophy is a heavy subject - there's so much to ingest, and almost everything throws you into an existential crisis. Its difficult to find a book that allows you to understand the various concepts of philosophy without it getting too mind boggling. This is one of those books. The authors, philosophers in their own right, take popular cartoons from the last few decades and break them down philosophically.
This was an interesting, if somewhat clinical, read. The cartoons were great, and some of
Maria Popovtseva
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Loved funny cartoons and useful information that reminded some of the questions.
Karen Carlson
Dec 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
It’s cute, it’s funny, it’s a nice little Philosophy’s Greatest Hits in a Nutshell book. But it’s like candy: fun to eat, but not much nutrition. Maybe I’m just an old grump.

FMI see my blog post at A Just Recompense.
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A succinct and engaging way of presenting central philosophical questions and insights. Using the cartoons was a great idea. Each chapter, not more than 3 pages, was easy to read and allowed me the space to ponder.
Brian Callahan
Pretty interesting read. I would recommend it if you want to gain a general awareness of what philosophy is about.
Nov 24, 2018 rated it liked it
too advanced for me
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Cartoons are a good way to approach philosophy. I enjoyed reading this book and it is wonderful book to dip into off and on.
Feb 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
So many years ago my daughter bought me two books by Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein. I know that I learned more about philosophy in those two books than I did getting a BA in Philosophy (apologizes to my favorite philosophy teacher, Dr. Ben Richards). Since then I have read several other books that this pair of Harvard philosophers wrote - both individually and together - and enjoyed them greatly.

I Think, Therefore I Draw is the latest in their series and it could be their best. As a play on S
Mehmet Gozaydin
Cartoons has always been the most interesting "medium" for me.
You only have one sentence a handful of brush strokes to make your statement, and awe the audience at the same time.
Perhaps the key to all these mind-blowing one liners is this limitation of resources.

Yes, if you have 800 pages to spare, you can talk about "Being and Nothingness" as much as you want. But can you create a gist of it in a corner column of a magazine with 20k less words and 1 extra drawing? Minimalism at work indeed.

Yvo Hunink
Dec 23, 2020 rated it liked it
After some heavy reads, this book was a very welcome change. A very light way to bring the world of philosophy into my brain, with the help of cartoons. I always felt that communicating opinions on complex matter through cartoons was a powerful tool that could assist system change. This power is seen in the fact that people are killed over them..

The writers of this book have done a great job of linking cartoons to different branches of philosophy, that is, if the purpose is to explain those bran
Jim Thompson
Aug 19, 2020 rated it liked it
So, I've really liked all these books-- "Plato and a Platypus...," "Heidigger and a Hippo...," "Aristotle and an Aardvark," and now this.

This wasn't my favorite.

The other three books were focused on jokes (typically fairly bad jokes that made my wife and kids groan when I repeated them over and over again). This one's cartoons. Funny cartoons. Lots of New Yorker stuff.

I expected something more like the other books, but somehow this one is more "surface," if you will. Not that the others did huge
Jan 04, 2021 rated it liked it
The book wasn't what I expected. Instead of a serious conversation about life and philosophy, I've encountered multiple comics with humorous comments based on philosophical theories. Honestly, I didn't understand the majorities of theories and philosophies. Rarely, when I found some philosophers that I've already known, such as Plato and Socrates, I could chuckle a bit. You can imagine losing yourself in a labyrinth of foreign streets. (Here, the foreign streets are the philosophical theories.)

May 28, 2019 rated it liked it
The bar was set too high with their other book, Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar -- which this former Philosophy grad student loved -- and this one just didn't measure up to that high bar. Mostly, I just didn't think the cartoons were as funny/illustrative as the jokes were in the previous book, but the text with philosophy content was still great. I especially appreciate the presence of female philosophers and their content. ...more
Sai Teja Rangavajjula
Dec 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
Would give it 3.5* but am in a good mood. So....

It's a cute little book covering just the overview of major philosophical issues. Perhaps written for 'general population' to potentially appreciate and pursue the field of philosophy??!!! :D

Not technical and don't expect any depth. It's a light reading with few chuckles here and there.
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Witty book, I enjoyed the explanations of the cartoons and the compact explanations of all sorts of philosophical questions. Several famous philosophers come to pass; and the authors added some biosketches of them as well at the end of the book.
Dec 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
Normally, you don't read a book like this cover to cover. But I did. It's a decent coffee table book or bathroom book. But I found that the mix between philosophy and humor was such that neither the humor nor the philosophy was particularly good. ...more
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great coffee table book - I enjoyed having a chuckle at concepts like pascal's wager and povlov's dogs. I took some intro courses to philosophy in highschool and undergrad so this was a welcomed revisitation. ...more
FlyingBulgarian Svetli H.
Fun, engaging but sometimes too deep for what it’s for - good exploration of philosophy through cartoons. Would I read it all again ? Probably not, but I may go back for some of the cartoons/illustrations.
Dec 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Given I'm not very familiar with philosophy I think this is a good overview of philosophical topics. Each topic is however only very briefly outlined, just enough to start looking for more resources on it. The cartoons make this a light reading. ...more
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
It's pretty good philosophical read but most of the times the cartoons felt were chosen wrong or did not convey so much information. ...more
David Rickert
Jun 10, 2019 rated it liked it
An amusing idea, but some of the connections between the cartoons and philosophy were a stretch.
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Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein wrote the bestselling Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar: Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes, which will be translated into more than a dozen languages. Not bad for a couple of philosophy majors from Harvard who tried on various careers after graduation. Tom worked with street gangs in Chicago, doctors at Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and dropped in and out of ...more

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