Philosophy: The Classics

Philosophy: The Classics

Nigel Warburton

Language: English

Pages: 320

ISBN: 0415534666

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Now in its fourth edition, Philosophy: The Classics is a brisk and invigorating tour through the great books of western philosophy. In his exemplary clear style, Nigel Warburton introduces and assesses thirty-two philosophical classics from Plato’s Republic to Rawls’ A Theory of Justice. The fourth edition includes new material on:

  • Montaigne Essays
  • Thomas Paine Rights of Man
  • R.G. Collingwood The Principles of Art
  • Karl Popper The Open Society and Its Enemies
  • Thomas Kuhn The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

With a glossary and suggestions for further reading at the end of each chapter, this is an ideal starting point for anyone interested in philosophy.

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nvironment. Aristotle did not challenge the status quo, but rather enshrined the pre-existing values of his society in the fonn of a philosophical treatise. For instance, he thought slavery an acceptable practice. His is a defence of the values esteemed by the nobi lity of 28 Copyrighted material AR I STOTLE ancie nt Athens . Yet he presents these values as if they were o bviously pmt, not j ust of an ancient Athenian 's nature, but of human nature itself. He treats them as universal features

fact likely to break them. And the prince should not feel bound to keep hi s promises in such circumstances: that would 40 Copyrighted material MACH IAVELL I be foolhardy. Machiavelli argues that the successfu l prince should follow a very different code from that advocated by traditional morality, whether that comes from a classica l or Christia n source. Appearance is everything for a prince. People react to superfi cial characteristics aod rarely, if ever, perceive a prince as he really is.

the corpuscles from which it is composed; the primary quali ties of the corpuscles give rise to my ideas of it. The same is true of the snowball's coldness. and its taste. These are not strictly properties found in the snowba ll but rather secondary qualities of the object dependent on its primary q ualities. Locke's discussion of primary and secondary qualities makes clear his realism: his unqueslioned belief in the existence of real o bjects in the external world which give rise to our

which they a rc copies. Hume recasts Locke's assertion that there are no innate ideas as all our ideas are copies of impressions. ln other words, it is impossible for us to have a n idea of something whicb we have not. first experienced as a n impression . How, then, would Hume cope with my ability to imagine a golden mountain even though I bave never seen one and so never had an impression of one? His answer relies on a distinction between simple and complex ideas. Simple ideas are all derived

happiness, rather than j ust our own individual happiness, is something tbat we all ought to pursue. Difficulties of calculation Even if Mill had estn blished that there were good gro unds for adopting a utilitarian approach to ethics, there are still some objections to rbe theory and its a pp lication whic h he wou ld need to meet. One practical difficu lty is that of calculating which of the many possible actions is most likely to produce the most happi ness overall. This might be a

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