Doing Philosophy

Doing Philosophy

Doing Philosophy

Doing Philosophy

Synopsis

This book presents - in a straightforward, easy-to-understand style - the basics of how to 'do philosophy': what philosophy is, how we can think, the nature of logic, some special terms, etc. Then, using questions and exercises, as well as everyday examples, the book takes the reader on a wide-ranging tour of exciting philosophical topics (as well as the 'standard fare' of logic, epistemology, mind, God, etc.), which also includes ethical, social, scientific, cultural, and human issues (such as time, cosmology, war, animal rights, euthanasia, abortion, genetics, evolution, and the meaning of life). The book's emphasis throughout is that philosophy is accessible to anyone and that, as a subject, philosophy is practical, fascinating, and exciting. By encouraging independent critical thinking and being succinct yet informative, the book involves the reader with: the history, the breadth of subject matter, the skills of philosophizing, and the benefits that philosophy can offer to the enquiring individual. Doing Philosophy accesses major philosophical topics briefly, breaking them down into convenient chunks, with challenging questions throughout and exercise questions at the end of each chapter, and it introduces major thinkers and their ideas. An extensive further reading list is also included to help those who wish to take this absorbing subject further.

Excerpt

Who is this book for?

Doing Philosophy is for anyone interested in thinking. You could be someone who just wonders what doing philosophy is, or you could be someone with some experience of it who wants to broaden their range, you could be a student, someone who likes arguing, or someone who is interested in a challenge, or you could be someone who wants to keep their minds alive and their brains active. in any of these cases, or in any others, this book will help you start doing philosophy. It will get you involved in topics that have interested philosophers and thinkers for more than 2,500 years.

Why do philosophy?

There are no right answers but there are many conclusions that can be drawn from our careful reflection on ideas presented to us. Many of these conclusions can be satisfying because of how we have arrived at them, exciting because of what we have come to know, and influential in the ways they may affect our future thinking and lives. in other words, doing philosophy is good for you! Our lives are complex and our individual circumstances different from all others. Doing philosophy can help us understand better the world we live in as individuals, it can help us lead a more useful and fulfilling life, it can help us move towards something Socrates (470-399 BC) called the 'good life'. in short, doing philosophy can make us a little wiser and help us flourish as human beings. It can point us towards what Aristotle (384-322 BC) thought the object of life — living and doing well, flourishing.

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