In desperate need of Philosophical books Watch

coastbeats
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Hi everyone,

I am currently reading many books ranging from political to economic philosophy (Also not forgetting the good old ethics, logic and reason side to this great subject).

But while I was reading "Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals" by Kant today in the garden, I realised that I didn't have a clue what was going on. All I could see were stupidly confusing words and phrases - the title of the book being one.

I will be applying to universities (course - PPE) this year so I need to have done a good personal statement with quite a few books included but I don't want to use something that I haven't learnt from.
I've never been taught philosophy at school so you can see why I have this dilemma.

Please guys, can you give me a thorough list of some good, informative but not too basic books out there which will cover the main areas - I am deeply interested by political philosophy e.g J.S.Mill but I would like a mixture. I also like watching lectures and I don't mind podcasts either which are informative so any suggestions?

Thank you very much for your help.
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I have a question
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Kamasutra; interesting read.
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LordFishlock
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(Original post by I have a question)
Kamasutra; interesting read.
Seriously lol:'). Well, "Think" is the most basic but you have probably read that. Try something different like "A Brief History of Death" by Prof. Douglas Davies.

This was posted from The Student Room's Android App on my MB860
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Harolinho
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Aristotle is relatively easy to read, have you read any of his stuff yet?
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TheSophist
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(Original post by coastbeats)
Hi everyone,

I am currently reading many books ranging from political to economic philosophy (Also not forgetting the good old ethics, logic and reason side to this great subject).

But while I was reading "Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals" by Kant today in the garden, I realised that I didn't have a clue what was going on. All I could see were stupidly confusing words and phrases - the title of the book being one.

I will be applying to universities (course - PPE) this year so I need to have done a good personal statement with quite a few books included but I don't want to use something that I haven't learnt from.
I've never been taught philosophy at school so you can see why I have this dilemma.

Please guys, can you give me a thorough list of some good, informative but not too basic books out there which will cover the main areas - I am deeply interested by political philosophy e.g J.S.Mill but I would like a mixture. I also like watching lectures and I don't mind podcasts either which are informative so any suggestions?

Thank you very much for your help.
That is just the way philosophy is. you need to take reading the book slowly and perhaps get a companion book.

also this

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Oxford-C...3439417&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kants-Ground...439443&sr=1-12
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MathematicsKiller
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Fifty Shades of Grey.
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miser
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Kant has a reputation for being exceptionally tough to digest. I'd recommend History of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russell, which covers many philosophical ideas, culutral contexts and the evolution of philosophical thought through the ages from Thales around 585 BCE to when the book was written in the 1940s, with the possible exception of Wittgenstein.
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OmicronPersei8
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On Youtube there are various videos on Locke, Rousseau, Mill etc by Yale University and they're pretty good (and free)
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dbmag9
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There's some recommended philosophy reading on a wiki page on this site somewhere, you might want to have a look at that. I don't think that reading original texts is necessarily the best way to introduce yourself to philosophy, though - the subject is about the ideas rather than who said them where, and many classic texts are notoriously hard-going, and certainly not written for someone just setting out on the subject. Reading an overview or introduction to a topic, and then understanding it and saying interesting things about it, will be much more beneficial generally than slogging through Kant and not getting most of it.
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Vonlenska
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If you're looking for a bulky tome which will teach you most anything: Betrand Russell's History of Western Philosophy.
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hannah60000
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Michael Sandel has good lectures or Milton Friedman he talks a lot about Economics, liberalism and philosophy

I'd advise introduction to Philosophy books first to get background any would really do then chose a philosopher or topic you found interesting. You said you like Mill I would read On Liberty it's quite easy to digest. Good Luck
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Zedd
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(Original post by miser)
Kant has a reputation for being exceptionally tough to digest. I'd recommend History of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russell, which covers many philosophical ideas, culutral contexts and the evolution of philosophical thought through the ages from Thales around 585 BCE to when the book was written in the 1940s, with the possible exception of Wittgenstein.
Wittgenstein's work is reflected in Russell's (see The Philosophy of Logical Atomism) but there are problems with Russell's treatment of the history of philosophy. The main issue being it's bias towards logical positivism and subsequently Russell misrepresents the various philosophies which he disagrees with.

With that said it almost doesn't matter that Russell misrepresents the history of philosophy because even at undergraduate level you wouldn't be expected to really know this. All I'd say is that 'history of philosophy' or 'philosophy of [philosopher]' books need to be taken with a pinch of salt.

A good and very easy to read book which will give you an overview of some main figures in modern philosophy is Roger Scruton's A Short History of Modern Philosophy. Probably more useful than a 'History of' book would be undergraduate level 'beginner guide' style books in formal logic, epistemology, philosophy of mind, and moral philosophy.
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milkytea
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I recommend these websites which have some great and accessible philosophy content:

http://www.philosophybites.com/

http://www.philosophybro.com/

I wouldn't recommend trying to battle your way through the major philosophical texts until you've read a few more easygoing introduction texts. Try going to the philosophy section of your local library or bookshop and having a flick through a couple of modern books. You can get some on quite specialized subjects which may interest you. For ethics I recommend "Conversations on Ethics" by Alex Voorhoeve and for political philosophy I found "Political Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction" by David Miller pretty good. If you can get a good translation of some Plato then that's also much easier to read than more modern philosophy, I think.
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Zedd
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Probably the best online resource for undergraduates studying philosophy: http://plato.stanford.edu/
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Schlegel
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Philosophy bites is an excellent podcast.

If you're set on PPE there's probably no need to get your head around Kant now. I recommend Mill's On Liberty, Hayek's Constitution of liberty for the political and moral and Russell's Problems of Philosophy for the theoretical. Can't recommend his History though because that's simply unjustly biased and misleading as an introductory work. Strange that the Groundwork of the metaphysics of morals is supposed to be the most readable of all Kant. You may only need a good edition or companion? Don't let one book put you off!
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Rugar
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Problems of Philosophy by Russell is a really good book. Its going to talk about some perennial issues in metaphysics and epistemology. Hayek's 'Road to Serfdom' is pretty good, not exactly a 'philosophy' book but very interesting in terms of political economy. feel free to PM me if you want any more recommendations, and specific areas.
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pinkpenguin
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Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy is online and fabulous too! plato.stanford.edu

It's a great resource to read if you are struggling with some words or themes.

Other than that, I recommend Plato's Republic, Rousseau's Social Contract and any Mill you can find as introductory Philosophy books.
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MustaphaMond
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Start with the Dorling Kindersly book of Philosophy, this is a great groundwork for ideas and scholars and a path to further reading.
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dancinginrainbows
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Hume writes brilliantly.
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MrNucleon
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Read Plato's Dialogues, with the Last Days of Socrates being a good starting point (Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Phaedo). Plato/Socrates is really the beginning of philosophy, and its good to how philosophy builds over time by going chronologically. Also, they are incredibly readable.
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