Best entry level philosophy books?

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Best entry level philosophy books?

Post by xenophon »

Any recommendations for a good introductory read on the subject(s)?
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Post by tbieter »

Hi and welcome to the forum.

I recommend Richard's book. . I cherish the book. I wish that I could teach it to some high school seniors.

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Post by sally »

Stephen Law's The Philosophy Gym! It's not that informative but gets you thinking well. Guess it depends how much of a beginner u r. Adam Swift's Political Philosophy is good for the subject of the title. But you can go straight in with a "proper" book. They're not necessarily harder. Plato's Republic is easy and Nietzsche is always fun. :? ... sais pas..... why am I writing then?...
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Post by bullwinkle »

Hi xenophon,

If you take sally's advice and go for a "proper" book then I'm currently reading Karl Popper's Conjectures and Refutations and it's very clearly written and enjoyable. I also remember Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy as a good read.

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Post by TheJanus »

Go for Russell and Copleston - they oppose each other on many things but you'll get a good syntheses of western philosophy from each. Aside from both of these, check out Heidegger's "What Is Philosophy?" It's a very good and informative essay; unorthodox, yes, but informative also.
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Best entry level philosophy books?

Post by Aetixintro »


Here are some books at the introductory level in the various subsubjects of philosophy:

Introduction to Contemporary Epistemology by Jonathan Dancy
ISBN 0-631-13622-3

Philosophical Ethics – An Introduction to Moral Philosophy by Tom L. Beuchamp
ISBN 0-07-004256-X

Philosophy of Mind
Philosophy of Mind – Dimensions of Philosophy Series by Jaegwon Kim
ISBN 0-8133-0776-7

Philosophy of Science
Philosophy of Science – Science and Objectivity by George Couvalis
ISBN 0-7619-5101-6

Metaphysics – Foundations of Philosophy Series by Richard Taylor
ISBN 0-13-567819-6

Philosophy of Language
The Philosophy of Language by A. P. Martinich
ISBN 978-0-19-518830-1

The Logic Book 4th ed. by Bergmann, Moor, and Nelson
ISBN 0-07-240189-3
(This book rates superbly above the logics book below. It's utmost recommended and it is beautifully educative and easy to learn from. There is also a 5th ed. out.)
Formal Logic – Its Scope and Limits by Richard Jeffrey
ISBN 0-07-032357-7

They should be of good help.

Last edited by Aetixintro on Sun Dec 12, 2010 7:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by xenophon »

Thanks guys, especially Aetixintro - ISBN numbers and all - great stuff!
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Post by Rortabend »

Popper, Heidegger and Nietszche as entry-level books!? Are you lot trying to put this guy off? :shock:

Aetixintro is on the right track. Try the other books later on when you have a solid understanding of the basics.
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Best entry level philosophy book

Post by Ralph Blumenau »

May I suggest my own book, Philosophy and Living (Imprint Academic)? Basically it is a 630 page History of Philosophy, but with inset passages discussing the views of past philosophers and in relation to their own time as well as to ours.
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Post by mickthinks »

Welcome Ralph!

Of course you are welcome to recommend your own books here, provided that isn't the extent of your contributions to the forum. Now you've found us, I hope you'll be a regular contributor.

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Re: Best entry level philosophy books?

Post by biscuit »

a good introductory philosophy book is 'If Minds Had Toes' by Lucy Eyre, its in the form of a story and is really good for people thinking about doing or just starting philosophy as it introduces the major philosphical questions and encourages the reader to think about them
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Re: Best entry level philosophy books?

Post by Parapraxis »

Nigel Warburton has written some easy-to-read, if a little over-simplified, introductory texts including:
Philosophy: The Basics which tackles philosophy issue-by-issue (religion, ethics, epistemology etc.)
Philosophy: The Classics takes a book-by-book account of key philosophical texts

For deeper introductions, Simon Blackburn's
Think - as a guide to philosophy,
Truth - as a guide to...well "truth"
Being Good - as a guide to ethics

And if you want an introductory text written by a philosopher, Russell's History of Western Philosophy
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Re: Best entry level philosophy books?

Post by Arising_uk »

An Introduction to Philosophical Analysis: John Hospers.

A good introductory text for anyone wanting to get to grips with the main issues and answers in Anglo-American academic philosophy.

p.s. I thought "the dullest book on the planet" when I first had to read it. Over the years I've realised that its an essential read for anyone interested in Anglo-American Philosophy.
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Re: Best entry level philosophy books?

Post by Steve »

I would recommend Thomas Nagel's What does it all mean?

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Re: Best entry level philosophy books?

Post by skeptic griggsy »

Cornman/Lehrer "Philosphical Problems and Arguments" like Hosper's
Michael Scriven "Primary Philosophy" mainly for
its take theistic arguments
Michael Shermer "The Science of Good and Evil" humanist ethics- covenant morality for humanity " Why People Believe Weird Things"
"How We Believe" on religion
Schick/ Vaughtn "How to Think about Weird Things"
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