New to philosophy

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by LBloomfield, May 2, 2012.

  1. LBloomfield Registered Member

    Hey guys, I'm to start a philosophy degree in october. I've little background knowlegde, but the subject has always interested me. I've bought several books, but the subject is so vast! Who and what subjects do peaople believe are good starting points? I've read Plato's Laches, Meno, Lysis and The Cave and Descartes' Discourse On The Method so far, all thoroughly enjoyed!
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  3. Buddha12 Valued Senior Member

    Spelling would be a good place to begin with.

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  5. LBloomfield Registered Member

    Hehe, you're quite right! I deffinitely rely on spellchecker a bit too much.

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  7. Mr. Hamtastic whackawhackado! Registered Senior Member

    Honestly, I'd recommend looking into Stephen Law's variety of books. We disagree when it comes to religion, but I find his writing engaging and thought provoking.

    Personally, I have no degree in anything, so I'm strictly armchair philosophy. I see philosophy almost everywhere, though, not limited to any particular texts. I'm sure you'll have a reading list for your courses, though.

    My favorite philosopher(sort of philosopher) would be Sun Tzu. There's tons of books about him and his writings, and it's probably comparatively light.
  8. skaught The field its covered in blood Valued Senior Member

    I'm partial to Nietzsche, and existential philosophies myself. Other than those, I'm not honestly too interested in the field. I used to be, but have lost interest in recent years.
  9. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

  10. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Good for you. I'm an old philosophy student myself.

    That it is. Philosophy addresses pretty much every aspect of human experience.

    If you don't have a lot of background at this point, you might want to start with a good introductory survey of the subject.

    Thinking It Through: An Introduction to Contemporary Philosophy by Kwame Anthony Appiah is a book that I like. It's written on an introductory level, but it isn't overly simplistic and it addresses many contemporary controversies from multiple points of view. You'll come away knowing the issues, who the contending philosophical factions are, and will be better able to understand what articles in the philosophical journals are going on about.

    You probably should have a good dictionary of philosophy too. The 'Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy' edited by Simon Blackburn is excellent and available in a cheap paperback edition. It will help clarify the jargon that you encounter, and the little essays that accompany each word will tip you off about the questions and controversies surrounding various concepts.

    Great! It's often best to read what the philosophers actually say, rather than reading what contemporary authors say they say.

    You know, philosophy majors write lots and lots of papers. So one of the unexpected beneficial side-effects of studying philosophy is that your expository writing is apt to improve towards professional writing standards.

    Feel free to mix it up in the philosophical arguments here on Sciforums too.
  11. Hertz Hz Registered Senior Member

    Philo-sophy means 'love of knowledge' i.e. you can study ANYTHING and find some element of 'truth' in it.

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