By Matt Lawrence, Wiley-Blackwell, $19.95, 239 pages
The days of pondering the meaning of life on an empty stomach are over. Now lovers of philosophy and connoisseurs of beer can enjoy lively discussions together. Professor of Philosophy Matt Lawrence has taken over 48 questions relating to our existence and has expertly paired them with beers from around the world. Philosophy on Tap: Pint-Sized Puzzles for the Pub Philosopher is a unique book that asks readers to consider enlightenment, time travel, truth, religion, will, morality, perfection and good vs. evil. Readers who have an appetite for these kinds of philosophical puzzles will be thrilled to read Lawrence’s insights into possible solutions. And those with an appetite for beer will enjoy the challenge Lawrence poses to limit discussion to the time it takes to finish the beer he has found to be most fitting. Take Zeno’s Paradox. Because it is one of the oldest Western philosophical questions, readers should consider it while drinking Weihenstephan Original Lager (a beer from the oldest brewery in the Western world). Creative parings are accompanied by tasting notes where readers can rate the beers. Also included are suggested readings, recipes, definitions of terms and discussion questions. Remember to drink and debate responsibly.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Franklin