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To ask you how to educate myself about philosophy?

(23 Posts)
msrisotto Tue 23-May-17 19:46:52

Inspired by another thread here about Art. I would love to know more about Philosophy, although i'm not sure i'm ready to read original Nietzsche as yet. Any ideas about a tentative foray into this area?

BossWitch Tue 23-May-17 19:54:08

Start with Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder. It's an introduction to philosophy but written as a novel, really accessible as originally it was meant to be for older children/teens. I read it at 19 ish and loved it, took a few philosophy modules at uni as a result and found it a good grounding (although some rather snobby PhD students were a bit huffy about it). Actually, I might re-read it again now you've made me think about it!

CurlyBlueberry Tue 23-May-17 19:55:29

Try Bertrand Russell's History of Western Philosophy. I find him quite readable (although, disclaimer, I have a philosophy degree so clearly find the subject matter interesting!). Don't be put off by the size - it's in chapters so if you decide you're not interested just skip ahead.

There is also a series of books called Very Short Introductions and they have quite a few in the philosophy range.

Hassled Tue 23-May-17 19:58:21

I saw the thread title and thought "Bertrand Russell". It's readable, comprehensible etc - talks about the ancient philosophers but also more modern, and religious philosophy as well.

CHJR Tue 23-May-17 19:59:51

Michael Sandel's "Justice" is a very very good and readable overview of ethical / moral / political reasoning right up to the modern day.

CurlyBlueberry Tue 23-May-17 20:00:08

Looking down I'd go for:

Ancient Philosophy
Free Will
Marx - if interested

but I was taught in the analytic tradition so have ignored all the continental stuff!

acquiescence Tue 23-May-17 20:03:41

Another vote for Sophie's world. I read it as a teenager and it felt like my world had opened up considerably.

OverAndAbove Tue 23-May-17 20:05:32

I hated Sophie's World - she was such a brat! Agree Bertrand Russell is a good start, and follow up on the various branches mentioned

CandleLit Tue 23-May-17 20:07:23

Don't bother with Nietzsche. Put me in a foul state of mind for weeks.

Alain de Botton's Consolations of Philosophy was a good read - collections of philosophers' writings on their angst over poohing and accidental farting in company!

msrisotto Tue 23-May-17 20:14:47

Ooh thank you everyone, i've added several to my wishlist! Must first see if the library has some, otherwise my compulsive book acquiring issues will see me bankrupt grin

DixieFlatline Tue 23-May-17 20:15:47

This is pretty good if you want to see if anything in particular piques your interest, or if you want to look something (or someone) up.

makeourfuture Tue 23-May-17 20:52:13

The Tao.

Trifleorbust Tue 23-May-17 20:53:00

You can google Western philosophers and read something by each, in chronological order. A good overview is also a good place to begin. You will want something that runs right through to structuralism and post-modernism, though. Bertrand Russell is great but the book came out in 1945.

ChristmasFluff Tue 23-May-17 21:35:41

I quite often listen to podcasts of 'In Our Time' on Radio 4. There are lots of philosophy-based ones. Melvyn Bragg and three experts discussing a particular philosopher or theory.

LurkingHusband Tue 23-May-17 21:49:12

sonjadog Tue 23-May-17 21:53:02

Do you know which area of philosophy you would like to know more about? Or are there any particular philosophers you are interested in?

I agree that Russell´s book gives a good overview. If you want to work on some "practical" philosophy, there are many books of philosophical problems/ case studies to think over and discuss.

QuintessentialShadow Tue 23-May-17 21:54:22

Sophies world. Definitely as a start.
And for fun, The Solitaire Mystery - though not about philosophy but a good read nevertheless.

sonjadog Tue 23-May-17 21:55:11

I use this one in class from time to time:

Also this one on ethics:

SeparatedByMotorways Tue 23-May-17 21:58:41

I was going to suggest Stanford but Dixie has beaten me to it!

The Philosophers Arms (which is all on podcastplayer.FM but not sure where else) is good for a nice intro from a philosopher and then a general discussion, framed in more accessible/funny ways than straight up philosophy too.

timeexperiencer Tue 23-May-17 22:14:24

Nth-ing Sophie's World. Though actually my introduction to philosophy was Julian Baggini, starting with The pig that wants to be eaten.
For a wider exploration of philosophy I really enjoy Nigel Warburton's philosophy bites podcasts. I enjoyed his books as well.
Also Simon Blackburn's Think as a general introduction to what we're doing when we do philosophy. (He writes about it here.)
If you really get into it Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is a free academic source to look up terms/movements/philosophers.
Good luck on your adventure!

showmeislands Tue 23-May-17 22:20:29

I read Sophie's world as a 16 year old and went on to do a philosophy degree at oxford. I'd recommend it too!

If you do fancy a bit of Nietzsche, try Why I Am So Wise.

msrisotto Wed 24-May-17 22:03:47

Lots of thanks to the podcast suggestions. I very much enjoyed the swearing episode of the philosophers arms. An excellent gentle introduction to make the best of my commute.

Genevieva Wed 24-May-17 22:25:21

The Story of Philosophy by Brian Magee

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