Saturday, 10 July 2021
"No one who is familiar with Geoffrey Klempner's past career would have expected him to produce such a barrier-breaking work. Moreover, the style is consistent and larded with restrained humor... 'Philosophizer' illustrates a principle I have maintained for years, that philosophy is an art form where the ideas are the art. Klempner shows himself with this book to be a master of the philosophic form of literary art."
"At the heart of Klempner's amazing book is the problem of problems: What is it to be?... But rather than a cold, parched sequence of deductive arguments we find ourselves regaled with live, throbbing confrontations with the puzzles of being in contemplations, thought experiments, and reminiscences... The reader is not faced with finished doctrines or theories but is constantly challenged to wonder and to puzzle, which is the best a philosophy book can do."
"From the distractions of pop music played at a level just loud enough to interfere with work, to the guilt of 'wasting time' watching old sitcoms, we have all been there... the text is therapeutic, a window into someone else's being in the world, this helps the reader connect with themes that underlie the human condition more generally... An honest, original, entertaining, concise read on metaphysics; I don't think there are many of those on the market!"
"He writes about hubris, object attachment, reason, illusions that are unavoidable, the limits of human understanding, inescapable subjectivity, metaphysics... He highlights the problems and history of metaphysics, issues with ivory tower philosophy and even that logic, analysis and reason are 'not enough if you want to change your mental attitude.' There is a problem of 'truth' and Philosophizer discusses this. Philosophy is difficult. Life is difficult. Yet an unexamined life is not worth living at all. This book is an examination of a life."
"Get ready for a wild ride!... I only realized that by the end of reading it, it really was a trip into Klempner's views (and mental wrestling matches) on metaphysics - but guided by his own personal memories, thoughts and experiences, with some thoughts on art, religion and the likes along the way. Short but profound breaks into historic backdrops (as it pertains to the history of philosophy and its many children) in between such a trip were refreshing and informative. From Socrates, to Plato to Descartes and beyond - all entangled within this journey."
"Reading this book made me feel good – if Salinger, (the early) Woody Allen, (the later) Wittgenstein, Julio Cortazar, Mallarme, Patti Smith, and Baudrillard attempted to write a book together, it would be like this... Including the sound of r'n'r of the 1960s and 1970s."
"Your saying that it has a joyful tone is very accurate. It's a kind of celebration of philosophy on philosophy's own terms; love of wisdom via criticality – a search for hard-nosed metaphysical objectivity by means of a vulnerable and very personal investigation."