Young Persons Guide to Philosophy

ISBN 10: 0789430746 / ISBN 13: 9780789430748
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Synopsis: From Socrates and Plato to Kant, Sartre, and Simone de Beauvoir, here is an entertaining look at the world's greatest thinkers and their ideas, presented in a lively way that makes this intriguing subject accessible to all ages. Full color.

From School Library Journal: Grade 5-8-An overly ambitious attempt to answer questions that kids may not even be asking. This title takes DK's "snippet" approach to nonfiction, offering little bits of loosely correlated information along with attractive illustrations. In this case, the complexity of the subject and its unfamiliarity to readers make this title problematic. Major Western philosophers (e.g., Plato, Socrates, Nietzsche, Aquinas) are introduced on two-page spreads, while those less well known (e.g., Thales, Anaximander) are treated in smaller paragraphs. The cartoon illustrations of each of these thinkers are highlighted with chatty personal tidbits reminiscent of Kathleen Krull's "Lives of..." books (Harcourt). However, the format is not as successful here. Short captioned illustrations depicting important symbols, occurrences, or people of the time appear as sidebars. A section titled "Philosophy Today" provides a few scant sentences about modern-day thinkers such as Michael Foucault and Jacques Derrida. In the final chapter, schools of thought (e.g., the Empiricists and the Rationalists) are broken down chronologically. In addition to introducing new concepts, this portion goes into greater detail on some of the philosophers presented earlier. It is distracting to have to flip back and forth to get all of the information on an individual. Although this visually appealing book might catch the eye of an otherwise uninterested child, the difficult subject matter and complicated presentation limit its audience.
Christy Norris Blanchette, Valley Cottage Library, NY
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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