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Book Introducing Philosophy: A Text With Integrated Readings

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Introducing Philosophy: A Text With Integrated Readings

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Introducing Philosophy: A Text With Integrated Readings.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Robert C. Solomon(Author)

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Reprint of 5th ed. Originally published: 1977.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

"Strikes a nice balance between commentary and original sources. Accessible to students at different levels."--W.B. Hepburn, College of Charleston, SC Robert C. Solomon is at University of Texas, Austin. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

4.4 (6456)
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Book details

  • PDF | 950 pages
  • Robert C. Solomon(Author)
  • Harcourt College Pub; 5th edition (January 1993)
  • English
  • 6
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Review Text

  • By Owen Hatteras on July 2, 2007

    Back when I took Intro. to Phil. (when dinosaurs still walked the Earth), the text used was Joel Feinberg's "Reason and Responsibility". Professor Feinberg's book (current and past editions are available from Amazon) takes a thematic approach with discrete readings and relatively little commentary from the editor. By contrast, the readings in Professor Soloman's book are short fragments woven throughout his text. To me, this gives the book a somewhat choppy feel; but for a someone encountering the subject for the first time or engaged in self-study, this connective tissue will probably be helpful in explaining passages that may not be entirely clear and placing them in their proper context.One of the great virtues of this book is its sheer breadth. Readings are included from African, Indian, and East Asian cultures. There are some well-chosen excerpts presenting feminist perspctives that many students will probably not be familiar with (except perhaps as conservative caricatures).My own favorite part of the book was the section dealing with philosophy of mind. Despite the immense advances in cognitive psychology and neurophysiology over the past thirty years, the precise nature of human consciousness still remains elusive (see philosopher Colin McGinn's "The Mysterious Flame" for good reasons why this is likely to remain the case). Questions of personal identity and free will are inextricably mixed with this, and Professor Soloman does a good job of disentangling these controversies and giving them a through airing.To conclude, it is sad to report that Profesor Soloman died suddenly in Zurich airport while awaiting a flight in January of this year with his wife by his side. It later emerged that he had a congenital (and inoperable) heart defect which he was aware of and knew could potentialy prove fatal. Professor Soloman was, by all accounts, a gifted teacher who decried what he called "thinking thin" and believed that Philosophy was not merely a parlor game of puzzle-solving, but had a powerful contribution to make to 'real life'. My sincere condolences to his wife, family, and students, past and present."If death was truly an evil, than Socrates would have told us as much."--Epictetus, "Enchiridon"

  • By boris on July 7, 2011

    Probably the best single volume introduction to the great discipline of the Greeks, containing well-chosen readings integrated with an easy-to-follow text. In spite of its strengths, there is a superficial feel to the presentation, which I attribute to the almost entirely topical format, although within each chapter, the sequencing is largely historical, compensating somewhat for this weakness. The chapters (from the 8th edition) are, in order, Reality, Religion, Knowledge, Truth, Self, Mind and Body, Freedom, Ethics, Justice, and Beauty. For me, only the first four were really significant (although I haven't read the others in full) and I got the idea this was very much a textbook for the general market, hence leaning towards diversity rather than depth. The later chapters in particular are not only on vaguer topics, but throw in a wide and quirky series of readings, from people with agendas like feminists and Marxists. One's opinion on this will be highly subjective, but I also felt the review questions throughout the book were simplistic, and unlikely to elicit much discussion, for example, "What does Locke mean when he says that the mind is like a blank tablet (tabula rasa) of white paper? What is he arguing against?" Questions like this don't require much intellectual acuity from the student, and neither do they suggest much thought in their preparation. It is rather as if Solomon spent a lot of time on the text and readings, but threw in a few basic questions to satisfy his conscience, or his editor.The only notable omission is the almost complete absence of any discussion of analytic philosophy, one of the major movements to characterise 20th century philosophical thought. There are readings from Bertrand Russell, a noted analytic philosopher, but no discussion of the school he represented. Apart from that, I just really got the feeling there was a lack of engagement with some issues, apparently by way of avoiding controversy, and making the material as pluralist as possible. The reader will have much to learn from, but he will have to supply the depth of thought himself. It would be a good one to read with a friend, but for anyone who is inclined to self-study, go for any classic and read it in full, not a book with smallish extracts plucked from great works.


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