Hume A Very Short Introduction

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.

Author: Alfred Ayer

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 9780191540332

Category: Philosophy

Page: 168

View: 629

Hume is one of the greatest of all British philosophers, and even in his own lifetime was celebrated as one of the pivotal figures of the Enlightenment. A central theme of his philosophy is the conviction that questions traditionally thought of as completely independent of the scientific realm–questions about the mind, about morality, and about God, for example–are actually best explained using the experimental methods characteristic of the natural sciences. Hume's 'naturalist' approach to a wide variety of philosophical topics resulted in highly original theories about perception, self-identity, causation, morality, politics, and religion, all of which are discussed in this stimulating introduction by A J Ayer, himself one of the twentieth century's most important philosophers. Ayer also gives an account of Hume's fascinating life and character, and includes generous quotations from Hume's lucid and often witty writings. 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 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.

Author: Stephen Mumford

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 019968443X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 128

View: 130

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.

Free Will A Very Short Introduction

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.

Author: Thomas Pink

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192853589

Category: Philosophy

Page: 132

View: 338

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.

Agnosticism A Very Short Introduction

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.

Author: Robin Le Poidevin

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199575266

Category: Philosophy

Page: 134

View: 796

What is agnosticism? Is it just the 'don't know' position on God, or is there more to it than this? Is it a belief, or merely the absence of belief? Who were the first to call themselves 'agnostics'? These are just some of the questions that Robin Le Poidevin considers in this Very Short Introduction. He sets the philosophical case for agnosticism and explores it as a historical and cultural phenomenon. What emerges is a much more sophisticated, and much more interesting, attitude than a simple failure to either commit to, or reject, religious belief. Le Poidevin challenges some preconceptions and assumptions among both believers and non-atheists, and invites the reader to rethink their own position on the issues. 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.

Hume A Very Short Introduction

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.

Author: James A. Harris

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192589652

Category: Philosophy

Page: 152

View: 756

David Hume, philosopher, historian, economist, librarian, and essayist, was one of the great figures of the European Enlightenment. Unlike some of his famous contemporaries, however, he was not dogmatically committed to idealised conceptions of reason, liberty, and progress. Instead, Hume was a sceptic whose arguments questioned the reach and authority of human rationality, and who put the rivalrous passions of commercial life at the centre of his theory of human nature. He believed that the modern world was in many ways superior to the ancient world, but was acutely conscious of the threats to peace and progress posed by bigotry, factionalism, and imperialism. Today Hume's works continue to speak to us powerfully in an age of instability and uncertainty. This Very Short Introduction presents a balanced account of Hume's thought, giving equal attention to his work on human nature, morality, politics, and religion. Weaving together biography, the historical context, and a thoughtful exposition of Hume's arguments, James A. Harris offers a compelling picture of a thinker who had no disciples and formed no school, but whom no one in his own time was able to ignore, and who has since become central to modern philosophy's understanding of itself. Very Short Introductions: Brilliant, Sharp, Inspiring 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.

Kant A Very Short Introduction

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.

Author: Roger Scruton

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191604437

Category: Philosophy

Page: 160

View: 206

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.

Philosophy of Science

This Very Short Introduction provides a concise overview of the main themes of contemporary philosophy of science.

Author: Samir Okasha

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198745583

Category: Philosophy

Page: 140

View: 490

How much faith should we place in what scientists tell us? Is it possible for scientific knowledge to be fully "objective?" What, really, can be defined as science? In the second edition of this Very Short Introduction, Samir Okasha explores the main themes and theories of contemporary philosophy of science, and investigates fascinating, challenging questions such as these. Starting at the very beginning, with a concise overview of the history of science, Okasha examines the nature of fundamental practices such as reasoning, causation, and explanation. Looking at scientific revolutions and the issue of scientific change, he asks whether there is a discernible pattern to the way scientific ideas change over time, and discusses realist versus anti-realist attitudes towards science. He finishes by considering science today, and the social and ethical philosophical questions surrounding modern 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 A Very Short Introduction

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.

Author: Edward Craig

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192606255

Category: Philosophy

Page: 160

View: 909

How ought we to live? What really exists? How do we know? This Very Short Introduction discusses some of the key questions philosophy engages with. Edward Craig explores important themes in ethics, and the nature of knowledge and the self, through readings from Plato, Hume, Descartes, Hegel, Darwin, and Buddhist writers. Throughout, he emphasizes why we do phiilosophy, explains how different areas of philosophy are related, and explores the contexts in which philosophy was and is done. This new edition includes a new chapter on free will, discussing determinism and indeterminism in the context of Descartes and Hegel's work. Craig also covers the Problem of Evil, and Kant's argument on the source of moral obligation. 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.

Metaphysics A Very Short Introduction

An introduction to metaphysics offers questions and answers covering such issues as properties, changes, time, personal identity, nothingness, and consciousness.

Author: Stephen Mumford

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199657122

Category: Philosophy

Page: 113

View: 505

An introduction to metaphysics offers questions and answers covering such issues as properties, changes, time, personal identity, nothingness, and consciousness.

Adam Smith

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.

Author: Christopher J. Berry

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0198784457

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 152

View: 750

In 1776 Adam Smith (1723-90) wrote The Wealth of Nations, a book so foundational that it has led to him being called the "father of economics." Today he is associated with the promotion of self-interest, a defense of greed and a criticism of any governmental 'interference' in market transactions which, if left to the 'invisible hand', will produce prosperity and liberty. Yet if Smith is actually read these associations are more a caricature than a faithful portrait. In this Very Short Introduction, Christopher Berry offers a balanced and nuanced view of this seminal thinker, embedding his fierce defense of free trade, competition, and assault on special interests in contemporary European history, politics, and philosophy. As Berry explores, Smith was more than an economist. His book The Theory of Moral Sentiment, offered a complex account of ethics in the context of human social behavior. His scope as a professor at the University of Glasgow, a major center of the Scottish Enlightenment, was extensive. Beyond courses in philosophy and jurisprudence he also gave classes covering history, literature, and language. In addition to his two major works he also wrote a pioneering study of the history of astronomy as an illustration of the motivations that drive humans to seek answers to questions. He produced, again derived from his Glasgow classroom, an analysis of the development of grammar and language. As Christopher Berry shows, Adam Smith was no narrow thinker, but rather one who produced not only one of the greatest books in the history of social science, but also a wide-ranging body of work that remains significant today. 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.

The Enlightenment

Considering its intellectual commitments, Robertson then turns to their impact on society, and the ways in which Enlightenment thinkers sought to further the goal of human betterment, by promoting economic improvement and civil and ...

Author: John Robertson

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0199591784

Category: History

Page: 144

View: 781

A foundational moment in the history of modern European thought, the Enlightenment continues to be a reference point for philosophers, scholars and opinion-formers. To many it remains the inspiration of our commitments to the betterment of the human condition. To others, it represents the elevation of one set of European values to the world, many of whose peoples have quite different values. But what is the relationship between the historical Enlightenment and the idea of 'Enlightenment', and can these two understandings be reconciled? In this Very Short Introduction, John Robertson offers a concise historical introduction to the Enlightenment as an intellectual movement of eighteenth-century Europe. Discussing its intellectual achievements, he also explores how its supporters exploited new ways of communicating their ideas to a wider public, creating a new 'public sphere' for critical discussion of the moral, economic and political issues facing their societies. 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.

Ethics a Very Short Introduction

This new edition highlights the importance of an understanding of approaches to ethics and its foundations, and how this relates to our modern world of eroding trust.

Author: Simon Blackburn

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0198868103

Category: Philosophy

Page: 128

View: 239

Simon Blackburn tackles the major moral questions surrounding birth, death, happiness, desire, and freedom, and considers how we should think about the meaning of life. This new edition highlights the importance of an understanding of approaches to ethics and its foundations, and how this relates to our modern world of eroding trust.

Miracles a Very Short Introduction

From a chicken nugget shaped like Jesus, to Mohammad splitting the moon in two, to a Japanese doll whose hair grows, Yujin Nagasawa considers reported miracles in ancient scriptures and modern day life, and uses cutting-edge scientific ...

Author: Yujin Nagasawa

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198747217

Category: Religion

Page: 144

View: 484

Jesus turned water into wine, Mohammad split the moon into two, and Buddha walked and spoke immediately upon birth. According to recent statistics, even in the present age of advanced science and technology, most people believe in miracles. In fact, newspapers and television regularly report alleged miracles, such as recoveries from incurable diseases, extremely unlikely coincidences, and religious signs and messages on unexpected objects. In this book the award-winning author and philosopher Yujin Nagasawa addresses some of our most fundamental questions concerning miracles. What exactly is a miracle? What types of miracles are believed in the world's great religions? What do recent scientific findings tell us about miracles? Can we rationally believe that miracles have really taken place? Can there be acts that are more religiously significant than miracles? Drawing on a vast variety of fascinating examples from across the major religions, Nagasawa discusses the lively debate on miracles that ranges from reported miracles in ancient scriptures in the East and West to cutting-edge scientific research on belief formation. Throughout, he drives us to ask ourselves if and how we can still believe in in miracles in the twenty-first century. 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.

Hume

The scholar A.J. Ayer's comprehensive study of the life and works of David Hume opens up an important area of British philosophical thinking and makes available one of Britain's greatest thinkers to a wide audience.

Author: Alfred Jules Ayer

Publisher:

ISBN: 9780191776601

Category:

Page: 125

View: 108

The scholar A.J. Ayer's comprehensive study of the life and works of David Hume opens up an important area of British philosophical thinking and makes available one of Britain's greatest thinkers to a wide audience.

Epicureanism

Wilson explains the philosophical and scientific ideas of Epicurus and his followers and the legacy of Epicureanism on later European thought.

Author: Catherine Wilson

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 019968832X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 144

View: 404

Epicureanism is commonly associated with a carefree view of life and the pursuit of pleasures, particularly the pleasures of the table. However it was a complex and distinctive system of philosophy that emphasized simplicity and moderation, and considered nature to consist of atoms and the void. Epicureanism is a school of thought whose legacy continues to reverberate today. In this Very Short Introduction, Catherine Wilson explains the key ideas of the School, comparing them with those of the rival Stoics and with Kantian ethics, and tracing their influence on the development of scientific and political thought from Locke, Newton, and Galileo to Rousseau, Marx, Bentham, and Mill. She discusses the adoption and adaptation of Epicurean motifs in science, morality, and politics from the 17th Century onwards and contextualises the significance of Epicureanism in modern life. 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.

Kierkegaard A Very Short Introduction

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.

Author: Patrick Gardiner

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 019160447X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 144

View: 605

Soren Kierkegaard (1813-55), one of the most original thinkers of the nineteenth century, wrote widely on religious, psychological, and literary themes. This book shows how Kierkegaard developed his views in emphatic opposition to prevailing opinions. It describes his reaction to the ethical and religious theories of Kant and Hegel, and it also contrasts his position with doctrines advanced by men like Feuerbach and Marx. Kierkegaard's seminal diagnosis of the human condition, which emphasizes the significance of individual choice, has arguably been his most striking philosophical legacy, particularly for the growth of existentialism. Both that and his arresting but paradoxical conception of religious belief are critically discussed, and Patrick Gardiner concludes this lucid introduction by showing how Kierkegaard has influenced contemporary 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.

Hume a Very Short Introduction

Written by one of the world's leading experts in the field, this book offers a clear account of the contributions to philosophy made by one of Britain's greatest thinkers.

Author: James A. Harris

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198849788

Category:

Page: 152

View: 826

Written by one of the world's leading experts in the field, this book offers a clear account of the contributions to philosophy made by one of Britain's greatest thinkers. Harris covers Hume's main interests of human nature, morality, politics, and religion, and explores the philosophical questions that remain at the heart of the subject today.

Atheism A Very Short Introduction

This second edition includes a new chapter covering the impact and legacy of 'New Atheism', a powerful new movement in atheism in the early twenty first century, driven by books from authors such as Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris, and which ...

Author: Julian Baggini

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192598856

Category: Religion

Page: 160

View: 979

Atheism is often considered to be a negative or pessimistic belief which is characterized by a rejection of values and purpose and a fierce opposition to religion. This Very Short Introduction sets out to dispel the myths that surround atheism, arguing that most western atheism is so-named only because it exists in a tradition in which theism is the norm. Julian Baggini instead asserts that atheists are typically naturalists, who believe that meaning and morality are possible in a finite, natural world. This second edition includes a new chapter covering the impact and legacy of 'New Atheism', a powerful new movement in atheism in the early twenty first century, driven by books from authors such as Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris, and which is having a profound impact across the Western world. Baggini also considers whether East Asia has been historically atheist, and atheism in recent European history, before exploring the position of atheists around the world today. Throughout, the book presents an intellectual case for atheism that rests as much upon positive arguments for its truth as on negative arguments against religion. Very Short Introductions: Brilliant, Sharp, Inspiring 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

Simon Blackburn, author of the best-sellingThink, structures this short introduction around these and other threats to ethics.

Author: Simon Blackburn

Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks

ISBN: 9780192853776

Category: Philosophy

Page: 162

View: 152

This accessible introduction to ethics continues the trend of Blackburn's best-selling Think. His rare combination of depth, rigor and sparking prose, and his distinguished ranking among contemporary philosophers, mark Being Good as an important statement on our current disenchantment with ethics.