Essays by an assortment of individuals who have taken different paths to become philosophers offer a look at the nature of individuals driven to search for the meaning of truth.
Aimed at both students and general readers, this collection of 62 short reminiscences by philosophy teachers contains many entertaining, insightful anecdotes about their engagement with this rigorous discipline. Lewis White Beck of the University of Rochester in upstate New York recalls that, when he was a teenager, reading Will Durant's The Story of Philosophy helped him discover that ``there had been others before me who had had the same kind of thoughts and had asked the same kind of questions.'' Angela Davis of San Francisco State University--one of the few recognizable names in the book--describes a college meeting with the legendary but accessible Herbert Marcuse. John Churchill of Hendrix College in Arkansas remembers how he almost converted a fellow college football player to pacifistic Taoism. Claudia Card of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, found that her academic focus changed once she acknowledged her lesbianism. Unfortunately, the brevity of most essays allows for little discussion of philosophy's varied topics or the issues at stake in the writers' professional lives. Karnos teaches philosophy at Eastern Montana College; Shoemaker is emeritus professor of philosophy at Hendrix College. (Mar.)