Lila9

How would you recommend to start with philosophy?

19 posts in this topic

I want to study philosophy but I don't know where to start from. I'm not totally clueless, I have some understanding of concepts and I'm familiar with some philosophers but not as good as I wish. I have many unrelated patches of information in my mind that I randomly collected my entire life and I can't make any sense of because they're lack in context. 

I would like to get book recommendations for beginners for both eastern and western philosophy.  Thank you.


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I'd recommend a very short introduction to philosophy.

I'd also recommend getting a handle on your epistemology (Philosophy of knowledge, i.e. is knowledge possible) asap. For example, the Münchhausen trilemma.

I find wikipedia rather useful personally for introduction to philosophical ideas personally. Some academic's primary works I find very inaccessible.

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I'd second starting with epistemology, then branching out to whatever aspects of philosophy seem interesting to you.

Ken Wilber might be a good place to start, especially if you're interested in both Western and Eastern philosophy, since he explains his epistemology in a pretty apptoachable way.

George Lakoff wrote a book called 'Metaphors We Live By' that's also a good example of practical applications for epistemology.

Picking up an introduction to phenomenology is also a good way to get a solid epistemic foundation.

There's also a series of short books titled 'A Very Short Introduction to:' which are a good entry point to a bunch of different philosophers and concepts.

Edited by DocWatts

"The mind is inherently embodied.
Thought is mostly unconscious.
Abstract concepts are largely metaphorical." - George Lakoff

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The Teaching Company has many great courses on Western philosophy.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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@Leo Gura yea, they are good, some courses are biased though. Capitalism vs Socialism course or something like that was american-centric and conservitive-view-skewed to such a degree it was funny to listen to.

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I'd recommend that you first think and study deeply about what philosophy itself is that you want to study. Understand what it means to philosophize about something, what it means to think philosophically, before getting into the infinite realm of the models of philosophy. 

 

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Since you mentioned that you already have some basic familiarity with philosophy, here are some of the more important Western philosphers that are worth getting at least a basic and passing familiarity with.

This has less to do with them being 'right', and more to do with the fact that their ideas have been highly influential. Any history of Western philosophy will have a section on each:

  • Plato (early idealism)
  • Aristotle (early empiricism)
  • Rene Descartes (rationalism and skepticism)
  • Immanuel Kant (integration of rationalism and empiricism)
  • Hegel (idealism and dialectics)
  • Nietzsche (early postmodernism)
  • Heidegger (phenomenology)
Edited by DocWatts

"The mind is inherently embodied.
Thought is mostly unconscious.
Abstract concepts are largely metaphorical." - George Lakoff

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20 minutes ago, DocWatts said:

Since you mentioned that you already have some basic familiarity with philosophy, here are some of the more important Western philosphers that are worth getting at least a basic and passing familiarity with.

This has less to do with them being 'right', and more to do with the fact that their ideas have been highly influential. Any history of Western philosophy will have a section on each:

  • Plato (early idealism)
  • Aristotle (early empiricism)
  • Rene Descartes (rationalism and skepticism)
  • Immanuel Kant (integration of rationalism and empiricism)
  • Hegel (idealism and dialectics)
  • Nietzsche (early postmodernism)
  • Heidegger (phenomenology)

I'd add Hume and Spinoza to this list, also. It'd help you greatly in understanding what Kant, and the philosophers from him onwards, are actually talking about. And you can start with reading Hume and Descartes, because their language is easy to understand, compared to guys like Hegel, Heidegger and Kant. Starting with them, trying to understand them, might make you feel like wtf are they even saying. 

 

Edited by Vibroverse

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30 minutes ago, Vibroverse said:

I'd add Hume and Spinoza to this list, also. It'd help you greatly in understanding what Kant, and the philosophers from him onwards, are actually talking about. And you can start with reading Hume and Descartes, because their language is easy to understand, compared to guys like Hegel, Heidegger and Kant. Starting with them, trying to understand them, might make you feel like wtf are they even saying. 

All good points.

Definitely don't try to read Kant, Hegel, or Heidegger directly since they require specialized knowledge to get value out of.

You'd be better off seeking out contemporary sources that can put their ideas into context. Plenty of YouTube channels and philosophy books specifically made to make these ideas accessible to non-specialists that exist.


"The mind is inherently embodied.
Thought is mostly unconscious.
Abstract concepts are largely metaphorical." - George Lakoff

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I can recommend a book by Ed Feser - Aristotles revenge.

And i actually want to recommend, David Bentley Hart, Peter Kreeft, Thomas Aquinas, Rob Koons, Joshua Rasmussen, these are good philosophers to begin with imo and is not overly technical, but can as well be really technical sometimes. 

Tho, these are theistic philosophers but I think they are really good.

 

 

 

Edited by Adamq8

Let thy speech be better then silence, or be silent.

- Pseudo-dionysius 

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Thomas Nagel - What does it all mean?

Its a very short introduction into philosophy.

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18 hours ago, Girzo said:

some courses are biased though.

Welcome to life.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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Look up /lit/ philosophy charts on google images 

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Thank you so much for all the recommendations, it's so helpful.

I wrote it all to myself. I'm so excited.


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Posted (edited)

Plato

Great Discourses of Plato by Signet Classics.

Has many/most of all Plato's more influential writings.

Edited by Matt23

"Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down"   --   Marry Poppins

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