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21. A Historical Introduction to Philosophy:
22. Medieval Islamic Philosophical
23. Reading Philosophy: Selected Texts
24. Ideas for a Philosophy of Nature
25. Voltaire: Treatise on Tolerance
26. Malebranche: Dialogues on Metaphysics
27. Hegel: Elements of the Philosophy
28. Core Questions in Philosophy:
29. Introducing Philosophy Through
30. Fichte: The System of Ethics (Cambridge
31. Cengage Advantage Books: Philosophy:
32. Introducing philosophy: A text
33. World Philosophy: A Text with
34. The philosophy of God (Science
35. Reading Philosophy of Language:
36. Plato: The Symposium (Cambridge
37. The Philosophy of Film: Introductory
38. Classic and Romantic German Aesthetics
39. Descartes: Meditations on First
40. Descartes: A Study Of His Philosophy

21. A Historical Introduction to Philosophy: Texts and Interactive Guides
Paperback: 736 Pages (2002-01-03)
list price: US$79.95 -- used & new: US$45.00
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Asin: 0195139844
Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars
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Offering a unique pedagogical apparatus, A Historical Introduction to Philosophy: Texts and Interactive Guides provides selections from the most influential primary works in philosophy from the Presocratics through the twentieth century, integrating them with substantial commentary and study questions. It offers extensive treatment of the Hellenistic and Renaissance periods--which are typically given only minimal coverage in other anthologies--and devotes substantial chapters to nineteenth- and twentieth-century philosophy. The selections are organized historically and are presented in short and manageable sections with organizational headings and subheadings; archaic and difficult material has been adapted for clarity. Accompanying commentaries simplify difficult passages, explain technical terminology, and expand upon allusions to unfamiliar literature and arguments. Study questions are interspersed throughout the chapters in "Ask Yourself" boxes and vary with respect to format and level of difficulty. They require students to reconstruct arguments, summarize passages, complete blanks in statements and arguments, evaluate the success or viability of a philosophical point, or draw contemporary parallels and applications. The questions are carefully framed so as to avoid commitment to any particular side in controversies. Instructors can assign those questions that will best suit the aims of their courses and aid their students' comprehension of the primary source material. A Historical Introduction to Philosophy is enhanced by a comprehensive time line, a glossary, and lists of suggested further readings for both primary and secondary sources. This rich and flexible anthology and interactive textbook is ideal for introduction to philosophy and history of philosophy courses. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

1-0 out of 5 stars archaic and difficult
The way the editorial review summarized the material in this textbook as "archaic and difficult" pretty much says it all.If you are an instructor looking for a Philosophy textbook for an introductory Philosophy class please keep looking!This is by far the worst textbook I have seen out there.Other texts do a better job of explaining and summarizing the ancient texts than this textbook does, as well as providing a simpler and more concise historical background. ... Read more

22. Medieval Islamic Philosophical Writings (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy)
Paperback: 240 Pages (2005-01-31)
list price: US$34.99 -- used & new: US$22.47
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Asin: 0521529638
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Philosophy in the Islamic world emerged in the ninth century and continued to flourish into the fourteenth century. It was strongly influenced by Greek thought, but Islamic philosophers also developed an original philosophical culture of their own, which had a considerable impact on the subsequent course of Western philosophy. This volume offers new translations of philosophical writings by Farabi, Ibn Sina (Avicenna), Ghazali, Ibn Tufayl, and Ibn Rushd (Averroes). All of the texts presented here were very influential and invite comparison with later works in the Western tradition. They focus on metaphysics and epistemology but also contribute to broader debates concerning the conception of God, the nature of religion, the place of humanity in the universe, and the limits of human reason. A historical and philosophical introduction sets the writings in context and traces their preoccupations and their achievement. ... Read more

23. Reading Philosophy: Selected Texts with a Method for Beginners
by Samuel Guttenplan, Jennifer Hornsby, Christopher Janaway
Paperback: 312 Pages (2002-11-08)
list price: US$40.95 -- used & new: US$28.81
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Asin: 0631234381
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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This flexible introductory textbook explores several key themes in philosophy, and helps the reader learn to engage with the key arguments by introducing and analysing a selection of classic readings.

  • Fully integrated introductory text with readings for beginning students of philosophy.
  • Each chapter focusses on a core philosophical topic, and contains an introduction to the topic, 2 classic readings and interactive commentaries on the readings.
  • An introductory book which doesn't merely tell the reader about the subject, but requires them to engage philosophically with the text.
  • A pedagogical resource developed in the classroom by the authors at the University of London.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A fine introduction to philosophical argument
This well-considered collection of primary texts and analytical commentaries manages to introduce some of the fundamental themes of philosophical inquiry (identity, quality, freedom, causality) without shortchanging the real work of abstract thinking that leads to genuine philosophical insight.Unfortunately, many introductory works merely summarize the views of major thinkers.The strength of this collection is that the arguments that make those views important and worthwhile are foregrounded and treated in comprehensive detail.While the included texts (by Descartes, Berkeley, Hume, Schopenhauer, as well as Bernard Williams, Robert Nozick and P.F. Strawson, among several others) can be quite dry, only a reader whose interest in philosophy remains merely superficial could possibly fail to find worlds of fascination and grounds for further reflection in and among these works.The editorial commentaries following each primary text are admirably concise and clear.An excellent main text for introductory courses in philosophy.

2-0 out of 5 stars Turgid and pedantic
This book is the type that sends people to sleep.
The information is presented in such a way that it feels excruciating to read it.
I have taken several philosophy courses and am reading Baudrillard's "Simulacra and Simulation" right now so am not intimidated by complex texts. I have been interested in philosophy since high school.
Although this book offers itself as a 'beginner book' it is not inviting and doesn't perform the essential task of a beginner book, to inspire further inquiry.Listed in the introduction of what this book has to offer :
"1. Each text presents a clear, well-argued answer to a central philosophical question."
Where is the prompt to act? The question and the answer are already worked out for anyone that cares to read through the less than exciting phrasing. If one has a good memory, the text could be memorized and one could claim to know something about philosophy. ... Read more

24. Ideas for a Philosophy of Nature (Texts in German Philosophy)
by F. W. J. von Schelling
Paperback: 324 Pages (1988-09-30)
list price: US$50.00 -- used & new: US$42.00
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Asin: 0521357330
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This is the first English translation of Schelling's Ideas for a Philosophy of Nature (first published in 1797 and revised in 1803), one of the most significant works in the German tradition of philosophy of nature and early nineteenth-century philosophy of science. It stands in opposition to the Newtonian picture of matter as constituted by inert, impenetrable particles, and argues instead for matter as an equilibrium of active forces that engage in dynamic polar opposition to one another. In the revisions of 1803 Schelling incorporated this dialectical view into a neo-Platonic conception of an original unity divided upon itself. The text is of more than simply historical interest: its daring and original vision of nature, philosophy, and empirical science will prove absorbing reading for all philosophers concerned with post-Kantian German idealism, for scholars of German Romanticism, and for historians of science. ... Read more

25. Voltaire: Treatise on Tolerance (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy)
by Voltaire
Hardcover: 188 Pages (2000-12-11)
list price: US$79.00 -- used & new: US$60.38
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Asin: 0521640172
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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The works presented in this volume, in a new English translation, are among the most important and characteristic texts of the Enlightenment, and bring together all three aspects of Voltaire: the writer, the doer and the philosophe. Originating in Voltaire's campaign to exonerate Jean Calas, they are works of polemical brilliance, informed by his deism and humanism and by Enlightenment values and ideals more generally. The issues that they raise, concerning questions of tolerance and human dignity, are still highly relevant to our own times. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Writings on Freedom of religion and against tyranny
Voltaire's Treatiste on Tolerance is a brilliant account of the judicial murder of French Protestant Jean Calas who was accused of murdering his son who had converted to Roman Catholism. Voltaire details the case : the lack of counsel, the breaking on the wheel, burning at the stake and strangulation. Calas suffered this and continued to maintain his innocence. Through Voltaire's effort Calas was rehibilitated in 1766 and his innocence vindicated. Interspersed in the text are Voltaire's historical observations of the tolerance of the Roman Empire,the Thirty Years War, the massacre of St. Bartholmew's day were thousands perished due to religious fanaticism.

Also chronicled is the case of a young nobleman accused of not taking his hat off as a religious procession passed. He was further accused of mutilating a cruxifix that was placed on a bridge. This young man, and his friend were convicted of blasphamy and heresy and sentenced to be broken on the wheel, have his tongue torn out with pincers, and then burned at the stake. The account Voltaire provides is both enlightening and frightful. If you are interested in freedom of religion, tolerance, and freethought this is a must buy! ... Read more

26. Malebranche: Dialogues on Metaphysics and on Religion (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy)
by Nicolas Malebranche
Paperback: 332 Pages (1997-05-13)
list price: US$36.99 -- used & new: US$22.67
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Asin: 0521574358
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In this text, the most systematic exposition of Malebranche's philosophy, he presents clear and comprehensive statements of his two best-known contributions to metaphysics and epistemology, namely, the doctrines of occasionalism and vision in God. This edition presents a translation of the text that is clear, readable and more accurate than any of its predecessors, together with an introduction that analyzes Malebranche's central teachings and explains the importance of the Dialogues in the context of seventeenth-century philosophy. ... Read more

27. Hegel: Elements of the Philosophy of Right (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought)
by Georg Wilhelm Fredrich Hegel
Paperback: 567 Pages (1991-10-25)
list price: US$22.99 -- used & new: US$12.99
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Asin: 0521348889
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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This book is a translation of a classic work of modern social and political thought.Elements of the Philosophy of Right, Hegel's last major published work, is an attempt to systematize ethical theory, natural right, the philosophy of law, political theory, and the sociology of the modern state into the framework of Hegel's philosophy of history. Hegel's work has been interpreted in radically different ways, influencing many political movements from far right to far left, and is widely perceived as central to the communitarian tradition in modern ethical, social, and political thought.This edition includes extensive editorial material informing the reader of the historical background of Hegel's text, and explaining his allusions to Roman law and other sources, making use of lecture materials which have only recently become available.The new translation is literal, readable, and consistent, and will be informative and scholarly enough to serve the needs of students and specialists alike. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars consider an alterative
This edition is an enormous improvement over the Knox version published by Oxford, but I have done a third version that I hope you'll consider.Three of its advantages:(1) unlike Wood, I don't proceed on the assumption that Hegel's dialectical logic is nonsensical, so I attempt to clarify it, both in the translation and in notes; (2) additional materials from student transcriptions of Hegel's lectures are included with the sections they relate to, not in endnotes; (3) my edition has no endnotes, only footnotes, so readers don't have to waste time flipping to the end of the book to find what is often irrelevant and distracting information.For more on my edition (titled HEGEL'S PHILOSOPHY OF RIGHT), see the review by Peter Kalkavage on its Amazon page.
Again, I much admire this edition, and if it had been available when I started mine, I wouldn't have started at all.That said, I do think that mine offers significant advantages, including those listed above.

4-0 out of 5 stars nice edition of an important book
Well first off a bit about Hegel:It was, until recently, quite fashionable in English speaking coutries to dismiss Hegel as a charlatan, an apologist for totalitarianism, and an embarassment to the title of philosopher.That's changing, and I tend to think it's for the good.There's a good bit of nonsense in Hegel, but there's also some very important philosophy.
The problem with not dismissing Hegel is that he's one of the most difficult philosophers to make sense of; there are passages, and perhaps entire books, of Hegel's that no one honestly understands.Luckily, the "Elements Philosophy of Right" is not only one of the easier of Hegel's books to read (easy being a relative term), but also the most relevant for the general reader.Since Hegel is speaking of concrete institutions he's much easier to follow here than in most other works.Also, I tend to agree with Wood that Hegel's main contribution to philosophy is in the field of ethics and political philosophy, and this book is the best summation of Hegel's ethical theory.
Okay enough about Hegel, onto this edition of the POR.This edition is great, and anyone who's had the misfortune of readng its predecessors will appreciate just how great.For one thing, the translation is good.Yes Hegel is tough to read, but not as hard to read as many English speaking people think; the English translations are generally terrible.This edition also has Hegel's notes on the work on the same page with what he initially published, unlike other editions, which generally put them at the end.In the earlier editions one had to either turn back and forth constantly, or skip the notes, and one shouldn't skip them because rather than being mere footnotes these notes tend to explain or expand upon the point Hegel is making in rather crucial ways.Probably the best thing about this edition is Allen Wood's excellent introduction, which does an admirable job of clearly summarizing the main theses of this difficult work, while putting Hegel into historical perspective and explaining the continuing relevance of his ethical theory.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Serious Book for Serious People
As a mystery novelist with my first novel in its initial release, I have found that reading a variety of works helps me in my writing.I first came in contact with the works of Hegel as an undergraduate at Claremont McKenna College.Hegel's thoughts have provided foundations for political movements ranging from the far right to the far left, and this work, an excellent translation, provides insight into this thinker's thoughts.Excellent work.A classic in every sense of the word. ... Read more

28. Core Questions in Philosophy: A Text with Readings (4th Edition)
by Elliott Sober
Paperback: 576 Pages (2004-06-11)
list price: US$96.00 -- used & new: US$23.99
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Asin: 0131898698
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Presented in an engaging lecture-style format, this combinedtextbook-anthology presents a series of discussions on the basic issues and ideas in philosophy, with lectures supported by related readings from historically important sources. While the author's lecture approach lends this book a natural flow and sense of immediacy, it comprises a fully integrated book with all of the traditional organizational and pedagogical features to aid users¿ learning, including chapter summaries, marginal notes, boxed inserts, discussion questions, problems, test questions, a glossary, and bibliography.The discussions emphasize the logic of philosophical arguments; and, in particular, how they relate to the content of modern physical and social sciences. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

3-0 out of 5 stars Hard to understand


I like Philosophy but MAN, this book is BOOOORRRRRRIIINNGGGG.

3 stars .. mostly for content.

4-0 out of 5 stars Dude, it's core questions, and there's, like, an apple core!
My philosophy teacher brought that up, and our class snickered cynically."Snickered cynically" - is that college kids for you, or what?Hey, maybe I (a college kid myself) am being cynical now.Touchez??

Seriously, this book is a great introduction to philosophical problems.The contents are divided into four major sections, aside from a brief section introducing the reader to deductive, inductive, and abductive arguments: 1). arguments for and against the existence of God, 2). Can we really know anything, and if so, how do we know it?, 3). How is the mind related to the body, and do we have free will?, and 4). Ethics.Sober takes an essentially unbiased approach to all arguments for and against each perspective concerning each topic.There are arguably exceptions, however - for instance, I received a hint of bias from Sober toward a functionalist/identity theorist account of mind and brain (although he did admit there seems to be something special about conscious experience, or "what it's like," that this type of explanation doesn't account for).Also, Sober is clearly against subjectivism in ethics (and I totally agree with him, here).

I think Sober's explanations of some concepts are more laborious than they need to be. I don't mean to sound flip, but I typed up a study guide (in complete sentences and paragraphs, mind you) in which I summarized between 50-60 pages of Sober's section on ethics into a nice 10-page, 12-font, single-spaced, packet.

I'm surprised Sober didn't devote any space for a lecture on consciousnes (i.e. qualia, etc.) in the section on philosophy of mind.This is easily one of the more difficult, and unresolved problems for scientists - I'd assume philosophers are still talking about it, too.

If you're interested in some philosophical issues, and aren't taking a university course for which a broadly-scoped textbook like this is mandatory, then you're likely going to want to seek out information more specified to your particular area of interest (i.e. philosophy of mind).However, if you'd like a basic "lay of the land" concerning the general questions modern philosophers explore, and the methods with which they attempt to do so, then this book is a welcome read.

4-0 out of 5 stars Introduction to Philosophy
Divided into five sections: Introduction (which explains methods of philosophical argument), Philosophy of Religion, Theory of Knowledge, Philosophy of Mind and Ethics.

Each section explains the topic and gives various standpoints that have been taken, often with reference to the included bite-size excerpts (normally about 10 pages) of important writings by famous philosophers.

It is accessible to complete beginners, and makes the subject of philosophy much less dautning. The readings are convenient, and save you having to read through a philsopher's entire writing to get to the important bits.

The problems are
1. Sober sways readers to his own opinions on arguments that are far from conclusive.
2. He introduces his own terms - The 'Surprise Principle' and 'The Only Game in Town Fallacy' - Better if he used terms that are more widely accepted.
3. It is called 'Core Questions', but it is questionable whether either the issues of religion or the mind are questions in philosophy at all anymore, or if the former is part of theology and the latter science.

Still, useful introduction and more interesting and modern than the usual chronological introductions, like Copleston or Russell

4-0 out of 5 stars anthology and textbook, all in one
Sober, an influential philosopher of biology and science at UW-Madison, offers a clear and intelligible introduction to philosophy in this book.Chapters on religion, ethics, epistemology, metaphysics et al., are allremarkably clear and cogently argued.

Just as valuable as Sober's lucidlectures are the sections of primary text that he liberally excerpts. Generous portions of Sartre, Plato, Descartes, and Mill make this text agood way to get a feel not only for the questions philosophers face, butthe enormously varied styles with which they have approached and writtenabout them. ... Read more

29. Introducing Philosophy Through Film: Key Texts, Discussion, and Film Selections
Paperback: 640 Pages (2009-05-05)
list price: US$57.95 -- used & new: US$34.54
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Asin: 1405171014
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Philosophy Through Film offers a uniquely engaging and effective approach to introductory philosophy by combining an anthology of classical and contemporary philosophical readings with a discussion of philosophical concepts illustrated in popular films.

  • Pairs 50 classical and contemporary readings with popular films - from Monty Python and The Matrix to Casablanca and A Clockwork Orange
  • Addresses key areas in philosophy, including topics in ethics, philosophy of religion, philosophy of mind, free will and determinism, the problem of perception, and philosophy of time
  • Each unit begins with an extensive introduction by the editors and ends with study questions linking readings to films
  • Features chapter by chapter discussion of clips from films that vividly illustrate the critical philosophical arguments and positions raised in the readings
... Read more

30. Fichte: The System of Ethics (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy)
by Johann Gottlieb Fichte
Hardcover: 446 Pages (2005-12-19)
list price: US$89.00 -- used & new: US$71.20
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Asin: 0521571405
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Fichte's System of Ethics, originally published in 1798, is at once the most accessible presentation of its author's comprehensive philosophical project, The Science of Knowledge or Wissenschaftslehre, and the most important work in moral philosophy written between Kant and Hegel. This study integrates the discussion of our moral duties into the systematic framework of a transcendental theory of the human subject. Ranging over numerous important philosophical themes, the volume offers a new translation of the work together with an introduction that sets it in its philosophical and historical contexts. ... Read more

31. Cengage Advantage Books: Philosophy: A Text with Readings (with CD-ROM and InfoTrac®) (Advantage Series:)
by Manuel Velasquez
Paperback: 768 Pages (2004-07-19)
list price: US$81.95 -- used & new: US$25.00
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Asin: 0534626130
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Providing the highest quality content at the lowest possible price, this Cengage Advantage title is ideal for students on a budget. Velasquez's CENGAGE ADVANTAGE BOOKS: PHILOSOPHY – A TEXT WITH READINGS combines clear prose and primary sources to provide a meaningful exploration of philosophy. You'll explore a wide range of topics, such as human nature, feminist theory, diversity, and aesthetics. Included with your purchases is access to InfoTrac College Edition's online university library. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

2-0 out of 5 stars I hate philosophy
Only bought it for class.... Barely read the book... Didn't like it when i read it though...

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Contemporary Text for Philosophy
I have used this text both in conjunction with the video series and without and found students appreciate this text because of the approach, the selections, and pedagogical (andragogical?) decisions made in arranging the materials. It has been an excellent choice for Introduction to Philosophy classes where original source materials are not the requirement. ... Read more

32. Introducing philosophy: A text with readings
by Robert C Solomon
 Paperback: 650 Pages (1985)

Isbn: 0155415603
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33. World Philosophy: A Text with Readings
by Robert C. Solomon, Kathleen M Higgins
 Paperback: 399 Pages (1994-11-01)
-- used & new: US$15.99
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Asin: 0070596743
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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This brief and inexpensive paperback provides an introduction to some of the world's great philosophical traditions through original sources. It can be used as a supplement to a traditional western-oriented textbook, or it can stand-alone. Organized by culture (Africa, China, Japan, Native American, Latin America, Arabia, Persia, India, the West), each self-contained chapter is edited by an expert in the area. The editors' extensive introductions to the selections are designed for readers with no previous study of philosophy. Each chapter also contains a pronunciation key, glossary, area map, and suggestions for further readings. An alternate table of contents is provided for world civilization courses. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Broad brush by necessity
By necessity this book has to take a broad brush through the World's Philosophies.For example in Western Philosophy, Karl Marx gets one paragraph. This book should not be thought of a history or catalog of philosophers, but rather as a sampling from different cultures.A different author writes each of the 7 chapters, but most contain a glossary, further reading, and thought provoking study questions. I thought the chapter on American Indian Philosophy by J. Baird Callicot and Thomas Overholt was enlightening with selections from Ojibwa and Lakota.The thought that an ancient American crisis after the extinction of the megafauna, precipitating the American Indian environmental ethic was a new idea to me.

At times the distinction between philosophy and religion was a little blurred. There was little discussion of uniquely Islamic or Jewish philosophy (despite a paragraph on Maimonides). The focus of each chapter depended upon the author, so the Japanese Philosophy focused on Zen, while perhaps the other Buddhist philosophies are short changed.

I used this book of readings as a good accompaniment to Dr. Higgins teaching company audiotape of World Philosophy. ... Read more

34. The philosophy of God (Science and culture texts)
by Henri Renard
 Hardcover: 241 Pages (1951)

Asin: B0007DMA3K
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35. Reading Philosophy of Language: Selected Texts with Interactive Commentary
Paperback: 336 Pages (2005-10-14)
list price: US$36.95 -- used & new: US$30.46
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Asin: 1405124857
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Designed for readers new to the subject, Reading Philosophy of Language presents key texts in the philosophy of language together with helpful editorial guidance.

  • A concise collection of key texts in the philosophy of language
  • Ideal for readers new to the subject.
  • Features seminal texts by leading figures in the field, such as Austin, Chomsky, Davidson, Dummett and Searle.
  • Presents three texts on each of five key topics: speech and performance; meaning and truth; knowledge of language; meaning and compositionality; and non-literal meaning.
  • A volume introduction from the editors outlines the subject’s principal concerns.
  • Introductions to each chapter locate the pieces in context and explain relevant terminology and theories.
  • Interactive commentaries help readers to engage with the texts.
  • ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good introductory Anthology
    Reading Philosophy Of Language: Selected Texts With Interactive Commentary edited by Jennifer Hornsby, Guy Longworth (Reading Philosophy: Blackwell Publishers) (Hardcover) `To get stuck in to this book is to taste the sort of intense learning experience that you might get if the editors were giving you personal tutorials. Those who teach philosophy of language to university undergraduates will regard Reading Philosophy of Language as a valuable addition to their armoury.' Andrew Woodfield, University of Bristol
    `This is an outstanding text, with a perfect blend of well-selected original works and excellent, interleaved commentary. I will immediately adopt it for my undergraduate Philosophy of Language course.' David Shier, Washington State University
    Designed for readers new to the subject, Reading Philosophy of Language presents important writings by leading figures in the field, such as Austin, Chomsky, Davidson, Dummett, and Searle. Three texts are presented on each of six key topics: reference and meaning; speech and action; meaning and truth; knowledge of language; meaning and compositionality; and non-literal meaning.
    Extensive editorial material guides readers through these texts. The editors provide an introduction to the text as a whole, outlining the subject's principal concerns, and explaining how these give rise to the particular questions broached in each chapter. Chapter introductions then locate each piece in context and provide background on relevant terminology and theories; interactive commentaries help readers to engage with the texts, and acquaint them with alternative positions that might be taken on key issues.

    Jennifer Hornsby is Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London. Reading Philosophy: Selected Texts with a Method for Beginners (co-edited with Samuel Guttenplan and Christopher Janaway, Blackwell, 2003) is among her recent publications.

    Guy Longworth is Lecturer in Philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London.
    ... Read more

    36. Plato: The Symposium (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy)
    Paperback: 128 Pages (2008-06-02)
    list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$11.71
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    Asin: 0521682983
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    Plato's Symposium, written in the early part of the 4th century BC, is set at a drinking party (symposium) attended by some of the leading intellectuals of the day, including Aristophanes, the comic dramatist, Socrates, Plato's mentor, and Alcibiades, the brilliant but (eventually) treacherous politician. Each guest gives a speech in praise of the benefits of desire and its role in the good and happy human life. At the core of the work stands Socrates' praise of philosophical desire, and an argument for the superiority of the philosophical life as the best route to happiness. This edition provides an accessible and engaging new translation by M. C. Howatson, and a substantial introduction, by Frisbee Sheffield, which guidesthe reader through the various parts of the dialogue and reflects on its central arguments. A chronology and detailed notes on the participants help to set this enduring work in context. ... Read more

    37. The Philosophy of Film: Introductory Text and Readings
    Paperback: 320 Pages (2005-02-18)
    list price: US$42.95 -- used & new: US$33.34
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    Asin: 1405114428
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    Organized around a series of philosophic questions about film, The Philosophy of Film: Introductory Text and Readings offers an accessible and engaging overview of the discipline.

    • Provides thorough selection of readings drawn from philosophy, film studies, and film criticism

    • Multiple points of view highlighted in discussion of film theory, narration, authorship, film and emotion, and the social values of cinema

    • Presents thought-provoking reading questions as well as clear and helpful introductions for each section

    More information about this text along with further resources are available from the accompanying website at: http://www.mtholyoke.edu/omc/phil-film/index.html ... Read more

    38. Classic and Romantic German Aesthetics (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy)
    Paperback: 356 Pages (2003-01-13)
    list price: US$31.99 -- used & new: US$17.99
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    Asin: 0521001110
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Product Description
    This volume brings together major works by German thinkers who were extremely influential in the crucial period of aesthetics prior to and after Kant.It includes the first translation into English of Schiller's Kallias Letters and Moritz's on the Artistic Imitation of the Beautiful, and new translations of some of Hölderlin's most important theoretical writings and works by Hamann, Lessing, Novalis and Schlegel. The volume features an introduction in which J.M. Bernstein places the works in their historical and philosophical context. ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Translation
    This book is a collection of essential texts concerning the bridge between Neo-Classicism and, reaching its zenith, Romanticism in German Aesthetic thought. Today, I believe these texts are one of the most important in the history of ideas, because it is the first time thinkers have questioned their ethical place in society, and under what conditions the Good is, in fact, a representation of the Beautiful. This is not only a reaction to Immanuel Kant's two books, Critique of Practical Reason and Judgment, but is also a reformation of the battle to weaken Reason in the face of the rising development of technology.

    The first half, Neo-Classicism, are essays by Hamann, Lessing, and Moritz. They are excellent essays that deal with reviving themes put forth by Greek Mythology, Virgil, and Homer. The last half, the romantics, Schiller, Holderlin, Novalis, and Shlegel, rethink Neo-Classicism and puts them under a new aesthetic light, which not only believe in the classical concept of perfection and beauty, but how it relates to ethics, where at its ultimate peak, all man strives to become "a work of art."

    The essays may be very technical prima facie, but through reading other texts, such as Frederick Beiser's The Romantic Imperative, you understand the central concerns of the German romantics, and how these concepts are useful today. ... Read more

    39. Descartes: Meditations on First Philosophy: With Selections from the Objections and Replies (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy)
    by Rene Descartes, Karl Ameriks, Desmond M. Clarke
    Paperback: 168 Pages (1996-04-26)
    list price: US$17.99 -- used & new: US$5.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0521558182
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
    Editorial Review

    Product Description
    This authoritative translation by John Cottingham of the Meditations is taken from the much acclaimed three-volume Cambridge edition of the Philosophical Writings of Descartes.It is based on the best available texts and presents Descartes' central metaphysical writings in clear, readable modern English. ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (15)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Synopsis
    Proof that God exists. "It is manifest by the natural light that there must be at least as much [reality] in the efficient and total cause as in the effect of that cause" (p. 28) and "that the ideas in me are like images which can easily fall short of the perfection of the things from which they are taken, but which cannot contain anything greater or more perfect" (p. 29). But I am finite and God is infinite and perfect, and "my perception of the infinite, that is God, is in some way prior to my perception of the finite, that is myself. For how could I understand that I doubted or desired---that is, lacked something---and that I was not wholly perfect, unless there were in me some idea of a more perfect being which enabled me to recognize my own defects by comparison?" (p. 31). "So from what has been said it must be concluded that God necessarily exists." (p. 31).

    This being the basis for all further knowledge. From the existence of God "I can see a way forward to the knowledge of other things" (p. 37), because "[God] cannot be a deceiver, since it is manifest by the natural light that all fraud and deception depend on some defect." (p. 35). "And since God does not wish to deceive me, he surely did not give me the kind of faculty which would ever enable me to go wrong while using it correctly." (pp. 37-38). What does it mean to use one's faculties "correctly"? "If ... I simply refrain from making a judgement in cases where I do not perceive the truth with sufficient clarity and distinctness, then it is clear that I am behaving correctly and avoiding error. But if in such cases I either affirm or deny, the I am not using my free will correctly ... since it is clear by the natural light that the perception of the intellect should always precede the determination of the will." (p. 41).

    Proofs of the existence of corporeal things and "the distinction between the human soul and the body" (p. 12). "I do not see how God could be understood to be anything but a deceiver if the ideas [of corporeal things] were transmitted from a source other than corporeal things. It follows that corporeal things exist." (p. 55). Proof that the soul is not a corporeal thing: "On the one hand I have a clear and distinct idea of myself, in so far as I am simply a thinking, non-extended thing; and on the other hand I have a distinct idea of body, in so far as this is simply an extended, non-thinking thing. And accordingly, it is certain that I am really distinct from my body, and can exist without it." (p. 54). Second proof: "There is a great difference between the mind and the body, inasmuch as the body is by its very nature always divisible, while the mind is utterly indivisible. ... This one argument would be enough to show me that the mind is completely different from the body, even if I did not already know as much from other considerations." (p. 59).

    Why it is a good thing that the latter proofs are so crappy. "The great benefit of these arguments [for the existence of corporeal things etc.] is not, in my view, that they prove what they establish---namely that there really is a world, and that human beings have bodies and so on---since no sane person has ever seriously doubted these things. The point is that in considering these arguments we come to realize that they are not so solid and as transparent as the arguments which lead us to knowledge of our own minds and of God, so that the latter are the most certain and evident of all possible objects of knowledge for the human intellect. Indeed, this is the one thing that I set myself to prove in these Meditations." (p. 11).

    5-0 out of 5 stars good service
    The book I received was in exellent shape and it came in a very short time.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Be careful!
    Be Careful!This is NOT the translation described in the Amazon reviews.It is a the unreadable one by Heffernan.This edition is useful only for its Latin text.The facing English can be used as an aid to the reader, but is often so stiff and convoluted as to be unreadable as English.The fifty-page introduction is full of trivia and misinterpretations.The volume is quite justifiably out of print!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The roots of the Scientific Method
    I really am pleased that I read this book because within its pages you can see the birth of our modern world.

    Despite the fact that Rene contorted himself to try to prove that God exists; he still managed to create a great work.He began the inquiry into reality wherein we try to understand the world through experimentation.I think he failed in many ways to develop a coherent philosophical structure due to his attempts to please the Church but given the social conditions of the day this was the best that he could do.Even in this flawed analysis Rene paved the way for what would later become the Scientific Method.

    I only wish that he could live today and write without fears of reprisal from religious entities.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Magesterial work which profoundly changed history
    In the 17th century, the world underwent dramatic and incredible changes.The Scientific Revolution was gathering pace, Europeans had experienced the Reformation and the Renaissance, and boundaries and horizons in all areas were being expanded and changed at a breakneck pace.

    Into this time of upheaval comes Descartes, one of the greatest Philosophers to ever live anywhere in the world.While 'modern' philosophy, which broke off its roots from Scholasticism, does not necessarily begin only with Descartes, it is true in Descartes the agenda of post-Scholastic philosophy is most clearly and beautifully expressed in logical terms.

    Descartes's project is to take into account the implications of the scientific revolution for philosophy; for Descartes, it is no longer religious authority or pure philosophical speculation which tells us the most accurate truths about the cosmos, but science based on observation and the use of mathematical and logical methods employed by the aid of natural human reason.

    Descartes sets into motion an astonishing project into motion; to basically remove Scholasticism and its corrupt and inept attempts to understand the universe and replace it with a complete and unified system of knowledge, based on certain truths clear and knowable to anyone, whatever their class or background.

    Descartes, following a plan of 'meditation', withdraws from the senses and attempts to consider the universe as it is to the intellect.Descartes carefully invokes several skeptical doubts about our knowledge, the existence of the external world, and our own existence and attempts to set out what he felt was true and what is not.The famous phrase 'Cogito ergo sum' is one result, though Descartes's overall system and arguments are more complex.

    Descartes argues that the cogito, along with the goodness of God who does not make a creature merely in order to decieve it, ensures there are certain and indutible truths about ourselves and the world which will ensure his project will be a successful one.But Descartes encourages the reader not merely to accept his arguments but to put them into practice themselves, hoping in doing so they will discover new truths about the universe which will be plain to anyone using the light of reason.

    Descartes in his other works uses this method as a justification for his approach to science and mathematics.Descartes was in every sense a polymath; a trained lawyer, an excellent writer, a student of human anatomy (in which Descartes made many pioneering experiments and observations), a brilliant philosopher and (for his time) physicist, and a mathematician of genius.However, while much of his science is now plainly wrong and was superseded by better scientists such as Galileo and Newton, the agenda Descartes set for philosophy remains much the same even today, especially in the Analytic tradition.Philosophy owes to Descartes two great achievements, one, in applying more rigorous logical methods to philosophical problems while paying attention to the results of science, and second, the re-introduction of skepticism into philosophy which provides a valuable check against dogmatism, but which would only truely be extended to its fullest possible means by David Hume.

    Whether or not one ultimately agrees with Descartes's arguments, it must be acknowledged he is a great geius who stands shoulder to shoulder with people like David Hume, Liebniz, Spinoza and Kant, who all radically changed the way philosophers look at the world and the problems it poses. ... Read more

    40. Descartes: A Study Of His Philosophy (Key Texts)
    by Anthony Kenny
    Paperback: 252 Pages (2009-07-10)
    list price: US$22.00 -- used & new: US$17.60
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1890318132
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Customer Reviews (2)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Well worth the read
    This is an excellent study of Descartes' philosophy. It is more in depth than an introductory work, but not as ambitious as Bernard William's The Project of Pure Inquiry. It is not, however, an advanced critical approach to Descartes' philosophy, but nonetheless fits the bill of being sufficiently philosophically interesting and substantial.

    Kenny's treatment is just another book covering all the usual Cartesian suspects: e.g., res extensia, res cogitans, innate ideas (e.g. God, Substance), mind and body, reason and intuition. But Kenny does it so much better than most others, and his precise and clear presentation makes it easy reading, and appropriate for advanced undergrads and beginning grad students.

    The book also includes a section on an aspect of Cartesian thought that is usually passed over in a work like this one. It includes a nice (but brief) section on Descartes' view of matter and motion, and Kenny's explication in this section is a classic formulation and critique.

    4-0 out of 5 stars After you've read Descartes, turn here.
    What a pity this book is out of print. Kenny's book on Descartes does not take the reader as far into the deeps of philosophy as Bernard Williams, and the book is not up to date. But Kenny is an intelligent philosopher and, furthermore, he is one of the best writers of philosophical prose. Undergraduates, who have just read some of Descartes' own work can read Kenny, understand the issues that he raises and, very often, they will come away with some idea of where they disagree with Kenny. This is an excellent book for teaching students, by example, how to respond intelligently to the thoughts of a great philosopher. ... Read more

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