CHARACTERS ✓ What Does It All Mean?: A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy


What Does It All Mean?: A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy

FREE READ What Does It All Mean?: A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy

In this cogent and accessible introduction to philosophy the distinguished author of Mortal uestions and The View From Nowhere sets forth the central problems of philosophical inuiry for the beginning student Arguing that the best way to learn ab The Basic uestions of Philosophy Nagel presents this book as a direct introduction to a selection of nine philosophical problems which the reflective human mind finds naturally puzzling each of which can be understood in itself without reference to the history of thought — so Nagel opts to omit discussion on the great philosophical writings of the past or the cultural background of those writings and approach them as uestions that should be tackled on their own rights For the best way to begin the study of philosophy is to think about them directly Once you've done that you are in a better position to appreciate the work of others who have tried to solve the same problemsThese problems have been written about for thousands of years but the philosophical raw material comes directly from the world and our relation to it not from writings of the past That is why they come up again and again in the heads of people who haven't read about them The nine problems considered are these 1 Knowledge of the world beyond our minds 2 Knowledge of minds other than our own 3 The relation between mind and brain 4 How language is possible 5 Whether we have free will 6 The basis of morality 7 What ineualities are unjust 8 The nature of death 9 The meaning of lifeThis power packed short book is a refreshing encounter with these basic uestions Nagel guides us throughout these uestions and also through how each should naturally occur to us as outgrowths of thinking on each otherPhilosophy as a Natural InstinctAs can be seen from the list above these are not complex uestions Instead we are invited to  ask the simplest of uestions once again None of these are uandaries one is unaware of but all of them are uestions that allow great entertainment and engagement over time They are the fundamentals of our incorrigible fascination with philosophyNuances of these uestions are fleshed out just enough to generate new uestions and then left to the reader to explore further as they might chose Each uestion heading chapter is enough to set out a small streak of related uestions in your own mind and you enter it confident that you have asked all the uestions that Nagel can possibly think of — and you have Of course But as said above asking those uestions in collaboration is fun than you imagine And it surprises you every timeIn addition arguing with Nagel’s conclusions and recruiting the heavy weights on your side occasionally is also an added bonus for Nagel does not make any attempt to stay within such boundaries in his discussions I only wish that he had laid out exploratory avenues for each of these tantalizing routes that would be a pleasure to explore ad infinitumThis is a good book to pick up for reviving interest in philosophy and to shake out comfortable notions of knowing all the answers or even of knowing all the uestionsAfter all before learning a lot of philosophical theories it is better to get adeuately puzzled about the philosophical uestions which those theories try to answer And the best way to do that is to look at some possible solutions and see what is wrong with them

CHARACTERS ô SIGMAENCLOSURES.CO.UK ☆ Thomas Nagel

Out philosophy is to think about its uestions directly Thomas Nagel considers possible solutions to nine problems knowledge of the world beyond our minds knowledge of other minds the mind body problem free will the basis of morality right and wro I read this book because I was having some difficulty with Mind and Cosmos Why the Materialist Neo Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False and because it unlike Mind and Cosmos was available in the library and was the hard copy not the e reader What Does It All Mean is short as promised and as the author says probably capable of being read by an intelligent person of high school age It consists of ten chapters; the first is the introduction so that leaves nine one each for his rendition of the major philosophical problems The author proposes to run through those problems but without going into their history or the various philosophers who have struggled with themI found his discussion of the first five issues helpful How Do We Know Anything? Other Minds The Mind Body Problem The Meaning of Words and Free Will He lays out some terms solopsism skepticism verificationism dualism soul physicalism materialism Then dual aspect theory the theory that we are just a body but not just physical; we also consist of the mental of experience I think the following may be an encapsulated version of his thesis in Mind and CosmosWe won't have an adeuate general conception of the world until we can explain how when a lot of physical elements are put together in the right way they form not just a functioning biological organism but a conscious being If consciousness itself could be identified with some kind of physical state the way would open for a unified physical theory of mind and body and therefore perhaps for a unified physical theory of the universe But the reasons against a purely physical theory of consciousness are strong enough to make it seem likely that a physical theory of the whole of reality is impossible Physical science has progressed by leaving the mind out of what it tries to explain but there may be to the world than can be understood by physical scienceHis last sentence in The Meaning of Words chapter is full of poetryWe are small finite creatures but meaning enables us with the help of sounds or marks on paper to grasp the whole world and many things in it and even to invent things that do not exist and perhaps never will The problem is to explain how this is possible How does anything we say or write mean anything including all the words in this book?Poetry because it made me thinkWe are such stuff as dreams are made onIn his Free Will chapter he talked about determinism Paradoxically if you say there is no determinism than how can you say any perceived choice you made was determined by you? To answer the uestion of free will we must say what we mean when we say we could have chosen otherwise plus what the world would have to be like for that to be trueWell even that chapter on Free Will was very general possibly because of experimental results I know about that eat into the territory of what we usually mean when we say free will Of the last four chapters Right and Wrong and Justice also seemed to be general and not to take cognizance of recent developments possibly because the book wasn't written so recently 1987 and also because here again I've been reading in related areas The last two chapters also seemed to be those big general areas that get discussed religiously or in arguments about religion and whether God exists and so forth Death and The Meaning of Life The chapter on Death takes us back to the issue of dualism He also gets into the illogic of fearing death if one won't be in existence to experience suffering and if in fact one didn't suffer when one was nonexistent prior to one's birth Not very reassuring I fear On The Meaning of Life I found myself talking to myself about what I think the meaning of life is so it was thought provoking but I'll save writing that up til another dayWhen people start discussing their philosophical views it can feel like a general bull or rap session since rarely have individuals read the same books or are they using the same framework so it's good to have read through an organized rendering of the material O Jérusalem directly Thomas Nagel considers possible solutions to nine problems knowledge of the world beyond our minds knowledge of other minds the mind body problem free will the basis of morality right and wro I read this book because I was having some AMNESIQUES difficulty with Mind and Cosmos Why the Materialist Neo Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False and because it unlike Mind and Cosmos was available in the library and was the hard copy not the e reader What Does It All Mean is short as promised and as the author says probably capable of being read by an intelligent person of high school age It consists of ten chapters; the first is the introduction so that leaves nine one each for his rendition of the major philosophical problems The author proposes to run through those problems but without going into their history or the various philosophers who have struggled with themI found his Histoire du Moyen-Orient (Poches essais t. 266) discussion of the first five issues helpful How Do We Know Anything? Other Minds The Mind Body Problem The Meaning of Words and Free Will He lays out some terms solopsism skepticism verificationism L'Islam pour les nuls dualism soul physicalism materialism Then La question de Palestine, tome 1 : 1799-1921 dual aspect theory the theory that we are just a body but not just physical; we also consist of the mental of experience I think the following may be an encapsulated version of his thesis in Mind and CosmosWe won't have an adeuate general conception of the world until we can explain how when a lot of physical elements are put together in the right way they form not just a functioning biological organism but a conscious being If consciousness itself could be identified with some kind of physical state the way would open for a unified physical theory of mind and body and therefore perhaps for a unified physical theory of the universe But the reasons against a purely physical theory of consciousness are strong enough to make it seem likely that a physical theory of the whole of reality is impossible Physical science has progressed by leaving the mind out of what it tries to explain but there may be to the world than can be understood by physical scienceHis last sentence in The Meaning of Words chapter is full of poetryWe are small finite creatures but meaning enables us with the help of sounds or marks on paper to grasp the whole world and many things in it and even to invent things that Les Femmes du prophète do not exist and perhaps never will The problem is to explain how this is possible How PENSEE ARABE does anything we say or write mean anything including all the words in this book?Poetry because it made me thinkWe are such stuff as Le mois le plus long. Ramadan à Istanbul dreams are made onIn his Free Will chapter he talked about Figures du Palestinien: Identité des origines, identité de devenir determinism Paradoxically if you say there is no Le Vent jaune : Récits determinism than how can you say any perceived choice you made was L'inconscient de l'islam determined by you? To answer the uestion of free will we must say what we mean when we say we could have chosen otherwise plus what the world would have to be like for that to be trueWell even that chapter on Free Will was very general possibly because of experimental results I know about that eat into the territory of what we usually mean when we say free will Of the last four chapters Right and Wrong and Justice also seemed to be general and not to take cognizance of recent L'Expansion musulmane, VIIe-XIe siècles, 5e édition developments possibly because the book wasn't written so recently 1987 and also because here again I've been reading in related areas The last two chapters also seemed to be those big general areas that get L'Inconscient de l'islam discussed religiously or in arguments about religion and whether God exists and so forth Death and The Meaning of Life The chapter on Death takes us back to the issue of Les Palestiniens dans le siècle dualism He also gets into the illogic of fearing Le Gouvernement divin. Islam et conception politique du monde death if one won't be in existence to experience suffering and if in fact one Les Barbaresques (TEMPUS t. 220) didn't suffer when one was nonexistent prior to one's birth Not very reassuring I fear On The Meaning of Life I found myself talking to myself about what I think the meaning of life is so it was thought provoking but I'll save writing that up til another Sur la frontière dayWhen people start Palestine 47 : Un partage avorté discussing their philosophical views it can feel like a general bull or rap session since rarely have individuals read the same books or are they using the same framework so it's good to have read through an organized rendering of the material

Thomas Nagel ☆ 1 CHARACTERS

Ng the nature of death the meaning of life and the meaning of words Although he states his own opinions clearly Nagel leaves these fundamental uestions open allowing students to entertain other solutions and encouraging them to think for themselv There's nothing like a book about philosophy to make one feel completely stupid I have a sneaking suspicion though that philosophy enjoys being complicated as far as this declares itself to be an introduction for beginners I have still read and seen simplified introductions to philosophy than this Also this near the beginning struck me as tonally deafI would be very glad if the book were also of interest to intelligent high school students with a taste for abstract ideas and theoretical arguments — should any of them read it'Should any of them read it' indeed The penultimate and final chapters on death and the meaning of life taper away a bit into humdrum but there is lots of rigour in the chapters about the mind body problem free will and the meaning of words Things get dire when a sentence begins with 'if one thinks about it logically' which seems to me eual parts condescending and unnecessary; how the hell else would one be thinking when reading a book about philosophy? This is definitely a petty complaint but it's a complaint nonetheless I don't think this is written very well even though it covers good ground Touches of humourYou might be very mad at someone who comes to a party at your house and steals all your Glenn Gould recordsare well meaning but don't go far enough I don't know how to write about philosophy but I do know how to write about literature and from a literary standpoint this could do better


10 thoughts on “What Does It All Mean?: A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy

  1. says:

    The Basic uestions of Philosophy Nagel presents this book as a direct introduction to a selection of nine philosophical problems which the reflective human mind finds naturally puzzling each of which can be understood in itself without reference to the history of thought — so Nagel opts to omit discussion on the great philosophical writings of the past or the cultural background of those writings and approach them as uestions that should be tackled on their own rights For the best way to begin the study of philosophy is to think about them directly Once you've done that you are in a better position to appreciate the work of others who have tried to solve the same problemsThese problems have been written about for thousands of years but the philosophical raw material comes directly from the world and our relation to it not from writings of the past That is why they come up again and again in the heads of people who haven't read about them The nine problems considered are these 1 Knowledge of the world beyond our minds 2 Knowledge of minds other than our own 3 The relation between mind and brain 4 How language is possible 5 Whether we have free will 6 The basis of morality 7 What ineualities are unjust 8 The nature of death 9 The meaning of lifeThis power packed short book is a refreshing encounter with these basic uestions Nagel guides us throughout these uestions and also through how each should naturally occur to us as outgrowths of thinking on each otherPhilosophy as a Natural InstinctAs can be seen from the list above these are not complex uestions Instead we are invited to  ask the simplest of uestions once again None of these are uandaries one is unaware of but all of them are uestions that allow great entertainment and engagement over time They are the fundamentals of our incorrigible fascination with philosophyNuances of these uestions are fleshed out just enough to generate new uestions and then left to the reader to explore further as they might chose Each uestion heading chapter is enough to set out a small streak of related uestions in your own mind and you enter it confident that you have asked all the uestions that Nagel can possibly think of — and you have Of course But as said above asking those uestions in collaboration is fun than you imagine And it surprises you every timeIn addition arguing with Nagel’s conclusions and recruiting the heavy weights on your side occasionally is also an added bonus for Nagel does not make any attempt to stay within such boundaries in his discussions I only wish that he had laid out exploratory avenues for each of these tantalizing routes that would be a pleasure to explore ad infinitumThis is a good book to pick up for reviving interest in philosophy and to shake out comfortable notions of knowing all the answers or even of knowing all the uestionsAfter all before learning a lot of philosophical theories it is better to get adeuately puzzled about the philosophical uestions which those theories try to answer And the best way to do that is to look at some possible solutions and see what is wrong with them


  2. says:

    What does it all mean? a very short introduction to philosophy Thomas NagelIn this cogent and accessible introduction to philosophy the distinguished author of Mortal uestions and The View From Nowhere sets forth the central problems of philosophical inuiry for the beginning student Arguing that the best way to learn about philosophy is to think about its uestions directly Thomas Nagel considers possible solutions to nine problems knowledge of the world beyond our minds knowledge of other minds the mind body problem free will the basis of morality right and wrong the nature of death the meaning of life and the meaning of words Although he states his own opinions clearly Nagel leaves these fundamental uestions open allowing students to entertain other solutions and encouraging them to think for themselvesعنوانها اینها همه یعنی چه؟؛ در پی معنا؛ نویسنده توماس تامس نیگل ناگل؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش چهاردهم ماه مارس سال 2013 میلادیعنوان اینها همه یعنی چه؟؛ نویسنده توماس تامس نیگل ناگل؛ مترجم جواد حیدری؛ تهران، نگاه معاصر؛ 1392؛ در 90 ص؛ شابک 9786005747720؛ عنوان دیگر در پی معنا؛ موضوع مقدمات فلسفه؛ قرن 20 معنوان در پی معنا؛ نویسنده توماس تامس نیگل ناگل؛ مترجم محمد ناجی؛ تهران، هرمس؛ 1381؛ در 360 ص؛ شابک 9643631524؛ موضوع مقدمات فلسفه؛ قرن 20 معنوان در پی معنا؛ نویسنده توماس تامس نیگل ناگل؛ مترجم سعید ناجی؛ مهدی معین زاده، ویراستار مصطفی ملکیان؛ تهران، هرمس؛ چاپ سوم 1392؛ در 98 ص؛ شابک 9789643631524؛ موضوع مقدمات فلسفه؛ قرن 20 ما شربیانی


  3. says:

    “perhaps it’s ridiculous to take ourselves so seriously On the other hand if we can’t help taking ourselves so seriously perhaps we just have to put up with being ridiculous Life may be not only meaningless but absurd”I’ve always thought of philosophy as a rather futile endeavor You ask the oddest uestions you can imagine go into circular reasoning and end up with no particular answer at all Plus you get the added benefit of becoming totally confused in the process This is of course the case if you do reckon you could arrive at a concrete solution for your metaphysical searches and that is too simplified even if you don’t tend to get philosophicalSince the book was written in 1987 a lot of the ideas in it are now circulating in many mainstream sources or are used by some gurus of the wellbeingness industry to help you understand your total helplessness in understanding it all Some concepts about the body soul arguments are also a bit obsolete since neuroscience has had a giant leap forward and we know about the firing of neurons albeit we are still far from an endpointThomas Nagel’s book will mainly refresh or add to your thesaurus some abstract terminology as solipsism dualism and determinism which in summary goes something like this There is nothing outside of me my eternal soul and my perishable body but everything I do is pretty much beyond any choice I could ever make Nagel of course gives arguments in favor of the antipodes of these concepts so it’s really up to you to decide which side you will take In the meantime you might also ponder about how we use language what we denote with words and why when we say “tobacco” we mean all the tobacco that ever existedPhilosophy is ultimately not about answers It is about the uestions If we reconcile with the fact that we as well as life itself are works in progress we would ask them much freely But if nothing matters you say why do we even bother? Well because we still don’t know if it really doesn’t And by the time we do know the answer to that one we might as well try and poke around even if just for the fun of it


  4. says:

    I read this book because I was having some difficulty with Mind and Cosmos Why the Materialist Neo Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False and because it unlike Mind and Cosmos was available in the library and was the hard copy not the e reader What Does It All Mean is short as promised and as the author says probably capable of being read by an intelligent person of high school age It consists of ten chapters; the first is the introduction so that leaves nine one each for his rendition of the major philosophical problems The author proposes to run through those problems but without going into their history or the various philosophers who have struggled with themI found his discussion of the first five issues helpful How Do We Know Anything? Other Minds The Mind Body Problem The Meaning of Words and Free Will He lays out some terms solopsism skepticism verificationism dualism soul physicalism materialism Then dual aspect theory the theory that we are just a body but not just physical; we also consist of the mental of experience I think the following may be an encapsulated version of his thesis in Mind and CosmosWe won't have an adeuate general conception of the world until we can explain how when a lot of physical elements are put together in the right way they form not just a functioning biological organism but a conscious being If consciousness itself could be identified with some kind of physical state the way would open for a unified physical theory of mind and body and therefore perhaps for a unified physical theory of the universe But the reasons against a purely physical theory of consciousness are strong enough to make it seem likely that a physical theory of the whole of reality is impossible Physical science has progressed by leaving the mind out of what it tries to explain but there may be to the world than can be understood by physical scienceHis last sentence in The Meaning of Words chapter is full of poetryWe are small finite creatures but meaning enables us with the help of sounds or marks on paper to grasp the whole world and many things in it and even to invent things that do not exist and perhaps never will The problem is to explain how this is possible How does anything we say or write mean anything including all the words in this book?Poetry because it made me thinkWe are such stuff as dreams are made onIn his Free Will chapter he talked about determinism Paradoxically if you say there is no determinism than how can you say any perceived choice you made was determined by you? To answer the uestion of free will we must say what we mean when we say we could have chosen otherwise plus what the world would have to be like for that to be trueWell even that chapter on Free Will was very general possibly because of experimental results I know about that eat into the territory of what we usually mean when we say free will Of the last four chapters Right and Wrong and Justice also seemed to be general and not to take cognizance of recent developments possibly because the book wasn't written so recently 1987 and also because here again I've been reading in related areas The last two chapters also seemed to be those big general areas that get discussed religiously or in arguments about religion and whether God exists and so forth Death and The Meaning of Life The chapter on Death takes us back to the issue of dualism He also gets into the illogic of fearing death if one won't be in existence to experience suffering and if in fact one didn't suffer when one was nonexistent prior to one's birth Not very reassuring I fear On The Meaning of Life I found myself talking to myself about what I think the meaning of life is so it was thought provoking but I'll save writing that up til another dayWhen people start discussing their philosophical views it can feel like a general bull or rap session since rarely have individuals read the same books or are they using the same framework so it's good to have read through an organized rendering of the material


  5. says:

    In this short book Thomas Nagel asks a lot of uestions How do we know that anything exists outside of ourselves? If we think that there is a world outside of ourselves how do we know there are other minds like ours? How do we know if other people's experiences are like our experiences? How are minds possible if we are composed of mindless particles? Is the mind separate from the body? Is there a soul? How do words have meaning? Do we have free will? How do we know right from wrong? Is there life after death? And finally what is the meaning of life?Nagel has taken Ionesco's dictum to the extreme Its not the answer but the uestion that enlightens And he doesn't completely ignore the answers particularly to the basic uestions such as how we know there is an external world Our acceptance of the external world is instinctive and powerful we cannot just get rid of it by philosophical arguments But given that this book is written at a basic level there doesn't seem to be enough emphasis on how we get from uestion to answer For most people the answers come from the experience of living in the world whether we think it is real or not We find that we cannot live in the world with the wrong answers Sometimes the answers come after struggles with completely different issues and the connections are not always so clear Since Nagel presents the uestions as though one would simply think about the uestion and abstractly decide upon an answer he leaves the impression that philosophy is an ivory tower discipline subject to clear lines of thinking But often the opposite is true real life is messy and real answers come from deep struggles that are not always easily untangled by abstract thoughtSo that leaves me thinking that there is one uestion Nagel should have included in this book How do we move from uestion to answer in real life? I think that uestion would have brought Nagel and the reader face to face with the existential aspects of philosophy That would have been the type of uestion Albert Camus asks at the beginning of The Myth of Sisyphus Judging whether or not life is worth living All the rest These are games; one must first answer a philosopher to deserve our respect must preach by example These are facts the heart can feel Given the introductory nature of this book if Nagel had gone any deeper then perhaps he would have frightened off beginners However without a slight hint of something real he risks leaving the reader asking the one uestion he doesn't want the reader to ask why should I bother with philosophy?


  6. says:

    60 pages or 600 pages if a book can tell me a story I never heard introduce me interesting characters tell me things I never heard of and what not influence the way I look at things and life at large I would consider it a fair read One such short but influential book is this Short Introduction to philosophy Like Author says book will reflect his own view of few philosophical problems and will not necessarily represent what most philosophers think There probably isn't anything that most philosophers think about these uestions anyway and there are than two sides to every philosophical uestion Most of these problems have not been solved and that perhaps some of them never will be But the object here is not to give answers but to introduce us to the problems in a very preliminary way so that we can worry about them ourselves Book starts with Knowledge of the world beyond our minds until half way through the book I was not really invested in what he was saying nor really understood what he meant But once he started exploring the concept of free will book started to make real sense and even the earlier chapters I missed enjoying were coming along the same path too And I really wished there were to it pages to come pieces to read and how suddenly I was praying it were a 600 page book instead of 60 Recommended If life is not real not earnest and the grave is its goal perhaps it's ridiculous to take ourselves so seriously On the other hand if we can't help taking ourselves so seriously perhaps we just have to put up with being ridiculous Life may be not only meaningless but absurd


  7. says:

    There's nothing like a book about philosophy to make one feel completely stupid I have a sneaking suspicion though that philosophy enjoys being complicated as far as this declares itself to be an introduction for beginners I have still read and seen simplified introductions to philosophy than this Also this near the beginning struck me as tonally deafI would be very glad if the book were also of interest to intelligent high school students with a taste for abstract ideas and theoretical arguments — should any of them read it'Should any of them read it' indeed The penultimate and final chapters on death and the meaning of life taper away a bit into humdrum but there is lots of rigour in the chapters about the mind body problem free will and the meaning of words Things get dire when a sentence begins with 'if one thinks about it logically' which seems to me eual parts condescending and unnecessary; how the hell else would one be thinking when reading a book about philosophy? This is definitely a petty complaint but it's a complaint nonetheless I don't think this is written very well even though it covers good ground Touches of humourYou might be very mad at someone who comes to a party at your house and steals all your Glenn Gould recordsare well meaning but don't go far enough I don't know how to write about philosophy but I do know how to write about literature and from a literary standpoint this could do better


  8. says:

    Really nice starting point for philosophy Gives out some important uestions in philosophy and provides some of the popular theories around them Hopefully this book is able to allow me to enter into the world of philosophy easier


  9. says:

    As the title implies this is meant as a short introduction to philosophy And although unlike most in this genre this one is actually very short It's about 100 pages with relatively big text size and the language is very easy to understand as non technical as it could possibly get Most would be able to read this in a couple of hoursPhilosophy is incredibly complex and something like this may sound counter intuitive Yet this is precisely what philosophy needs for anyone outside of it It dives into fundamental problems that everyone at some point likely thought about but it doesn't teach you what a particular philosopher thought of it It just presents the problem and some of the possible solutions While still a bit dependent on one's personality I think the population at large would find most topics of philosophy uite interesting The problem is that for most it seems impenetrable This is exactly what Thomas Nagels tries to fight and he did it very wellThe book has 9 main topics and all of them are incredibly general It touches on knowledge how can we know anything? problems of mind how can we know others are conscious? what's the relationship between the physical and the mental world? metaphysics do we have free will or is the universe deterministic? and othersI was somewhat skeptical of touching on such big topics with such a short length but it's surprisingly not very dumbed down it just doesn't go very in depth But of course that's the point Another problem with being introduced to philosophy is that it always feels like whatever topic you start from you don't do it justice if you don't give it a significant amount of depth otherwise importance nuances are missed This is important but creates the massive problem of spending a large amount of time and effort on a topic that someone may not like Maybe someone would love the philosophy of ethics but if they have to read a hundred pages or a couple one hour lectures about ontology first which they couldn't give two shits about they will likely give up and think philosophy isn't for them Touching things very broadly allows you to present most of the things that the field has to offer You can always go deeper later and if someone likes the topic they certainly willI do think that presenting the history of ideas within any given field of philosophy is not only important but extremely interesting as well This is something the book definitely misses but again it's a well thought trade off with the benefits previously mentioned I think this book is particularly well suited for early teenagehood when many of the big uestions and critical thinking start taking place Yet most will likely not find the most fun studying a chronological list of dead people They want to think and talk about the topics themselves which Nagels does with you Overall I support his approach and if you're interested in philosophy and completely new to the topic this is a solid pick for a very general overview of most of the topics in philosophy If you find something you like you can either get a bigger introduction to philosophy or go straight to a specific field you found interesting


  10. says:

    An excellent little book introducing nine major philosophical uestions including the mind body problem free will and death Nagel focuses on clarifying the uestions without muddying the discourse Periodically he gives his own opinion to the uestion at hand but not without urging the reader to come to their own conclusions He doesn't waste any space bringing in historical references or citing other philosophers This book is all about bringing the uestions themselves to light I found the book to be clear and concise and I'm sure I'll reread it soon just to solidify the concepts within my own mind What Does It All Mean? is my first exposure to Nagel and I look forward to reading some of his esoteric works


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