Home > Book Club, Books > Book Review—Philosophy: 100 Essential Thinkers, by Philip Stokes

Book Review—Philosophy: 100 Essential Thinkers, by Philip Stokes

In the world of Philip Stokes, from somewhere around 620BC, up until the 2003 publication date of this book, there have existed 100 people whose thought processes have shaped humankind.

Of those 100 people, 98% have been male. Of those 98 men, 100% have been white. (To the interested reader: the remaining 2% were white females, Mary Wollstonecraft and Simone de Beauvoir).

Since this book is an exploration of nitpicking philosophers, let’s take a look and see if Philip Stokes and his idea of what constitutes ‘essential thinking’ is prejudiced.

On the one hand, while predominantly showcasing the internal workings of white men, the choices of Stokes could be pegged as a sexist, racist, and a number of other ‘ists.

On the other hand, we could say that the color and genitalia of those forming the thoughts doesn’t matter.

Maybe Stokes pored through the work of hundreds of individuals, sex and race unknown, picked the most essential, and nearly all of them happened to be white men. It’s like flipping a coin: every time is a 50-50 shot. However, this equates to Stokes flipping a coin 100 times and hitting heads 98 of them, not to mention that each instance of heads had an option of multiple colors, and each one turned up white as pure, uncut baking soda. Interesting.

It could also be argued that Stokes loves the philosophy of Asian men (or Somalian women, Slovakian hermaphrodites, anything other than white people, really*), and this book was his attempt to branch out and showcase the beliefs of a people whom he hates.

Or Stokes actually is a backward-thinking white supremacist, and this is simply his way of telling the world.

It’s philosophy! We’ll never be 100% sure! Soft science at its best.

*I would give some examples of actual people, but I don’t know any because the book DIDN’T NAME A SINGLE ONE!!!!

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