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Now Available! “An Essay concerning Human Enquiry” by Sean M. Madden

Human Enquiry by Sean M. MaddenMy new book — An Essay concerning Human Enquiry — was published on Smashwords, my ebook distributor, this past Monday, 1 April. A couple of days later it went live on Amazon.com as well as on all other Amazon marketplaces, worldwide.

To preview the book via Amazon.com, click on the cover image to the left.

You can buy it via the following online outlets: Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and Smashwords. Over the next couple weeks, Human Enquiry will likewise become available via other major book retailers, including Barnes & Noble, Apple’s iTunes Store, etc.

Also, here’s my new Amazon author page.

Now a bit about the book itself

Human Enquiry is a roughly 13,500-word essay (approx. 55 printed pages) which I wrote during the final semester of my first master’s degree program at St. John’s College, Annapolis, in 2003. I subsequently did another M.A. program at St. John’s sister campus in Santa, New Mexico, graduating in 2005. In the former program, I studied Western philosophy and classics, along with ancient Greek. In the latter, I studied their Eastern (India, China, Japan) counterparts, with Sanskrit replacing the Greek.

St. John’s was deemed by Loren Pope, former education editor of The New York Times, as “one of the two most intellectual (and indispensable)” colleges (universities, in non-American-speak, of which there are approximately 1,400) in America, along with Reed College. What attracted Loren Pope to the college is what attracted me — the students’, and faculty’s, direct engagement with the seminal texts of Western (and, in Santa Fe, Eastern) civilization.

The writing, and public defence, of An Essay concerning Human Enquiry was my final project — an entirely optional master’s essay — along with the extracurricular preceptorial I completed during that insanely busy yet unbelievably inspiring final semester. The preceptorial, on the first two novels of Paul Scott’s Raj Quartet, was composed of a half-dozen or so students led in discussion by Ms. Beate Ruhm von Oppen, to whose memory I’ve dedicated Human Enquiry.

Beate and I also became close friends during that time, and continued our friendship via correspondence after I’d left the U.S. to live in England. She died at home a day or two after I last spoke with her, by telephone from a friend’s house in Dallas, while I was en route to study at St. John’s in Santa Fe. Beate’s still sorely missed, and there have been countless times when I’ve wished I could talk with her about countless things, so knowledgeable, wise and caring was she.

While An Essay concerning Human Enquiry is a book of philosophy, it’s aimed, too, at the general reader. In fact, you don’t need to know anything about David Hume or Immanuel Kant, the two great eighteenth-century thinkers whose philosophies I explore in the book — while, of course, sharing my own thoughts and ideas throughout. While I explore some of Hume’s and Kant’s most infamously difficult subject matter, I explain their philosophies in clear, understandable language.

So, in a nutshell, together — you (you are going to read it, right?), Hume, Kant and I — will explore how it is that we human beings know what it is we know about ourselves and the world around us. Our findings might well surprise you!

If (ahem, when!) you read the book, I’d also greatly appreciate your considering writing a brief review on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Goodreads, Smashwords, or elsewhere. Regardless, however, it would be most helpful if you could share this post with your networks via the social share buttons below. Thank you in advance for your help in spreading the word.


Photo: Sean M. Madden Sean M. Madden is a writer-educator, photographer and slow traveler. A digital nomad, he’s also co-founder of Creative Thunder, helping creative individuals and small businesses to fire up their online presence and prowess. To get a free copy of the inspiring Creative Thunder Manifesto, click here.

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