The subhead on this book's cover says, "A compelling
introduction to philosophy." I think not. Think veers close to
coherence several times, but ultimately falls short of being an appropriate
To be fair, this would be a tough challenge for any
author to tackle. The biggest hurdles in writing an introduction to philosophy
are organization and maintaining interest. The book has good organizing
intentions at its core - chapters focus on each of eight areas of human
wonderment - God, The Self, Knowledge, The World, etc. The author simultaneously
proceeds quasi-chronologically through all modern thought, starting with
Descartes and ending with moral relativism and postmodernism.
Unfortunately, this big-picture order falls short when
it comes down to individual topics and paragraphs. The chapter subjects
seem redundant, since they do not have totally non-overlapping magisteria.
Many points the author makes seem circular or in the wrong place in the
book. He does a slightly better job of maintaining interest than being
organized, using clever metaphors such as Zombies, Mutants, boats, and
turkeys, to name a few. But overall, it's quite inconsistent. Some ideas
are spelled out minutely, so you feel like he's hitting you over the
head with them, and repeating himself. Others are glossed over quickly
and left unclear, then mentioned much later out of context.
Nevertheless, I got some good ideas out of this book,
and a few intriguing thoughts about the world managed to sneak through
the swamp of vague concepts and stick in my mind.