Back Cover Blurb
- 'Sure in the independence, confident of the future of Britain, the Daily Express is rooted in the hearts of the people. It is Britain's greatest newspaper.'
→ Daily Express, 31 December,1960
Discuss the possible criteria for this claim.
- With this kind of homely exercise the reader of this entertaining Pelican is encouraged to practise the strokes of philosophy for himself. The author initiates the beginner into the world of ideas and words with an examination of the use of language, and in subsequent chapters deals with the handling of concepts, considers the fundamental step of asking the right questions and examines the nature of value judgements. It is only in the last two chapters that the reader is very gently led up to a discussions of Appearance and Reality and of Free Will and Determinism.
- In short, Learning to Philosophize, with its lively selection of quotations from very varied sources, provides a 'think-it-yourself handbook' for the application of logic and philosophy in daily life.
- Too often Philosophy tends to be regarded as a remote and abstruse subject which can only be profitably studied by the brilliant few. It seems to me that this is unfortunate and that philosophical matters are often less difficult and more important than is generally supposed. We all philosophize whenever we attempt to handle abstract ideas and it may matter very much whether we do it well or badly. The object of this book is to introduce the reader gently to the activity of philosophizing and I hope that it may serve as some guide to what Philosophy is about both for those who are going to study the subject and for those who are not. I hope particularly that it may be of help to sixth form and other students who find themselves faced with what are generally regarded as border-line philosophical topics in their writing of general essays.
- The first four chapters discuss the basic principles of the handling of words and ideas. In the fifth chapter I attempt to show these principles in use in the discussion of value judgements, a particularly important example of philosophizing which is very much within the experience of everybody. The selection of further topics to be discussed was inevitably somewhat arbitrary. I chose 'Appearance and Reality' and 'Free Will and Determinism' because they seemed to me matters about which most people speculate at some time or other, and it might be useful and interesting to pursue those speculations further. These two chapters will probably be found rather harder than the rest of the book.
- The Exercises at the end of chapters are designed to enable and encourage readers to practise the activity. They are of very varying difficulty and though I believe that most readers will find them helpful their omission need in no case hinder the understanding of subsequent chapters.
- Comments on most of the exercises are to be found at the end of the book. I have refrained from comment when the exercises are very easy or obvious, or when it is very much a matter of opinion. My comments are certainly not intended to be the last word on the matter, but I hope they may sometimes serve as the first words to start the discussion.
- The Supplementary Passages at the end of some chapters are quotations from various sources to illustrate and illuminate points that have been raised, perhaps to explain them from a slightly different point of view.
- [ … ]
Preface – 9
- Introduction – 11
- Language and Bewitchment – 21
- On Concepts – 71
- Asking the Right Questions – 85
- Value Judgements – 109
- Appearance and Reality – 152
- Free Will and Determinism – 199
Miscellaneous Exercises – 228
Comments on Exercises – 240
Sources of Extracts – 267
In-Page Footnotes ("Emmet (E.R.) - Learning to Philosophize")
- I've omitted the "Exercises and Supplementary Passages" that appear passim following each Chapter.
Pelican, Penguin Books, London, 1976 reprint of the revised 1968 edition
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2020
- Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)