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Philosophy: The Basics Paperback – 31 Oct 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 5 edition (31 Oct. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415693160
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415693165
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 129,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

Review of fourth edition -

'Philosophy: The Basics deservedly remains the most recommended introductionto philosophy on the market. Warburton is patient, accurate and, above all, clear. There is no better short introduction to philosophy.' - Stephen Law

About the Author

Nigel Warburton is Senior Lecturer at The Open University. He is author of several books for Routledge including Philosophy: The Classics, Philosophy: Basic Readings, Thinking from A–Z, and The Basics of Essay Writing.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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By A Customer on 22 Nov. 2001
Format: Paperback
I have just embarked on a two year philosophy A-Level course and i am using Warburton's book as a stepping stone to discoving many aspects of philosophy. The clarity and use of language makes this book easy for anyone to understand, not just academics. It allows easy access to the world of philosophy unlike so many other books on this topic. Well done Nigel!
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Format: Paperback
Context: I always wanted to do a philosophy degree, but other subjects always seemed more practical. So at the age of 32, after a BA, MB, BChir, and MRCS, I started reading with the help of Warburton's book and a couple of philosophy PhD students at Cambridge.
The book: Short, crisp, lays out philosophical positions well. A wonderful starting and jumping-off point and organiser when you don't have the structure of an academic course to follow. I would recommend it to people with similar requirements to me. However, remember that philosophy needs to be discussed, not merely read. My first mistake was to treat philosophy as a body of knowledge to be acquired, much as science and medicine was.
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Format: Paperback
I have just completed an ethics and philosophy A Level for which I used this book. The book itself is clear and concise, making it excellent revision material. It covers all of the standard need to know topics and does so in an intelligent, factual manner! Definitly use this for A Level standards although I would not reccomend using it as a basis for research as it simply isn't detailed enough.
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By A Customer on 19 Sept. 2000
Format: Paperback
Like many others I always considered philosophy a topic for the high intellects of the world. After reading this book I have come to realise that philosophy is a topic which most of us deal with every day without ever knowing it, and more than that ... it is something that EVERYONE can do! Nigel has written a clear and easy to understand blow by blow account of the very basics of the subject while managing to aviod the patronising tone that one often associates with many other books of this kind. A must for anyone coming to philosophy for the first time
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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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Format: Paperback
I am a 1st year theology student who always considered philosophy too high brow to even comtemplate reading.
Warburton's books helped me overcome my concerns. He demythologises philosophy and gives beginners like me an opportunity to get to grips with concepts of philosophy.
Warburton helped me to a greater understanding in many areas. The first was the ontological argument. I read Anselm's Proslogion alongside Warburton's explanation and things became clear.
Do not expect to be given answers, the one thing about philosophy is that you have to think for yourself. The seeds that Warburton gives facilitate independant thought. The philosophical questions that last sentence generates is a point in fact.
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