« Of Apples and Sparkplugs | Main | Jews and Abortion »

Tuesday, May 21, 2019


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Bertrand Russell's The Problems of Philosophy is a bit of an obvious choice, but it is surely a very good place to start if one wants to have some sense of what analytic philosophy is all about.

Hi Bill,

Robert Sokolowski, Introduction to Phenomenology is a good one worth reading, too, for an introduction to phenomenology. Pierre Hadot, What is ancient philosophy? is worthwhile too.

First: a 'back-handed' recommendation of sorts:
'Just the Arguments' by Michael Bruce and Steven Barbone. It is a book that takes 100 important arguments in the history of the discipline, distills their core message and frames them in a logical form consistent throughout the whole book. It has a very broad scope, and is a fantastic book for someone just starting out to get an orientation of the larger terrain, although one could quibble with the 'importance' of what is included at the expense of what is left out. HOWEVER - this book also serves as a strong negative example of how not to do philosophy at times. This becomes clear especially in the more 'continental' arguments whose logical form is deceptively simple, but whose real power is in the way they are rendered in the original source, or in the more nuanced hands of a capable commentator, like the author of this blog. This is a great book to have on hand so long as you treat it as a window into the potential richness of philosophy, rather than a replacement.

A second recommendation: since your background seems to be in literature and politics, Papineau's 'Philosophical Devices: Proofs, Probabilities, Possibilities, and Sets' is a good primer for the more analytic areas of philosophy, if you ever find yourself struggling with writings in that realm down the line.

Third: Nietzsche's 'Daybreak'. Just read it.

Well, to start of---have the RIGHT information on who started philosophy. All the textbooks out there are wrong. Socrates said in the Protagoras that Doric Crete and Sparta are the most ancient and fertile homes of Greek Philosophy. There is NOT one single "philosophy" book that starts with that. Without that info---there is NO philosophy whatsoever.

Kevin, you can start with this paper: "Doric Crete and Sparta the home of Greek philosophy"

Next, since you have a PolSci degree, one can see the conjunction of true philosophy with a political system. The practical application of philosophy is seen in the political system of the Spartans; in the Plato's Republic, it states, "That a City established upon the principles of nature is wise as a whole"; those are the Doric republics. You can witness that in this paper: Classical definition of a republic 5th Rev.
https://www.academia.edu/5280564/ The last fourth of the paper deals with the Philosophy of Mixed Government (which is a True Republic). It shows how philosophy is applied.

And then finally, one needs to know the true origins of philosophy: "Christ the Logos, Font of Greek Philosophy" https://www.academia.edu/1619469/

True Philosophy begins with "What does Nature teach.

And then with that preparatory work, one may read and understand Plato's Republic. There is a lot of bad information out there, everyone dismisses Socrates but they shouldn't.

Philosophy of Consciousness Without An Object and Pathways Through To Space by Franklin Merrell-Wolff

The Spacious Body Explorations in Somatic Ontology, and Embodied Being by Jeffrey Maitland

Waking Dreaming Being, and The Embodied Mind by Evan Thompson

Thank you!!

It's probably worth mentioning the online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, which is far better than Wikipedia if you run across a new topic and want to get the basics.

I would recommend 'The History of Philosophy without Any Gaps' at historyofphilosophy [dot] net. It covers all of philosophy (and is not finished yet), including numerous philosophical ideas, literally without any gaps. It's the most comprehensive overview of philosophy that I have ever heard. And while the hundreds of podcasts are free, you can also buy books which cover each period in philosophy.

I hope this helps.


You may find these to be good introductory sources: Beginning Philosophy by Richard Double; Modern Philosophy by Roger Scruton; Schaum's Logic by Nolt, Rohatyn and Varzi; Philosophy 1 and Philosophy 2 A Guide Through the Subject edited by A.C. Grayling. Enjoy.

I would say that first anyone needs access to a good encyclopedia and a good history of philosophy. "Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy" is an example of the first and the "Routledge History of Philosophy" is an example of the second (as is Copleston's history). For the history of medieval philosphy check Etienne Gilson's books.

I would stay only at the topic of metaphysics. For a general introduction you have "Metaphysics The Fundamentals" from Koons and Pickavance. For a one-stop book about all the main topics of metaphysics you have from the same authores you have "The Atlas of Reality".

For the topic of existence you have Barry Miller's "The Fulness of Being", Gaven Kerr's "Aquinas Way to God", Gilson's "Being and Some Philosophers" and, of course, Vallicella's "A Paradigm Theory of Existence".

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo
Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 10/2008



August 2022

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31      
Blog powered by Typepad