The Dream Weaver
about Jack Bowen
The Philosophy Club
Ian's in Your World

"An intriguing tale that will instill readers with an abiding sense of philosophical wonder. If you're smitten with 'Sophies' World', you're sure to be entranced by 'The Dream Weaver'. "

— Christopher Phillips, author of "Socrates Cafe"

Available now, from Longman Publishers (a subsidiary of Pearson and Penguin Books) the debut novel from author, Jack Bowen—The Dream Weaver: One Boy’s Journey Through the Landscape of Reality.

The novel’s hero, young Ian, encounters a world full of the unknown. With the help of a mentor and a friend or two, he sheds light on some of life’s most difficult questions: How do we determine morality? What is the meaning of life? Does God exist? How can we determine Truth? Fairness? What are the mind and soul like, if anything? Ian—in his playful, curious manner—addresses these questions in a way that lets the reader develop their own answers. In doing so, he guides readers through a history of philosophical thought in a clever, conversational and even adventurous style. This allows readers to think for themselves, to ask questions themselves—it allows them to be philosophers.

Along with the text and adventure in a world where “anything goes,” Bowen provides the reader with annotations—an opportunity to realize the connection with Ian’s dilemmas and insights to some of the most renown thinkers throughout history. As author Susanne Pari (“The Fortune Catcher”) writes, “The Dream Weaver is a philosophical odyssey that tackles the mysteries of life, of science and of the meaning of reality. This is a book that opens the mind and prepares it for more.”

Whether Ian is creating universes to explore the apparent paradoxical issues of evil, or playfully addressing (and solving!) the chicken-or-the-egg question, he will provide all readers with both “a ha!” moments and moments that challenge their most firmly rooted foundations. And all the while, there’s a nice little surprise waiting at the end.

Introducing The Anniversary Edition.
-Foreword by Stanford Philosophy Professor John Perry
-New chapter updating Ian's Journey and concluding with "The Author Author's--Jack Bowen's perspective on it all"
-Transcript of Bowen's interview with Michael Krasny on NPR

Where to purchase the book?:
The book is available for sale. You can find the listing by searching for "Jack Bowen" under "books" or going to the link here.


What other people are saying about "the BOOK":

"An intriguing tale that will instill readers with an abiding sense of philosophical wonder. If you're smitten with 'Sophies' World', you're sure to be entranced by 'The Dream Weaver'. "
— Christopher Phillips, author of "Socrates Cafe"


"Jack Bowen's novel is like traveling with Alice to a Wonderland inhabited by the greatest philosophers and scientists who ever lived. This is must-reading for anyone who wants to understand how the teachings of the great philosophers apply to today's world. A triumph!"
— Wenda O'Reilly, Ph.D., President, Birdcage Press


"The Dream Weaver is a terrifically-written, plot-driven, clever, smart, and sassy introduction to philosophy. Bowen's verbal facility, narrative grace, and structural inventiveness are very impressive indeed…Good writing of this sort is tough to pull off…Bowen has enough narrative talent and philosophical background to pull off the very difficult combination."
— Rob Reich, Stanford University, founder of the Stanford Summer Philosophy Discovery Institute


"A lively, rigorous introduction to philosophy that most browsers in bookstores should gobble up. The themes are many of the basic philosophical problems; they’re great. I see the main emphasis as a call for fierce but fair debate of the philosophical issues. I love it…Bowen’s presentation of philosophical positions is right on target."
— Jean-Paul Vessel of New Mexico State


"Like Merlin and Arthur, Bowen's Old Man and Ian examine important issues -- identity, God, good and evil, love, ethics and morality, free will -- through a series of highly inventive adventures. And that's not all. Bowen takes on subjects such as capitalism, Marxism, rights and duties, quantum mechanics, and even Fuzzy Logic, explaining concepts simply and expertly through dialogue, story, and compelling narrative. The Dream Weaver is a philosophical odyssey that tackles the mysteries of life, of science, and of the meaning of reality. This is a book that opens the mind and prepares it for more."
— Susanne Pari, author of The Fortune Catcher


"[The Dream Weaver] serves to introduce the relevance of traditional philosophic questions to people in a new and engaging manner."
— Reginald Raymer, University of North Carolina-Charlotte


"As Ian plumbs the depths of the human mind and the history of philosophical thought, students will inevitably begin to ask [the] big questions themselves. Now, that's something worth thinking about."
— Edutopia, September 2006


Excerpted from the Forward of The Dream Weaver... …

One afternoon while in the university bookstore perusing books for my senior year spring term, I found myself in the philosophy section. I literally think I stumbled into it. It nestled near the physics and psychology sections, both of which had become mainstays as I was a Human Biology major. I certainly didn’t venture there intentionally. At the time, I had no idea what philosophy “stood for” or what philosophers did. As I regained my footing there in the philosophy section, a light blue book caught my eye. The binding had the words “Personal Identity” in white, providing a nice contrast to the sky-blue. I peered over my shoulder, concerned that someone might see me reaching for a book in the philosophy section and think whatever people think about those sorts of things. I opened it to find a collection of essays on The Self: on what it means to be human and to be a person, on how we are the same person over time; it discussed the concepts of the mind and the soul, it drew on scientific notions of consciousness and the brain, the psychology of memory, and it explored the essence of being human.

I sat on the itchy industrial carpet perched up against the bookshelf and read. I frantically flipped through the pages, devouring them, half-rapidly-skimming to see what would be next, half-stuck on each article, contemplating the issues. I read until that ultimate moment where I had just enough time to get to my next event—that moment when, if I know exactly where I’m going, and there is very little bike traffic, I would get there right on time. I left the bookstore that day racing with an intellectual curiosity that I had never experienced. It was like I had been led behind the curtain of facts and information previously taught to me. I literally felt in some sense like I was walking out into a new world.

I returned to the bookstore every afternoon that week. I sat on the floor and read that book, like I had discovered a secret treasure. It was all I could do to focus on this one book, ignoring the others whose titles alone piqued my intellectual curiosity: “The God Question,” “The View From Nowhere,” “The Metaphysics of Morals,” “Free Will and its Consequences,” “The Philosophy of Love,” “The Meaning of Life.” But I
sat and focused on the light blue bound treasure.

I did end up buying the book (along with a handful of others in that same section) and found more comfortable places to read it. From here, my story takes its own twists and turns, which I will not belabor at this point. Needless to say, it culminates with my writing the story of another boy’s journey in a world that I was fortunate enough to have the chance to experience quite intimately.

I remember my first day with that little blue book so fondly—just like that first kiss that you long for again but can never attain. I am eager to share that with the reader, and to provide them an opportunity to go on their own journey

  Copyright © 2006, Jack Bowen. All rights reserved.
Jack graduated from Stanford University in 1995 with Honors in Human Biology. He went on to earn a Masters Degree in Philosophy from California State University, Long Beach graduating Summa Cum Laude. Following a six-year stint teaching philosophy and ethics at De Anza College in Cupertino, California he has settled at Menlo School in Atherton where he teaches philosophy and coaches water polo.


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