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Metaphysics: A Very Short Introduction

Metaphysics: A Very Short Introduction

  • Author: Stephen Mumford
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • ISBN: 0199657122
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Page: 113
  • View: 1916
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An introduction to metaphysics offers questions and answers covering such issues as properties, changes, time, personal identity, nothingness, and consciousness.

Metaphysics: A Very Short Introduction

Metaphysics: A Very Short Introduction

  • Author: Stephen Mumford
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford
  • ISBN: 0191640263
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Page: 128
  • View: 1516
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Metaphysics is one of the traditional four main branches of philosophy, alongside ethics, logic and epistemology. It is also an area that continues to attract and hold a fascination for many people yet it is associated with being complex and abstract. For some it is associated with the mystical or religious. For others it is known through the metaphysical poets who talk of love and spirituality. This Very Short Introduction goes right to the heart of the matter, getting to the basic and most important questions of metaphysical thought in order to understand the theory: What are objects? Do colours and shapes have some form of existence? What is it for one thing to cause another rather than just being associated with it? What is possible? Does time pass? By using these questions to initiate thought about the basic issues around substance, properties, changes, causes, possibilities, time, personal identity, nothingness and emergentism, Stephen Mumford provides a clear and simple path through this analytical tradition at the core of philosophical thought. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Causation: A Very Short Introduction

Causation: A Very Short Introduction

  • Author: Stephen Mumford,Rani Lill Anjum
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • ISBN: 019968443X
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Page: 128
  • View: 5128
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Without cause and effect, there would be no science or technology, no moral responsibility, and no system of law. Causation is therefore the most fundamental connection in the universe and a core topic of philosophical thought. This Very Short Introduction introduces all of the main theories of causation and its key debates.

Logic

Logic

A Very Short Introduction

  • Author: Graham Priest
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • ISBN: 0198811705
  • Category: Mathematics
  • Page: 156
  • View: 612
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Logic is often perceived as having little to do with the rest of philosophy, and even less to do with real life. In this lively and accessible introduction, Graham Priest shows how wrong this conception is. He explores the philosophical roots of the subject, explaining how modern formal logic deals with issues ranging from the existence of God and the reality of time to paradoxes of probability and decision theory. Along the way, the basics of formal logic are explained in simple, non-technical terms, showing that logic is a powerful and exciting part of modern philosophy. In this new edition Graham Priest expands his discussion to cover the subjects of algorithms and axioms, and proofs in mathematics. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Free Will: A Very Short Introduction

Free Will: A Very Short Introduction

  • Author: Thomas Pink
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • ISBN: 0192853589
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Page: 132
  • View: 2202
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Every day we seem to make and act upon all kinds of free choices - but are these choices really free? Or are we compelled to act the way we do by factors beyond our control? This book looks at free will.

German Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction

German Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction

  • Author: Andrew Bowie
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford
  • ISBN: 0191614289
  • Category: History
  • Page: 152
  • View: 7556
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German philosophy remains the core of modern philosophy. Without Kant, Frege, Wittgenstein, and Husserl there would be no Anglo-American 'analytical' style of philosophy. Moreover, without Kant, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, and Heidegger, the 'Continental Philosophy' of Derrida, Foucault, Deleuze, Badiou, and Zizek, which has had major effects on humanities subjects in recent years, is incomprehensible. Knowledge of German philosophy is, then, an indispensable prerequisite of theoretically informed study in the humanities as a whole. German Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction discusses the idea that German philosophy forms one of the most revealing responses to the problems of 'modernity'. The rise of the modern natural sciences and the related decline of religion raises a series of questions, which recur throughout German philosophy, concerning the relationships between knowledge and faith, reason and emotion, and scientific, ethical, and artistic ways of seeing the world. There are also many significant philosophers who are generally neglected in most existing English-language treatments of German philosophy, which tend to concentrate on the canonical figures. This Very Short Introduction will include reference to these thinkers and suggests how they can be used to question more familiar German philosophical thought. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Knowledge

Knowledge

A Very Short Introduction

  • Author: Jennifer Nagel
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • ISBN: 019966126X
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Page: 133
  • View: 8585
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What is knowledge? Is it the same as opinion or truth? Do you need to be able to justify a claim in order to count as knowing it? How can we know that the outer world is real and not a dream? Questions like these have existed since ancient times, and the branch of philosophy dedicated to answering them - epistemology - has been active for thousands of years. In this thought-provoking Very Short Introduction, Jennifer Nagel considers the central problems and paradoxes in the theory of knowledge and draws attention to the ways in which philosophers and theorists have responded to them. By exploring the relationship between knowledge and truth, and considering the problem of scepticism, Nagel introduces a series of influential historical and contemporary theories of knowledge, incorporating methods from logic, linguistics, and psychology, using a number of everyday examples to demonstrate the key issues and debates. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction

Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction

  • Author: Edward Craig
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks
  • ISBN: 0192854216
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Page: 132
  • View: 2694
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Examines how philosophers including Plato, Descartes, Hobbes, Darwin, and de Beauvoir responded to real life situations, and how their responses continue to influence people today.

Reality: A Very Short Introduction

Reality: A Very Short Introduction

  • Author: Jan Westerhoff
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford
  • ISBN: 0191638072
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Page: 136
  • View: 8106
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'What is real?' has been one of the key questions of philosophy since its beginning in antiquity. It is a question that, due to such films as The Matrix, has also made its way into popular culture. But it is not just a question philosophers ask. It is also asked by scientists when they investigate whether the fundamental constituents of matter are actually 'out there' or just a mere abstraction from a successful theory. Cognitive scientists ask it when trying to find out which set of the bewildering array of data processed by our brain could constitute the basis for such supposedly fundamental entities like the free agent or the self. This Very Short Introduction discusses what reality is by looking at a variety of arguments, theories and thought-experiments from philosophy, physics, and cognitive science. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Philosophy

Philosophy

  • Author: Edward Craig
  • Publisher: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc.
  • ISBN: 9781402768774
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Page: 186
  • View: 8740
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"Philosophy is more than an intellectual pastime, according to Edward Craig. His lively and engaging study shows that thinkers like Descartes, Hegel, Darwin, and de Beauvoir responded to real needs and events--and that many of their concerns shape our daily lives today"--Cover, p. 4.

Kant: A Very Short Introduction

Kant: A Very Short Introduction

  • Author: Roger Scruton
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford
  • ISBN: 0191604437
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Page: 160
  • View: 8310
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Kant is arguably the most influential modern philosopher, but also one of the most difficult. Roger Scruton tackles his exceptionally complex subject with a strong hand, exploring the background to Kant's work and showing why the Critique of Pure Reason has proved so enduring. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Aristotle: A Very Short Introduction

Aristotle: A Very Short Introduction

  • Author: Jonathan Barnes
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks
  • ISBN: 9780192854087
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Page: 160
  • View: 9744
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The influence of Aristotle, the prince of philosophers, on the intellectual history of the West is second to none. In this book Jonathan Barnes examines Aristotle's scientific researches, his discoveries in logic and his metaphysical theories, his work in psychology and in ethics and politics, and his ideas about art and poetry, placing his teachings in their historical context. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Nothing: A Very Short Introduction

Nothing: A Very Short Introduction

  • Author: Frank Close
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford
  • ISBN: 0191574643
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Page: 176
  • View: 662
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What is 'nothing'? What remains when you take all the matter away? Can empty space - a void - exist? This Very Short Introduction explores the science and the history of the elusive void: from Aristotle who insisted that the vacuum was impossible, via the theories of Newton and Einstein, to our very latest discoveries and why they can tell us extraordinary things about the cosmos. Frank Close tells the story of how scientists have explored the elusive void, and the rich discoveries that they have made there. He takes the reader on a lively and accessible history through ancient ideas and cultural superstitions to the frontiers of current research. He describes how scientists discovered that the vacuum is filled with fields; how Newton, Mach, and Einstein grappled with the nature of space and time; and how the mysterious 'aether' that was long ago supposed to permeate the void may now be making a comeback with the latest research into the 'Higgs field'. We now know that the vacuum is far from being empty - it seethes with virtual particles and antiparticles that erupt spontaneously into being, and it also may contain hidden dimensions that we were previously unaware of. These new discoveries may provide answers to some of cosmology's most fundamental questions: what lies outside the universe, and, if there was once nothing, then how did the universe begin? ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Indian Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction

Indian Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction

  • Author: Sue Hamilton
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford
  • ISBN: 0191579424
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Page: 176
  • View: 2760
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India has a long, rich, and diverse tradition of philosophical thought, spanning some two and a half millennia and encompassing several major religious traditions. This Very Short Introduction emphasizes the diversity of Indian thought, and is structured around six schools which have achieved classic status. Sue Hamilton explores how the traditions have attempted to understand the nature of reality in terms of an inner or spiritual quest, and introduces distinctively Indian concepts such as karma and rebirth. She also shows how Indian thinkers have understood issues of reality and knowledge — issues which are also an important part of the Western philosophical tradition. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Descartes: A Very Short Introduction

Descartes: A Very Short Introduction

  • Author: Tom Sorell
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford
  • ISBN: 0191606561
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Page: 128
  • View: 5044
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René Descartes (1596-1650) had a remarkably short working life, and his output was small, yet his contributions to philosophy and science have endured to the present day. He is perhaps best known for his statement 'Cogito, ergo sum'. By a mixture of 'intuition' and 'deduction' Descartes derived from the 'cogito' principle first the existence of a material world. But Descartes did not intend the metaphysics to stand apart from his scientific work, which included important investigations into physics, mathematics, psychology, and optics. In this book Tom Sorrell shows that Descartes was, above all, an advocate and practitioner of a new mathematical approach to physics, and that he developed his metaphysics to support his programme in the sciences. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Philosophy of Science: A Very Short Introduction

Philosophy of Science: A Very Short Introduction

  • Author: Samir Okasha
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford
  • ISBN: 9780191579257
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Page: 160
  • View: 9645
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What is science? Is there a real difference between science and myth? Is science objective? Can science explain everything? This Very Short Introduction provides a concise overview of the main themes of contemporary philosophy of science. Beginning with a short history of science to set the scene, Samir Okasha goes on to investigate the nature of scientific reasoning, scientific explanation, revolutions in science, and theories such as realism and anti-realism. He also looks at philosophical issues in particular sciences, including the problem of classification in biology, and the nature of space and time in physics. The final chapter touches on the conflicts between science and religion, and explores whether science is ultimately a good thing. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Continental Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction

Continental Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction

  • Author: Simon Critchley
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford
  • ISBN: 0191578320
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Page: 168
  • View: 3787
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Simon Critchley's Very Short Introduction shows that Continental philosophy encompasses a distinct set of philosophical traditions and practices, with a compelling range of problems all too often ignored by the analytic tradition. He discusses the ideas and approaches of philosophers such as Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, Habermas, Foucault, and Derrida, and introduces key concepts such as existentialism, nihilism, and phenomenology by explaining their place in the Continental tradition. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Being Good

Being Good

A Short Introduction to Ethics

  • Author: Simon Blackburn
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford
  • ISBN: 0191647314
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Page: 172
  • View: 5794
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It is not only in our dark hours that scepticism, relativism, hypocrisy, and nihilism dog ethics. Whether it is a matter of giving to charity, or sticking to duty, or insisting on our rights, we can be confused, or be paralysed by the fear that our principles are groundless. Many are afraid that in a Godless world science has unmasked us as creatures fated by our genes to be selfish and tribalistic, or competitive and aggressive. Simon Blackburn, author of the best-selling Think, structures this short introduction around these and other threats to ethics. Confronting seven different objections to our self-image as moral, well-behaved creatures, he charts a course through the philosophical quicksands that often engulf us. Then, turning to problems of life and death, he shows how we should think about the meaning of life, and how we should mistrust the sound-bite sized absolutes that often dominate moral debates. Finally he offers a critical tour of the ways the philosophical tradition has tried to provide foundations for ethics, from Plato and Aristotle through to contemporary debates.

Analytic Philosophy

Analytic Philosophy

A Very Short Introduction

  • Author: Michael Beaney
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • ISBN: 0198778023
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Page: 152
  • View: 3021
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Originating in the pioneering work of Gottlob Frege, Bertrand Russell, G. E. Moore, and Ludwig Wittgenstein in the four decades around the turn of the twentieth century, analytic philosophy established itself in various forms in the 1930s. After the Second World War, it developed further in North America, in the rest of Europe, and is now growing in influence as the dominant philosophical tradition right across the world, from Latin America to East Asia. In this Very Short Introduction Michael Beaney introduces some of the key ideas of the founders of analytic philosophy by exploring certain fundamental philosophical questions and showing how those ideas can be used in offering answers. Considering the work of Susan Stebbing, he also explores the application of analytic philosophy to critical thinking, and emphasizes the conceptual creativity that lies at the heart of fruitful analysis. Throughout, Beaney illustrates why clarity of thinking, precision of expression, and rigour of argumentation are rightly seen as virtues of analytic philosophy. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.