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Brian Gates

Good Books on Western Philosophy?

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I need to become better educated on philosophy outside of Objectivsm. Can anyone suggest good books on Western philosophy for that approach the subject objectively? Preferably ones that address the subject in a general sense and across history rather than ones that focus on specific schools of thought and time frames. Any suggestions would be appreciated, and thanks in advance.

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Peikoff recommended in one of his lectures "A History of Western Philosophy" by Jones. 5 volume series in paperback. I have read 3 of the volumes and they may be what you're looking for.

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I need to become better educated on philosophy outside of Objectivsm. Can anyone suggest good books on Western philosophy for that approach the subject objectively? Preferably ones that address the subject in a general sense and across history rather than ones that focus on specific schools of thought and time frames. Any suggestions would be appreciated, and thanks in advance.

There is a seven volume series -A History of Philosophy- by Frederick Copolston, S.J.

It is very thorough, very detailed and deals with philosophy in the west all the way from the pre-Socratics to modern analytic philosophy. He is very thorough and his religious convictions do not get in the way of excellent scholarship.

Bob Kolker

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There is a seven volume series -A History of Philosophy- by Frederick Copolston, S.J.

It is very thorough, very detailed and deals with philosophy in the west all the way from the pre-Socratics to modern analytic philosophy. He is very thorough and his religious convictions do not get in the way of excellent scholarship.

Bob Kolker

Today I sampled a few pages of "A History of Western Philosophy" by Bertrand Russell. In the introduction, he writes something to the effect that philosophy has often occupied an intermediate position between theology and science (to paraphrase). I'm not sure whether this statement reflects his own view of the nature of philosophy, or merely his perspective on how the field has been treated by others throughout history. The statement causes me regard the book with suspicion. Is anyone familiar with this book, and is it worth the $25?

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Peikoff recommended in one of his lectures "A History of Western Philosophy" by Jones. 5 volume series in paperback. I have read 3 of the volumes and they may be what you're looking for.

I read this series almost 20 years ago. It is a well done 5 volume set.

Bertrand Russell is of the Linguistic Analysis school, and one may need keep that in mind in digesting his writings.

Edited by dream_weaver

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Today I sampled a few pages of "A History of Western Philosophy" by Bertrand Russell. In the introduction, he writes something to the effect that philosophy has often occupied an intermediate position between theology and science (to paraphrase). I'm not sure whether this statement reflects his own view of the nature of philosophy, or merely his perspective on how the field has been treated by others throughout history. The statement causes me regard the book with suspicion. Is anyone familiar with this book, and is it worth the $25?

Bertrand Russell was a terrible philosopher, so I'd be wary of anything by him.

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Bertrand Russell was a terrible philosopher, so I'd be wary of anything by him.

ahhhhh, he was not a terrible philosopher, he just wrote alot about thing thats he didn't really know about. Anyway you don't read you don't read Russell just for his philosophy but the fact that he sounds like an old man that is angry at everything. I have read A history of philosophy, apparently it is not as good as the afor mentioned collection but it is still quite good and alot shorter. He focuses too much of the ancients eg. Plato, Aristole, the scholistics etc and misses out on scholars after the start of last century eg Sartre,Foucault etc. It does give each of the philosophy in a context and is not dry at all. I would recommend it.

BTW, whats is wrong with logical analysis? I thought it was pretty much saying metaphysics is utter nosense.

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Honestly, my personal recommendation is to just pick a school and start chugging through individual authors. I honestly don't know of any books that give a good thorough treatment to western philosophy as a whole, at least no moreso than you would acquire from reading through wikipedia. Though it can be daunting, between Empiricism, Pragmatism (Philosophical context, not as described in the lexicon), Rationalism, and a whole host of others I'm probably forgetting, you have much to choose from, and a lot of places your investigations can take you. Right now I'm inclined to give special treatment to the stuff that was being written/read right around the time of the enlightenment, so Locke, Mill, Dewey, etc. Not to mention more recent writings, such as Nietzsche, Camus, Eco (I do believe his academic writings fit the bill), and a few others. And of course, there's investigating the stuff Rand gives special mention to, such as Aristotle, Kant (haha), o Mises (it's good stuff, and crosses far enoguh into the domain of philosophy IMO).

Edited by Markoso

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I am also looking for a good book on formal logic, any recommendations?

Absolutely. In my opinion, the best first approach to formal logic is to learn basic symbolic logic, or how to work in the first order predicate calculus, and for that purpose the very best book I've found is 'Logic: Techniques Of Formal Reasoning' by Kalish, Montague, and Mar. After completing that book, you can go on to more advanced subjects and I can advise you on a number of excellent texts. Edited by Schmarksvillian

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Sophie's World is a great read; it's a fun history of Western philosophy within a mystery novel. It's not the most comprehensive philosophy book out there, and it develops a slightly anti-capitalist lean, but it's easily the most entertaining book I've ever read. You should read it for fun and see what you can get out of it philosophically, just for shits n' grins.

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I am also looking for a good book on formal logic, any recommendations?
There are many ways to evaluate the "goodness" of a book on formal logic. Given the restriction that you have in mind (and given the nature of the subject), "free" is a virtue. This is therefore good. I assume you have no background (thus Kleene would be too much).

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A new book on the history of philosophy has been published since this thread started: Anthony Kenny's A New History of Western Philosophy. I've read it, and I consider it very readable and informative.

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