A Desperate Ploy

I’m somewhat familiar with this forum, and I’ve read over a few tedious threads by people trying desperately to get through their first year philosophy courses by getting advice off you people.

I’m going to do the same thing, though not entirely.

I’d like to get pointed in the right direction in terms of a good, summative but thorough, and COMPREHENSIVE introduction/history of Western Philosophy.

Keep in mind that I’ve gotten a few good pushes into philosophy and am not looking for something entirely mediocre (the 60 second Nietzsche I saw in the library comes to mind).

I’ve been debating over picking up Russell’s History of Western Philosophy but I’m still uncertain (I’ve heard mixed reactions)

Any suggestions?? :slight_smile:

I recommend the old Greek trio. Even though you might not agree with what they say, I find it helps with the more recent philosophers. I’m talking about Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, off course.

I can’t help you with Russell as I am a newbie to his philosophy, but for what I’ve heard that’s a good book to get an overview of western philosophy from Greeks up to Russell.

Russell’s “History” is one of the best. His writing style is clear and incisive. He has a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter. There are more references and links to introductions to philosophy in “philosophical texts archive” thread at the top of this forum that you may find helpful.

Yeah, pay attention in class. :wink:

Okay, for some more useful advice. I’d recommend Anthony Flew’s Dictionary of Philosophy. It’s not a history but a literal dictionary. If during your readings you find a term or idea that you don’t understand I can virtually guarentee it’s in that tome.

Next I’d suggest you start at the beginning. I’ll have to think about a specific book that condenses the whole field, but short of that I’d start at the start, and that’s the pre-Socratics, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. That’s the foundation of Western thought and if you jump ahead you’ll only be confused by the references to Classical philosophy.