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Philosophical Explanations

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  179 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
In this highly original work, Robert Nozick develops new views on philosophy's central topics and weaves them into a unified philosophical perspective. It is many years since a major work in English has ranged so widely over philosophy's fundamental concerns: the identity of the self, knowledge and skepticism, free will, the question of why there is something rather than n ...more
Paperback, 784 pages
Published March 17th 1983 by Belknap Press (first published 1981)
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Jul 09, 2007 Andrew rated it really liked it
Took me about two months to finish it. It's clearly written and the terminology uses mostly commonplace terms(i.e., it's not like loopy Sartre or Heidegger and their 'beingness-within-becoming-beingness'es.) However, Nozick doesn't seem to want readers to fill in the gaps for him and his explanations can border on tedious. The book itself covers all sorts of questions relevant to philosophy. He proposes his own theory for the purpose of philosophy, which is not to seek philosophical truths (this ...more
Joshua Stein
Aug 07, 2010 Joshua Stein rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
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Jun 16, 2013 D rated it it was ok
We are all just a few years past something or other, if only childhood. Even the monuments themselves, so serenely in command of culture and intellect, must have been children once and adolescents -- so they too are immigrants to the realm of thought. It wouldn’t hurt for an acknowledgment of this occasionally through their magisterial prose to peep.

How are we valuable and precious?
There is sexual experience with its own playfulness and possibilities, its focused freedom, its depth, its sharp pl
Jun 14, 2007 Sam rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Contains painstakingly subtle investigations of metaphysics, epistemology, and value theories. Its good, but it takes a considerable investment of time to plod through. I would say the chapters on metaphysics were of the greatest use and interest to me.
Jimmy O...
Apr 13, 2011 Jimmy O... rated it it was amazing
The chapter on 'why there is something rather than nothing' is the best exposition of the subject I've ever read. NOTE: I have not yet completed this book. I just keep reading that chapter over and over again.
Erik C
Feb 28, 2009 Erik C rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
Wide ranging, and fairly apolitical (Nozick is most known for his libertarian views).

The passages on the meaning of life are fairly tounge in cheek, yet manage to be the best selections on the topic I've ever read.
David Gross
Aug 15, 2014 David Gross rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I skimmed most of it. I didn't find it nearly as engaging as Anarchy State and Utopia.
Doug Farren
Sep 04, 2012 Doug Farren rated it liked it
This book just wasn't for me. You need to have a serious background in philosophy before tackling this one! I was unable to finish it.
Oct 24, 2015 Serdar rated it really liked it
Definitely not light reading, but rewarding for those willing to go the distance. For those who already have some experience with philosophy, and plenty of mental stamina.
Aug 12, 2013 Ebnarabi rated it really liked it
Shelves: hardcopy
i find the best parts of the book are epistemology( the tracking theory.... etc), and the meaning of life.... further, the expostion of 'why there is something rather than nothing' is a must read.
Jul 18, 2007 Eric rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
Wonderful collection. And it's not libertarian mumbo jumbo: the essays cover a variety of topics.
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Feb 23, 2012
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Robert Nozick was an American philosopher and professor at Harvard University. He was educated at Columbia (A.B. 1959, summa cum laude), where he studied with Sidney Morgenbesser, at Princeton (Ph.D. 1963), and Oxford as a Fulbright Scholar. He was a prominent American political philosopher in the 1970s and 1980s. He did additional but less influential work in such subjects as decision theory and ...more
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“When I was fifteen or sixteen I carried around in the streets of Brooklyn a paperback copy of Plato's 'Republic', front cover facing outward. I had read only some of it and understood less, but I was excited by it and knew it was something wonderful. How much I wanted an older person to notice me carrying it and be impressed, to pat me on the shoulder and say... I didn't know what exactly.

from: 'The Examined Life, Philosophical Meditations”
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