Philosophy in Seven Sentences: A Small Introduction to a Vast Topic
Buy Item $11.99 Retail: $16.00 Save 25% ($4.01)
In Stock
Stock No: WW840939
IVP Academic / 2016 / Paperback

Add To Cart

Add To Wishlist

Add To Cart


Philosophy in Seven Sentences: A Small Introduction to a Vast Topic

IVP Academic / 2016 / Paperback

Buy 40 or more for $10.92 each.
In Stock
Stock No: WW840939

Product Description

A lively introduction to a formidable subject

Unpacking seven short yet pivotal sentences from the history of Western philosophy, Douglas Groothuis analyzes key ideas from Protagoras, Socrates, Aristotle, Augustine, Descartes, Pascal, and Kierkegaard. He goes on to supplement each statement with a short biography, linking worldviews to the historical contexts in which they were conceived.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 144
Vendor: IVP Academic
Publication Date: 2016
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0830840931
ISBN-13: 9780830840939

Related Products

  1. The Consequences of Ideas: Understanding the Concepts that Shaped Our World
    The Consequences of Ideas: Understanding the Concepts that Shaped Our World
    R.C. Sproul
    Crossway / 2009 / Trade Paperback
    $10.99 Retail: $16.99 Save 35% ($6.00)
    4.5 Stars Out Of 5 6 Reviews
  2. Philosophy Made Slightly Less Difficult: A Beginner's Guide to Life's Big Questions
    Philosophy Made Slightly Less Difficult: A Beginner's Guide to Life's Big Questions
    Garrett J. DeWeese, J.P. Moreland
    InterVarsity Press / 2005 / Trade Paperback
    $14.49 Retail: $20.00 Save 28% ($5.51)
    4 Stars Out Of 5 3 Reviews
  3. Thinking About God: First Steps in Philosophy
    Thinking About God: First Steps in Philosophy
    Gregory E. Ganssle
    InterVarsity Press / 2004 / Trade Paperback
    $3.99 Retail: $20.00 Save 80% ($16.01)
  4. Christian Philosophy: A Systematic and Narrative Introduction
    Christian Philosophy: A Systematic and Narrative Introduction
    Craig G. Bartholomew, Michael W. Goheen
    Baker Academic / 2013 / Trade Paperback
    $17.49 Retail: $25.00 Save 30% ($7.51)
    4 Stars Out Of 5 1 Reviews

Publisher's Description

Philosophy is not a closed club or a secret society. It's for anyone who thinks big questions are worth talking about. To get us started, Douglas Groothuis unpacks seven pivotal sentences from the history of western philosophy—a few famous, all short, none trivial. Included are:
  • "The unexamined life is not worth living."—Socrates
  • "You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you."—Augustine
  • "I think, therefore I am."—Decartes
  • "The heart has reasons, that reason knows nothing of."—Pascal
Sentences from Protagoras, Aristotle and Kierkegaard round out this quick tour. Since every philosopher has a story, not just a series of ideas, Groothuis also offers a bit of each one's life to set the stage. The seven sterling sentences themselves, while they can't tell us all there is to know, offer bridges into other lands of thought which can spark new ideas and adventures. And who knows where they might lead?

Editorial Reviews

"Anyone desiring a refresher in philosophy would also benefit from it, and it would be a great little book to overcome the objections of friends who have little use for philosophy."
"This work is an excellent example of how to write on a tough subject engagingly and efficiently. Philosophy does not have to be dry, unlike the puns that emanate from many of its professional adherents. If you're looking for tinder for generating philosophical discussions (or fires) that could lead to quality gospel conversations, look no further than Philosophy in Seven Sentences."
"Philosophers sometimes say memorable things. And it can often pay great dividends to ponder what they've articulated. Doug Groothuis provides here an original short introduction to philosophy by examining seven such statements that have echoed through the centuries. Reading this book is like having a long conversation with a lively guide to the wisdom of the ages."
"It will make readers think, and sometimes laugh, as they are introduced to (or fondly recall) the thought of Protagoras, Socrates, Aristotle, Descartes, Pascal, and Kierkegaard. . . . Discerning what Groothuis gets right and what he gets wrong is precisely the kind of philosophical task this book hopes to inspire."
"An inherently fascinating, thoughtful and thought-provoking read, Philosophy in Seven Sentences: A Small Introduction to a Vast Topic is very highly recommended for high school, college, university, and community library Philosophy collections."

Product Reviews

5 Stars Out Of 5
5 out of 5
2.5 out Of 5
(2.5 out of 5)
2.5 out Of 5
(2.5 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
2.5 out Of 5
(2.5 out of 5)
of customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Displaying items 1-2 of 2
Page 1 of 1
  1. Jimmy Reagan
    Leesville, SC
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    February 15, 2016
    Jimmy Reagan
    Leesville, SC
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This book is an experience. It takes an impenetrable subject for many and makes it fascinating. I found this volume far superior to a semester-long undergraduate class I took years ago. He makes it relevant, interesting, and all with a Christian guide to take you along. The writing style is engaging, enjoyable, and captivating. I only use the cliche I couldnt put it down because I never dreamed that would be the case.

    Taking seven great philosophers along with their most famous statements was a masterstroke in giving an introduction to philosophy in a small compass. Again, I opened the book thinking that would never work, only to discover it did.

    He begins with Protagoras, who I knew nothing about, and taught me about using a measurement outside ourselves. He taught something about today. When he used a statement that many agree with, including his students, and then shocked us with the knowledge that it was a philosophy statement of a serial killer, you knew he had something worthwhile to say.

    He brought Socrates to life. In fact, I feel I never knew him at all until this book. I learned too how we hear more of a caricature of these philosophers rather than what they really believed. Its the same with Aristotle. We learn too that if we ignore the basic Law of Noncontradiction we give up everything we could ever know.

    He well explained Augustine from a philosophic viewpoint while in no way damaging his theology. He made plain Descartes and Pascal too. He made me realize I had Kierkegard all wrong in that superb chapter.

    All in all, this is a masterpiece.

    I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255.
  2. Finding Truth
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: Male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    An excellent introduction to Philosophy
    February 7, 2016
    Finding Truth
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: Male
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    The author

    Douglas Groothuis is professor of Philosophy at Denver Seminary. He earned his PhD at the University of Oregon and he specializes in Philosophy of Religion, the History of Philosophy and other areas. Dr. Groothuis is the author or editor of 13 books including

    Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith, Truth Decay: Defending Christianity Against the Challenges of Postmodernism, and In Defense of Natural Theology: A Post-Humean Assessment in addition to the title under review here. Groothuis is passionate about careful thinking as an element of worship.


    In Philosophy In Seven Sentences, Groothuis seeks to make philosophy a little less intimidating and esoteric to the uninitiated, while demonstrating the need to think well in order to live a good life. He does this by introducing the work of seven philosophers with quotes that embody their work. Each chapter fleshes out the ideas behind the sentences, as well as some background information on the philosophers to whom they are attributed.


    In chapter 1, Protagoras claim Man is the measure of all things: of the things which are, that they are, and of things which are not that are not is examined. Groothuis notes how this idea has some merit, but pressed to its logical conclusion, it leads to the inability to know anything.

    In chapter 2, we hear from Socrates, The unexamined life is not worth living. Groothuis notes that this is a hyperbolic statement, urging the hearers to seek truth by which to live, which requires comparing ones life to that truth.

    In chapter 3, Aristotle tells us, All men by nature desire to know. In service of this belief, Aristotle formulated the laws of logic, especially the Law of Noncontradiction. Groothuis points out that knowledge is impossible if we cannot escape contradiction.

    In chapter 4, Augustines quote, You have made us for yourself, and restless is our heart until it comes to rest in you is examined. Augustine came to this realization, which he wrote in Confessions, as he reflected on his life and the process through which he became a Christian. He argues that humans feel a real guilt, stemming from an awareness of objective morality, and since the only remedy for this guilt is in Gods provision, rest can only be found in him.

    In chapter 5, Groothuis analyzed Descartes quote I think, therefore I am. Descartes was searching for something he could know with certainty, and he found one such item in the realization that thinking requires a thinker. Descartes also devised an argument for God from the fact that the idea of God is innate and therefore implanted by God. Groothuis also notes Descartes contribution to the mind-body problem.

    In chapter 6, Pascals quote The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing is unpacked. Like many references to the heart in older (and even ancient) literature, this one is often misunderstood. Rather than pitting emotion against intellect, Pascal was pointing to basic beliefs, and first principles on which all other beliefs depend.

    In chapter 7, Kierkegaard warns us, The greatest hazard of all, losing ones self, can occur very quietly in the world, as if it were nothing at all. Groothuis points out that for Kierkegaard, an adequate self-awareness leads to despair, and one must come to terms with that despair such that they throw themselves on Gods mercy.


    Philosophy In Seven Sentences serves as an excellent primer on philosophical thought. In fact, it ought to be required reading before any undergraduate takes and introduction to Philosophy course. Far too many take these courses and hear and read the opinions of philosophers when the students lack the tools of philosophy. This books shows how even the most brilliant philosophers opinions require careful consideration. This book is accessible to anyone with at least a high school education. Reading it made me wish I had the time and resources to pursue a degree in Philosophy.
Displaying items 1-2 of 2
Page 1 of 1

Ask a Question

Find Related Products

Author/Artist Review


Ask a Question

What would you like to know about this product? Please enter your name, your email and your question regarding the product in the fields below, and we'll answer you in the next 24-48 hours.

If you need immediate assistance regarding this product or any other, please call 1-800-CHRISTIAN to speak directly with a customer service representative.