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Philosophy: The Classics

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In his exemplary clear style, Warburton introduces and assesses twenty-seven philosophical classics from Plato's Republic to Rawls' A Theory of Justice. For the third edition there is new text design and revised further reading make this the ideal book for all students, while three new chapters on Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil, Russell's The Problems of Philosophy and S In his exemplary clear style, Warburton introduces and assesses twenty-seven philosophical classics from Plato's Republic to Rawls' A Theory of Justice. For the third edition there is new text design and revised further reading make this the ideal book for all students, while three new chapters on Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil, Russell's The Problems of Philosophy and Sartre's Existentialism and Humanism mean that all the A Level set texts are covered. This brisk and invigorating tour through the great books of western philosophy explores the works of Plato, Aristotle, Boethius, Machiavelli, Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Locke, Hume, Rousseau, Kant, Schopenhauer, Mill, Kierkegaard, Marx and Engels, Nietzsche, Russell, Ayer, Sartre, Wittgenstein, and Rawls. Offering twenty-seven guidebooks for the price of one, this is the most comprehensive introduction to philosophers and their texts currently available.


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In his exemplary clear style, Warburton introduces and assesses twenty-seven philosophical classics from Plato's Republic to Rawls' A Theory of Justice. For the third edition there is new text design and revised further reading make this the ideal book for all students, while three new chapters on Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil, Russell's The Problems of Philosophy and S In his exemplary clear style, Warburton introduces and assesses twenty-seven philosophical classics from Plato's Republic to Rawls' A Theory of Justice. For the third edition there is new text design and revised further reading make this the ideal book for all students, while three new chapters on Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil, Russell's The Problems of Philosophy and Sartre's Existentialism and Humanism mean that all the A Level set texts are covered. This brisk and invigorating tour through the great books of western philosophy explores the works of Plato, Aristotle, Boethius, Machiavelli, Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Locke, Hume, Rousseau, Kant, Schopenhauer, Mill, Kierkegaard, Marx and Engels, Nietzsche, Russell, Ayer, Sartre, Wittgenstein, and Rawls. Offering twenty-seven guidebooks for the price of one, this is the most comprehensive introduction to philosophers and their texts currently available.

30 review for Philosophy: The Classics

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nick

    Lets admit that the vast majority of people have neither the interest or the need to read philosophy. So quick, easy, and informative summary books like this can be useful. Rather than reading dozens of philosophy books, just read this to get an idea of the major points. I think Nigel does as well as can expected balancing depth, accuracy, and accessibility given the short space. The book covers a couple dozen philosophers, with each chapter focused on a major work. I especially liked the sectio Lets admit that the vast majority of people have neither the interest or the need to read philosophy. So quick, easy, and informative summary books like this can be useful. Rather than reading dozens of philosophy books, just read this to get an idea of the major points. I think Nigel does as well as can expected balancing depth, accuracy, and accessibility given the short space. The book covers a couple dozen philosophers, with each chapter focused on a major work. I especially liked the section where he explains common criticisms. He also includes a short timeline, glossary, and further reading for each section that is useful. The structured narrative approach is a friendly way to introduce classic philosophy to the general reader. But many will also find this approach and writing rather dry and tedious. For some it will be too difficult and for others not enough depth, so it is a difficult balance. There is no way to get significant depth without reading much more lengthy works or the original text. Nonetheless, even students of philosophy may find this a nice refresher or quick introduction to a new text. Find Niegel's podcasts and chapters from this book here: http://nigelwarburton.typepad.com/nig...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    A decent review of classic philosophy books I haven't read since I was an undergraduate. (I'm ignoring what is I'm sure the debate about what's included or excluded in such books.) I think it would be a useful introduction for undergraduate students to philosophy, but I'm worried that too many would simply rely on these introductions rather than engage the original texts. Though difficult to do, I think the author would do better to quote more of the original material to give the reader a flavor A decent review of classic philosophy books I haven't read since I was an undergraduate. (I'm ignoring what is I'm sure the debate about what's included or excluded in such books.) I think it would be a useful introduction for undergraduate students to philosophy, but I'm worried that too many would simply rely on these introductions rather than engage the original texts. Though difficult to do, I think the author would do better to quote more of the original material to give the reader a flavor of the prose used by the philosopher. For students, posing study questions would encourage the student to think more deeply about the content. An additional drawback is that there's little flow as the reader progresses from ancient to (a little) contemporary philosophy (sometimes there is, e.g. information about Kant responding to Hume, Sarte responding to Kant). For the general, non-philosophy major, reader, more context would be ideal. I would recommend a timeline at the beginning of the book for readers to review and situate the philosopher among others and historical events.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    I’m a sucker for introductory books on philosophy, maybe in part because there are various approaches (historical, topical, etc.) and many fine minds with widely different views who’ve taken a variety of approaches to the basic formula chosen. This one’s pretty good. It gives synopses of the major ideas in two dozen books the author considers short-listers (covered in chronological order), with major counter-arguments. If anything it’s too concise, but the author knows his material and presents I’m a sucker for introductory books on philosophy, maybe in part because there are various approaches (historical, topical, etc.) and many fine minds with widely different views who’ve taken a variety of approaches to the basic formula chosen. This one’s pretty good. It gives synopses of the major ideas in two dozen books the author considers short-listers (covered in chronological order), with major counter-arguments. If anything it’s too concise, but the author knows his material and presents it very capably. A fault, in my view (though a very common one), is that he skips from late antiquity to Descartes (or Machiavelli in this case). It also seems a bit odd that he skips Hegel. On the other hand, about a third is given to the last 150 years, including Rawls, and the author’s convincing that this emphasis is warranted.

  4. 4 out of 5

    John

    I kept coming back to this book. The 24 chapters are a good introduction to some of the most famous philosophers in history. The short chapters give an overview of their main works and theories. I liked at the end of each chapter that there were criticisms about their theories. It was good to have a short list of books for further reading on each philosopher. So if your interested in any of the following philosophers this is a good introduction to them. They are Plato, Aristotle, Boethius, Machi I kept coming back to this book. The 24 chapters are a good introduction to some of the most famous philosophers in history. The short chapters give an overview of their main works and theories. I liked at the end of each chapter that there were criticisms about their theories. It was good to have a short list of books for further reading on each philosopher. So if your interested in any of the following philosophers this is a good introduction to them. They are Plato, Aristotle, Boethius, Machiavelli, Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Locke, Hume, Rousseau, Kant, Schopenhauer, Mill, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Ayer, Wittgenstein and Rawls.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kc

    I downloaded the audiobook via Podcast after listening to a few Podcasts of "Philosophy Bites". Nigel doesn't pause very well when he is changing sections within the chapters but otherwise does a great job reading his book. Listening to his synopsis, I was able to remember all of those books I had to read in college philosophy and was able to really understand the pros and cons of each book. I was very happy with the summaries and with the provoking thoughts that re emerged in my brainscape.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Piotr Klimczak

    An outstanding introduction into the classics of philosophy. Each chapter contains the most relevant information on each piece of writing, including their critical appraisal.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dara Ghaznavi

    A great and accessible work by Nigel Warburton 👌

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    So, my grandparents bought this book at my request because it looked like quite good with lots of different philosophical arguments and theories. There are twenty chapters each containing a different topic. I found the first chapter rather interesting, then I read another chapter which was, again, quite educational for the mind, I then moved on to the chapter about Descartes and so forth, but if I'm honest it just lost it's touch, it dragged on. I did enjoy reading some of it though, especially So, my grandparents bought this book at my request because it looked like quite good with lots of different philosophical arguments and theories. There are twenty chapters each containing a different topic. I found the first chapter rather interesting, then I read another chapter which was, again, quite educational for the mind, I then moved on to the chapter about Descartes and so forth, but if I'm honest it just lost it's touch, it dragged on. I did enjoy reading some of it though, especially Plato's republic and his 'true form' cave theory. That I found very entertaining, I could see where he was coming from and I could understand what he was trying to say. Now for someone who's never really done anything on philosophy and is still but thirteen years of age I think that's quite a feat on their behalf, it was explained clearly and not a way that would give you a complete mind fuck. If I think all's good why am I giving it 3 stars I hear you ask. Well, DNF sums it all up. If I didn't finish it that means it wasn't entertaining, I lost interest in it, it wasn't satisfying to read. I can take a bit of heavy reading but this was real heavy reading. In conclusion, if you're a newcomer into the philosophical world choose a slightly less daunting book to read before you move onto this, it's extremely heavy reading and yes takes a lot of concentration. You get an overview and a good insight onto each of the theories without having to read numerous other books (some of which are probably as thick as your arm). So yeah, from reading this book I now know I really like Plato's stuff so I could then move onto a larger book about him. Happy days.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Neal

    This is an outstanding "overview" type book that I read to help get up to speed on western philosophy in preparation for a graduate class on Sartre. It is a great read, whether you are seeking to polish up on a few major works, or looking for a good comprehensive summary of some of the major contributors to western thought. It is organized very clearly, with each section being divided into several parts: the work's major themes, the possible problems and criticisms that arise from these themes, This is an outstanding "overview" type book that I read to help get up to speed on western philosophy in preparation for a graduate class on Sartre. It is a great read, whether you are seeking to polish up on a few major works, or looking for a good comprehensive summary of some of the major contributors to western thought. It is organized very clearly, with each section being divided into several parts: the work's major themes, the possible problems and criticisms that arise from these themes, and the work's most important terminology. A few names are conspicuously absent from the collection of works discussed, such as Leibniz, Hegel, Heidegger, and Husserl. However there is more than enough in the book to make a good general acquaintance with philosophy.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Anna Boudinot

    I wanted to get more into philosophy but I didn’t know where to start. Luckily I stumbled across this book, which is kind of like the Cliffs Notes of Western philosophy. Each section covered a philosopher, his seminal works, arguments for and against his theories, and a list of books to check out if you wanted to dive deeper. I was able to pinpoint a few philosophers I wanted to read more of, and as for the rest, at least I got a crash course on what they believed. My only complaint is that this I wanted to get more into philosophy but I didn’t know where to start. Luckily I stumbled across this book, which is kind of like the Cliffs Notes of Western philosophy. Each section covered a philosopher, his seminal works, arguments for and against his theories, and a list of books to check out if you wanted to dive deeper. I was able to pinpoint a few philosophers I wanted to read more of, and as for the rest, at least I got a crash course on what they believed. My only complaint is that this book only covers Western philosophy, and covers it as though it’s the only philosophy.

  11. 4 out of 5

    joycesu

    actually, currently listening to the podcast (http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/ph...) and will probably pick up the book at some point. warburton is incredibly informative and all of the knowledge and critique he dispenses, is easy to absorb. i highly recommend this to anyone who wants or needs a crash course in ... philosophy: the classics. heh. actually, currently listening to the podcast (http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/ph...) and will probably pick up the book at some point. warburton is incredibly informative and all of the knowledge and critique he dispenses, is easy to absorb. i highly recommend this to anyone who wants or needs a crash course in ... philosophy: the classics. heh.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Brad Mclaws

    Great book. Well written overview of a number of the classics of philosophy where he highlights the most important issues of each book through history. I don't know why, but I ended up reading this book backwards (last chapter first, etc.) and I enjoyed doing that. Warburton is a good teacher of philosophy.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Norman

    A light sampling of influential philosophers and their works. I was put off by the author's editorializing but nevertheless found value in the criticism sections at the end of each section that demonstrate how philosophers challenge the quality and strength of their ideas.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Russell Mark Olson

    I felt that this was a very clear and concise overview. The perfect book, I feel, for beginning to delve into certain subjects or to gain a greater interest into specific thinkers. 100% comprehensive? No, but that's not the point of general overviews, is it?

  15. 4 out of 5

    Giedre Rut

    A great book if you suddenly fell for philosophy, but still don't know what to read. The author runs through the greatest philosophical works, gives a comprehensive summary and almoust the same attention to its critics. Now i know what I want to read next.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ester Tsevis

    I had read a little of this book and I'm quite a slow reader so I never got the chance to finish the topics I wanted to read in on. But I'm hoping to buy it so I can learn a little more on philosophy.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Andrej Kos

    So... I was a student of Philosophy... And as thing go, at the end of my third year, I realised i knew NOTHING. But this book... Its all there. The very fundaments of philosophical thinking explained in a very witty way. Recommending to everybody!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sarede Switzer

    I'm not much of an audiobook person but did it for that one. Good basic intro to some of the more foundational philosophers. Made me want to read the writings of John Stuart Mill. He's my kind of guy.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

    Seemed like a good idea at the time, but the summaries aren't enough to give you a strong understanding. Good review for things you've already read.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kieran

    I read this and thought it gave me a decent understanding of the respective ideas. I plan on buying this at some point.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mercedes

    A great read for anyone studying or interested in Western Philosophy.

  22. 5 out of 5

    John

    An awesome introduction to some key philosophical concepts, very insightful :)

  23. 4 out of 5

    Nso

    Listened to the podcast. Nice introduction to the classical philosophers.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Steven Pennebaker

    Cheated, listened to the podcast version while gardening. Good job tho, and the weeds are wrapped up as well.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin David

    Wonderfully concise, readable and easily digestible. The book in questions covers a compendium of pertinent works in western philosophy with, pleasantly, added criticisms.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Noora

    Easy read. Comprehensive and the information follows easily. However, this book is a beginner book so it does not cover each philosopher's works in depth.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Stefan

    Nice & short summary. Good for beginners! Nice & short summary. Good for beginners!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Snowynight

    Clear, concise, good introduction to pjilosophy

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tuomas

    Short introductions and criticism of 24 classic philosophy books. Worked for me. Good read.

  30. 5 out of 5

    R

    This was a really great introductory book, very accessible, and eminently readable. It covered a great range of philosophical texts, giving a good overview of the ideas contained, as well as clear explanations of those ideas. There is a lot of information packed into this relatively short book, so I found it helpful to read deliberately slowly, only a chapter or two at a time, to give myself the opportunity to absorb the details, and avoid all of the philosophies blurring into one in my mind. Th This was a really great introductory book, very accessible, and eminently readable. It covered a great range of philosophical texts, giving a good overview of the ideas contained, as well as clear explanations of those ideas. There is a lot of information packed into this relatively short book, so I found it helpful to read deliberately slowly, only a chapter or two at a time, to give myself the opportunity to absorb the details, and avoid all of the philosophies blurring into one in my mind. There were also some 'further reading' recommendations on each chapter, which has given me a few books I think I will be looking out, in order to read some more on the ideas that piqued my interest.

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