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The Unaborted Socrates

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  534 ratings  ·  56 reviews
Is abortion a woman's right? When does human life begin? Should we legislate morality? What would happen if the Socrates of old suddenly appeared in modern Athens? Peter Kreeft imagines the dialog that might ensue with three worthy opponents--a doctor, a philosopher and a psychologist--about the arguments surrounding abortion. Kreeft uses Socratic technique to strip away t ...more
Paperback, 155 pages
Published July 13th 1983 by IVP Books (first published July 1983)
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Oct 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
One of the best books I've read in a while. Although it seems very direct (example of which is at the bottom of the review) it also contains subtle wordplays, like this one in which the word is about following the common master, i.e. the reason. Notice the different pictures of the master these two fellow speakers have.

"Socrates: If we are rational, yes. Either we answer the objection or concede the point.
Herrod: You serve a severe master.
Socrates: And you?
Herrod: (Sigh.)
Socrates: Why do you hes
Jonathan Roberts
Jan 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, 2017
Simply amazing!!! I love the format, some might be annoyed by it (it reads like a script), but I loved the Socratic exchanges. In light of the Women's March yesterday, this month being Right to Life Month, this book is extremely timely. Sadly I think most people today simply assume their reasons for abortion without analyzing their reasons for it. In a world with 140 characters per argument you can't tease out the intricacies of an argument like one that is necessary for this issue of abortion. ...more
Apr 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009
The only reason I give this book four instead of five stars is because in the real world, no one could ever have this type of reasoned debate. Many arguments surrounding abortion are riddled with personal biases and assumptions, and it takes a lot of skill to know how to parse an argument down into actionable ingredients. Arguing intelligently while honoring the dignity of an opponent is something Kreeft demonstrated really well in this book.
Angela Hill
Aug 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I heard Dialog One at our last CCLE conference. I'm looking forward to reading about Socrates at a philosophy convention and in a psych ward.

Now that I've finished the book I have to say this is a clever way to examine abortion philosophically. It's definitely on the required reading list for my high-schoolers.
Josh Wilson
Apr 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Finally finished this book critiquing the worst evil in America today: abortion… or as Peter Kreeft would probably say, the philosophy that justifies abortion and enslaves our society to its destructive tenets. Kreeft is a natural law philosopher, so his arguments are based purely on logic and reason. They're obnoxious to his "pupils," but hard as iron. This is a good read. ...more
Peter Jones
Dec 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book is an excellent introduction to the abortion debate using logic and reason. Kreeft hits at the main point that must be determined: Is the fetus a person? He discusses many of the various tactics used by pro-choice folks to try to defend their position. One reviewer rightly said that the main drawback to the book is that you cannot get into a rational debate about abortion like the one presented in this book. I agree, but that does not make the book pointless. Kreeft's arguments are exc ...more
Oct 28, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: misc
Slightly more impartial than Fox News...slightly. "Socrates said something that hurts the argument I'm using him as a mouthpiece for? Weeellll...he changed his mind while dead. In Heaven. With the Christian God in whom he never believed." ...more
Jody Erikson
Jun 15, 2007 rated it really liked it
"did we not agree to be rational? and being ratonal means following reason, following the argument whever it leads, not following me or following you." ...more
Aug 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
The best book on abortion I've ever read. Kreeft covers every major angle of this divisive issue from a purely scientific and logical perspective. ...more
May 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
I like Kreeft, he’s funny. Socrates however, he’s irritating. The gadfly of Athens strikes again. Great discussion with the students on logic, Socratic dialog, and abortion.
Stephen Bedard
Jun 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
A creative look at the subject of abortion. A dialogue between a Socrates brought back to the modern world and a doctor, philosopher and psychologist. A strong pro-life message that is quite convincing.
May 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The book shows pro-abortion arguments fall if the fetus is a person and that the question of the personality of the fetus is the heart of the debate. Well worth reading.
Tirzah Eleora
Dec 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a great exploration of the arguments in favor of abortion! Socrates examines the logic (or lack thereof) of the pro-choice positions of an abortionist, an ethicist, and a psychiatrist with solid reasoning and a sense of humor. It's a surprisingly easy read that presents a good example of orderly thinking for students of logic, as well as being a great apology for the sanctity of life!
I'm looking forward to reading more of Kreeft's Socrates books.
Jason Mccool
Feb 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It's not often that I start and finish a book the same day I get it, but Peter Kreeft really hit a home run with this short little series of 3 dialogues between the resurrected Socrates and an abortion doctor (Dr. Rex Herrod), an ethicist (Professor Atilla Tarian), and a psychologist ("Pop" Syke). Socrates discusses the issue of abortion with each character in search of truth and wisdom on this issue. In the process, he exposes logical inconsistencies in each of their positions through a mercile ...more
Russell Hayes
Oct 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
A good defense of pro-life beliefs in the form of Socratic dialogue. For Kreeft, it all comes down to whether the fetus is a person.

For me, regardless of whether from the moment of conception the fetus is actually a "person" as the term is commonly or properly understood, it can hardly be argued that the fetus is alive according to the biological and lay meanings, and that it is clearly not, as Kreeft would say, a fish. And because it is either a person or a "potential person," to kill (since i
Jason Twombly
Feb 02, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: philosophy
Kreeft's creative dialogues in "The Unaborted Socrates" are a philosophical technique employed by resurrecting Socrates. The scapular logic of the Gadfly of Athens drills down to the necessary core presuppositions. He makes a valiant effort handling such an emotional issue with intellectual honesty and a rational rhetoric.

At times there is a bit of humor (well, he's no Dane Cook) insofar as a philosopher can make you laugh. Those on the other side of the debate should consider the arguments in t
Jul 03, 2011 marked it as to-read
I read this book in the late 90's, borrowed from the Right To Life office in Des Moines, Iowa. at the time I was unfamiliar with Kreeft. After continued exposure to the author's lectures nearly 13 years later, I discovered I had read him in the 90's. As I am not what I would call a "great reader" of books, this was a delightful discovery.

I should re-read this book. I recall being enamored and engaged in the style of argument and the subject matter. This book was my introduction to Socratic reaso
Rick Hogaboam
Jul 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent read. Kreeft is gifted, and this format is fun. Pro-life apologists must read this. The big gain from this is how to ask questions when assertions are made, much like Greg Koukl recommends with his ministry, Stand to Reason. Kreeft, a respected philosopher, has been a great example of how to dialogue with others as he's penned volumes that offer hypothetical conversations among some of the thinkers who've gone before us. ...more
May 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Quite a good thought-provoking read. The final question was clearly identified throughtout and common objections were addressed for the most part. This would have been a five except that the identified question was not questioned to a conclusion. The dialog style was very effective and the directness of the questioning was entertaining and informative.
Leila Bowers
Apr 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
I liked The Best Things in Life better, but this was a good read, especially for middle and high schoolers who are beginning to work through such an imperative issue as abortion. I would highly recommend this book for encouraging critical thought and dialogue, and equipping the proverbial debate cache.
Want to figure out when personship starts? Is the growth in the womb of a mother a fetus or a living human being? What makes a person a person? You'll find out without any reference to God's making people people. I found it humorously true: a person is a person only because God made him in His likeness. Without God, there is no answer. ...more
Tobias Taylor
Jan 19, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy, plays
So I finally got round to finishing this book. It was good, yes. However it was slow in parts. Some interesting ideas being thrown back and forth and some good logical debates. An good book to dip into now and again.
May 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: re-read
Even if missing some biblical ideas, this gave me confidence in my own views simply by going up and down the river against abortionists. I will go on record as saying that I would probably enjoy having a beer with Socrates--obviously something many friends seem to shirk from.
Matthew A LaPine
Mar 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy, abortion
This book, and The Best Things in Life, are fantastic books to introduce high schoolers to the word of logic and philosophy. But more importantly, the books introduce important arguments about issues about which every American should have a rationally responsible opinion.
Feb 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Vintage Kreeft. The first part felt the most Socratic to me, and there the argument was most tightly focused. There's some good stuff in the second and third parts, but Socrates started to feel a little peevish. Not that I blame him. ...more
Michael Plas
Oct 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy
I love the method, but the book does not have a satisfying ending. This probably results from the lack of a conclusion on the topic in general, and that Socrates himself did not try to form new philosophical concepts through elenchos; yet I think something could have been done.
Maggie W
Jun 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was an amazing book that really helped me understand why I am so against abortion. It gave wonderful arguments for the pro-life, which refuted all of the pro-choice arguments wonderfully. Definitely recommend.
Kevin Stilley
Apr 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ethics-texts
A great example of moral philosophy operating in conjunction with Biblical/Christian ethics. The first dialogue (pages 1-74) is of more value than dialogue two and three in exploring the topic of Abortion.
Dec 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
Entertaining and thought provoking philosophical dialogue on abortion. Makes me want to check out Kreeft's other books. ...more
May 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Tough to argue with Kreeft--I mean Socrates.
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Peter Kreeft is a Catholic apologist, professor of philosophy at Boston College and The King's College, and author of over 45 books including Fundamentals of the Faith , Everything you Ever Wanted to Know about Heaven , and Back to Virtue . Some consider him the best Catholic philosopher currently residing in the United States. His ideas draw heavily from religious and philosophical tradi ...more

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