ASK Musings

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April 2017



Aha! The Moments of Insight That Shape Our World by William B. Irvine

Written by , Posted in Reviews

Three Stars

Best for: Philosophy students, maybe?

In a nutshell: Philosopher William Irvine looks at the ‘aha’ moments in religion, morality, math, science and art.

Line that sticks with me: “More generally, when I cannot give reasons for the moral beliefs I hold, I take it as compelling evidence that I need to take a closer look at those beliefs.”

Why I chose it: I needed a little philosophy.

Review: I’m not totally sure what this book meant to be. The writing is good, but the overall cohesion is a bit lacking.

Irvine breaks his book into five sections, each with three chapters. In the first, he gives examples of the topic area (religion, morality, math, science, and art). In the following chapters he … also does things.

I found the section on math the most interesting, because it was fun to read about the different discoveries and also just learn more about what mathematicians do. But the section that I most enjoyed was on morality. It really gave me the fix I needed to not lose my connection to my philosophy education.

Seriously, it’s not bad, but I’m just not sure what I just read. There’s not a lot of cohesion, and he doesn’t really get at the problem I think he’s trying to solve.

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