Books to teach teenagers philosophy?
April 12, 2012 5:54 AM Subscribe
Please help me find good beginner texts in philosophy for teenagers.
posted by Poppa Bear to Religion & Philosophy (53 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
Recently, I've gotten to know some teenagers (15-17) who are excited by philosophy/theology. They've asked me if I could recommend some books.
- Textbooks on philosophy are awful. Particularly "beginner's" books. I would love to find one I could recommend but I've never seen one that helps ease people in; all they do is strip the urgency and fun out of philosophy. It's like getting a book on directing and inside it's just a bunch of plot summaries of movies. Gross. And worse, it dumps people at the end of the "road", philosophically, rather than encouraging them to walk it themselves. What a waste of time! When some old white guy does the work for you of making Socrates irrelevant because he (the guy who wrote the book) dismissively summarizes and critiques his (Socrates/Plato/Xenophon's) philosophy, you can be forgiven for thinking that philosophy is a) boring and b) already "figured out". So, prove me wrong.
- Where is the "shallow end" of philosophy? There ain't one. Yeah, I know Plato is fun to read, but his philosophy is so broad that it can be really difficult to feel like you're asking important questions with him. And then after that things go from weird to impenetrable (Aristotle, et al). I still believe that there are books that can act as good philosophy primers, mostly by asking good questions and showing how we approach them, but I don't know what they are.
So Metafilter, please help me find some books that are engaging and fun and relevant for kids who, against all odds, are actually interested in asking important questions. Thanks!
Oh, P.S: if there's a theistically-minded book that you think accomplishes the above goals, I want that. We don't segregate.