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The Problems of Philosophy by Bertrand…
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The Problems of Philosophy (1912)

by Bertrand Russell

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» See also 18 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
I've read it as an audiobook, which was interesting. At places, the book requires you to stop and think, and audiobook doesn't make it easy, so you have to continue. You might think that's it's bad for understanding, but I found it beneficial, because it helped me avoid getting stuck, and made it easier to finish the book. at the end of the book, Russell recommends reading original philosophers' works anyway. next stop, Plato! ( )
  automatthias | Jun 19, 2017 |
I actually read this twice, almost three times. I came to this by way of an article I'd read somewhere in the last three months, which article made a distinction between 'knowledge by acquaintance' and 'knowledge by description.' Russell addresses this matter in Chapter V. So, that's what I'd read first, online (you can find the whole book online, albeit riddled with typos, which make for rather slow going at times). Once I'd read that chapter, I had to read the book.

According to many Goodreads reviews of Russell's PoP, this is a fairly easy book. Easy, they say? Easy!

Hardly. (At least not easy for those, like me, who've never really studied philosophy.) I'd like to raise a finger of defiance here to these 'Easy Readers,' these Dennis Hoppers and Peter Fondas on their Harley Davidsons of the mind, roaring down the information superhighway, intellectual wind in their hair.

In direct contrast to these, I slogged through Russell's PoP on the mental equivalent of a homemade skateboard with tin-can wheels. I would read a chapter and barely understand it; only on the second or third reading would the information 'pop' or coalesce into something comprehensible. And exciting, frankly. My mind got stronger as I went/read along.

Here's the book's last paragraph:

"Thus, to sum up our discussion of the value of philosophy: Philosophy is to be studied, not for the sake of any definite answers to its questions, since no definite answers can, as a rule, be known to be true, but rather for the sake of the questions themselves; because these questions enlarge our conception of what is possible, enrich our intellectual imagination, and diminish the dogmatic assurance which closes the mind against speculation; but above all because, through the greatness of the universe which philosophy contemplates, the mind also is rendered great, and becomes capable of that union with the universe which constitutes its highest good."

My favorite quote, though, came near the beginning -- at the end of Chapter One, to be exact. "Philosophy, if it cannot answer so many questions as we could wish, has at least the power of asking questions which increase the interest of the world, and show the strangeness and wonder lying just below the surface of even the commonest things of daily life."

This "strangeness and wonder" immanent in the humdrum things of daily life is exactly what I learned to see in the chapters between these two quotes. I highly, highly recommend this book. ( )
2 vote evamat72 | Mar 31, 2016 |
Russel confines himself in epistemology. He discuss the problem of knowledge and the conditions by with it can be achieved. The concept of truth is examined, with emphasis in the realist position. Truth as coerency is also mentioned. The author exposes his ideas about the meaning and purpose of philosophy. Good work that deals with importants philosophical problems. ( )
  MarcusBastos | Feb 27, 2015 |
I no longer care to even try to understand this stuff. Asking questions that have no answer is not my idea of a good time. UNCLE! ( )
  AliceAnna | Oct 22, 2014 |
In Problems of Philosophy Russell attempts to create a brief and accessible guide to the problems of philosophy. He introduces important theories of Plato, Aristotle, René Descartes, David Hume, John Locke, Immanuel Kant, Georg Hegel and others to lay the foundation for philosophical inquiry. The Theory of Knowledge occupies a larger space than metaphysics in the present volume, and some topics much discussed by philosophers are treated very briefly, if at all. Still this volume is a must read for anyone wishing a better understanding of philosophy. ( )
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1 vote | MarkBeronte | Jan 8, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Russell, Bertrandprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ījabs, IvarsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Byttner, AndersTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fredriksson, GunnarAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lledó, EmilioForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Okonova-Treice, GitaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Perry, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vries, Joke deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Xirau, JoaquínTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In the following pages I have confined myself in the main to those problems of philosophy in regard to which I thought it possible to say something positive and constructive, since merely negative criticism seemed out of place. For this reason, theory of knowledge occupies a larger space than metaphysics in the present volume, and some topics much discussed by philosophers are treated very briefly, if at all.
Is there any knowledge in the world which is so certain that no reasonable man could doubt it?
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 019511552X, Paperback)

Bertrand Russell was one of the greatest logicians since Aristotle, and one of the most important philosophers of the past two hundred years. As we approach the 125th anniversary of the Nobel laureate's birth, his works continue to spark debate, resounding with unmatched timeliness and power.
The Problems of Philosophy, one of the most popular works in Russell's prolific collection of writings, has become core reading in philosophy. Clear and accessible, this little book is an intelligible and stimulating guide to those problems of philosophy which often mistakenly lead to its status as too lofty and abstruse for the lay mind. Focusing on problems he believes will provoke positive and constructive discussion, Russell concentrates on knowledge rather than metaphysics, steering the reader through his famous 1910 distinction between "knowledge by acquaintance and knowledge by description," and introducing important theories of Descartes, Kant, Hegel, Hume, Locke, Plato, and others to lay the foundation for philosophical inquiry by general readers and scholars alike.
With a new introduction by John Perry, this valuable work is a perfect introduction to the field and will continue to stimulate philosophical discussion as it has done for nearly forty years.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:37 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Bertrand Russell was one of the greatest logicians since Aristotle, and one of the most important philosophers of the past two hundred years. The Problems of Philosophy, one of the most popular works in Russell's prolific collection of writings, has become core reading in philosophy. Clear and accessible, this little book is an intelligible and stimulating guide to those problems of philosophy which often mistakenly make the subject seem too lofty and abstruse for the lay mind. Focusing on problems he believes will provoke positive and constructive discussion, Russell steers the reader through his famous 1910 distinction between "knowledge by acquaintance and knowledge by description, " and introduces important theories of Descartes, Kant, Hegel, Hume, Locke, Plato, and others to lay the foundation for philosophical inquiry by general readers and scholars alike. With a new introduction by John Perry that places Russell's writing in its historical and philosophical milieu, this valuable work is a perfect introduction to the field and will continue to stimulate philosophical discussion as it has done for nearly forty years.… (more)

» see all 7 descriptions

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