What is beautiful about it is that it offers much for reflection, and I don’t need to explain to students that philosophy didn’t begin in ancient Athens in 500 BCE because they see here a piece of writing from more than 1,000 years earlier in Km.t/Egypt. Above all, Blackburn makes an excellent case on the the subject’s timelessness, and why it matters when it comes to understanding life, meaning, and purpose. Much of what I have said about Plato’s Meno applies to this book too. Ironically, the third book on my list, which was written as an introduction to the subject, or at any rate to one branch of the subject, is probably the least accessible of the three. In my opinion, it’s one of the best philosophy books for beginners available, thanks to its accessibility. These accessible reads will help you start to tackle the many fascinating questions and concepts that define the field. Luckily for me, I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing some of the world’s finest philosophical minds. She published her book, Existentialism and Romantic Love in 2015, and is also the Managing Editor of the American Philosophical Association’s blog, an advisory board member of Strategy of Mind, and a certified fellow with the American Philosophical Practitioners Association. In addition, keep in mind that these books on philosophy simply aim to give a broad (but interesting!) The Euthyphro presents an argument, still valid today, that morality cannot possibly derive from gods, regardless of whether the latter exist or not. In short, The Philosophy Book is easily one of the best philosophy books for beginners to get into before tackling the harder original texts. Peter is an avid book reader, blogger, and social media strategist. Blackburn uses this clear structure to introduce key philosophers, explaining how each person has added to the overall discourse. However, I consider Big Ideas to be among the best philosophical books for beginners, thanks to its easy language and structure. The novel deals with absurdity, mortality, and the recognition that “There is not love of life without despair about life,” set under the dazzling Algerian sun. So, again, I suggest you first check your nearby library to see if they have it. However, let’s be honest. Here, I’ll focus mainly on Western philosophy. But his real achievement is to convey how deeply mysterious nature is. This 17th-century Ethiopian philosopher brings together a globality of ideas and the students easily make their own connections to the philosophical problems raised by other philosophers from St. Augustine through Descartes and onward. Susan Haack is a Distinguished Professor in the Humanities, Cooper Senior Scholar in Arts and Sciences, Professor of Philosophy, and Professor of Law at the University of Miami. As the name suggests, each book in this series serves as a quick introduction on a specific topic, packaged as a pocket-sized read. Here’s our list of the best non-fiction books about the history and philosophy of love! A great effort – definitely not just for ‘idiots’! But I cannot resist including it here. There are also useful study guides to reinforce what you learnt. Like trying to find the end of a piece of sellotape, it can be frustrating to know where to start. He then gives several examples to better illustrate the theory, thus grounding an otherwise abstract notion. In addition, he smartly uses bullet points to break down major philosophical arguments into their core aspects. It touches on some of the most basic questions about human beings and their place in the world. Ethiopian philosopher brings together a globality of ideas and the students easily make their own connections to the philosophical problems raised by other philosophers from St. Augustine through Descartes and onward. I think A Little History of Philosophy is no exception! Compared to a few other books on this list, A New History of Western Philosophy goes a bit more in-depth in its discussions. In addition, each book is written by an established expert in his / her respective field, so you’re in good hands. You’ve probably seen this book lying around your local bookstore. Skye Cleary. Adrian Moore. The Meno is a splendid example of the Socratic method, focused on an exploration of the idea of virtue, though we also get the famous definition of knowledge as justified true belief. Is there absolute good and evil? In my view, philosophy is best when it responds to intellectual challenges arising in other areas of thought, like physics, or psychology, or politics. The main way to dip your toes into philosophy is by reading about philosophers historically, and for that, I recommend A Little History of Philosophy by Nigel Warburton. Probing the differences between people and machines, he makes us puzzle about imagery, learning, consciousness and free will. They have a pretty Traffick with known Correspondents in some little Creek, within that they confine themselves, but will not venture out onto the great Ocean of Knowledge, to survey the Riches that Nature hath stored other parts with, no less genuine, no less solid, no less useful, than what has fallen to their lot in the admired Plenty and Sufficiency of their own little Spot … . You will not get a final answer by the end of the book, but you will surely have learned a lot about the nature of science. I’m not sure I would still uphold many of the substantial views defended in Dawkins’ classic. The bulk of the book is structured around addressing key philosophical questions. I especially enjoyed his thorough yet digestible overview of the differences between Hume and Kant. And so on. These five dialogues are splendid examples of Plato’s prose and philosophical acumen. I teach a beginners course called “Problems of Philosophy” in which I do the following. That’s how I was brought into philosophy – I was puzzled about aspect of mathematics and physics long before I did any philosophy courses. However, keep in mind the book is a bit pricey (due to its relative rarity?). But I have included two classics on my list. This includes Margaret Cavendish, post-structuralists Derrida and Lacan, postmodernists like Lyotard, and many more. Dawkins grabs his readers and doesn’t let them go. For example, Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction provides an insightful summary of key themes relating to ethics, identity, knowledge, and more. Penrose is a throwback to the age of authors who respected their readers enough to explain things properly. This is not the paradox that it appears to be. David Papineau was the President of the British Society for Philosophy of Science for 1993-5, President of the Mind Association for 2009-10, and President of the Aristotelian Society for 2013-14. This is especially relevant during chapters that explore the value of aesthetics – or those that use images to sketch the cultural backdrop that gave rise to big philosophical ideas. The nice thing about Sandel’s writing is not just that it is clear and accessible, but that he keeps going back to specific questions that actually matter to people, from how to treat hired help to affirmative action. If you do locate a copy, you’ll be rewarded with one of the best philosophy books that aims to appeal to undergrads.

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