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How ought we to live? What really exists? How do we know? This book introduces important themes in ethics, knowledge, and the self, via readings from Plato, Hume, Descartes, Hegel, Darwin, and Buddhist writers. It emphasizes throughout the point of doing philosophy, explains how different areas of philosophy are related, and explores the contexts in which philosophy was anHow ought we to live? What really exists? How do we know? This book introduces important themes in ethics, knowledge, and the self, via readings from Plato, Hume, Descartes, Hegel, Darwin, and Buddhist writers. It emphasizes throughout the point of doing philosophy, explains how different areas of philosophy are related, and explores the contexts in which philosophy was and is done....

Title : Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction
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ISBN : 9780192854216
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 132 Pages
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Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction Reviews

  • Foad
    2018-10-30 15:29

    ١.ترجمه كتاب رو توى سايت ايران كاتوليك (سايت كاتوليك هاى ايران) پيدا كردم و دانلودش كردم. قبلاً يكى از دوستان ريكامندش كرده بود و گفتم نگاهش كنم. يه چيز رو به طور قطع مى تونم بگم: ترجمه اى كه روى اينترنت موجوده رو به هيچ عنوان نخونيد. ترجمه نازل و اينترنتيه، چيزى در حد زيرنويس هايى كه كاربرهاى اينترنتى ترجمه مى كنن. اصل انگليسى ش رو نخوندم ولى با تجربه م از باقى كتاب هاى اين مجموعه مى تونم با اطمينان بگم كه روان و قابل فهم نوشته شده و كسى با انگليسى متوسط (مثل من) بدون دردسر مى تونه بفهمه.٢.مؤلف كار جالبى كرده: به جاى اين كه به طور كلى و انتزاعى و "فضايى" راجع به فلسفه حرف بزنه، اومده چند نقطه از نقاط برجسته فلسفه رو آورده و به صورت زنده نشون داده كه فلسفه چيه و راجع به چه مسائلى بحث مى كنه. فصل اول كتاب قطعه اى از رساله كريتوى افلاطونه، كه آخرين ساعات سقراط رو بازگو كرده. دوستان سقراط بهش اصرار مى كنن كه از زندان و مجازات مرگ فرار كنه، اما سقراط مى گه اصول اخلاقى ش براش مهم تر از جانش هستن، و حاضر نيست براى حفظ جان از اصولش دست بكشه. مؤلف در ضمن نقل اين قطعه، راجع به مسئله "اخلاق" (چه بايد كرد؟) صحبت مى كنه.فصل دوم قطعه اى از رساله هيومه، كه در مورد معجزه بحث مى كنه، و مى پرسه ما چطور از طريق گزارش تعداد معدودى (كه سال ها بعد از وقوع معجزه به دنيا اومدن) اطمينان پيدا كنيم كه معجزه اى صورت گرفته؟ مؤلف ضمن اين قطعه بحث رو به سؤال مهم تر هيوم مى كشونه: چطور مى تونيم به صحت يك قضيه علم پيدا كنيم؟ و از مسئله "معرفت شناسى" (چه چيز را مى توانم بدانم؟) صحبت مى كنه.فصل سوم قطعه اى از رساله اى بوداييه، كه در اون راهبى بودايى با پادشاهى بحث مى كنه. پادشاه اسم راهب رو ازش مى پرسه، راهب مى گه اسم من "ناگاسنا" ست ولى كسى به نام ناگاسنا اين جا حضور نداره. منظور راهب چيه؟ راهب مى خواد وجود چيزى به نام "من" يا "خود" رو نفى كنه. انسان چيزى جداى از بدن و قواى ذهنى ش نيست، و "من" يك توهمه كه فقط موجب رنج بيشتر مى شه، چون انسان دائم به دنبال ارضاى بيشتر اين "من"ـه. مؤلف ضمن نقل اين قطعه، راجع به مسئله "هستى شناسى" (چه چيز وجود دارد؟) صحبت مى كنه.فصل بعدى مؤلف "ايسم" هاى مختلف در فلسفه رو معرفى مى كنه، و دست آخر باز قطعات برجسته اى از فلسفه (اين بار از دكارت، هگل، داروين، و نيچه) رو مياره و اين افراد رو معرفى مى كنه.٣.كتاب خوبيه، هر چند خيلى ساده است. مى شه به كسى كه تازه مى خواد فلسفه رو شروع كنه (و البته، انگليسى متوسطى داره) معرفى ش كرد. هر چند مطمئن نيستم آيا براى كسى كه آشنايى قبلى نداشته باشه هم همين قدر ساده است؟به هر حال به عنوان مطالعه اى يك روزه، كتاب بدى نبود، مخصوصاً فصل راهب بودايى كه كاملاً برام تازه بود.

  • peiman-mir5 rezakhani
    2018-11-05 12:22

    ‎دوستانِ گرانقدر، کتابِ منسجمی نبود، نویسنده پی در پی از شاخه ای به شاخهٔ دیگر می پرید، و انگار مجبورش کرده بودند که در صد صفحه در موردِ فلاسفهٔ نامی و فلسفهٔ آنها بنویسد‎در هر حال باید بگویم که در این کتاب از صحبت در مورد <افلاطون> و <سقراط> و به خصوص بحثِ میانِ سقراط و <کریتو>، شروع نموده است و سپس به سراغِ فلسفهٔ <دیوید هیوم> فیلسوفِ خردمند رفته و در موردِ این که وی به معجزه اعتقاد نداشته و همچنین اینکه انسانها وجودشان با دمیده شدن روح از جانب موجودی به نام خدا، خدایی میباشد را قبول نداشته، پرداخته است و اینکه به عقیدهٔ <هیوم>، انسانها خدایانِ کوچک نیستند، بلکه حیواناتِ برتر هستند‎سپس به سراغِ فلسفهٔ هندی و عقاید متافیزیکِ بودایی و همچنین نوعِ تفکرِ <میلیندا> و <ناگاسنا>، رفته و اشاره ای به آن داشته است‎در مورد خویشتن و همچنین سندِ عقلانیت نوشته و آن را از دیدگاه فلسفه مورد ارزیابی قرار داده است‎از <نیچه> و <هگل> نیز سخن گفته است‎شادی در زندگی را از دیدگاه فلاسفه مورد بررسی قرار داده است‎به فلسفهٔ <میل> و دفاعِ او از حقوقِ زنان پرداخته و اینکه <میل> اعتقاد داشت تا زمانی که زن و مرد حقوق برابر نداشته باشند، در زندگی به شادی دست پیدا نمیکنیم‎در مورد فلسفهٔ <جرمی بنتام> نوشته و دفاعِ وی از حقوقِ حیوانات، و اینکه زمانی شادی معنا دارد که همه برابر باشیم و در موردِ گیاه خواری مطالبی کوتاه نوشته است‎در موردِ نظریاتِ <هابز> در مورد دولت سخن گفته و به بررسی کوتاهی در موردِ فلسفهٔ <مارکس> نیز پرداخته است‎و همانطور که میبینید سعی نموده این پراکندگی را به نوعی به یکدیگر ارتباط دهد که به نظرِ من ممکن نیست‎درکل دوستانِ گرامی، همانطور که <ادوارد کرگ> نوشته : فلاسفه به همان میزان که از مغز خود در نوشتن استفاده کرده اند، از قلبشان نیز استفاده نموده اند. البته آنها قطعاً در کنارِ شایستگی هایِ فراوانی که داشته و نتایج فوق العاده ای که کسب کرده اند، اشتباهاتی نیز داشته اند.... فلسفه به اندازهٔ زندگی گسترده است و در ادبیاتِ گسترده ای که در کتاب هایِ فلسفی ثبت شده همانطور که الگوهای رفتاری و منطقیِ زیادی یافت می شود، می توان نکاتِ ضد و نقیض زیادی نیز یافت. شاید در لابلایِ این کتبِ فلسفی به این آرزو هم برسیم که ای کاش انسانها اصلاً چیزی به نامِ ذهن نداشتند‎امیدوارم این توضیحات در موردِ این کتاب مفید بوده باشه‎<پیروز باشید و ایرانی>

  • Amir The Fat Bookworm
    2018-10-31 14:07

    A rather fine read. Though I've read a lot of philosophical literature, this rather short work, taught me a lot and gave me a few ideas about future essays.

  • Adam
    2018-11-04 13:30

    Now I know why, when I was undergrad, this really cute math major openly laughed at me when she saw me reading Mathematics: A Very Short Introduction. We'd been flirting, before the traumatic event. How do you rate these things? They're useful, accomplished, properly academic, written by experts. We are, most of us, specialists and not generalists. As much as I'd like to be able to know a little bit about everything, the government is only willing to pay me to read a selection of fiction and poetry and bullshit theory, not to indulge my wide-ranging intellectual interests. So I like these books. You get accurate information about a huge range of subjects. Why did I read the Philosophy entry in the series? Because I wanted to see what it was like to encounter one of these when one knows a decent amount about the relevant area of study. I did not like the book. It is fine for what it is, but makes for a tremendously bizarre reading experience. While I like the series--though I haven't read many of them but intend to, soon--something about the bizarre experience I had reading this entry leads me to believe that the very short introductions to areas a bit more precisely defined and narrowed down than PHILOSOPHY or MATHEMATICS might be the way to go.

  • Riku Sayuj
    2018-10-30 15:32

    The perfect note for a VSI is struck in this passage, something for all seekers to keep in mind:I hope that you are now beginning to notice something rather encouraging. The literature of philosophy may be intimidatingly vast, but the number of genuinely distinct philosophical themes is not. It is somewhat too large for the compass of this very short book, admittedly, but it is not enormous. We have already seen links across 2,000 years between Epicurus and Mill, Plato and Hobbes, Hume and the author of Milinda. The problem lies not in becoming familiar with the recurrent themes, but in being sensitive to the variations as different thinkers play them again in their own way for their own purposes. And what this means is that one’s understanding of philosophy is cumulative, and accumulates rather quickly. Which must be good news.

  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    2018-11-05 19:29

    Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #55), Edward CraigHow ought we to live? What really exists? How do we know? This book introduces important themes in ethics, knowledge, and the self, via readings from Plato, Hume, Descartes, Hegel, Darwin, and Buddhist writers. It emphasizes throughout the point of doing philosophy, explains how different areas of philosophy are related, and explores the contexts in which philosophy was and is done.

  • Sarah
    2018-10-18 14:28

    *builds time machine**travels to 1880's Germany**throws Nietzsche's typewriter out the window**returns home*Now that that's sorted...A difficult subject to condense into 125 pages!–but it was done well here. The book is structured so as to touch on a few basic questions, some notable people, and several well-worn 'isms'. I found it fascinating and very accessible. A good place to start.

  • M.L. Rio
    2018-11-02 19:17

    My favorite in the VSI series so far. Writing about philosophy for the layperson isn't an easy thing to do, but Craig does it beautifully. His prose is pithy, unpretentious, and easy to read. He doesn't have space to do much more than get the reader's toes wet, but he manages to lay some solid groundwork for further study. What's most engaging, though, is his willingness to acknowledge that philosophy is absurd as often as it is profound. You don't expect to laugh reading philosophy, but sometimes with this book it's hard not to. (Consider: "Anyone promoting the interests of animals--non-human animals--faces an initial problem: animals can't read.") Wholeheartedly recommended for anyone who wants a short crash-course in philosophy or just a quick refresher.

  • Oscar
    2018-10-24 20:23

    Very good introductory text to Philosophy. Some of the most important and most influential aspects of the thoughts of Plato, Hume, Nietzsche, Descartes, Mill and Hegel are discussed in a brief, clear and very entertaining way. Some Eastern Philosophy is discussed and connected to other issues in Western thought as well. It even discusses Darwin and the impact his On The Origin of Species has had and takes a shot at C.S. Lewis. What more can you ask from a very short introduction to Philosophy?

  • Karl Hallbjörnsson
    2018-11-05 15:12

    Read this short volume today for school, found it a little too layman for my liking, but it had a tidbit of information new to me and the writing felt alive and genial. Still - there was mention of a SINGLE WOMAN. Only one! I felt that was extremely sloppy.

  • Gary
    2018-11-09 16:20

    Useful, but a tad smug. Still, not a bad introduction to key themes.

  • Andrea
    2018-10-29 15:29

    This is a great book for those who want to dabble in philosophy and it's progression throughout time. It explores some widely discussed philosophical concepts that is useful to help determine which concepts most interest you.The writing can be dry and hard to read, but I didn't pick it up to read a fun story on a rainy Sunday afternoon. I picked it up to learn about philosophy. It reads more like a textbook, so you need to have that it mind when you are reading.

  • Ed Hatfield
    2018-11-07 16:18

    The only criteria to enjoy this book are a sense of humour and the simplest, smallest desire to learn about philosophy - and why would you pick this up if you didn't have the latter? Intentionally cheerful, concise, unpretentious but thorough and thoughtful, this is an excellently written way of delivering what I think is a great start to reading philosophy.Particularly distinctive are a few areas of emphasis: read philosophy for yourself, never take it as necessarily truthful per se, don't ignore the historical context of a piece of work (or why the author wrote it - they usually say why!)... very simple but clear instructions that I think put anyone in good stead to both enjoy philosophy and gain a lot from it.If I'm honest I think this should be mandatory school reading - maybe those who are just 17-18 years old would gain the most.

  • Dominika
    2018-10-26 20:10

    I've been running into philosophical types lately and while I've already jumped in, this book was cheap and I figured it would be a good idea to get some sort of grounding. Much like the Epidemiology one, this goes more into the mindset of the field with a few definitions and discussions thrown in. I liked the author and felt that he provided a good example as to how to analyze things. Just as importantly, I felt like I have a clearer idea of what works I might want to read next (when I get through some more of my books). I also kind of wish my introduction to philosophy wasn't the Philosophy of Science, but then again, it's a bit hard to like anything you're forced to do (in terms of school).

  • David Stewart
    2018-11-01 18:22

    I do not know how anyone could hope to sum up the word "philosophy" in just over a hundred, densely-packed pages. Edward Craig certainly does not, and I think he would be the first to admit that, but he offers up an overview that justifies its existence. Unlike some texts on the subject, this short introduction is readable, even to those unfamiliar with the terms and notions present within the field. It's not perfect, and I truly believe there are less scholarly ways to pass along information to the masses without making them field dull for not understanding every word, but it could be a lot more condescending. Craig's enthusiasm for the subject is obvious, as is his desire to pass on that love to others. I'll be curious, as I make my way through these very short introductions, to see how other writers compare in their ability to succinctly encompass a field of study.

  • Rory Armstrong
    2018-11-14 16:25

    I've read Bertrand Russell's 'A History of Western Philosophy' and Jostein Gaarder's 'Sophie's World' but this is by far a much better introduction.It covers a lot of ground in 120 odd pages going from Plato, Hume, Berkley, Mill, Kant, Hegel, and Nietzche giving short overviews of one of there works. It explains the many different categories of philosophy such as Empiricism, Rationalism, Ulitarinism etc.The author very quickly gets you reading philosophical books in the first four chapters selecting very short but interesting segments from Plato, Hume, and 'The questions of King Milinda' which is helpful for leading you onto more reading after finishing this introduction.Highly recommended; you'll no be bored.

  • The Bookworm
    2018-10-22 17:31

    This is the only VSI book which I have as of yet read. However, overall I found it disappointing. With a moderate background in Philosophy, I expected that I would probably know a lot of the things in this book, considering it was just an introduction to philosophy (and a very short one at that!)Overall, it was rather disappointing: I was expecting a definition of philosophy, and idea as to why philosophy is important, what sort of questions it asks, perhaps some names of great philosophers and what they've achieved; followed by the main areas of philosophy, and going about the same routine: defining this area of philosophy, explaining it, what questions it asks, some of the key thinkers in this area, some key problems in this area and perhaps some of the more accessible key arguments from this area. This would have done the job and I think would have accessibly introduced the reader to philosophy.Instead the book is structured rather weirdly:Chapter 1: Intro to philosophy as I had expected (kind of) - This was the right kind of thing but honestly it didn't say anything! I gained nothing (really) from reading this. For someone who has never done any philosophy at all, this would be reasonable, but not great. It was verbose, dodged the question: a poor intro.Chapter 2: Book Feature: CritoChapter 3: Book Feature: Of MiraclesChapter 4: Book feature: Indian PhilosophyI simply cannot understand why anyone would really think that haven given a vague and verbose introduction to philosophy, they would jump straight into some primary literature. For a start, summarising a text and presenting some ideas/problems with this text could be done by reading the text-which is not the intent of the reader. The reader of this book is looking for an introduction and so wants to be lowered into philosophy by this book SO THAT they can go read texts such as these three. Granted, guiding people through these texts will help them, but:1) These are super short guides, and not very good, skipping large chunks and trying to explain these large texts in very short spaces.2) People should be introduced to wider areas of philosophy before looking at different regions of these areas and then they should read these sorts of texts.3) The reader has consciously avoided reading these texts so that they can first be introduced to philosophy... so that they can read these texts-so this book is not helping this goal.Chapter 5: Some themes - I actually quite liked this chapter. It was a little bit disorganised, but it actually introduced key ideas/themes/questions/areas of philosophy in a more accessible way. If you wish to read this book, I would recommend this chapter.Chapter 6: Of isms - Again this chapter was actually rather good. It was a little bit disorganised, but it actually introduced key ideas of philosophy in a more accessible way-and, importantly, showing a little bit of philosophical method! If you wish to read this book, I would recommend this chapter too.Chapter 7: A selection of author's favourite texts - This is just a very very short introduction to 4 of the author's favourite philosophical texts. Again, I thought this was disappointing. An introduction ought to be impartial: it should have nothing to do with the author's opinion. Secondly, an introduction should be an overview. Not only has this author spent 3 whole chapters talking about 3 specific books, but now he spends another chapter on just 4 books - when he should be doing an overview of philosophy as a whole! These introductions are also not amazing - whilst they do summarise the texts, they are very very brief (considering thousands of pages of text have been written on them all since), and are (obviously) as difficult to understand as the texts. Choosing Hegel was obviously a bad choice: the book is not for anyone wishing to be introduced to philosophy! Thus, no matter how lay-man-like the summary could have been, this short intro to Hegel's work was almost impossible to grasp. Definitely would recommend any reader skips this section entirely.Chapter 8: Why do Philosophy? - Finally! This should have been right at the start - it piques the reader's interest, highlights general areas of philosophy and explains why to do philosophy. Although not perfectly executed, a chapter well worth a read if you are reading this book.TOO LONG DIDN'T READ? Go read "Think" by Simon Blackburn or "What's it All About" by Nagel - much better introductions.

  • Iván Leija
    2018-10-31 18:27

    Un recorrido ágil por los aportes de algunos filósofos principalmente europeos. Tiene el mérito de no simplificar de más las cosas, pero se beneficiaría, en vez de mencionando tan específicamente pasajes de alguna obra (cosas como "en el párrafo 7 de tal libro"), añadiendo citas textuales de la obra que está comentando. Aproveché especialmente las introducciones al pensamiento de Descartes, Hegel y Nietzche

  • Joseph Sverker
    2018-11-13 18:17

    Very well structured book that wants to make you think philosophy rather than going through the history of philosophy. Different thinkers are presented, but as a way to move into an area of philosophy. Also nice that it is not a huge point about philosophy and faith/religion. I find that debate a little tiresome and not everything needs to be focused on that (which the Ethics book is to a larger degree as far as I remember).

  • Carlin
    2018-10-21 18:16

    An excellent introduction to philosophy, covering some classic texts as well as various themes to explore further. The last section lists plenty of books to continue reading about philosophy.

  • Rebanne
    2018-11-01 13:28

    Interesting read but a bit too specific and, in places, thick, for and ideal intro read

  • Noah
    2018-11-12 12:29

    Very introductory. But pretty well written.

  • Alison
    2018-11-12 17:19

    Philosophy is actually a bit boring.

  • Lyna Galliara
    2018-11-14 13:32

    I read a lot of books on Philosophy and this was such a boring and uninformative read. I thought the point of such introduction books are to get people interested in a subject but this book would put people off.I had been expecting this book to give me a nice overview of different philosophical thoughts and how they have affected others and how we can think about them, like most intro-to-Philosophy books do. I have been on a bit of an intro-to-Philosophy binge lately, enjoying the enthusiasm of the authors talking about the field and slowly building up an idea of how different philosophical thoughts have been written about, argued and have shaped our world. Despite steadily accumulating more knowledge on Philosophy, I have continued reading intro books, as although there is often some cross over with what I've already read, most books introduce new ideas or new ways of looking at ideas I am already familiar with. I think I would like to continue reading at the introductory level until I feel the need to start reading more formal academic books and original texts on Philosophy.Anyway, back to this book.The first chapter on why philosophy is a part of all of our lives makes for a promising start before disappointing chapters full of aimless and dry waffling. In these disappointing chapters the author mentions a few vaguely described historical texts/views and then mentions some flaws he has found in them.He doesn't get us excited about what the philosophers wrote about and he doesn't give us a sense of getting to know the philosophers in that he doesn't tell us anything about the way they lived and the time they belonged to. He doesn't get us questioning things ourselves. He just mentions a couple of examples, with no clear reason why he's picked these examples in particular and then mentions some of his own opinions on them.Lots of pointless page wasting pictures were included in this book too.The author may be a philosopher and an academic but he is no writer!This book is an insult to the 'Introduction to Philosophy' genre, a genre which is very important and which we need to be encouraging more people to read books from in order to develop more questioning and open minds in this day and age.

  • Adam Eveleigh
    2018-11-02 17:17

    A useful book that acts as a stimulating starting point into philosophy with commentary on a couple of key texts dealing with specific questions and then a summary of other philosophical thought. It also has a set of good recommendations at the back (though perhaps Craig likes Bertrand Russell too much for my liking).As a Christian, I found Chapter 3 (on Hume's argument against miracles) very challenging but I was able to reconcile this with what I read in CS Lewis' Miracles. I found Hume's argument interesting but it ultimately rests on the assumption that nature is all there is, and there is no way of quantifying what the probability is that this assumption is true, since it is an assumption (Lewis points out that he basically conceded this in his earlier work 'Treatise on Human Nature).Unfortunately Craig's only mention of CS Lewis (who he described as a 'popularist Christian theologian') was of a fairly poor argument that he made once. I consider Lewis at least a rookie philosopher - his book 'Miracles' dealt with the issue in philosophical terms as well as theological terms.Chapter 4 made a fairly minor point. Whilst I understand that Craig wanted to get out of the Western philosophical bubble with the book, one wonders if there was better philosophy he could draw on. Still, it was interesting to learn a bit of background about Buddhism and a bit about their thought.Do note that you can get most of the philosophical works mentioned by Craig for free since they are out of copyright. Project Gutenberg and, increasingly, Amazon (Kindle editions) are good places to go to look for them.

  • Riley Haas
    2018-10-31 13:31

    "This is indeed a very short (and scattershot) introduction. It is personal and all over the place but I guess that's the nature of these types of books. It's a long story why I read this, so I won't bother. As someone familiar with the vast majority of the philosophy mentioned, I have to say that it has its good moments and its bad. For one thing, I think he really doesn't get Mill. Mill is hardly the exponent of utilitarianism that he makes him out to be. Bentham would have never supported the harm principle. He also lumps utilitarianism in with consequentialism; it may well be a form of social consequentialism but that's hardly what people mean when they talk about consequentialism as an ethic. Also, though labeling Hegel a favourite, he didn't give me any new reasons to bother with someone who I think has to be one of the worst philosophers in history (not in terms of his smarts, obviously, but in terms of his actual philosophy). The rest of it is fine. And I will still lend it to people looking for an intro, so I can't be too hard on it."

  • mike
    2018-10-31 17:16

    So you've got a cyber-utopian friend who writes blog posts the size of a manifesto and uses four-syllable words in contexts you don't understand (classic example: "metaphysics" is a euphemism for "astrology" at the chain bookstore, but you know he doesn't mean that when he says it).What to do? It's been years since you took that philosophy class in college. So I can recommend this book to you. It's impossibly small, the size of those "ten sweet nothings to say to get her to go home with you" books, so it's easy to dismiss out of hand.Resist.This book is part of a huge series of "Very Short Introduction" books on all sorts of subjects, and if they all are written as engagingly as this one, I'll be picking through more of the series. What it advertises is what you get: A very brief introduction to philosophy, enabling you (if you study it well) to "get it" when some drops a name or a concept. In short, everything you've forgotten since that survey of philosophy that you took at college.[http://www.belle-aurore.com/mike/webl...]

  • Ryan
    2018-10-23 20:30

    A little disappointing compared to the excellent Literary Criticism VSI that I read recently. Whereas that text looks at how the answers to critical questions evolved with various movements in the field, this book focuses on the answers of just a few authors. This would be better if they were treated in great detail or as part of an evolving philosophical dialogue, but instead the descriptions are sparse and isolated from each other. Essentially the author is pulling out the names of philosophical greats from a hat, summarizing a single work, and saying "isn't that neat?" Since I already knew some big players in philosophy and their general arguments, this book was only slightly more information than I'd have gained from reading encyclopedia entries on them. To be fair, it's difficult to summarize the field of philosophy when it includes such a diverse range of authors. I would just recommend spending the time on a more insightful book on the subject.

  • Joe
    2018-11-08 12:07

    To start with I didn't really like the book and found it hard to follow, but I wasn't reading the extra texts as recommended by the author.After I while I really started to get in to it. The subject is difficult (for me) with so many terms that I struggle to remember. I'm 30 and having been to a state school in the UK my knowledge was absolutely zero, it will take me some time to get a real understanding of this diverse subject.The book does touch on lots of authors so that anyone could then read up in far more detail on someone who's views the found interesting. The one thing I am still searching for is a list of all the major philosophers, with a brief sentence or two summarising their main outlook and who inspired them to see how this develops over time from Aristotle to authors from the early 1900's.Maybe after a few years of research I might construct such a table myself.

  • Lauren McGinney
    2018-10-26 16:21

    Disappointing, as the previous AVSI books I've read were very useful - especially being so low commitment. The author's language style and layout of the chapters did not allow natural progression. Throughout the text, I was often left wondering what on earth was the purpose of reading the paragraph and chapter, and how it related.Though a few influential philosophers and subjects were touched upon, the author's explanation was not educational or insightful - and did not arouse curiosity either.The label 'Introduction' is also incorrect - without a good grasp of the philosophy of history, the reader would be left lost after the first paragraph. Even the images did not help, or add any value to the text!Overall, cannot think of anyone I would recommend this book to - seek an alternative introduction to Philosophy!