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Reviews elsewhere on the web:
Deccan Herald
New Humanist

Andre Comte-Sponville

The little book of philosophy

Philosophy is a vast subject and to write a small book encompassing a significant part of it seems to be an impossible task. It has been achieved in this work by writing twelve books, each of which is an introduction to one area of philosophy, and then taking the forewords from these and forming them into a single volume. It works pretty well - the books were originally written for teenagers, so the style is easy to read. Is death final? Is there a God. What do we mean by beauty and what part does Art play. If you want a book which discusses these big questions but doesn't become too taxing then this book fits the bill admirably.

As a scientific website, most of the philosophical books reviewed here are be related to the philosophy of science. This doesn't fall into that category - it's philosophising about how to live your life, rather than philosophising about the nature of the universe. Hence theres nothing about quantum wierdness, and very little about ideas of consciousness. There is a chapter on time, but it doesn't go very far into the usual questions of the arrow of time and suchlike. Indeed one could say that the book is more of a collection of the authors ideas than an introduction to the subject of philosophy. But there are plenty of suggestions for further reading for each subject area, so on balance I would see this book as a good starting point for the study of the subject.

Amazon.com info
Paperback 208 pages  
ISBN: 0099450186
Salesrank: 1826992
Weight:0.35 lbs
Published: 2005 Vintage Books
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Amazon.co.uk info
Paperback 176 pages  
ISBN: 0099450186
Salesrank: 416970
Weight:0.35 lbs
Published: 2005 Vintage
Amazon price £7.34
Marketplace:New from £5.61:Used from £0.01
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Amazon.ca info
Paperback 208 pages  
ISBN: 0099450186
Salesrank: 1267910
Weight:0.35 lbs
Published: 2005 Vintage Books
Amazon price CDN$ 15.65
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 9.22:Used from CDN$ 2.52
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Product Description
In twelve concise essays, Comte-Sponville, a Professor of Philosophy at the Sorbonne, introduces twelve central philosophical concepts in the terms that we all use the words, and in which philosophers from Plato and Aristotle onwards have explored them.