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A good introduction for the philosophy phobic.
on 24 August 2010
In his Foreword Stephen Law shows how exposure to philosophy can be valuable in everyday life. In the UK in particular philosophy is not given the place in the curriculum that it deserves. Now we have trasnferable skills but they do not capture the full range of philosophical argument. Many people are put off philosophy and think of it as pretentious waffle but Wittgenstein said that with philosophy you can say things plainly and simply (He did not take his own advice).
So this book is a refreshing change as the key ideas are summed up in a single page that is supposed to take 30 seconds to read. While it takes a bit longer than this especially to understand what they mean these are very good "potted versions" of the great ideas.
The articles themselves are written by a series of authors and so there is some variation in their quality and accessibility. So it starts badly with some algebra in Syllogisms which comes from nowhere and is off-putting but keep going. For me the articles by Kati Balog are the best and the clearest and I hope that she goes on to write more books.
In general if you need to know what the big ideas are this is a good place to start.