on 7 July 2012
This book provides an outline of the whole subject of philosophy in the Anglo-American analytical tradition - from ethics to quantum mechanics via truth, perception, logic, the self, death and the Devil.
It was developed from a series of lectures delivered at London and Boston Universities. Reading it makes one feel like a student at a top university where, for whatever reason, Philosophy 101 is taught in person by the head of department, who just happens to be on first-name terms with philosophers like Tom Nagel.
At the end of the book there is a Study Guide to direct the student to further reading.
I do not know why this book is so hard to find on Amazon. I got my public library to purchase the copy I have just read - their previous copy of the work having been borrowed permanently by a reader.
on 7 November 2004
This book is the ideal preparation for reading the great philosophers. Defining philosophy as abstract and ultimate with an interest in truth, Scruton presents difficult topics with extraordinary clarity. He lives up to his aim of expressing the problems of the head in the language of the heart: reading this I felt that it spoke directly to my heart, something that I have never experienced with any other book. The fact that he is a fox-hunting Tory doesn't put me off at all. I found some of the examples rather charming: Scruton asks us to consider the proposition 'I am in pain'. This is one of my favorite books, second only to 'Care of the Soul' by Thomas Moore.
on 9 October 2013
This collection of essays reflects Popper's interests in the pre-Soceatic philosophers as well as in the theory of knowledge. The ten essays range from Parmenides to 'The unkown Xenophanes to 'Plato and Geometry'. All are interesting, put the would-be purchaser would be well advised to avoid the Kindle edition. This is because it faiks to include Popper's own Table of Contents so that chasers after a particular essay will have great difficulty in finding it. A table of contents is an integral part of any book, and should never be omitted.