I wrote Philosophy Decoded because my students wouldn’t read the greats. That got me thinking.

At first, I got upset, of course; the ingrates didn’t know what they were missing! Then I got revenge; I assigned twice as much! Then I became reflective; when I was a young man, I was an even worse student than my students are now. I was appalling. I rarely read, I always talked, and I got by on my charm.

Part of the problem was me, of course. I am lazy. But part of the problem is the reading. Philosophers are awful writers. They use big words when short ones will do. They confuse confounding with deep. They write more than they need to.

So, when I got to thinking, I realized that there was a lot of room for improvement. There was a way to make philosophy more widely read: to make philosophy more accessible.

That’s what I set about doing. In Philosophy Decoded, you can read the great works by the great thinkers, in their own words, with my marginal notes. But if, like me, you find that tedious, you can read my version of what they said. I try to be sort-of faithful, and I try to be sort-of structured, so that what you read sort-of resembles what they wrote.

You can download a free iPad copy of my book here. You can get a pdf of it in the blue box below.


3 responses to “Welcome!”

  1. Rubber Gloved Philosopher

    Hi there,

    I like your idea. Especially because it involves humour and accessibility and big ideas. I’m being bold, but…you might like the semi-parodic project I’m currently working on…I’m translating Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations into Housewife. Thanks for stopping by, if it interests you. And keep up the fine decoding!

    best regards,
    Rubber Gloved Philosopher

  2. Leslie-Anne

    Hello Professor Norman,

    I am currently taking a Philosophy 101 class and I am having a difficult time with the reading but definitely not the ideas. In fact, I enjoy discussing and pondering “the meaning of life,” as I am an older adult recently returning to school and many of these lessons are not lost on me.

    Does your book have other authors, such as John Rawls “A Theory of Justice” or any Richard Taylor and others? I was ready to buy your book but it is not available. I see a link stating it has been removed by the author. Your version of these works is worth buying have really helped me grasp what the philosophers are saying. I can’t wait to read it when you are finished or ready to sell it again.

    All the best to you!
    Thank you for your time.

    Leslie-Anne K.

  3. adamrnorman

    Hi Leslie-Anne. Thanks for writing to me. I don’t have Rawls in my book, because I can only use writers who are out of copyright, and that basically means old, long-dead philosophers.

    I’ll put a new link up to a free copy of my book. Pass it around.



Leave a Reply