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Philosophy 101 by Socrates: An Introduction to Philosophy Via Plato's Apology [Paperback]

By Peter Kreeft (Author)
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Item description for Philosophy 101 by Socrates: An Introduction to Philosophy Via Plato's Apology by Peter Kreeft...

Professor Peter Kreeft presents this introduction to philosophy to help beginners not only to understand philosophy but also to fall in love with it. In his forty years of teaching philosophy, Kreeft says that the most effective way to accomplish this is to read Socrates. Kreeft uses the dialogues of Socrates in this book to help the reader grow in that love of wisdom which is from which the very word philosophy comes. 148 pages from Ignatius.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Ignatius Press
Pages   100
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.98" Width: 5.32" Height: 0.47"
Weight:   0.45 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 2003
Publisher   Ignatius Press
ISBN  0898709253  
ISBN13  9780898709254  
UPC  008987092537  

Availability  0 units.

More About Peter Kreeft

Peter Kreeft Peter J. Kreeft (Ph.D., Fordham University) was born in 1937 and is professor of philosophy at Boston College where he has taught since 1965. A popular lecturer, he has also taught at many other colleges, seminaries and educational institutions in the eastern United States. Kreeft has written more than fifty books, including The Best Things in Life, The Journey, How to Win the Culture War and, with Ronald Tacelli, Handbook of Christian Apologetics.

Peter Kreeft has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Sheed & Ward Books

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1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > General
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Greek & Roman

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Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Roman Catholic

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Reviews - What do customers think about Philosophy 101 by Socrates: An Introduction to Philosophy Via Plato's Apology?

Excellent philosophy primer and intro to Socrates!  Dec 18, 2007
Kreeft's book is an excellent philosophy primer that anyone can enjoy, easily read, and benefit from. As a huge fan of Socrates, I was enthralled with the use of Plato's "Apology", the "Euthyphro", and the "Phaedo" as a teaching tools that will captivate your imagination and search your soul. You can really feel Socrates probing you, making you ask questions of and about yourself, profound questions, that everyone needs to confront and be confronted by. Everyone should apply the Socratic Method to their own will change it forever!

This book is an easy read and you should purchase a copy, take it with you everywhere, and read every chance you get. When you finish, READ IT AGAIN!!! Let Socrates teach you that what you think you know, you really don't know. The unexamined life is truly not worth living. Let Socrates examine you and then you too will live life more asking good questions about everything. Take nothing for granted or on surface value; probe, probe, probe!

This book would be a great tool for informal chats re philosophy, psychology, religion, or even just for fun. I highly recommend matter your chosen faith or the lack thereof. But get ready to be challenged!
Yes, Buy It and Read It Passionately  Jun 12, 2007
Peter Kreeft transmits his passion for wisdom, for philosophy, in this small book by focusing on the personification of philosophy: Socrates. Kreeft shows us how the pursuit of wisdom will lead to respectful confrontation with those who do not know but think they know. The Socratic method of respectful cross-examination is at the core of exposing the fallacies of those, as someone once said, who are always certain but seldom right. Kreeft also presents the parallels between Socrates and Jesus. You will enjoy and be inspired by this celebration of the passionate pursuit of philosophy.
Socrates from a Christian prospective  Feb 13, 2006
Peter Kreeft introduces Philosophy by introducing us to the father of philosophy, Socrates. He uses the Apology of Socrates to give 40 descriptions of philosophy. He shows the paradox of philosophy with such terms as foolish, simplistic and conformist. Throughout the book, Kreeft's Christian perspective comes through with comparisons of Socrates and Christ, which I think give the book a unique niche but I sure will offend some.
Introducing philosophy  Sep 21, 2005
Peter Kreeft has taught philosophy for over forty years. He is also a Christian. So what does philosophy have to do with Christianity? Or as Tertullian put it long ago, what does Athens have to do with Jerusalem?

Well quite a bit really, according to Kreeft. For example, both are, or should be, concerned with truth, or the discovery of truth. Both are concerned about going beyond appearances and getting at reality.

Thus Kreeft thinks philosophy, properly understood and practiced, can be a real aid to the believer. This book is an introductory primer to philosophy, or more specifically, to doing philosophy. Kreeft thinks that Plato/Socrates may have been our greatest philosopher, and his works make for an excellent entry point to philosophy. (Kreeft side-steps the historical debate over Socrates, and for his/our purposes, we will simply speak of Socrates.)

Three dialogues that exemplify Socrates' method and manner are here focused on: the Apology of Socrates, the Euthyphro, and the Phaedo. Kreeft enjoys using these dialogues as they do not just talk about philosophy but they actually show us philosophy in action.

The Apology is the main text focused on. In it Kreeft tells us forty different things about philosophy and the philosophical method. As we all know, philosophy is the love of wisdom. It differs from mere knowledge, and God is its source. While God has wisdom, man pursues it. In this Socrates and biblical religion are on common ground.

Moreover, the quest of philosophy is not for truth as found in the physical sciences, but moral and eternal truths, as found in religion. Moral questions, like "What is justice?" cannot be answered by the physical sciences.

Also, belief in God and the really important things in life goes hand in hand with humility. Socrates stressed this, as do many of the great religions. Skepticism about God tends to correlate with pride, while true wisdom recognizes its limits, and is open to truth outside its limited perceptions.

And Socrates, like Jesus, was a real counter-culturalist. Indeed, both men were hated by many because of their challenges to the status quo. Indeed, both were ultimately put to death.

Of course in all this Kreeft does not equate the two great men. Socrates could only claim to be a seeker after truth, while Jesus claimed to be the truth.

A key issue raised in the Euthyphro is the connection between God and goodness. Can we be good without God? The two options presented are, 1) that God chooses what is good (Euthyphro's position), and 2) that God is subject to what is good (Socrates' position). Of course Christians tend to say that this is a false dilemma, and argue for a third position, that God's goodness is coterminous with his nature. Position one seems to make God arbitrary, and position two seems to make goodness greater than God. But the third option fully equates goodness with God. What God commands is good because it is in accord with his own good nature.

The last work examined, the Phaedo, is the story of the death of Socrates. It is also the argument of Socrates for why life extends beyond the grave, for why the soul is immortal.

The "gadfly of Athens" was put to death for his search for truth. Of course Jesus was put to death for his proclamation of truth. To refer to the earlier discussion about historicity, Kreeft reminds us that while Christianity cannot survive without Christ, philosophy can survive without an historical Socrates. Even if he is just the creation of Plato's pen, his timeless truths live on.

It was Alfred North Whitehead who once said that the European philosophical tradition "consists of a series of footnotes to Plato." No one can improve upon the greatness of Plato/Socrates. His greatness and wisdom live on. Thus there is so much we can learn from Socrates, so much we are indebted to.

He is not the equivalent of Christ, but he bears many similarities, as Kreeft points out throughout this book. And there are real shortcomings to Socrates. His insistence on the importance of the soul was as valuable as his denial of the importance of the body was flawed.

Believers need not be ashamed of nor afraid of philosophy. In its proper form, it leads us to truth. And in the Christian tradition, God is truth. Of course in a fallen world, extrnal revelation is needed to supplement internal inquiry.

But is it possible that God can use pre-Christians like Socrates to teach us much about life and even Himself? Kreeft thinks so, and this book goes a long way in showing Christians how to appreciate the beauties of philosophy. Of course in other books in this series, Kreeft shows the dark side of reckless philosophy (as in his discussions about Sartre and Marx). But here we learn of the good purposes which philosophy can serve.
Another Great Kreeft book about Great Books...  Jun 10, 2005
As a popular writer who is also a populist writer, Kreeft is brilliant. This book is a delightful beginner's guide to one of the most important philosophical documents ever written. As a professor, and philosopher, and PhD--I am always looking for books that introduce the Great Books to students. Dr. Kreeft has written these helpful guides (4 now) to the Great Books. So if anyone out there is still reading and if anyone is still reading the Great Books, let Dr. Kreeft be of some help.

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