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Philosophical Explanations

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  210 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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3.93  · 
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 ·  210 ratings  ·  11 reviews


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Andrew
Jul 09, 2007 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 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jimmy O...
Apr 13, 2011 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.
D
Jun 16, 2013 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
...more
Sam
Jun 14, 2007 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.
Erik C
Feb 28, 2009 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 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 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.
Serdar
Oct 24, 2015 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.
Ebnarabi
Aug 12, 2013 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.
Eric
Jul 18, 2007 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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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
“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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