Review: 30-Second Philosophies: The 50 most thought-provoking philosophies, each explained in half a minute ~ Barry Loewer (Editor), Julian Baggini (contributor) et al.

30 seconds30-Second Philosophies takes a revolutionary approach to getting a grip on the 50 most significant schools of philosophy. The book challenges leading thinkers to quit fretting about the meaning of meaning for a while and explain the most complex philosophical ideas-using nothing more than two pages, 300 words, and a metaphorical image. Here, in one unique volume, you have the chance to pick the potted brains of our leading philosophers and understand complex concepts such as Kant’s Categorical Imperative without ending up in a darkened room with an ice pack on your head.

4 Thumbs-UpThis book is one of a collection of 30-second books.  This doesn’t mean it takes you 30 seconds to read the entire thing, now that would be silly, it means it takes several schools of philosophy and gives a base explanation in nothing more than two pages per school.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and it’s one of those books I like to have lying around to dip in and out of at will; however, on my first read through I did start at the beginning at go through to the end.

The book and its contents are simple, straightforward and easy to understand, each being given a two page spread with about 300 words, some fun facts and an illustration that may, or may not relate to what you’ve just read.  Various schools of thought are covered by dividing the book into seven chapters such as language and logic and religion to name but two, and this all ties together into a neat little package that is more a historical review than a guide to current thinking in this field.

I enjoyed this book, and other in the series, because they expand on my knowledge or actually give me ammunition when faced with a conversation on a subject I’ve not studied; and every reader needs to be well armed at the dinner party of today, all written in language that the lay-person can understand.

I would recommend this book to those readers who are looking for something educational, fun and interesting to read, and those readers looking for an introduction to philosophy.