This Six Questions of Socrates

Day 11 of the 30 Day Challenge: I really hate this book.

Don’t tell me that I just didn’t ‘get’ it or I should stay away from books like this if I’m not prepared for philosophical frustration. Because philosophical frustration is one of my favorite things.


My problem with this book is it has no destination. Phillips tries to play the role of Socrates, so to speak, in attempting to break down other people’s arguments. Which he doesn’t do. He gives some background as to where he is (which is, admittedly, interesting for some of the parts) and then lets us read the discussion of other people without once posing his own questions forcing the reader to really think about it. I’m okay with there being no answer to these questions. It’s just that for forty pages it’s a few people saying the same things worded differently and then he brings it together by telling us what Socrates might have thought. Yes, it’s a pretty good introduction to philosophy. No, it is not a bad book. But I hate it so much.

This book goes nowhere. I would have probably enjoyed this book a lot more if it wasn’t a summer read book and instead after each chapter we had hour long discussions about what the answer of the question was for us. The six questions of Socrates, I believe, are not something that can be written about in such a manner. They’re the type of things you sprinkle over a philosophy text or even complete fiction that prompts real thought in really situations. If you’re just reading a discussion then your own thoughts are almost taken out of the picture as you read what everyone else has to say.

Any books you hate?