I took a single philosophy course over the entirety of my education: It was a basic 101 class and the only reading that I recall were The Republic by Plato and Meditations on First Philosophy by René Descartes. The latter has left a nagging hole in my conception of the universe that continues to linger. I was fine with the whole process of tearing down step by step what we can’t know, but I felt (and still feel), that the leap from knowing nothing to knowing that there is an actual existence was not convincingly argued.
Still, my education (both formal and informal) has touched on the philosophical along the way and coming at this book was a way to greatly refresh the idea of philosophy to me. Phillips views the philosophical project as being essentially Socratic in nature, always being willing to question any assumption that we make. This can, like in the case of Descartes, leave us with nothing if we keep digging in the same direction for too long, but in the situations that Phillips describes, where he describes discussions taking place mostly in coffee shops and elementary schools, can illuminate the questions in helpful ways.
I did spend a lot of time wondering how Phillips was able to do things like pay rent and buy food given that he does these events for free. At one point in talking about “ivory-tower philosophers” he seemed as if he was going to address this question, but instead ducked it entirely, taking the easy way out. I still wonder about how he supports himself.
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