Thursday, July 17, 2008


The Slightest Philosophy is an amazing, liberating book that deserves a wide audience. Quee Nelson is a realist in both senses of the term. With verve and wit that cannot be found within Philosophy departments, and with sound learning as well, she has made stone kicking both intellectually respectable and fun.” —Frederick C. Crews, editor of The Norton Anthology of American Literature, author of Postmodern Pooh, Unauthorized Freud, and Follies of the Wise

“I agree about The Slightest Philosophy—it makes you smile, or even laugh aloud, while remaining, remarkably, a serious and comprehensive demolition....It merits a wide and appreciative readership.”—M. H. Abrams, founding editor of The Norton Anthology of English Literature

“Total devastation… Splendid book.…An absolutely first class piece of work.” —Antony Flew, author of Hume’s Philosophy of Belief, and David Hume: Philosopher of Moral Science

“Terrific. ...The dialogues are great fun...I sat back and enjoyed it.”—William H. Shaw, author of The Ethics of G. E. Moore, editor of Readings in the Philosophy of Law

“A bold and beautifully written work of philosophy.…You settle down to read, and wonder of wonders: it’s easy and pleasant. You have in your hands—well, let me just say it—a masterpiece.”—Liberty, May 2008

“A well-written, jargon-free critique of postmodern philosophy…in accessible and witty language.…This is a good book.”—Stephen Hicks, author of Explaining Postmodernism

"Nelson has written one of the most entertaining and lucidly written epistemology books I have read in recent years."The New Individualist, Spring 2009

"The Slightest Philosophy is such a breath of fresh air... This is an intelligent text for an intelligent reader. You do not have to be a specialist; in fact, my field is not philosophy, yet I was able to follow the arguments easily. Nor are these Straw Man arguments. Many of them I recognized straight from the graduate courses I took in Comparative Literature (the footnotes helped me to finally identify the original sources of many of them). Nelson rigorously dissects each premise, carefully scrutinizing the logic (or lack thereof) that permits today's professors to say things that clearly fly in the face of reality, experience, or evidence of the senses. While at grad school I remember thinking "this can't be right," and yet lacking the words, insight, or knowledge that would have allowed me to formulate a refutation. This book will help you to do so by pointing out where so many of these arguments go wrong: usually at their very foundations, which can and must be identified and understood.
The first two chapters are lucidly written in standard essay form. The rest of the book is written as a Socratic Dialogue, though it is broken up into sub-chapters which address specific arguments. At first I was a bit suspicious of this strategy, but that changed when I realized that Nelson's antagonist (the Pragmatist/Post-modernist) was not a fool but an academic who aggressively attempted to defend his ideas. Again, no Straw Man arguments here; Nelson cites directly from the texts.
Particularly helpful is the appendix, which is a compendium of citations from the various philosophers whose ideas have evolved into what has become post-modernist theory. ...Highly recommended. ...For a rigorous, lucid, and entertaining point-by-point refutation of these pestilent ideas, from Hume to the present, there is no better vaccine than Quee Nelson's The Slightest Philosophy.—Jon Morris, translator Heidegger and the Ideology of War

"Fascinating....If you would like to be more adept at dealing with postmodern skepticism, I highly recommend this book. My only regret is that it wasn’t available 30 years ago. I could have used it then!...As philosophy books go, it’s really easy to read. What’s more, it’s witty...the author tackles such thorny problems such as the Bent Stick, the Oval Coin, the Cartesian Demon, the Brain in the Vat, and the Riddle of Induction. She notes the repeating patterns of these puzzles, and picks them apart with confidence...Ever wish you had a handy guide for refuting postmodern skepticism? Look no further than Quee Nelson's highly readable The Slightest Philosophy. Buy one for every college student you know!"The Atlasphere

Blog Buzz:

“There are still people today who are doing substantive (and interesting) philosophical work, but who are not tenure track philosophers at research universities—Quee Nelson comes to mind immediately as an exemplar, though there are certainly others.”—Jon Lawhead, Dept of Philosophy, Columbia University

“I’m 25 pages into The Slightest Philosophy, and it’s the best introductory pages to a philosophy book I’ve ever read.”—Ergo Sum, editor of Leitmotif

“I’m very pleased to see that Liberty ran a rave review of Quee Nelson’s book, The Slightest Philosophy. …There is something very catchy about the book. I've even been thinking of reading it again. I'm not sure I completely absorbed its lessons on my first breakneck tear through its pages.”—John Enright, Rhyme of the Day

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