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Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction

(Very Short Introductions #55)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  1,160 ratings  ·  93 reviews
How ought we to live? What really exists? How do we know? This book introduces important themes in ethics, knowledge, and the self, via readings from Plato, Hume, Descartes, Hegel, Darwin, and Buddhist writers. It emphasizes throughout the point of doing philosophy, explains how different areas of philosophy are related, and explores the contexts in which philosophy was an ...more
Paperback, 1st Edition, 132 pages
Published February 21st 2002 by Oxford University Press, USA
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ترجمه كتاب رو توى سايت ايران كاتوليك (سايت كاتوليك هاى ايران) پيدا كردم و دانلودش كردم. قبلاً يكى از دوستان ريكامندش كرده بود و گفتم نگاهش كنم. يه چيز رو به طور قطع مى تونم بگم: ترجمه اى كه روى اينترنت موجوده رو به هيچ عنوان نخونيد. ترجمه نازل و اينترنتيه، چيزى در حد زيرنويس هايى كه كاربرهاى اينترنتى ترجمه مى كنن. اصل انگليسى ش رو نخوندم ولى با تجربه م از باقى كتاب هاى اين مجموعه مى تونم با اطمينان بگم كه روان و قابل فهم نوشته شده و كسى با انگليسى متوسط (مثل من) بدون دردسر مى تونه بفهمه.

٢.
مؤلف
...more
peiman-mir5 rezakhani
Jun 13, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: فلسفه
دوستانِ گرانقدر، کتابِ منسجمی نبود، نویسنده پی در پی از شاخه ای به شاخهٔ دیگر می پرید، و انگار مجبورش کرده بودند که در صد صفحه در موردِ فلاسفهٔ نامی و فلسفهٔ آنها بنویسد
در هر حال باید بگویم که در این کتاب از صحبت در مورد <افلاطون> و <سقراط> و به خصوص بحثِ میانِ سقراط و <کریتو>، شروع نموده است و سپس به سراغِ فلسفهٔ <دیوید هیوم> فیلسوفِ خردمند رفته و در موردِ این که وی به معجزه اعتقاد نداشته و همچنین اینکه انسانها وجودشان با دمیده شدن روح از جانب موجودی به نام خدا، خدایی می
...more
Amir The Fat Bookworm
A rather fine read. Though I've read a lot of philosophical literature, this rather short work, taught me a lot and gave me a few ideas about future essays.
Adam
Mar 17, 2015 rated it did not like it
Now I know why, when I was undergrad, this really cute math major openly laughed at me when she saw me reading Mathematics: A Very Short Introduction. We'd been flirting, before the traumatic event.

How do you rate these things? They're useful, accomplished, properly academic, written by experts. We are, most of us, specialists and not generalists. As much as I'd like to be able to know a little bit about everything, the government is only willing to pay me to read a selection of fiction and poe
...more
Riku Sayuj

The perfect note for a VSI is struck in this passage, something for all seekers to keep in mind:

I hope that you are now beginning to notice something rather encouraging. The literature of philosophy may be intimidatingly vast, but the number of genuinely distinct philosophical themes is not. It is somewhat too large for the compass of this very short book, admittedly, but it is not enormous. We have already seen links across 2,000 years between Epicurus and Mill, Plato and Hobbes, Hume and the a
...more
Sarah
Sep 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
*builds time machine*
*travels to 1880's Germany*
*throws Nietzsche's typewriter out the window*
*returns home*

Now that that's sorted...

A difficult subject to condense into 125 pages!–but it was done well here. The book is structured so as to touch on a few basic questions, some notable people, and several well-worn 'isms'. I found it fascinating and very accessible. A good place to start.


Ahmad Sharabiani
Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #55), Edward Craig

How ought we to live? What really exists? How do we know? This book introduces important themes in ethics, knowledge, and the self, via readings from Plato, Hume, Descartes, Hegel, Darwin, and Buddhist writers. It emphasizes throughout the point of doing philosophy, explains how different areas of philosophy are related, and explores the contexts in which philosophy was and is done.
M.L. Rio
Jan 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
My favorite in the VSI series so far. Writing about philosophy for the layperson isn't an easy thing to do, but Craig does it beautifully. His prose is pithy, unpretentious, and easy to read. He doesn't have space to do much more than get the reader's toes wet, but he manages to lay some solid groundwork for further study. What's most engaging, though, is his willingness to acknowledge that philosophy is absurd as often as it is profound. You don't expect to laugh reading philosophy, but sometim ...more
Oscar
Feb 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Very good introductory text to Philosophy. Some of the most important and most influential aspects of the thoughts of Plato, Hume, Nietzsche, Descartes, Mill and Hegel are discussed in a brief, clear and very entertaining way. Some Eastern Philosophy is discussed and connected to other issues in Western thought as well. It even discusses Darwin and the impact his On The Origin of Species has had and takes a shot at C.S. Lewis. What more can you ask from a very short introduction to Philosophy?
Karl Hallbjörnsson
Aug 29, 2016 rated it it was ok
Read this short volume today for school, found it a little too layman for my liking, but it had a tidbit of information new to me and the writing felt alive and genial. Still - there was mention of a SINGLE WOMAN. Only one! I felt that was extremely sloppy.
Gary
Oct 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: deep-thinking
Useful, but a tad smug. Still, not a bad introduction to key themes.

Andrea
Jan 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a great book for those who want to dabble in philosophy and it's progression throughout time. It explores some widely discussed philosophical concepts that is useful to help determine which concepts most interest you.

The writing can be dry and hard to read, but I didn't pick it up to read a fun story on a rainy Sunday afternoon. I picked it up to learn about philosophy. It reads more like a textbook, so you need to have that it mind when you are reading.
Alison
Feb 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Philosophy is actually a bit boring.
Ed Hatfield
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The only criteria to enjoy this book are a sense of humour and the simplest, smallest desire to learn about philosophy - and why would you pick this up if you didn't have the latter? Intentionally cheerful, concise, unpretentious but thorough and thoughtful, this is an excellently written way of delivering what I think is a great start to reading philosophy.

Particularly distinctive are a few areas of emphasis: read philosophy for yourself, never take it as necessarily truthful per se, don't igno
...more
Dominika
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've been running into philosophical types lately and while I've already jumped in, this book was cheap and I figured it would be a good idea to get some sort of grounding. Much like the Epidemiology one, this goes more into the mindset of the field with a few definitions and discussions thrown in. I liked the author and felt that he provided a good example as to how to analyze things. Just as importantly, I felt like I have a clearer idea of what works I might want to read next (when I get thro ...more
David Stewart
Mar 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: occ
I do not know how anyone could hope to sum up the word "philosophy" in just over a hundred, densely-packed pages. Edward Craig certainly does not, and I think he would be the first to admit that, but he offers up an overview that justifies its existence. Unlike some texts on the subject, this short introduction is readable, even to those unfamiliar with the terms and notions present within the field. It's not perfect, and I truly believe there are less scholarly ways to pass along information to ...more
Rory Armstrong
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've read Bertrand Russell's 'A History of Western Philosophy' and Jostein Gaarder's 'Sophie's World' but this is by far a much better introduction.
It covers a lot of ground in 120 odd pages going from Plato, Hume, Berkley, Mill, Kant, Hegel, and Nietzche giving short overviews of one of there works. It explains the many different categories of philosophy such as Empiricism, Rationalism, Ulitarinism etc.
The author very quickly gets you reading philosophical books in the first four chapters selec
...more
Adam Barger
Nov 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Craig is attempting to introduce a deep and wide field of study to an educated but naive audience. This book is a good effort, but still a tough read for anyone new to philosophy. It is neither short nor an introduction, as Craig gives a fairly robust survey of eastern and western philosophy, key philosophers, texts, and audiences. The writing tends to meander a bit too much and the attempt at breadth makes practical applications difficult. I recommend this book to those interested in a referenc ...more
The Bookworm
Feb 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
This is the only VSI book which I have as of yet read. However, overall I found it disappointing. With a moderate background in Philosophy, I expected that I would probably know a lot of the things in this book, considering it was just an introduction to philosophy (and a very short one at that!)

Overall, it was rather disappointing: I was expecting a definition of philosophy, and idea as to why philosophy is important, what sort of questions it asks, perhaps some names of great philosophers and
...more
Iván Leija
Un recorrido ágil por los aportes de algunos filósofos principalmente europeos. Tiene el mérito de no simplificar de más las cosas, pero se beneficiaría, en vez de mencionando tan específicamente pasajes de alguna obra (cosas como "en el párrafo 7 de tal libro"), añadiendo citas textuales de la obra que está comentando. Aproveché especialmente las introducciones al pensamiento de Descartes, Hegel y Nietzche
Bill Mason
Jun 24, 2018 rated it liked it
An apt title; covers what philosophy is, major questions, why humanity does it.

Analyses of several philosophical works. Awkward in that neither source texts (nor translations) are directly present: we rely on the author's summaries of them in the midst of his analyses.

I'd almost prefer a little 'map' of philosophy showing major ideas, major questions, major works, and major authors as well as how they're connected.
Joseph Sverker
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
Very well structured book that wants to make you think philosophy rather than going through the history of philosophy. Different thinkers are presented, but as a way to move into an area of philosophy. Also nice that it is not a huge point about philosophy and faith/religion. I find that debate a little tiresome and not everything needs to be focused on that (which the Ethics book is to a larger degree as far as I remember).
Stefan
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
The title says it all. It's quite well written, and a quick read.
Carlin
Feb 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An excellent introduction to philosophy, covering some classic texts as well as various themes to explore further. The last section lists plenty of books to continue reading about philosophy.
Rebanne
May 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Interesting read but a bit too specific and, in places, thick, for and ideal intro read
Noah
Jan 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Very introductory. But pretty well written.
David
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great little introduction to philosophy.
Zhi Xin Lee
Jun 03, 2018 rated it liked it
An easily understandable and even entertaining romp through philosophy. Very (too?) brief, also rather slanted towards the western european male canon, but I learned a thing or two from this starter, and appreciated the various recommendations on where to go next. Also appreciated the conversational and non-condescending tone of the author.
Sarah
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
DNF 45%
I couldn't get into it. Maybe the subject is too broad for this type of book.
Ivy-Mabel Fling
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was very helpful as it worked through topics rather than going through the whole history of philosophy. Definitely worth reading!
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Edward John Craig was educated at Charterhouse. He read philosophy at Trinity College, Cambridge (1960–1963), and was Reader in Philosophy at Cambridge from 1992 to 1998. He became Knightbridge Professor of Philosophy in 1998, a chair he held until his retirement in 2006. He is a Fellow of Churchill College. He edited the journal Ratio from 1988 to 1992. He is also a former cricketer at first-clas ...more

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“The best philosophy doesn't just come up with a few new facts that we can simply add yo our stock of information, or a few new maxims to extend our list of dos and don'ts, but embodies a picture of the world and/or a set of values.” 0 likes
“The best philosophy doesn't just come up with a few new facts that we can simply add to our stock of information, or a few new maxims to extend our list of dos and don'ts, but embodies a picture of the world and/or a set of values.” 0 likes
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