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Amrad
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#1
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I am hoping to apply for PPE next year (2005 entry) and would like someone to recommend some reading. I'm not really looking for anything geared directly towards the course, but more for interesting, well-written and easy to digest books. I don't study either Philosophy or Politics and my school makes almost zero provision for the former.

Therefore I am looking for:
-some introductory philosophy reading so I can get a basic grasp of everything and then specialise and read further into whichever aspect I find particularly compelling. Perhaps a good place to start would be classical philosophy (Plato, Aristotle...)?
-some interesting political writing, perhaps more to do with the history of political thought, would very much like to read something about Marxism but not sure what.
-some stuff about history of economics and economic policy, ranging from Adam Smith (anything particularly recommended on his ideas? wealth of nations?) to Keynes to Friedman.

And anything else that comes highly recommended and would be of interest to a prospective PPE student.

Thank you
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TheWolf
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(Original post by Amrad)
I am hoping to apply for PPE next year (2005 entry) and would like someone to recommend some reading. I'm not really looking for anything geared directly towards the course, but more for interesting, well-written and easy to digest books. I don't study either Philosophy or Politics and my school makes almost zero provision for the former.

Therefore I am looking for:
-some introductory philosophy reading so I can get a basic grasp of everything and then specialise and read further into whichever aspect I find particularly compelling. Perhaps a good place to start would be classical philosophy (Plato, Aristotle...)?
-some interesting political writing, perhaps more to do with the history of political thought, would very much like to read something about Marxism but not sure what.
-some stuff about history of economics and economic policy, ranging from Adam Smith (anything particularly recommended on his ideas? wealth of nations?) to Keynes to Friedman.

And anything else that comes highly recommended and would be of interest to a prospective PPE student.

Thank you
just get some introduction to politics or introduction to philosoophy or something from amazon. You have done Economics at alevel yea? read a few adam smith books
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lotus
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If you are looking for introductory reading then I found the 'a very short introduction' series really helpful. They're well written and cover most if not all of the topics in the given subject. However, they are only introductory and almost certainly wouldnt get you through an oxbridge interview. Another good introductory good for Philosophy is 'Philosophy the classics' by nigel warburton. It outlines most of the major philosophical works and provides brief criticisms, and this should give you a good idea of what books you may like to read.
The fact that you're interested in Marx is probably beneficial because his writing combines politics philosophy and economics, I found the Communist Manifesto really good. A piece of pol.phil that I found really interesting was leviathan, its quite demanding but very good and there's a lot of topics to be discussed, especially because it can be compared to so many other classics. If you would like to go for a more complex book (and I'm talking about philosophy) but need a bit of help then the website sparknotes.com is really helpful, it breaks down the book and provides summaries and an analysis.
Obviously the PPE faculty website is a good place to look and will be full of advice, but most of the applicants will read these so it may be an idea to try do some extra reading that isnt on the list IN ADDITION if possible just to be different, it will also be quite impressive to the interviewer if applying for oxbridge.
I'm sorry that I havent been very helpful for politics or economics but I'm a philosopher.
Hope that helped.
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PhilB
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I got an offer for PPE this year, and my A Levels are Maths, Biology Chemistry, Geography and Critical Thinking. The economist is a must read. For an overview of Philosophy i recommed "Think" by Simon Blackburn. Politics, Jonathan Woolf "Introduction to Political Philosophy" and Economics, Either Co-opetition, Armchair Economist or if your up for it Peddling Prosperity (yawn). At my college i found that none of my reading was alluded to (including the economist) and i was simply given a series of puzzles.
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DaKewLesT
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There were several previous threads asking the same question .. so if u'd check em out...
also.. u can get a reading list from whichever oxford college u r applyin to... just email a tutor in the college u wanna apply to n ask for it ..!
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Amrad
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TheWolf - What Adam Smith stuff should I read?

Lotus - Will check out the Communist Manifesto, it's very short. Anyone got thoughts on Capital? Thought it would be relevant because of its economics aspects...

Leviathan - which edition?

DaKewLesT - problem is when I search can only get to the first page of results.
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Amrad
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Any more?
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LongGone
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(Original post by Amrad)

DaKewLesT - problem is when I search can only get to the first page of results.
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oldthrashbarg
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(Original post by Amrad)
I am hoping to apply for PPE next year (2005 entry) and would like someone to recommend some reading. I'm not really looking for anything geared directly towards the course, but more for interesting, well-written and easy to digest books. I don't study either Philosophy or Politics and my school makes almost zero provision for the former.

Therefore I am looking for:
-some introductory philosophy reading so I can get a basic grasp of everything and then specialise and read further into whichever aspect I find particularly compelling. Perhaps a good place to start would be classical philosophy (Plato, Aristotle...)?
-some interesting political writing, perhaps more to do with the history of political thought, would very much like to read something about Marxism but not sure what.
-some stuff about history of economics and economic policy, ranging from Adam Smith (anything particularly recommended on his ideas? wealth of nations?) to Keynes to Friedman.

And anything else that comes highly recommended and would be of interest to a prospective PPE student.

Thank you
Well you'll need Das Kapital obviously.
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Fluffy
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#10
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try some Iris Murdoch for a lighter appraoch to Plato et al.
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London Prophet
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#11
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I just got in for PPE at Oxford, but since I'm not there yet I'm probably not in a position to say what they're looking for. But nonetheless i think they would prefer you to have read a few books you find genuinely interested in and to talk about that, that to have a very broad but shallow knowledge on a wide range of issues.
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EuroAmeriAzn
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#12
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Hmm, for PPE, in preparation for the interview, it's not necessary to read Adam Smith. Just read some Economics Textbook, and it's sure to rehash some of his main ideas. Put into perspective, reading Adam Smith for PPE to prepare, is like reading Shakespeare to prepare for English (bad analogy, but I hope you get the point).
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