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Socrates in 90 Minutes
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Just a century after it had begun, philosophy entered its greatest age with the appearance of Socrates, who spent so much of his time talking about philosophy on the streets of Athens that he never got around to writing anything down. His method of aggressive questioning, called dialectic, was the forerunner of logic; he used it to cut through the twaddle of his adversaries and arrive at the truth. Rather than questioning the world, he believed, we would be better off questioning ourselves. Socrates placed philosophy on the sound basis of reason. He saw the world as not accessible to our senses, only to thought. Finally charged with impiety and the corruption of youth, he was tried and sentenced to death - and ended his life by drinking the judicial hemlock. In Socrates in 90 Minutes, Paul Strathern offers a concise, expert account of Socrates' life and ideas, and explains their influence on man's struggle to understand his existence in the world. The book also includes selections from Socrates' observations; a brief list of suggested reading for those who wish to push further; and chronologies that place Socrates within his own age and in the broader scheme of philosophy.
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About the Author

Paul Strathern is author of the popular and critically acclaimed Philosophers in 90 Minutes series. Highlights from the series include Nietzsche in 90 Minutes, Aristotle in 90 Minutes, and Plato in 90 Minutes. Mr. Strathern has lectured in philosophy and mathematics and now lives and writes in London. A former Somerset Maugham prize winner, he is also the author of books on history and travel as well as five novels. His articles have appeared in a great many newspapers, including the Observer (London) and the Irish Times. His own degree in philosophy came from Trinity College, Dublin.

Reviews

Well-written, clear and informed, they have a breezy wit about them...I find them hard to stop reading. -- Richard Bernstein The New York Times Witty, illuminating, and blessedly concise. -- Jim Holt The Wall Street Journal Each of these little books is witty and dramatic and creates a sense of time, place, and character...I cannot think of a better way to introduce oneself and one's friends to Western civilization. -- Katherine A. Powers The Boston Globe A godsend in this era of the short attention span. -- Daryl Royster Alexander The New York Times

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