Is this the right book for me?
This book is the essential introduction to the history of Western thought. Covering all the key thinkers, both ancient and modern, and all the major branches of philosophy, it will give you new insights about the world we live in. Packed full of examples and clear explanations, and with key terms defined and explained, it is ideal whether you are student looking for a quick refresher or just want to explore this fascinating topic out of personal interest.
Understand Philosophy includes:
Chapter 1: The theory of knowledge
Empiricism and rationalism
Knowledge and justification: are you certain?
The external world: appearance and reality
The proof of the pudding…
Chapter 2: The philosophy of science
A historical overview
From evidence to theory: scientific method
Experiments and objectivity
Right, wrong or what?
The social sciences
What counts as science?
Science and authority
Chapter 3: Language and logic
Language and certainty
Language and perception
Knowledge and language
Chapter 4: The philosophy of mind
Ancient minds: Plato and Aristotle
‘I think, therefore I am’
The relationship between mind and body
The concept of mind
A ‘place’ for mind?
Neurones and computers
Knowing me, knowing you
A ‘personal’ postscript
Chapter 5: The philosophy of religion
Faith, reason and belief
Does God exist?
The origin and design of the universe: religion or science?
The problem of evil
Compensation after death?
Psychological and sociological explanations of religion
Some general remarks
Chapter 6: Ethics
Facts, values and choices
Freedom and determinism
Kinds of ethical language
Three bases for ethics
Absolute or relative morality?
The social contract
Chapter 7: Political philosophy
The social contract
The general will
Marx and materialism
Freedom and law
Chapter 8: Continental philosophy
Chapter 9: Some other branches of philosophy
The philosophy of history
The philosophy of education
Chapter 10: The scope of philosophy today
Learn effortlessly with a new easy-to-read page design and interactive features:
Not got much time?
One, five and ten-minute introductions to key principles to get you started.
Lots of instant help with common problems and quick tips for success, based on the author’s many years of experience.
Tests in the book and online to keep track of your progress.
Extend your knowledge
Extra online articles to give you a richer understanding of the subject.
Five things to remember
Quick refreshers to help you remember the key facts.
Innovative exercises illustrate what you’ve learnt and how to use it.
Understand Philosophy is an in-depth guide to the most important philosophical ideas, both ancient and modern.