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Hmmm
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Just a quick question to all those who have applied (or are currently doing) to Oxbridge for Philosophy or PPE with/without Philosophy at A-Level.
Any recommended reading outside the usual sphere of The Republic, Meditations and various introductions (ie. Russell) which you found interesting and helpful? I am currently reading some Ayer, but am interested in free will, formal logic and political philosophy beyond that.

Cheers
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kebab22
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(Original post by Hmmm)
Just a quick question to all those who have applied (or are currently doing) to Oxbridge for Philosophy or PPE with/without Philosophy at A-Level.
Any recommended reading outside the usual sphere of The Republic, Meditations and various introductions (ie. Russell) which you found interesting and helpful? I am currently reading some Ayer, but am interested in free will, formal logic and political philosophy beyond that.

Cheers
i read loads of introductions and was in the same position as you. in terms of analytic philosophy there was nothing more helpful and mind bogglingly difficult for a philsophy novice to get through as Russell's Problems of Philsophy it constantly crops up and everyday i seem to understand more of it and want to come back to it. I'm sure however this one has been reccommended to you before. Try John Rawls A Theory of Justice for some top quality liberal political philsophy, i havent read this but have read much about Rawls and one day will read it (well thats what i keep telling myself), there is loads of stuff you can dip in and out of. Good introductions I read were by Simon Blackburn, good but not great, Think and Being Good. If your intereseted in the philsophy of history that borders onto political philsopphy I enjoyed reading E h Carr What is history? Nice Western Marxist perspective on things well argued and good food for thought on issues like free will whether or not you agree with anything he says.

Of course all those listed are quite standard and are on most of the reading lists for under graduate prospective philosphy student's reading lists. Hope ive been of some help
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(Original post by Hmmm)
Just a quick question to all those who have applied (or are currently doing) to Oxbridge for Philosophy or PPE with/without Philosophy at A-Level.
Any recommended reading outside the usual sphere of The Republic, Meditations and various introductions (ie. Russell) which you found interesting and helpful? I am currently reading some Ayer, but am interested in free will, formal logic and political philosophy beyond that.

Cheers
If you haven't yet applied I'd suggest that you try to follow your interests rather than trying to follow a set route. Remember that the philosophy in PPE at Oxford is more towards the political end of the discipline.

In terms of geting into a range of philosophical issues Nagel's What Does It All Mean? and the Philosopher's Toolkit by Baggini and Fosl are accessible pathfinders. I'd have thought they were useful for most would be applicants.
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Kirki
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I've read a couple of fantastic philosophy books recently. Wittgenstein's <I>Tractatus Logico Philosophicus</I> is very readable - although quite hard to understand once you try to study it. An introduction book about him would probably be a good thing to read before you start. Roy Porter's new book <I>Flesh in the Age of Reason</I> is very good - but perhaps I was just biased by the Byron quote at the beginning XD. That's much more focussed on the mind/body divide (if there is one) and the history of medicine and science, and their impact on philosophy, though. Karen Armstrong's <I>A History of God</I> really is a masterpiece. It's very strong on the history of the Judeo-Christian God, but it really does give some fascinating history as to where our modern idea of God came from - essential for philosophy.
I expect these aren't all that relevant to what you want, but they're good to read. You never know, you might become interested in the areas they deal with

(w00 w00! My first post!)
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Hmmm
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Thanks for the recommendations. Having just found Cambridge's reading list for applicants/acceptees I now have a fairly wide range of books which look interesting. Apparently William Kymlicka's Introduction to Political Philosophy is particularly good, so I shall pick and choose what I think I will like.

Cheers
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caius
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I recommend Equus by Peter Shaffer
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irishtrep
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i am doing ppe, and it is not true that the philosophy is especially oriented towards political phil. in the first year, the three sections of the course involve formal logic, cartesian metaphysics and millian ethics. but in the prelims politics paper there are some philosophical options.

as for recommendations, jonathan wolff's inforduction is political philosophy is excellent. the formal logic text used in the first year is hodge's logic. for the interview, though, it would probably pay to read something else...formal logic probably doesn't come up very often. there's also an interesting book called 100 philosophical problems, can't remember by whom, but it would be very useful for the interview.

for economics, try a primer on game theory - dixit and nalebuff, thinking strategically.
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hildabeast
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(Original post by Hmmm)
Just a quick question to all those who have applied (or are currently doing) to Oxbridge for Philosophy or PPE with/without Philosophy at A-Level.
Any recommended reading outside the usual sphere of The Republic, Meditations and various introductions (ie. Russell) which you found interesting and helpful? I am currently reading some Ayer, but am interested in free will, formal logic and political philosophy beyond that.

Cheers
I'm studying for philosophy prelims at the moment (and did philosophy A Level), and if you want to read something that will directly help with your course the I would choose Mill's 'Utilitarianism' and Crisp's commentary, 'Mill on Utilitarianism' On the logic side, this year the prescribed text is Hodges' 'Introduction to Logic', but I think that's changing next year. However, its still a useful book, as is Sainsbury's 'Logical Forms'. On the Descartes side I'm afraid 'Meditations' is the text, but you could read the accounts by Cottingham, Wilson or Kenny, all called 'Descartes', as these are really useful texts. Unless you're planning to specialise in ancient philosophy I would give the 'Republic' a miss as you won't need it. Ayer is useful for the analytic side of things but don't take him too seriously, especially 'Language, Truth and Logic'. It's interesting, and historically important, but not really considered a major text these days.

As far as genereal introductions go, I would try Nagel's 'What does it all mean?', Blackburn's 'Think' and Hollis' 'Introduction to Philosophy'.

Hope I've helped. PM me if you have any specific questions about philosophy, although I'm doing phil/the not PPE.

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Hmmm
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