The Modern Scholar: Discovering the Philosopher in You

  • by Colin McGinn
  • Narrated by Colin McGinn
  • 8 hrs and 1 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

"Everyone has their own inner philosopher - a voice within that asks, oh so insistently, philosophical questions. Everyone wants to know what the ultimate nature of the world is, what the self is, whether we have free will, how our minds relate to our bodies, whether we can really know anything, where ethical truth comes from, what the meaning of life is, and whether or not there is a God.
"This inner philosopher is related to the inner child, since the child too is prone to asking philosophical questions. But it is much better to have a disciplined guide through philosophy than simply to try to do all the thinking by yourself."I will be acting as your guide. I will cover all the main problems of philosophy, from logic to ethics, from the human mind to God, introducing you to how philosophers think and the theories they have come up with. The first four lectures focus on foundational questions that need to be clarified before we engage upon more applied discussions. We need to know what knowledge is, what truth is, and what logical reasoning is before we start discussing ethics, the mind, free will and God. So let's start with the basics, then break into a run only when we have learned how to walk."
Please note: You may obtain the bonus material that accompanies the Modern Scholar course by going to Once that page loads, look to the left for the category "Browse our Imprints". Select Modern Scholar which is the first choice listed. Select the course you are interested in from the drop down course menu.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


This is a great book for everyone with an interest in philosophy. I've read many books about many subjects in philosophy and one thing that usually made me give up on them was the fact that most of them are books of history of philosophy. This book was exactly what I was looking for, it tackles the questions themselves and the history, names and quotes are only there to provide the references. It's very well written and narrated, I never had trouble understanding it and I don't even speak English natively, it's never dull, the concepts flow very well and I learned a lot from it.
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- Sergio

Mind Boggling and FUN!

"Fun" is the last word I would have used to describe philosophy had I'd been asked a few months ago. Other adjectives such as "boring," and "unpractical" seemed to fit the matter, or in the very least "I don't pay attention to that stuff."

As McGinn says in the introduction, everyone has an inner-philosopher, and in this relatively short book, he introduces the topics we've all asked yourselves at some point in a thoughtful and illustrative manner. I've enjoyed bringing up the experimental questions from this book with my friends and family, and having fun, meaningful discussions about all the things we've always wondered about. Is there a God? What is the meaning of life? What makes something right or wrong? Do we have free-will?

I wish I had been introduced to philosophy a long time ago, and "The Modern Scholar: Discovering the Philosopher in You" was an incredibly easy way to familiarize myself with the main topics that philosophers have been discussing for thousands of years... questions I've even asked myself without realizing how closely related it was to philosophy. It was like learning about the galaxies for the first time and how wide and expansive the universe of ideas actually is.

I'll never see the world the same way again. My mind has been opened just a little bit more.

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- David

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-23-2008
  • Publisher: Recorded Books