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Book The Norton Introduction to Philosophy by Gideon Rosen (2015-02-17)


The Norton Introduction to Philosophy by Gideon Rosen (2015-02-17)

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Norton Introduction to Philosophy by Gideon Rosen (2015-02-17).pdf | Language: UNKNOWN
    Gideon Rosen;Alex Byrne;Joshua Cohen;Seana Valentine Shiffrin(Author)

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Review Text

  • By can rock on November 24, 2015

    I took a look at this book because a colleague mentioned that it has a better gender balance than other intro texts. I have to say I'm underwhelmed by the diversity in the selections. In each section that included no female or non-western writers, I could think of obvious ways of including some. It may well be that this text is not as bad as the most popular intro to philosophy volumes, but not as bad is not good enough. Assigning this text to my students would be damaging. I guess I'm still stuck gathering together my own set of readings and providing the introductions to them in my lectures.As a vivid, and I would think very embarrassing, example of this gender imbalance, consider the first line on the first page of the first chapter, "When a philosopher is going to tell you that he is going to prove that God exists..." He? Seriously?If you're going to waste ink in the introduction pretending to care about inclusivity in philosophy, you could at least not give yourselves away in the very first line of the book.

  • By Kendal Brian Hunter on March 7, 2017

     Clocking in at over 1,000 pages, this is a hefty tome. I appreciate all the work the editors did in compiling this book, and I think they succeeded.Here are the good points: One, newness. This is cutting-edge philosophy, and relevance is key. And I apprentice the inclusion of female philosophers, since their perspective is essential to well-balanced intellectual progress.This brings me to another plus. The book is organized with a discussion of the question at hand, and is then followed by a selection of relevant readings, which, in turn, are followed by a series of probing questions about the reading, and lastly, there is a comprehensive Q&A/points to ponder. Since I was reading this book on my own, this approach lent itself to my independent study, or home schooling. Cheers all around.Now for the negatives. One, I thought there was a bias towards utilitarianism. This school of thought has pluses (majority rule and democracy) and minuses (such as legitimizing oppressing minorities), but I felt like editors were giving this a bit more stage-time than other approaches.Two, the questions were treated as isolated ideas, and I believe that the historical “long and windy road” behind the questions could have been emphasized. There are reasons why ideas take hold, and also reasons why the fall out of vogue, and why they mutate. This genealogy is a factor in understanding them.Thirdly, I though the organization of the questions could have been perfected.For example, Chapter One deals with the existence of God. As a person of faith (I'm a Latter-day Saint), I think this is the most important question that anyone can ask. But before we ask this question, we have to establish the existence of an external reality, and establish how we know there is an external reality, and then how we could possibly know that God exists. Notice the long sequence of prerequisites, and this intellectual trailblazing is missing in the organization.Thomas Aquinas has some sage advice on this matter:“We have considered that students … have not seldom been hampered by what they have found written by other authors, partly on account of the multiplication of useless questions, articles, and arguments, partly also because those things that are needful for them to know are not taught according to the order of the subject matter, but according as the plan of the book might require, or the occasion of the argument offer ...” (Summa Theologica (Complete & Unabridged), intro.)An instance of what Aquinas might consider a “useless question” is Chapter 10, “What is color?”Now, I'm not saying this question is unimportant—I think it is, and has bearing on such things as quantum mechanics and physics. But as an introduction to philosophy, it was not a good choice. It reminds me of Aristophanes's satire in “Clouds,” or Gulliver’s visit to Laputa—the oddball and hackney stereotypes of the oddball and hackneyed philosophers studying oddball topics.I'd recommend as a better introduction “Questions that Matter: An Invitation to Philosophy” It was the textbook I used in college, and I like the approach that followed the questions along a historical timeline. My degree is in history, and I appreciate this approach.Okay, I admit that some of these criticisms are personal biases. So take them for what they are worth. And if this book suits your need, then go for it.

  • By mosa on July 10, 2015

    Look, I had to have this book for Philosophy, but aside from being (in my opinion) the stupidest book in existence, it also had the smallest font ever, which made it horrible to follow. No, I never grasped the subject, and still don't get how a bunch of fools could sit around in thought and conjure up such rubbish. I regard myself as a reasonably clever person, but this subject had me very confused and annoyed. If you must take this class then for the love of life, look for LARGE print. My last advice, if you have a sleeping disorder... BUY THIS BOOK NOW!!! I kid you not, since my youth I have read thousands of books on many topics, but never has a book had the ability to make me fall asleep... this book has.

  • By JeSuisCoralyne on September 30, 2015

    The physical book itself arrived in great condition, but my 1 star is regarding the content. I am halfway through the semester taking a Philosophy course and this book has done nothing to clarify any of the philosophical theories covered in class. Certain reads have even managed to confuse me even more on certain subjects. I highly recommend the Stanford Encyclopedia in Philosophy as it is online and FREE! It does a way better job at clarifying sections such as Descartes' dualism theory and the even more obnoxious subject of the Brain-Mind Identity theory.If your teacher recommends this book as mandatory text, I suggest you not take the class!

  • By JennA on July 20, 2016

    Concepts as presented by the philosophers do not make sense. Written in English, but I still needed an English translator. No clear examples, nothing at all really, to help the reader who knows nothing of philosophy.

  • By Carol A Elliott on July 12, 2017

    Just needed this book for a class, it's kind of a hard book to understand because philosophers word things so intricately.

  • By Ingrid on June 27, 2016

    Have had the worst luck with getting charged over and over again after I have already returned this books. Getting tired of dealing with it. Unreal

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