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Philosophy: The Basics (Basics (Routledge Paperback)) Paperback – 13 May 2004


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Product details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 4 edition (13 May 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415327733
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415327732
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.9 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 140,595 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Nigel Warburton is Senior Lecturer at the Open University. He is editor of Philosophy: Basics Readings, co-author of Reading Political Philosophy and author of Philosophy: The Classics, Thinking from A-Z, Freedom: An Introduction with Readings, The Art Question and Ernö Goldfinger: The Life of An Architect.

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69 of 70 people found the following review helpful By filthmonkey on 9 Aug 2006
Format: Paperback
This book was written with the philosophical novice in mind, and it succeeds emphatically at introducing the basic philosophical problems to the beginner. The topics covered are: The Existence of God, morality and ethics, politics, epistemology (the theory of knowledge - i.e. "what can we know?"), the philosophy of science, the philosophy of the mind, and aesthetics (art and beauty).

The book is written in a VERY accessible style, so even if you have never encountered philosophy or have previously been put off by dense and hard-to-understand texts, with this book you won't have that problem.

For each of the topics covered Nigel Warburton discusses how it has been proposed, and what the counter-arguments are, and encourages you to think for yourself along the way. At the end of each section there are suggested reading lists if you want to pursue the matter with your own further reading.

The one reservation I have is that obviously, being a philosopher, the author has some preferences for particular arguments as opposed to others. There is a slight hint in places that this is so, and so STRICTLY speaking not all is neutral. But I don't think this undermines the book as a beginner's text AT ALL. I would highly recommend it.
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88 of 92 people found the following review helpful By riverkey on 3 Feb 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I did a philosophy degree and I remember getting a bit dismayed by some of the books I had to read. Then I stumbled across this. In his introduction he writes that philosophy is often seen as harder than it actually is and this is because many philosophers aren't good writers.

This is 100% true and restored my faith in philosophy. Warburton is an extremely clear writer and covers the essential points is a lucid manner. If it's within the scope of this book then any essay you have to write, or topic you are interested in should begin with this book. Of course you will need others but this is a great starting point.

See also his 'philosophy: a-z' You might also find Bryan Magee's books useful and Bertrand Russell is a bit of a genius too.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A. I. Mackenzie VINE VOICE on 7 Dec 2007
Format: Paperback
Like 'Philosophy - the classics', this is an excellent book, reference and general reader. It gives a useful reading list at the end of each chapter.

The Basics takes a topic based approach, including Philosophy of : Science, Mind, Religion, the external world etc. and starts off by expounding the theory (say behaviourism) and then the arguments against it.

Warburton writes really clearly and this book is a useful resource for student and anyone interested in Philosophy.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Graham Mccarthy VINE VOICE on 30 Mar 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Philosophy: The Basics is not without its faults, but as a clear, concise and accessible introduction to philosophy it is quite outstanding. True, it's not difficult to extrapolate some of the author's own opinions, but I can forgive this because it's not much of a distraction and we're not studying any of the topics in great depth.

The book is divided into six discrete sections (God, Right and Wrong, the External World, Science, Mind, and Art); each topic is given a page or two of introduction followed by the arguments for and against each. It is the author's clarity of thought and economy with language that enables him to distil each topic down into its essential essences and what makes this book so clear and enjoyable to read. It is this clarity that is the book's strength and in my opinion it weakness. Why a weakness? Well, I found myself taken up by the pace of the book and reached the end feeling like the person that had just downed a glass of claret in one gulp, I found myself straining to recall the complexity of the flavour.

`Philosophy: An Introduction' is easy to understand and well written and is an excellent preface to further reading on philosophy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. Davidson VINE VOICE on 9 July 2011
Format: Paperback
I learned some political philosophy in my degree course many years ago and I have always been interested in finding out more about philosophy in general, a topic , which like poetry , I have always found somewhat inaccessible. I bought this book by Nigel Warburton and I was pleased that I was able to follow all of the topics which the author introduced quite easily, whenever I thought I might have struggled. Warburton explains each topic lucidly and his use of examples are superb ,helping to clarify some difficult concepts. At the end of each chapter, the author provides a useful list of books for further reading by the novice philosopher. I would recommend this book as a good starting point for people who wish to find out more about philosophy , maybe with a view to doing some kind of course in it at a later stage. It certainly has helped to demystify the subject for me anyway.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Katie on 9 Sep 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was considering taking philosophy as part of a joint honours with fine art at university; I have been advised that this is perhaps not such a wise decision so I opted for teaching myself philosophy. I consider myself a deeply philosophical person and also wanted to look at philosophy for some peace of mind, which is exactly what I got. This book enables you to make fantastic and resolving debates within your own mind and also provides brilliant topics of discussion. The section on 'God' was particularly outstanding. If you are like me and are looking for some resolution that enables you to collectively gather your wonderings into solid opinons, as well as provide information to make your opinions stronger then this book is something you should definately at least consider buying. I hope this was helpful.
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