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An Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge Paperback – 18 Sep 2006


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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Polity Press; 1 edition (18 Sep 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074563317X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745633176
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 1.8 x 24.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 125,979 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

"Clear, lively, and based on thorough knowledge of the field, O'Brien's book provides an excellent introductory text in epistemology." Christopher Hookway, University of Sheffield "You would have bet against anyone being able to present a concise, rigorous, thoroughly enjoyable introduction not just to all the central areas of epistemology but also to such difficult topics as Wilfrid Sellars' Myth of the Given, Wittgenstein's private language arguments and John McDowell's theory of experience. You would have lost. Dan O'Brien's text is just excellent. The author is an ideal guide through the maze of views that constitutes modern theory of knowledge." Laurence Goldstein, University of Kent

Review

"Clear, lively, and based on thorough knowledge of the field, O′Brien′s book provides an excellent introductory text in epistemology." — Christopher Hookway, University of Sheffield "You would have bet against anyone being able to present a concise, rigorous, thoroughly enjoyable introduction not just to all the central areas of epistemology but also to such difficult topics as Wilfrid Sellars′ Myth of the Given, Wittgenstein′s private language arguments and John McDowell′s theory of experience. You would have lost. Dan O’Brien′s text is just excellent. The author is an ideal guide through the maze of views that constitutes modern theory of knowledge." — Laurence Goldstein, University of Kent

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By John Ferngrove TOP 500 REVIEWER on 8 Jan 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a superb little book, and a perfect place to begin one's study of epistemology, or even philosophy in general. It introduces the key positions in the subject, with the associated terminology, but without the distracting difficulties of other so called introductions. As such, this is eminently suitable for young people wanting to take their first steps into a difficult subject without having their confidence battered, or for someone like myself, a student of the mind sciences, wanting a succinct but rigorous overview, without being made to jump through all the hoops that real philosophy entails. This is not to say it is in any way a 'for dummies' book, and is not remotely patronising in tone. It presents a clear map of the intellectual territory, supported with clear and simple arguments. The first time I read it through, while I did not encounter any local difficulties with the text, my grasp of the vitally important big picture did not hold out quite to the end of the book. I then went on to read Jonathan Dancy's excellent, but somewhat more demanding An Introduction to Contemporary Epistemology. I then returned to this book for a second reading, this time finding that I had pretty well 100% comprehension at all levels. I'm now going to have another stab at Robert Audi's much recommended Epistemology: A Contemporary Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge, which I have to confess I found rather garbled on the first attempt.Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Mark W. Tebbit on 21 Aug 2009
Format: Paperback
This is the most readable introduction to epistemology to have appeared for many years. Unlike so many of its current rivals, the author avoids unnecessary complexity and jargon, while at the same time providing a serious contribution to the debates in this area. Beautifully written from start to finish, the book covers virtually every topic that an introductory university course would include, comparing the different approaches to the analysis of knowledge, the conflict between internalism and externalism, foundationalism and coherentism, and - especially good - the role of perception and memory. The text is illuminated by vivid examples from literature and film. In short, it is an ideal introduction to the subject.
Dr Mark Tebbit
University of Reading
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By R. Newton on 26 Mar 2010
Format: Paperback
I wavered when writing this between 5 stars and 4, but plumped for all 5. This is a brilliantly written book - philosophy is hard work, but too many philosophers make even simple concepts hard work to understand. THe author has created a really easy-to-read introduction, but easy-to-read does not mean ligth weight. Thorough, although, and this is my one caveat, not on its own, sufficient for an undergraduate Epistemology course. However, if you want a friendly place to start - this is it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
Good book to have 2 Oct 2013
By Ava-Loi Forbes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I like the book because it simplifies an area that has been written about in very complex ways. It is a good book to have in your collection for TOK.
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