Download A Little History of Philosophy by Nigel Warburton PDF

By Nigel Warburton

Philosophy starts with questions about the character of truth and the way we must always dwell. those have been the troubles of Socrates, who spent his days within the old Athenian industry asking awkward questions, disconcerting the folks he met through displaying them how little they certainly understood. This enticing e-book introduces the good thinkers in Western philosophy and explores their such a lot compelling principles concerning the international and the way most sensible to dwell in it.

In 40 short chapters, Nigel Warburton courses us on a chronological journey of the most important rules within the background of philosophy. He presents attention-grabbing and sometimes quirky tales of the lives and deaths of thought-provoking philosophers from Socrates, who selected to die by means of hemlock poisoning instead of survive with out the liberty to imagine for himself, to Peter Singer, who asks the disquieting philosophical and moral questions that hang-out our personal times.

Warburton not just makes philosophy available, he bargains idea to imagine, argue, cause, and ask within the culture of Socrates. A Little historical past of Philosophy provides the grand sweep of humanity’s look for philosophical figuring out and invitations all to affix within the dialogue.

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Extra resources for A Little History of Philosophy

Example text

The same holds good for knowledge as for language and hence for thought. An animal without language may teach many skills to its young; it cannot teach them facts, though it can direct their attention to some. But how much of the knowledge that any of us has should we have if we had to discover everything we know for ourselves? Our knowledge is mostly made up of things we have read or that others have told us by word of mouth: our knowledge, and hence our picture of the world, draw heavily upon the store of knowledge commonly available.

For in this case our philosophical account of language will be our route to a philosophical account of thought; we shall be seeking to explain a grasp of a concept in terms of a mastery of the uses and meanings of words, and a grasp of a proposition in terms of our understanding of what is meant by the utterance of a sentence. For the same reason, we must, as linguistic philosophers, eschew appeal to any concept a grasp of which depends upon a grasp of the concepts of truth and falsity. Concepts of this kind include those of believing something to be so and of wishing something to be so.

Is this not what Wittgenstein was propounding in the Tractatus when he wrote, ‘The limits of my language signify the limits of my world’? Perhaps not exactly; he was concerned in that passage not with the limits of our world, but with those of my world; and, from our present standpoint, all human beings inhabit the same world. Still, cannot it be said that the limits of our language signify the limits of our world? But perhaps it is not towards other creatures that our collective humility is directed.

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