Philosophy like you've never seen it before
The latest in the celebrated Cartoon Introduction series, The Cartoon Introduction to Philosophy is an authoritative and engaging guide to the fundamental questions about our existence. In this indispensable primer, Kevin Cannon—one of the talented illustrators behind Evolution and The Stuff of Life—and the philosopher Michael F. Patton introduce the wisecracking Greek Heraclitus, who hops in a canoe with us as we navigate the great debates of Western thought. As we make our way down the winding river of philosophy, we meet the pre-Socratics, who first questioned mythology and wondered about the world around them; encounter the disciplines of logic, perception, and epistemology; face the central problem of free will; and witness historic arguments over the existence of God. Along the way, famous thinkers like René Descartes and Immanuel Kant spell out their work in clear, lighthearted conversations that will put readers at ease.
Patton's prose, combined with Cannon's rich artistry, puts the fun back into the quest for fundamental truths, imparting the love of wisdom to anyone willing to grab a paddle and join the ride. A rich combination of education and entertainment, The Cartoon Introduction to Philosophy is a must-have book for students and professors alike.
Like many nonfiction graphic novels written by non-comic writers, philosophy professor Patton's wordy text drives the narrative. But Cannon's (The Stuff of Life) art transcends what could have been a second-place relationship to keep this textbook-like explanation of the key thinkers of history visually entertaining. Heraclitus takes the reader on a canoe trip down the River of Philosophy (complete with charming talking fish) as a way to introduce the exploration of six key areas logic, perception, minds, free will, the existence of God, and ethics and the famous thinkers who made key discoveries in each. Early on, it's noted that women aren't part of the "accepted canon," which consists of well-known male philosophers who each get a brief, half-page biographical snapshot. Otherwise, the concept-based structure, which incorporates ideas from across eras, is welcoming and understandable to the casual reader, accompanied by Cannon's sometimes-funny, sometimes-insightful visual metaphors. The sequence illustrating mind-body interaction, with a little Leibniz sitting on Descartes's head and holding a ship's wheel, is particularly amusing. Moreover, it helps the ideas stick with the reader, as do the glossary and bibliography for more in-depth reading.