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Socrates Cafe: A Fresh Taste of Philosophy

Socrates Cafe: A Fresh Taste of Philosophy: A Fresh Taste of Philosophy - Christopher Phillips There are certain things I do not like about this book. One of these is the writing style that the author chooses. It's amateurish to say the least (in fact it reminds me of some of my recent attempts at prose). There is also an effort not to offend since one presumes that most people in this book do exist. That though makes it a tiring and all too polite read. And since when must a writer worry about not offending?Another fault is the avoidance of "real" issues at the cafes. Lots of talk on what "what" is and if reality exists etc but nothing on real issues like politics, war, economics, morality and the like. You know the stuff that got Socrates killed in the first place. The writer also makes assumptions on certain issues (which I completely agree with) but which are not fitting for someone who claims to assume Socrates' mantle (Socrates did question everything after all). Another deficiency is that the book mentions many philosophers and philosophical theories but completely ignores non-Western philosophers (there is no mention of ibn Rushd, ibn Sina, Ghazali, Maimonides, Farabi, Confucius etc) and so it perpetuates the myth that philosophy is a solely Western preserve.In his effort to be "nice," I also think that the author is leaving out some details. Despite the rosy theory painted, one can only imagine the type of raging religious and political dogmatics a Socrates Cafe would attract in practice.Having gotten that off my chest, I think the book is still worth reading. The idea is a noble one and there is much to gain from it. Socrates Cafe also has tons of tidbits on philosophy theory and history which is invaluable to anyone doing an introductory course on the subject (as I am). So despite its many failings, if you're into philosophy, it's well worth your time. If not, don't bother.