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Mass Market Paperback Philosophy Made Simple Book

ISBN: 0385012179

ISBN13: 9780385012171

Philosophy Made Simple

(Part of the Made Simple Series)

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Format: Mass Market Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

For almost four decades, Made Simple books have set the standard for continuing education and home study. In answer to the changing needsof today's marketplace, the Made Simple series for the '90s presents a thoroughly up-to-the-minute portfolio of skills, information, and experience, with revised and updated editions of bestselling titles, plus a whole range of new subjects from personal finance to office management to desktop publishing. B & W illustrations...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Lucid and Able Survey of Philosophy

Do not interpret the "Made Simple" part of the title to mean "over-simplified" or "simplistic." This book is a lucid and able survey of philosophy at an intermediate level. The seven sections cover ethics, political philosophy, metaphysics, philosophy of religion, the theory of knowledge, logic, and contemporary philosophy. (The only major topic missing is esthetics.) In doing philosophy one is engaging in a serious, long-range conversation with past and present thinkers in an attempt to understand ourselves and the nature of the world in which we live. With this book as a foundation, one could go on to read advanced texts in philosophy and the technical literature. For instance, one could study Samuel Alexander's magnum opus Space, Time, and Deity, and not get lost in the thickets of thought. I highly recommend Philosophy Made Simple as a sturdy foundation for building your own philosophy.

A Great Introduction To Philosophy

Richard Popkin and Avrum Stroll have accomplished their mission in writing a book making the major philosophical concepts in human history easily understandable. This text easily lends itself to those people engaged in self-study at home. They put key philosophic terms in bold letters in the text, and they use easy to understand examples to explain difficult concepts. The authors also provide a very useful bibliography after each chapter for those who would like to delve deeper into the philosophers they cover. Now, why should anybody not particularly interested in philosophy want to understand it? Simple, first if you want a good classical liberal arts education you must understand philosophy to understand such subjects as; classical literature, politics, sociology, psychology, economics, science, etc., you get the drift. Aristotle alone wrote on all those subjects thousands of years ago and his theories even today hold up very well. Socrates, at his trial in 399 B.C.E. said, "The reason he philosophized was that the unexamined life was not worth living". I agree with him and think that many of our failures in recent society today are due to people leading an existence without examining for what reason and why they are making the decisions that they make. I recommend this book for beginning students as a great text to learn the key concepts of philosophy.

A solid introduction

I have always been a fan of the Made Simple series, having from secondary school to the present relied on them for basic overviews and introductions to material I might not otherwise study yet wanted to know in broad strokes. Philosophy is one of the fields in which my education continued in some depth (particularly in regards to those fields that relate closely to theology), and yet for over 20 years, this text, 'Philosophy Made Simple', has remained on my shelf as a well-used ready reference.The book is a collaboration between two authors, Richard Popkin and Avrum Stroll; they each wrote roughly half the book. The book is arranged topically, according to the following topics:Ethics (Stroll)Political Philosophy (Stroll)Metaphysics (Popkin)Philosophy of Religion (Popkin)Theory of Knowledge (Popkin)Logic (Stroll)Contemporary Philosophy (Popkin and Stroll)The largest, and perhaps most interesting, section is Contemporary Philosophy. This is subdivided into pieces dealing largely with Pragmatism, Existentialism, and Philosophical Analysis. Within each section, the pattern of discussion generally proceeds historically, from the pre-Socratics or Greek classics to the present. Ethics, for example, begins with classical theories of ethics dealt with by Plato and Aristotle, and proceeds through the various Greek schools (Hedonism, Cynicism, Stoicism), to philosophical Christian ethics, to Spinoza, Utilitarianism, Kant, then finally more modern ideas of subjectivism and objectivism, natualism and the like. Some topics begin more recently (Philosophy of Religion begins with Hume, for example; Epistemology begins with Descartes, but circles back to earlier ideas).The topic on Logic looks as both philosophical ideas as well as general tools for applying logical analysis. However, this does not serve as a logical 'mechanics' primer, and apart from the very basic ideas of logic, the scope of this book is too much a survey to get into much depth.The last section, on Contemporary Philosophy, deals with philosophy of the past 100 to 150 years. It begins with William James, and proceeds through to Dewey, Russell, Wittgenstein, Kierkegaard, and other people and topics of current interest. Philosophy is a slow-moving discipline in comparison to science and technology-driven fields, yet there is room for further developments that this text misses. On the other hand, it is hard to account for the whole of current philosophical discourse, for it is often only after a passage of time and analysis that the crucial ideas and development are recognised in hindsight.As the authors state in their introduction, almost all of us have philosophical ideas, even if we don't really know it or call these thoughts philosophical. It is important to that all members of a society have an idea about the functioning of that society. This text is a basic, accessible overview of the key ideas of philosophy, and will serve those in any field, even the beginning philosophy and th

the best introduction to philosophy

Don't be put off by the title. This really is the best introductory book on philosophy. Very readable. It was the first philosophy book that I read (I was in high school at the time). I subsequently went on to study philosophy at Oxford University (England) and Cornell, where I got my PhD in philosophy. Later, I wandered into the field of "computers" where I've had a long and happy career. But I still remember PHILOSOPHY MADE SIMPLE.

Very useful

I am a 4th year philosophy major and it was a great reference book for me. It is really hard to travel with all your books so this one made it easy to look up theories that you made need a little extra help understanding. Or for those out there that have never taken a philosophy course this book would be an easy way to begin to understand philosophical theories.
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