Philosophy: An introduction to the art of wondering

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9780030898808: Philosophy: An introduction to the art of wondering

This popular introductory text provides a unique set of teaching tools for instructors who prefer a synoptic approach. The text is visually appealing and reader friendly. The author accents his accessible writing with cartoons, quotations, and related findings from the social and physical sciences, reinforcing his conception of philosophy as the individual's attempt to unify disparate world views. The style of writing makes central philosophical concepts readily engaging to students. Interspersed biographies give the student a feeling for the lives of the great thinkers who have fashioned the Western philosophical tradition and have determined largely how we think today. Above all, this text nurtures the analytical skills students will need to critically engage the "big picture" of Western philosophy for themselves.

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About the Author:

James Christian received an STB in Historical Theology and a PhD in Philosophy of History, both from Boston University and is now Professor Emeritus at Santa Ana College. Long renowned for his engaging teaching and writing style, he is also author of I am also the author of ETI: The First Encounter, and a two-volume history of Western thought entitled The Wisdom Seekers: Great Philosophers of the Western World (Wadsworth, 2002). Of his approach, Christian says "Intellectually, I am a child of my teacher Arnold Toynbee who instilled in me a passion to see all existence as a single phenomenon but without losing sight of the most minute details--this cave painting, this footnote, this flower in this crannied wall."

Review:

"the most reader-friendly text available."

"Other strengths of the Christian text are the marginal tidbits of wisdom and the broad, synoptic view of philosophy it presents."

"I have found that my students relate better to Christian's material and style than to his competitors. I support Christian's invitation to students to develop their own philosophy on key issues by discovering what "the great ones" have thought about the key issues of philosophy."

"Christian does seem to do an excellent job highlighting the philosophical concerns of almost every conceivable discipline. Christian shows how the concerns of sociologists, psychologists, biologists, physicists, chemists, and anthropologists are inseparable from the concerns and interests of philosophers."

"Non-Western perspectives are treated with the respect and the seriousness they deserve, but are also held to critical scrutiny (something my current text does not do very well). I like that the book ends with this section. It provides a sense of closure and the final exercise questions require the student to step back and consider this new experience of philosophy not as an intellectual exercise, but as something vital to a meaningful life."

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