Uncommon Sense: The strangest Ideas from the smartest Philosophers


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In Uncommon Sense Andrew Pessin leads you on an entertaining tour of philosophy, explaining the pivotal moments when the greatest minds solved some of the knottiest conundrums—by asserting some very strange things. But the great philosophers don’t merely make unusual claims, as Pessin shows, they offer powerful arguments for those claims that you can’t easily dismiss. And these arguments suggest that the world is much stranger than you could have imagined:

     • The future neither will, nor won’t, occur.

     • Your thoughts are not inside your head.

     Everything you believe about morality is false.

     Animals aren’t conscious.

     • There is no physical world at all.

In eighteen lively chapters spanning the ancient Greeks to contemporary thinkers, Pessin examines the most unusual ideas and why, despite being so odd, they just might be correct. Here is popular philosophy at its finest, sure to entertain as it enlightens.

“An uncommonly good introduction to philosophy, unpretentious in its style, and unerring in its sense of humor. It will provide entertainment and insight to those seeking wisdom from philosophy’s most incredible theories. As a philosophical tour guide for the uninitiated, Pessin is unbeatable.”

                                  —Sandy Goldberg, Northwestern University

“A brilliant idea carried out with panache. The ideas explored are esoteric in the extreme, but Andrew Pessin’s explanations are clear, down to earth, entertaining, and accessible ... An absolute gold mine for general readers curious about philosophy.”

                   —Gregg Osborne, Washington and Jefferson College

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