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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great place to start philosophy, 26 Nov 2006
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P. C. Bradley (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Reading Philosophy: Selected Texts with a method for Beginners (Paperback)
This is an excellent book. It takes a structured learning approach that gets you "doing philosophy" right from the start. Writen as part of the External Diploma coarse of the University of London the book uses a variety of philosophical texts and guides the student through them with questions and points of reflection at approriate places in the arguments. I used this book myself and have moved on to the degree coarse. The topics covered are varied and if you find one a little dry there will be others that catch your interest.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction to "doing" philisophy, 17 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Reading Philosophy: Selected Texts with a method for Beginners (Paperback)
I have had this book for several years now, and still occasionally refer to it. It is an excellent teaching aid which not only teaches some philosophical concepts, but attempts to start the reader on the process of "doing" philosophy - by which I mean reading philosophical texts critically, understanding what the author was getting at, and determining whether you agree or not. There are definitely more enjoyable introductory philosophical texts, but none other that I know of talks you through how you should approach reading and appraising what you are reading in the way this book does.

I used this book in my first year of a philosophy degree. If you are serious about studying philosophy then you will soon move beyond the contents of this book, but to move beyond you need to master the sort of techniques discussed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good - especially if you put the work in . ., 30 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Reading Philosophy: Selected Texts with a method for Beginners (Paperback)
This was a set text on an introductory philosophy course that I helped to teach at a British university. The course made use of some of the extracts - the readings from various philosophers - that make up the bulk of the book. My experience with course was that, when combined with course lectures, the extracts worked fairly well as introductions to their topics and as the basis of seminar discussions.

I say *fairly* well, because some of the extracts are rather difficult for a beginner. That said, the book's editors have material designed to ease the reader into the extracts. That material consists in: (1) introductions to the book's sections; (2) introductions to the various extracts contained in each of the sections; (3) commentaries upon the extracts (and these commentaries are placed after the extracts). So, for instance, the section of the book that is about the self contains, as well as an extract by Descartes and one by Strawson: an introduction to the main philosophical problem that is at issue in the extracts (namely, `What is the self?' or, `Is the self physical?'); separate short introductions to each of the two extracts; and commentaries upon each of the two extracts.

The 'Method for Beginners' of the book's subtitle has its place within this editorial material and especially within the commentaries. The method consists in directing the reader to specific parts of extracts, asking the reader questions and, in general, making the reading the extracts a more guided and active affair than it might be otherwise. I advise students to make use of that method/help! Doing so takes some work, but it is worth it for the understanding that it brings. (Had more of the students on my course done that work, things would have gone slightly better, I feel.)
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Reading Philosophy: Selected Texts with a method for Beginners
Reading Philosophy: Selected Texts with a method for Beginners by Christopher Janaway (Paperback - 10 Oct 2002)
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