Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group


Philosophy from Socrates to Schwarzenegger

Mark Rowlands

St. Martin's Griffin


Trade Paperback

Sci-Phi demonstrates how anyone can grasp the basic concepts of philosophy while still holding a bucket of popcorn. Mark Rowlands makes philosophy utterly relevant to our everyday lives and reveals its most potent messages using nothing more than a little humor and the plotlines of some of the most spectacular, expensive, high-octane films on the planet.

Learn about: The Nature of Reality from The Matrix, Good and Evil from Star Wars, Morality from Aliens, Personal Identity from Total Recall, The Mind-Body dilemma from Terminator, Free Will from Minority Report, Death and the Meaning of Life from Blade Runner, and much more. A search for knowledge about ourselves and the world around us with a star-studded cast that includes: Tom Cruise, Plato, Harrison Ford, Immanuel Kant, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigourney Weaver, Rene? Descartes, and Keanu Reeves.

Rowlands anchors his discussions in easily understood everyday terms and relates them in a manner easy to identify with. Interspersed with a ready joke or two, he wonderfully explains why those SciFi movies we love so much are much deeper than they appear to be on the surface. Mark Rowlands's entertaining and stimulating guide is perfect for anyone searching for knowledge of the world around us.

If Keanu can understand Descartes surely everyone can.


Praise for Sci-Phi

“Rowlands succeeds in his aims remarkably well. Not only is each chapter a model of philosophical exposition, conveying philosophical ideas with exemplary verve and clarity, the book also manages to connect the philosophy to the movies in a natural and convincing way.... The irreverent style combines the folksy with the rigorous, the shallow with the deep – and philosophy needs all the humor it can get.” —Times Literary Supplement (U.K.)

“Rowlands has a light touch. . . . Overall, this manages to be diverting without destroying too many brain cells, which is probably what you want from a holiday read.” —The Guardian (U.K.)

“Hugely entertaining. . . . Rowlands knows his stuff and marries some of the tougher philosophical arguments to the more accessible conduit of popular entertainment . . . enjoyable and illuminating.” —Waterstone's Books Quarterly (U.K.)

“The discussions are serious, but the tone of the book is irreverent; there are laughs for both newcomers and old hands.” —

“Some bits made me laugh out loud. . . . He has an excellent way of explaining complex ideas and terms. After reading quite a lot of Nietzsche (in my wayward youth especially) I think that Rowlands does a better way at explaining him than the man himself!” —

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Mark Rowlands

Mark Rowlands received a Ph.D. in philosophy from Oxford and then went to work in the United States for seven years teaching philosophy. Victim of too many parties, he decided to move to Ireland to do nothing except write philosophy and surf. Seven years later he moved to Devon, where he currently works as the director of the Centre for Philosophical Social Sciences at the University of Exeter. He is the author of seven previous philosophy books including The Body in Mind, The Nature of Consciousness, and Animals Like Us.

Mark Rowlands

From the Publisher

St. Martin's Griffin

Latest on Facebook