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Steve Jobs and Philosophy 

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ISBN 978-0-8126-9889-3


xii + 244 pages


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Steve Jobs and Philosophy

For Those Who Think Different

Edited by Shawn E. Klein
Volume 89 in the Popular Culture and Philosophy® series

Steve Jobs represents a whole range of values and ideas in pluralistic American culture. He was a barefoot hippy capitalist who did more to change our everyday lives than anyone since Thomas Edison. Coming from modest means and education, he revolutionized several key industries and became fantastically wealthy.

In Steve Jobs and Philosophy, sixteen philosophers take a close look at the inspiring yet often baffling world of Steve Jobs. What can we learn about business ethics from the example of Jobs? What are the major virtues of a creative innovator? How could Jobs successfully defy and challenge conventional business practices? How did Jobs combine values and attitudes previously believed to be unmixable? What does it really mean to “think different”? Can entrepreneurs be made or are they just born? If Jobs didn’t make any major inventions, just what was his contribution? How is Jobs’s life illuminated by Buddhism? How does a counter-culture transform mainstream culture? What does Jobs teach us about the notions of simplicity and functionality in design? How do Jobs’s achievements alter the way we think about technology in relation to human life?

The chapters in Steve Jobs and Philosophy cover vital issues in ethics, business, aesthetics, and technology. They are followed by a fascinating appendix listing all the philosophers mentioned in the book, along with explanations of their lives and key themes in their thoughts. The book is aimed at readers interested in Jobs himself, in entrepreneurship, in technology, culture, and values.

“Jobs’s innovations have inspired the innovative reflections about him in this fascinating and insightful volume.”

—Douglas J. Den Uyl, author of God, Man, and Well-Being: Spinoza’s Modern Humanism

 “The provocative chapters in this book probe Steve Jobs’s life and work, examining their impact on our daily lives and beyond. The result is an awesome contribution to our understanding of one of the world’s greatest innovators.”

 —Khalil Habib, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Pell Honors Program, Salve Regina University

 “Every fan of Steve Jobs will find something to chew on in this rich collection of new essays exploring his work and life from a philosophical point of view.”

—Tom Morris, author of Philosophy for Dummies and If Aristotle Ran General Motors

 “Steve Jobs may not be the genius some people think he is. But he has changed how we learn, what we learn, and how we communicate. Not bad for a kid who started his career in his parents’ garage!”

—Al Gini, Professor of Business Ethics, Loyola University of Chicago

 “We’re surrounded by high tech, to our considerable advantage. If we want to understand something about what it all means without necessarily becoming a geek, this user-friendly book is a good place to start.”

 —Tibor Machan, author of A Primer on Business Ethics

 “Steve Jobs is a classic American entrepreneur. When you connect the dots and grasp Jobs’s fundamental entrepreneurial philosophy, you will see why government regulations and bureaucrats are the enemy of innovation and true human flourishing.”

 —John A. Allison, President and CEO, Cato Institute

 “Not only a thoughtful philosophical consideration of Job’s life and work but a delightfully entertaining one too!”

—Douglas B. Rasmussen, Professor of Philosophy, St. John’s University

"What is creativity? What does it mean to be an entrepreneur? What philosophical lessons can we learn from studying disparate business models? In this volume, philosopher Shawn Klein has assembled a variety of chapters which illuminate these themes by way of examining the legendary computer mogul Steve Jobs. Whether you’re an Apple person or not, you’ll find these essays to be both entertaining and insightful."

—Aeon J. Skoble, Bridgewater State University

Shawn E. Klein is a philosopher specializing in ethics, popular culture, and the philosophy of sport. He co-edited Harry Potter and Philosophy: If Aristotle Ran Hogwarts (2004). Shawn blogs at and edits the book series Studies in the Philosophy of Sport.

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