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The Little Book of Philosophy (by André Comte-Sponville)

The Little Book of Philosophy

The reason I chose to read this book is in its title: I was looking for something concise to read on the subject of philosophy.

The author, a French philosopher, explores a variety of philosophical topics, including ethics, politics, love, death, knowledge, freedom, God, atheism, art, time, humanity, and wisdom.

One aspect of the book that I particularly appreciated was its structure, with each chapter focused on a specific topic. This made the book easy to read in small chunks.

Although the book is small in size, it still manages to delve deep into complex ideas. However, at times, I found the concepts to be a bit too dense and would have benefited from additional explanation.

I suppose this is an expected challenge, when attempting to present such important and complex arguments to a lay audience within the constrain of a small book.

The chapter that stood out to me the most was the one discussing the (non) existence of God. I enjoyed reading about his theories and found myself quite engaged in these.

Overall, the title was promising and, in a way, it didn’t disappoint. I liked this book and I appreciated the way it challenged my thinking. However, I wish I had a better understanding of the concepts presented and that it helped me provoke more questions for further contemplation.

Title: The Little Book of Philosophy
Author: André Comte-Sponville
Year first published: 2000

From Goodreads:

In this remarkable little book, Andre Comte-Sponville introduces the reader to the western philosophical tradition in a series of sparkling chapters on the ‘big questions’.

In doing so he reveals the essential bones of philosophical thought and shows why philosophy is relevant in our day-to-day lives.

In his brilliant and concise writing on morality, politics, love, death, knowledge, freedom, God, atheism, art, time, Man, and wisdom, he inspires the central question of philosophy – how should we live? – and provides the reader with signposts towards a happier, wiser life.