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Introduction to philosophy

Introduction to philosophy
June 16, 2010, 02:32:37 PM
Quote
Opinions from an armchair philosopher.

I. Read these in full:

1.  The Story of Philosophy, by Will Durant
2. The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, by Robert Audi
3. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
4. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Avoid Wikipedia and any textbooks used at community colleges or the University of Texas.

II.    Work on your skills for understanding logical argument:

1. Critical Thinking, Introduction to Critical Thinking, Where to Begin -- be familiar with basic concepts.
2. Debate provides a good gateway.
 3. Logical Fallacies -- drop Slippery Slope from the list, as it's not a fallacy, just misused.
 
III. Track philosophy historically

1. Start with the Greeks, specifically Plato and Aristotle
2. Romans: Marcus Aurelius
3. Kant
4. Reverse course a bit: Nietzsche -> Schopenhauer
5. Then read the moderns
6. Then fill in the gaps

I recommend avoiding too much of the modern stuff; it's all theory disconnected from application, and you'd do better with basic linguistics, computer science and physics than most of it. I also recommend keeping an eye out for naturalist philosophers like Hardin, Evola, and Guenon.

http://www.reddit.com/r/philosophy101/comments/cfmgz/how_to_get_started_in_philosophy/

I thought this was pretty accurate.

More people need to start with a historical guide, and then track ARGUMENTS more than thinkers.

Re: Introduction to philosophy
June 16, 2010, 05:42:03 PM
Excellent post, as usual. This will be helpful to many users/lurkers. Many just acquire knowledge of the details without the full picture.
Here's a video series on youtube that I found to be helpful as an introduction to philosophy:

Plato:
http://www.youtube.com/user/flame0430#grid/user/F38C9F89AB4C254A
Aristotle:
http://www.youtube.com/user/flame0430#grid/user/6B60185E26C7370C
Medieval Philosophy:
http://www.youtube.com/user/flame0430#grid/user/ED86750E0941962D
Descartes:
http://www.youtube.com/user/flame0430#grid/user/BDDC120AF92C90AE
Locke and Berkley:
http://www.youtube.com/user/flame0430#grid/user/B5E07E8BAC19973E
Hume:
http://www.youtube.com/user/flame0430#grid/user/8BB8343B7F63FB73
Spinoza and Leibniz:
http://www.youtube.com/user/flame0430#grid/user/C7A57BB4C12BA614
Kant:
http://www.youtube.com/user/flame0430#grid/user/B4FE9C3FD95130E6
Hegel and Marx:
http://www.youtube.com/user/flame0430#grid/user/7ED15A8503319465
Schopenhauer:
http://www.youtube.com/user/flame0430#grid/user/A278825283662B5F
Nietzsche:
http://www.youtube.com/user/flame0430#grid/user/187F778640C315EF
Philosophy of Science:
http://www.youtube.com/user/flame0430#grid/user/AE3115E376516725
Pragmatism:
http://www.youtube.com/user/flame0430#grid/user/858B72E7D3B5E4E9
Logical Positivism:
http://www.youtube.com/user/flame0430#grid/user/3AA43790D6348996
Frege and Russell:
http://www.youtube.com/user/flame0430#grid/user/9EA23147367F1085
Wittgenstein:
http://www.youtube.com/user/flame0430#grid/user/32415A03338A3BC9
http://www.youtube.com/user/flame0430#grid/user/BA11F92930FBA44D
WVO Quine:
http://www.youtube.com/user/flame0430#grid/user/4461A4CB4577FE68
Philosophy of Language:
http://www.youtube.com/user/flame0430#grid/user/84E6888288889439
Husserl and Heidegger:
http://www.youtube.com/user/flame0430#grid/user/1B2436687744840B
Derrida:
http://www.youtube.com/user/flame0430#grid/user/C08DCF187C25896C
Philosophy and Literature:
http://www.youtube.com/user/flame0430#grid/user/62C50202CE181183



Of course, not all of this agrees with the general philosophy advocated here. One has to separate the gold from lead, so to speak. It's a very valuable cognitive exercise to be confronted with developed ideas you don't agree with, and articulating why you don't agree with the ideas. This will also make the values/ideas that you already hold stronger, and it could open up a new pathway of thought. In any case, none of it is a waste of time.

This is my first post, by the way. But I've been a long time lurker. Cheers.

Trauco

Re: Introduction to philosophy
June 16, 2010, 08:32:39 PM
Quote
      Start with the Greeks, specifically Plato and Aristotle
   7. Romans: Marcus Aurelius
   8. Kant
   9. Reverse course a bit: Nietzsche -> Schopenhauer
  10. Then read the moderns
  11. Then fill in the gaps

I have one comment regarding this, and it is an important one. Personally, I would not sever the direct link between Kant and Schopenhauer, especially pertaining their epistemology. In order to comprehend Schopenahuer fully, one must first have a complete and fresh knowledge of Kant's theories on pure reason. On the other hand, the link between Nietzsche and the greeks is so conspicuous, that one can make the direct jump from Epictetus to Friedrich without difficulty.

But, besides the previous considerations, the advice above given by the redditor cannot be stressed enough...most people involved in philosophy nowadays go for the social and political stuff released on the past 100 years, while completely neglecting Plato, Kant, Schopenhauer and all the others who actually made coherent systems based on imperishable ideas.

Quote
More people need to start with a historical guide, and then track ARGUMENTS more than thinkers.

I'd agree with this, except that all people - smart enough to do so, of course - can greatly benefit the development of their own thinking  just by perusing the works of the best philosophers, which by their sheer clarity of exposition give a good idea of how they thought what they thought.

Re: Introduction to philosophy
June 17, 2010, 11:31:02 PM
I'm no expert, but the one piece of advice I can give is to avoid anything related to Post-Modern Philosophy like the plague.  It's a bunch of horseshit (that's one shit level above bullshit) dressed up to sound intellectual, but it's not...it's just a waste of time.
Examples:
-Queer Theory
-Most Feminism
-All forms of Relativism
-Anything that uses the phrase "white male science"
-Anybody whose primary source of ideas is drugs (e.g. Terence McKenna)

Re: Introduction to philosophy
June 18, 2010, 10:19:45 AM
Quote
Opinions from an armchair philosopher.

   1.

      Read these in full:
   2.

      The Story of Philosophy, by Will Durant
   3. The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, by Robert Audi
   4. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
   5. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Avoid Wikipedia and any textbooks used at community colleges or the University of Texas.

   1.

      Work on your skills for understanding logical argument:
   2.

      Critical Thinking, Introduction to Critical Thinking, Where to Begin -- be familiar with basic concepts.
   3. Debate provides a good gateway.
   4.

      Logical Fallacies -- drop Slippery Slope from the list, as it's not a fallacy, just misused.
   5.

      Track philosophy historically
   6.

      Start with the Greeks, specifically Plato and Aristotle
   7. Romans: Marcus Aurelius
   8. Kant
   9. Reverse course a bit: Nietzsche -> Schopenhauer
  10. Then read the moderns
  11. Then fill in the gaps

I recommend avoiding too much of the modern stuff; it's all theory disconnected from application, and you'd do better with basic linguistics, computer science and physics than most of it. I also recommend keeping an eye out for naturalist philosophers like Hardin, Evola, and Guenon.

http://www.reddit.com/r/philosophy101/comments/cfmgz/how_to_get_started_in_philosophy/

I thought this was pretty accurate.

More people need to start with a historical guide, and then track ARGUMENTS more than thinkers.

This seems reasonable to me, though I would add that the student of philosophy ought to apply himself just as rigorously to the study of history as to philosophy itself, as this provides a more or less continuous record of the reality against which philosophy must be weighed and measured.

Re: Introduction to philosophy
June 18, 2010, 03:17:57 PM
I would add that the student of philosophy ought to apply himself just as rigorously to the study of history as to philosophy itself, as this provides a more or less continuous record of the reality against which philosophy must be weighed and measured.

I agree here.

One has to separate the gold from lead, so to speak. It's a very valuable cognitive exercise to be confronted with developed ideas you don't agree with, and articulating why you don't agree with the ideas. This will also make the values/ideas that you already hold stronger, and it could open up a new pathway of thought. In any case, none of it is a waste of time.

I agree here also, with the caveat that reading bad/insane information is discouraged.

I would not sever the direct link between Kant and Schopenhauer, especially pertaining their epistemology. In order to comprehend Schopenahuer fully, one must first have a complete and fresh knowledge of Kant's theories on pure reason. On the other hand, the link between Nietzsche and the greeks is so conspicuous, that one can make the direct jump from Epictetus to Friedrich without difficulty.

I can't agree here -- the split was deliberate. Kant is perhaps best re-interpreted through the filter of Nietzsche, which then removes some of the errors that in approaching Schopenhauer could otherwise be fatal. In addition, having gotten Nietzsche out of the way and needing time to digest Nietzsche, Schopenhauer is a good detour into implications and origins.

Re: Introduction to philosophy
June 18, 2010, 04:02:17 PM
Thank you TheDesolateOne. I've watched three episodes and I find it very interesting.The quality is a bit varied though; I like it when they stick to the actual ideas of each thinker and don't get stuck in their life story. They managed to talk about Heidegger without mentioning nazism. Thats rare.

Trauco

Re: Introduction to philosophy
June 20, 2010, 10:31:47 PM
I can't agree here -- the split was deliberate. Kant is perhaps best re-interpreted through the filter of Nietzsche, which then removes some of the errors that in approaching Schopenhauer could otherwise be fatal. In addition, having gotten Nietzsche out of the way and needing time to digest Nietzsche, Schopenhauer is a good detour into implications and origins.

Your response is kind of vague... What errors are those you refer about? In what way does Nietzsche clarify Kant's ideas?

Re: Introduction to philosophy
June 21, 2010, 01:34:18 AM
I can't agree here -- the split was deliberate. Kant is perhaps best re-interpreted through the filter of Nietzsche, which then removes some of the errors that in approaching Schopenhauer could otherwise be fatal. In addition, having gotten Nietzsche out of the way and needing time to digest Nietzsche, Schopenhauer is a good detour into implications and origins.

Your response is kind of vague... What errors are those you refer about? In what way does Nietzsche clarify Kant's ideas?
The Kantian aspects of Nietzsche's philosophy have been a hot topic in the scholarly community as of late. http://www.amazon.com/Nietzsches-Critiques-Kantian-Foundations-Thought/dp/0199285527/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1277083756&sr=8-1
http://www.amazon.com/Nietzsche-Transcendental-Tradition-International-Studies/dp/0252027353/ref=pd_sim_b_1

I think I recall extensive discussions of Kant in BGAE and GOM, as well as a few passing comments in the Antichrist.

Re: Introduction to philosophy
April 24, 2011, 07:01:46 AM
Just saying how awesome this thread is.

Quote
III. Track philosophy historically

1. Start with the Greeks, specifically Plato and Aristotle
2. Romans: Marcus Aurelius
3. Kant
4. ... Schopenhauer
5. Then read the moderns
6. Then fill in the gaps

This is how universities should teach.

Nietzsche can be largely left out; he's the kind of philosopher best studied individually.

Re: Introduction to philosophy
April 29, 2011, 03:58:05 PM
Just saying how awesome this thread is.

Quote
III. Track philosophy historically

1. Start with the Greeks, specifically Plato and Aristotle
2. Romans: Marcus Aurelius
3. Kant
4. ... Schopenhauer
5. Then read the moderns
6. Then fill in the gaps

This is how universities should teach.

Nietzsche can be largely left out; he's the kind of philosopher best studied individually.

Nietzsche is the kind best not read at all. Stick with philosophy that can actually teach you something substantial, i.e. the above, plus Epictetus and the rest of the stoic school for an excellent practical philosophy applicable at all times.

Compared with all of them, Nietzsche's scribblings look like the ravings of a lunatic, and as a matter of fact that's what they are, when not rambling, dull or vague.

Re: Introduction to philosophy
April 29, 2011, 09:37:09 PM
Just saying how awesome this thread is.

Quote
III. Track philosophy historically

1. Start with the Greeks, specifically Plato and Aristotle
2. Romans: Marcus Aurelius
3. Kant
4. ... Schopenhauer
5. Then read the moderns
6. Then fill in the gaps

This is how universities should teach.

Nietzsche can be largely left out; he's the kind of philosopher best studied individually.

Nietzsche is the kind best not read at all. Stick with philosophy that can actually teach you something substantial, i.e. the above, plus Epictetus and the rest of the stoic school for an excellent practical philosophy applicable at all times.

Compared with all of them, Nietzsche's scribblings look like the ravings of a lunatic, and as a matter of fact that's what they are, when not rambling, dull or vague.

Indeed, Nietzsche was NOT a philosopher.  In fact, he says this himself, or he says he SHOULD not have been a philosopher, either way.  Somewhere I remember him saying that his "soul was meant to sing."

Re: Introduction to philosophy
April 29, 2011, 10:18:21 PM
I started with Nietzsche and Schopenhauer in high school. I'm not sure that was a great idea in hindsight. In college, the department I was in was very focused on the history of philosophy and reading the primary texts of the great thinkers of Western philosophy. It was a very conservative department academically-speaking and I think I benefited from this approach greatly. My progress was extremely linear, from the Greeks to the early moderns (we skipped over the medieval period almost entirely) to those crazy Germans and then to more contemporary (but not too contemporary) thinkers. It makes sense. It's hard to appreciate Kant if you aren't familiar with e.g., Descartes, Locke, & Hume. It's basically impossible to follow Hegel without a decent grasp of Kant. Unfortunately, you're going to miss half of what Schopenhauer or Kierkegaard have to say if you've skipped Hegel. You're missing out on a lot of Nietzsche by passing up Schopenhauer. And good luck with Heidegger if you haven't read all of it.

Re: Introduction to philosophy
April 30, 2011, 04:24:27 AM
Value Theory / Editorial Essays http://www.friesian.com/value.htm