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Sunday, September 21, 2003
THINK 

Title:THINK-A compelling
introduction to philosophy

Author:Simon Blackburn
Publisher:Oxford University Press
Genre:Practical philosophy
THINK. The title immediately compelled me to rescue the book off the library shelf and make it mine for the next 6 weeks. I have never come across such an intriguing title which is powerful enough to command me to devour its contents. How often do you come across such books?Sure enough, it was my lucky day.

The content is a delightful feast to a questioning mind and a sound jolt to those who haven't had mental exercise for quite a while. Completely jargon free and unintimidating, THINK provides a solid framework for those who are keen in exploring Western philosophy but do not know how to go about it.

Blackburn cleverly lays out challenging questions and then provide explanations of how great philosophers like Socrates, Hume, Kant and Descartes go about in answering them. These questions are not new, but because of the lack of attention given to them by the modern society,they are constantly left behind in the dusty ivory towers for men in long white beards to tackle. With subtopics like Knowledge, Free Will, Reasoning and Truth, readers would find themselves leading a whimsical journey of fascinating ideas and concepts. The ideas explored are also the very ideas that shape our existence and drive our motivation.
Imagination abadoned by reason produces impossible monsters:united with her, she is the mother of the arts and the source of her wonders.
A philosopher is like a conceptual engineer, Blackburn muses. Just as an engineer studies the structure of material things, a philosopher deals with the structure of thought. Afterall, it is our concepts and ideas which form our mental abode.
We may end up proud of the structures we built. Or we may believe that they need dismantling. But first, we have to know what they are.
Hence, this powerful rational reflection is the key to freedom. Only when we can see ourselves properly can we obtain control over the direction which we seek to move. It is only when we get into the space, can we know that the earth is indeed a sphere.

With that, Blackburn proves that philosophy is not a time wasting mental activity or cheap lip service. Even though philosophy cannot get the world's business done nor earn money, it certainly gives us the power to change our lives and circumstances.

Ultimately, THINK is the enemy of cosy complacency. Highly captivating and interactive, this compact book encapsulates the ancient wisdom which kept the world going. It is a pocket rocket!
The unexamined life is not worth living.

La Vagabonda Piccola  # 2:09 AM
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