Thinking It Through

Thinking It Through

An Introduction to Contemporary Philosophy

Book - 2003
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Here is a thorough, vividly written introduction to contemporary philosophy and some of the most crucial questions of human existence: the nature of mind and knowledge, the status of moral claims, the existence of God, the role of science, and the mysteries of language, among them. In Thinking It Through, esteemed philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah shows us what it means to "do" philosophy in our time and why it should matter to anyone who wishes to live a more thoughtful life. Opposing the common misconceptions that being a philosopher means espousing a set ofphilosophical beliefs, or being a follower of a particular thinker, Appiah argues that "the result of philosophical exploration is not the end of inquiry in a settled opinion, but a mind resting more comfortably among many possibilities, or else the reframing of the question, and a new inquiry."Thinking It Through is organized around eight central topics--mind, knowledge, language, science, morality, politics, law, and metaphysics. It traces how philosophers in the past have considered each subject (how Hobbes, Wittgenstein, and Frege, for example, approached the problem of language) andthen explores some of the major questions that still engage philosophers today. More important, Appiah shows us not only what philosophers have thought but how they think, giving us examples we might use in our own attempts to navigate the complex issues that confront any reflective person in the21st century. Filled with concrete examples of how philosophers work and written in the liveliest prose, Thinking It Through guides readers through the process of philosophical reflection and enlarges our understanding of the central questions of human life.
Publisher: New York : Oxford University Press, 2003.
ISBN: 9780195160284
0195160282
Branch Call Number: 100 A647
Characteristics: xviii, 412 p. ; 22 cm.

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May 23, 2017

A good and clear introduction to most areas of philosophy - it excludes noticeably aesthetics - and in numerous sub-fields many major topics are not included: personal identity, universals, and just war theory, to name a few. But, what it does cover, it covers well, often going into analyses and critical discussions for several pages. The topic of free will is left to a discussion at the end since, as he says, it cut across many other sub-fields (philosophy of mind, of science, of knowledge, of metaphysics, and of ethics). The chapter on political philosophy is somewhat narrow covering only Hobbes, and Rawls & Nozick. There is no glossary although terms are written in bold in the text, and the bibliography and notes are very few, and further reading suggestions are rather poor.

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