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The Problems of Philosophy [Paperback]

Bertrand Russell
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
Price: 9.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

29 Jan 2010
One of his great works, and a must-read for any student of philosophy, The Problems of Philosophy was written in 1912 as an introduction to Russell's thought. As an empiricist, Russell starts at the beginning with this question: Is there any knowledge in the world that is so certain that no reasonable man could doubt it? This, according to Russell, is where the work of philosophy begins. He covers topics such as reality, the nature of matter, inductive reasoning, truth, and the limits of philosophical knowledge. As one of the greatest minds in Western philosophy, Russell's thoughts are profoundly informative and provocative and suitable for anyone wishing to expand his mind. British philosopher and mathematician BERTRAND ARTHUR WILLIAM RUSSELL (1872-1970) won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950. Among his many works are Why I Am Not a Christian (1927), Power: A New Social Analysis (1938), and My Philosophical Development (1959).
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 94 pages
  • Publisher: HardPress Publishing (29 Jan 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1407634305
  • ISBN-13: 978-1407634302
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 22.5 x 15 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 436,221 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970). Philosopher, mathematician, educational and sexual reformer, pacifist, prolific letter writer, author and columnist, Bertrand Russell was one of the most influential and widely known intellectual figures of the twentieth century. In 1950 he was awarded the Noble Prize for Literature in 1950 for his extensive contributions to world literature and for his "rationality and humanity, as a fearless champion of free speech and free thought in the West."

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"Treats its subject in a way that will arouse the interest of any one who has any latent ability to become interested in it."--The New York Times --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Bertrand Arthur William Russell, (1872-1970) was an English philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, and social critic. Although he spent the majority of his life in England, he was born in Wales, where he also died. Russell led the British "revolt against idealism" in the early 1900s. He is considered one of the founders of analytic philosophy along with his protégé Wittgenstein and his elder Frege, and is widely held to be one of the 20th century's most important logicians. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent tater of philosophy 21 April 2002
By A Customer
I'm currently taking my final year in A level philosophy and I'd like to recommend this as a taster of philosophy that is a slightly more challenging read than the average textbook or 'teach yourself guide'. The language is clear and concise but the concepts are challenging and Russell really does engage the reader and gets you thinking about the problems he addresses, inspiring you to read more! A fairly short book, well worth reading whether you have ever come across philosophy before or not as it assumes no previous knowledge. An excellent read!
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for all philosophers 12 May 2001
By A Customer
If you haven't read this yet, read it! The definite article in the title may be misleading; of course Russell does not tackle ALL the problems of philosophy - indeed who is to say what they all are? The book is mostly confined to problems of epistemology - i.e., what we can know. Having said this, it provides an excellent introduction to philosophy generally. There is nothing quite like Russell's crystal-clear prose style, which immediately gives a sense of the best philosophical writing. No doubt reading this will give you the urge to explore more philosophy; it really deserves its reputation as the best introduction to the subject from an anglophone point of view. (For "continental" philosophy, try Sartre's "Existentialism and Humanism".)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Luna 19 Oct 2010
By Luna
I'm preparing myself for my Philosophy course in Uni next year and somebody suggested this book.

It's a fantastic book to introduce yourself to the subject and Bertrand Russell is a really good philosopher/writer. There isn't many technical terms and he doesn't really tell you what the topic is called but he makes the philosophy very understandable. Due to the age of the book, some vocabulary are quite hard and out of context and I couldn't actually finish a page without using my dictionary!

Overall a great book!
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engagingly thorough, deceptively Concise 31 July 2005
A fantastic, if not slightly intense introduction to the discipline of philosophy.
This is a book that will have as much value the first time read as every subsequent time. Deceptively concise because at close to 130 pages it manages to confront a vast number of philosophical positions, and unlike many other philosophical introductions forces the reader to actually understand the philosophical argumentation, as opposed to simply learning it. The strength of this work as an introduction isn't so much as an overview of epistemological theories but in the actual discipline of rigorous analytic thinking.
I highly enjoyed this work and it is perfect for any person with a serious interest in philosophy. A degree of familiarity with philosophical writing, or a philosophical dictionary may be needed to ensure a smooth and rewarding read, as Russell really is one of the most prolific, erudite and concise writers of modern times.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read the first part last. 3 April 2003
Russell, like Richard Dawkins, is such a lucid and persuasive writer that you have to make an effort to think carefully about whether what he is saying is right. John Skorupski's short introduction raises some of the objections to Russell's views (and Russell also points out a few problems in the appendix), but you should read the rest of the book before the introduction. Basically this is a tour through some problems in epistemology - Russell admits the book is only about subjects he feels able to be constructive about. Thought-provoking even if you don't agree with Russell's arguments - it's not a book you can read quickly if you're going to take it in properly, but you don't need any expert background either.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars just as described 16 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
useful introduction to the subject at an accessible level. Should prove its worth as the course progresses and I become more familiar with the subject.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Makes Sense 11 Dec 1999
By A Customer
I study philosophy at A-level and I grew tired of books I just could not get to grips with. Bertrand Russel's book however was a breath of fresh air.
At the beginning of each chapter he outlines his aims and then at the end he gives an easy to understand conclusion. This makes the book so much easier to understand.
The chapters are nice and short and tackle something new every time, and so you never get bogged down in deep, complicated ideas.
I liked this book simply because of its (relative) simplicity, and even though it got tough in places, generally it was a delightful workout for the mind without leaving you exhausted.
Top notch common sense.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book 17 May 2014
By Charlie
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A very nice introduction to philosophy. It is written in a clear, engaging and sympathetic manner to those unfamiliar with philosophy. A good, short, introduction.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Ordered for daughters A levels
Ordered for study for daughter's A levels, knew what we wanted, ordered it and got it. No further comments to make - delivered on time etc. Thank you.
Published 4 months ago by c mc dermott
5.0 out of 5 stars The problems of philosophy
This is a classic introductory text for good reason. It is written by one of the great philosophers of the 20th century in a period of his life when he had turned away from... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Greenwhittfam
5.0 out of 5 stars Philosophy ideas to ponder...
This is such a good book to have nearby; it is small and easy to read. Russell starts by considering the attributes of his table and pointing out several obvious aspects of this... Read more
Published 15 months ago by B. Carter
4.0 out of 5 stars Reads like an introductory text, yet maintains the style of a...
For those who seek an overview of the entirety of philosophical thought, this book is in fact confined in its focus. Read more
Published 16 months ago by JamesTheHero
4.0 out of 5 stars bertrand russell's essay on philosophy
This book was a surprise gift for my grandson. It was clean, appearance as described, well packaged and arrived promptly.
Published 18 months ago by jenny
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth many memories
It is B. Russell at his most spectacular ease and clarity. Great organizer for an old man ideas which is my case: makes me remember lots of things and still teaches me much I never... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Gafarot
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great.
Provides a good introduction to the various discussions and disagreements in philosophy, however it is tainted by his own biases. Read more
Published on 7 Mar 2012 by Owen Retsof
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a good introduction to the problems of philosophy
For all Bertrand Russell's virtue in writing clearly, the arguments of The Problems of Philosophy are not always clear and, even worse, Russell seems to have picked up Immanuel... Read more
Published on 12 Jan 2012 by G. Imroth
1.0 out of 5 stars Self-absorbed cerebral maze
Bertrand Russell's discourse on the problems of philosophy could appeal to those who seek either to find pleasure in intellectual activity or to those trying to understand... Read more
Published on 17 Dec 2011 by D. V. Short
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but only of its analytic kind
I've been a reader of philosophy for thirty years or so now and would like to add some qualification to the enthusiastic reviews of Problems by some younger readers. Read more
Published on 15 May 2011 by Stephen Cowley
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