The Cartoon Introduction to Philosophy – Michael Patton & Kevin Cannon

Cartoon PhilosophyThis isn’t a graphic novel but a graphic textbook. This work gives you the briefest overview (in 150 pages) of the different areas of this vast topic. The work is narrated by the philosophers themselves ranging from Socrates of 469BC to Chalmers who is still alive today. The narrative structure is a boat journey down a river, the river of philosophy. It covers everything from God to Free Will to Ethics, all with the lightest of touches.

The art is black, white and grey and embodies the “cartoon” nature of the title. This works very well to bring a level of humour and accessibility to the subject matter. If a book has pictures in then it can’t be all that intimidating right?

There are mini biographies of all the great thinkers present and everything is generally in chronological order so you have no trouble in understanding how philosophy as a whole evolved. The discipline is so vast however that you won’t be able to claim any understanding or real knowledge after reading. Think of this as the trailer. It whets your appetite and generally demystifies the concepts allowing you to decide if you want to do any further reading. There is also a helpful glossary and bibliography.

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