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    i.e. you don't need a grounding in other philosophers and movements to understand them)

    Anyone? I want to read some famous philosophers, preferably on a few areas I'm interested in: how to live/value systems, metaphysics, or preferably philosophers with a whole view to explaining reality (so probably by necessity now seen as defunct. I'm fine with that if they have intrinsic or artistic merit).

    Happy to be recommended good analyses of plato.

    I have started reading a few different philosophers before but mostly ground to a halt because they wrote on the assumption that the reader had good knowledge of the particular philosopher they are outgrowing i.e. Schopenhauer and kant.

    Am quite open minded to suggestions.

    The obvious alternative is reading an introduction. The big encyclopaedias are too big for my fleeting interest, didn't get into sophie's world because I want to focus on a single area in depth and not a general broad overview.

    I've read some philosophical novel, but would rather read someone famous' opus (yes I'm vain ha)

    Not interested in political philosophy. not interested in marxism at the moment.

    thanks guys
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    If you're just being vain then piss off and die. One less of your kind would make the world a better place.

    If there's yet hope then plato.stanford.edu is a great resource which will help you learn about a vast array of different issues.
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    (Original post by User722716)
    If you're just being vain then piss off and die. One less of your kind would make the world a better place.

    If there's yet hope then plato.stanford.edu is a great resource which will help you learn about a vast array of different issues.
    Ha! Thanks for your honesty. I'm not that vain. I enjoy the sustained activity of reading philosophy, it's just that I would like to get intimate with some of the famous 'great minds' so obviously am focused towards the famous names. In that way I'm a little bit vain but vanity is preferable to false modesty. I'm not a philistine, honest.

    I have just looked at that website and it's obviously going to be very important to me from now on. Thanks. Do they have the original texts on there as well? And any other philosophers you'd recommend that fit my criteria?
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    Just browse around SEP and see who interests you and buy their works.

    Edit: just seen that somebody has suggested this already so I second their suggestion.
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    Plato's dialogues are all really good, comprehensive and don't really require much pre-knowledge.
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    I would also say plato's a decent place to start, however if you don't know any pre-philosophy I would say it's an exercise in futility. I would suggest you read something like "think" by Simon Blackburn and another book on critical thinking (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Critical-Thi.../dp/0415471834 this book is excellent).

    It'll improve your enjoyment reading these books first, then you are pretty much good to go.

    The fun of philosophy is learning how to argue against the famous philosophers, or justify to yourself why you believe philosopher x is right and philosopher y is wrong.
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    (Original post by kly45)
    I would also say plato's a decent place to start, however if you don't know any pre-philosophy I would say it's an exercise in futility. I would suggest you read something like "think" by Simon Blackburn and another book on critical thinking (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Critical-Thi.../dp/0415471834 this book is excellent).

    It'll improve your enjoyment reading these books first, then you are pretty much good to go.

    The fun of philosophy is learning how to argue against the famous philosophers, or justify to yourself why you believe philosopher x is right and philosopher y is wrong.
    Simon Blackburn's Think just skims the surface of philosophy. Personally, I see it as being targeted at plumbers and bricklayers rather than somebody who wishes to explore the true depths of philosophy.
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    These don't require much prior knowledge of philosophy:

    The Meditations - Rene Descartes
    Three dialogues between Hylas and Philonous - George Berkeley
    Meno - Plato

    But if you are feeling brave and want something that really delivers, then look no further than Being and Time by Martin Heidegger. Also, have a look at Being and Nothingness by Jean-Paul Sarte.
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    Nietzsche.
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    (Original post by Callaghan)
    Ha! Thanks for your honesty. I'm not that vain. I enjoy the sustained activity of reading philosophy, it's just that I would like to get intimate with some of the famous 'great minds' so obviously am focused towards the famous names. In that way I'm a little bit vain but vanity is preferable to false modesty. I'm not a philistine, honest.

    I have just looked at that website and it's obviously going to be very important to me from now on. Thanks. Do they have the original texts on there as well? And any other philosophers you'd recommend that fit my criteria?
    Just browse and see what interests you. Focussing on philosophers rather than philosophy is juat a bit silly, really.

    Though no doubt you'll get plenty of recommendations anyway, knowing what TSR is like.
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    How about Russell's A History of Western Philosophy? It's a little opinionated (OK it's very opinionated!) but if you like the style its a great all round introduction.
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    (Original post by vitamortis)
    Simon Blackburn's Think just skims the surface of philosophy. Personally, I see it as being targeted at plumbers and bricklayers rather than somebody who wishes to explore the true depths of philosophy.
    My point is, if you aren't a philosopher like the OP then it's a good place to start. It presents a range of problems for beginners.
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    Nietzsche and Heidegger.
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    Descartes' Meditations are a bit like a novel, and definitely quite accessible, so you could always give those a try. I suppose that Wittgenstein's 'Philosophical Investigations' is at least accessible for the first part of it, which still contains some pretty important ideas; the reason why you might want to read Descartes and such before Wittgenstein is not so much to understand what he means so much as the significance of it. Paul Tillich's 'The Courage to Be' is fairly accessible, and could be useful if you ever feel like looking at philosophers such as Hegel later on. It might require a bit of note-taking and thinking to get the most out of it, since it is a bit short, but it shouldn't require that much knowledge of other works.
 
 
 
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