Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Philosophical Exploration of Santa's Existence: Does Santa Exist? by Eric Kaplan

Tammi tells the author, Eric Kaplan, that her son, Schyler, can't be friends with his son, Ari, because Ari would tell Schyler that Santa doesn't exist. This causes Eric to be concerned that Tammi is sacrificing the children's friendship for a belief. Can people hold different beliefs and remain friends? Is it important that a belief be based on reality? The question then becomes: Does Santa Exist?

To answer this question Kaplan takes us through an abbreviated course in philosophy from the ancient Greeks, to medieval Jewish philosophers, and Buddhists. On the way we pass through neuroscience and folklore. The book contains some attempts at comedy to explain philosophical ideas, but I thought they generally fell flat.

I didn't dislike the book, but I did feel that Kaplan took a rather circuitous route to get to the conclusion. The book is not difficult to read. If you enjoy philosophical discussions, you will like this book. However, I can't recommend it. I felt it was rather pretentious,
showing off the author's grasp of philosophy to come up with an answer that was intuitively obvious from the beginning.

I reviewed this book for Net Galley.