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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. Author of FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND THE SECULAR STATE (2012), HUMANITY ENHANCED (2014), and THE MYSTERY OF MORAL AUTHORITY (2016).

Friday, December 28, 2018

Where to begin in studying philosophy?

This thread over at Leiter Reports, back in August 2018, was a useful discussion of the question. Commenters chewed over what might be a good syllabus or reading list for a law professor with a budding interest in philosophy.

Some comments and suggestions didn't appeal to me, but some suggestions of philosophy books and other materials seemed very useful. Even for someone who has studied philosophy quite deeply, it's interesting to see a range of perspectives on what might count as the basics. It's also a bit frustrating to see how some people with undoubted expertise consider stuff to be central that I would be inclined to think rather peripheral and esoteric, while other similarly expert people evidently have different conceptions again of what philosophy is all about.

Still, in a world with ample time it would all be interesting to track down. I'm sure I'd be a much more rounded philosopher and thinker if I read (and genuinely considered) more of the material that I just described as peripheral and esoteric.

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