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I'm starting Philosophy. Where should I start

ZacGraphics
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11/4/2015 1:21:12 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Hello! I'm a 15-year old that's extremely curious, and I'm wondering one question;

Where should I start?

There are so many starting points for the endless goose chase of knowledge, but I'm not sure which point would be appropriate for someone of my age. I've started reading books, starting my own journal, and looking into writings of popular philosophers. I just need a good, firm push as I delve into the world of Philosophy.

In particular, I've been thinking hard about our existence, and how we came to be. Currently, trying not to be biased, I'm looking towards proving Theism to be the most rational. Say what you want, but personally, I find it to be pretty logical even in a simplistic viewpoint.

Thanks for listening to me babble on, and now, I'd like to hear from you. Where should I start? How should I study? What would be the best place to find factual evidence?

Thanks again.

~Zac
Have you ever heard the story about the hero dying for the villain?
sdavio
Posts: 1,798
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11/4/2015 4:02:45 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/4/2015 1:21:12 PM, ZacGraphics wrote:
Hello! I'm a 15-year old that's extremely curious, and I'm wondering one question;

Where should I start?

There are so many starting points for the endless goose chase of knowledge, but I'm not sure which point would be appropriate for someone of my age. I've started reading books, starting my own journal, and looking into writings of popular philosophers. I just need a good, firm push as I delve into the world of Philosophy.

In particular, I've been thinking hard about our existence, and how we came to be. Currently, trying not to be biased, I'm looking towards proving Theism to be the most rational. Say what you want, but personally, I find it to be pretty logical even in a simplistic viewpoint.

Thanks for listening to me babble on, and now, I'd like to hear from you. Where should I start? How should I study? What would be the best place to find factual evidence?

Thanks again.

~Zac

The actual starting point of philosophy was the Greeks: the presocratics, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. These are the basis from which all other philosophy grew, so it's a good starting place if you really want to study philosophy seriously.

But for someone who doesn't want to spend thousands of hours reading dry texts, it's not really realistic to start from the very beginning and read through the entire history of philosophy (although it's definitely a good idea to read some Plato and Aristotle at least, at some point). You could alternatively read a good overview book like "The Story of Philosophy" by Will Durant. I absolutely do not recommend the one by Bertrand Russell, even though it's so popular.

Another way is to search for a philosopher you personally find interesting, and just start reading them. While you will be missing large pieces of the conversation due to not knowing the history, I actually like this method because it means that you are much more likely to be engaged and interested rather than choosing a book purely based on its perceived importance. If you can find an entrance-point through texts you genuinely want to read, you'll find yourself being led on a trail back through other philosophers regardless. If you search a philosopher's name on youtube or the stanford encyclopedia of philosophy online, there will usually be a lot of intro stuff about them. If I'm starting to get into a new philosopher, usually I'll watch a few of the videos / lectures about them and read the stanford article since those things are quicker & easier ways to get the basic points of their thought before reading an entire book.

Also, I strongly recommend avoiding anything related to Alain de Botton, his "School of Life" series on youtube, and anything similar to it.
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
kp98
Posts: 729
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11/4/2015 7:04:19 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Currently, trying not to be biased, I'm looking towards proving Theism to be the most rational.

Um, I don't think that counts as 'not trying to be biased'. If you feel that way I think you should try looking at apologetics specifically more than philosophy generally.
Fkkize
Posts: 2,149
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11/4/2015 7:24:09 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/4/2015 1:21:12 PM, ZacGraphics wrote:
In particular, I've been thinking hard about our existence, and how we came to be. Currently, trying not to be biased, I'm looking towards proving Theism to be the most rational. Say what you want, but personally, I find it to be pretty logical even in a simplistic viewpoint.

Let us ignore this part.

Thanks for listening to me babble on, and now, I'd like to hear from you. Where should I start? How should I study? What would be the best place to find factual evidence?

Thanks again.

~Zac

Read the Routledge Introductions to Contemporary Philosophy. The ones to Mind, Epistemology and Science are excellent.
The single best book written for introductory purposes is, in my opinion at least, Alyssa Ney's Metaphysics: An Introduction (you can find it "online").

All of them contain suggestions for further reading, so I would move on from there and perhaps look how hard the book in question is written.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,244
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11/4/2015 7:54:21 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
A good place to start is A History of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russell. It doesn't go into that much depth, but it covers all of the major figures and their ideas, and spends quite a bit of time talking about their lives, which can be interesting.
ShabShoral
Posts: 3,229
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11/4/2015 8:13:59 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Start with the Greeks.

If you don't like the Greeks, then read summaries of the Greeks.
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famousdebater
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11/4/2015 8:17:07 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Currently, trying not to be biased, I'm looking towards proving Theism to be the most rational.

I am an atheist but there are a tone of really strong arguments towards why God does exist. You should look into Anslem and Descartes' ontological arguments and possibly the KCA (Kalam comoslogical argument).

This is a really good debate on behalf of theism and atheism: http://www.debate.org...
"Life calls the tune, we dance."
John Galsworthy
SM2
Posts: 546
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11/4/2015 10:53:34 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Start by doing Science instead. Then, if you actually get around to doing Philosophy, you'll be immunized against its intellectual wank.
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,924
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11/5/2015 12:51:03 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Just start with a subject you're interested in. That's what I did. In fact, I didn't read one of those "introduction" or "basic" books on philosophy until I actually go into a philosophy class. I just looked at random papers in the subject I was interested in and read. It was hard at first because I had to look up everything, but it got much easier.
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sadolite
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11/5/2015 4:27:43 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Start with old people, not because they are always right. But because they have more experience at being wrong.
It's not your views that divide us, it's what you think my views should be that divides us.

If you think I will give up my rights and forsake social etiquette to make you "FEEL" better you are sadly mistaken

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ZacGraphics
Posts: 23
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11/5/2015 11:34:35 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/4/2015 8:17:07 PM, famousdebater wrote:
Currently, trying not to be biased, I'm looking towards proving Theism to be the most rational.

I am an atheist but there are a tone of really strong arguments towards why God does exist. You should look into Anslem and Descartes' ontological arguments and possibly the KCA (Kalam comoslogical argument).

This is a really good debate on behalf of theism and atheism: http://www.debate.org...

Thank you. Most people trying to prove Theism seem to go to other Theists and ask for answers. What I'm trying to accomplish, is proving theism by instead going to Atheists, see what they think, and give them my input. Of course, I talk to some Theists along the way, but I mainly get my research from Atheists. I will look into the ideas you've stated, thank you.
Have you ever heard the story about the hero dying for the villain?
ZacGraphics
Posts: 23
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11/5/2015 11:37:23 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Also, sorry about my self-contradiction when looking towards Theism. I stated that wrong. So, let's scrap that. Currently, I'm open to any ideas, and a number of them have solid evidence, as far as I've seen.

Thank you all for your replies.
Have you ever heard the story about the hero dying for the villain?
edgar_winters
Posts: 49
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11/5/2015 10:13:45 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/4/2015 1:21:12 PM, ZacGraphics wrote:
Hello! I'm a 15-year old that's extremely curious, and I'm wondering one question;

Where should I start?

There are so many starting points for the endless goose chase of knowledge, but I'm not sure which point would be appropriate for someone of my age. I've started reading books, starting my own journal, and looking into writings of popular philosophers. I just need a good, firm push as I delve into the world of Philosophy.

In particular, I've been thinking hard about our existence, and how we came to be. Currently, trying not to be biased, I'm looking towards proving Theism to be the most rational. Say what you want, but personally, I find it to be pretty logical even in a simplistic viewpoint.

Thanks for listening to me babble on, and now, I'd like to hear from you. Where should I start? How should I study? What would be the best place to find factual evidence?

Thanks again.

~Zac : :

If you're a true philosopher being used by the creator of all thoughts, then just write down your thoughts. Anyone who reads those thoughts may be inspired by them.

If you're trying to be a philosopher and weren't made to be one, then no one will be inspired by your thoughts.
n7
Posts: 1,360
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11/6/2015 3:06:03 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/4/2015 1:21:12 PM, ZacGraphics wrote:
Hello! I'm a 15-year old that's extremely curious, and I'm wondering one question;

Where should I start?

There are so many starting points for the endless goose chase of knowledge, but I'm not sure which point would be appropriate for someone of my age. I've started reading books, starting my own journal, and looking into writings of popular philosophers. I just need a good, firm push as I delve into the world of Philosophy.

In particular, I've been thinking hard about our existence, and how we came to be. Currently, trying not to be biased, I'm looking towards proving Theism to be the most rational. Say what you want, but personally, I find it to be pretty logical even in a simplistic viewpoint.

Thanks for listening to me babble on, and now, I'd like to hear from you. Where should I start? How should I study? What would be the best place to find factual evidence?

Thanks again.

~Zac

I recommend pretty much any of the beginner philosophy courses on http://www.thegreatcourses.com... (Great minds of the western intellectual tradition/Great ideals of philosophy)

The guide books will provide other reading material. Some of them are quite expensive, but there are *ahem* other ways of acquiring them.
404 coherent debate topic not found. Please restart the debate with clear resolution.


Uphold Marxist-Leninist-Maoist-Sargonist-n7ism.
n7
Posts: 1,360
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11/6/2015 3:10:24 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/4/2015 10:53:34 PM, SM2 wrote:
Start by doing Science instead. Then, if you actually get around to doing Philosophy, you'll be immunized against its intellectual wank.

Or you'll adopt a screwed up view of epistemology (e.g. positivism)

Epistemology is necessarily prior to science and science itself adopts philosophies.
404 coherent debate topic not found. Please restart the debate with clear resolution.


Uphold Marxist-Leninist-Maoist-Sargonist-n7ism.
SM2
Posts: 546
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11/6/2015 3:12:47 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/6/2015 3:10:24 AM, n7 wrote:
At 11/4/2015 10:53:34 PM, SM2 wrote:
Start by doing Science instead. Then, if you actually get around to doing Philosophy, you'll be immunized against its intellectual wank.

Or you'll adopt a screwed up view of epistemology (e.g. positivism)

Epistemology is necessarily prior to science and science itself adopts philosophies.

And this "positivism" is bad because...?
PetersSmith
Posts: 5,819
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11/6/2015 5:35:21 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/4/2015 1:21:12 PM, ZacGraphics wrote:
Hello! I'm a 15-year old that's extremely curious, and I'm wondering one question;

Where should I start?

There are so many starting points for the endless goose chase of knowledge, but I'm not sure which point would be appropriate for someone of my age. I've started reading books, starting my own journal, and looking into writings of popular philosophers. I just need a good, firm push as I delve into the world of Philosophy.

In particular, I've been thinking hard about our existence, and how we came to be. Currently, trying not to be biased, I'm looking towards proving Theism to be the most rational. Say what you want, but personally, I find it to be pretty logical even in a simplistic viewpoint.

Thanks for listening to me babble on, and now, I'd like to hear from you. Where should I start? How should I study? What would be the best place to find factual evidence?

Thanks again.

~Zac

I agree with sdavio. Start with Plato and Aristotle, and then move on to the Social Contract theorists.
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UtherPenguin
Posts: 3,681
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11/6/2015 5:52:34 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/4/2015 1:21:12 PM, ZacGraphics wrote:
Hello! I'm a 15-year old that's extremely curious, and I'm wondering one question;

Where should I start?

There are so many starting points for the endless goose chase of knowledge, but I'm not sure which point would be appropriate for someone of my age. I've started reading books, starting my own journal, and looking into writings of popular philosophers. I just need a good, firm push as I delve into the world of Philosophy.

In particular, I've been thinking hard about our existence, and how we came to be. Currently, trying not to be biased, I'm looking towards proving Theism to be the most rational. Say what you want, but personally, I find it to be pretty logical even in a simplistic viewpoint.

Thanks for listening to me babble on, and now, I'd like to hear from you. Where should I start? How should I study? What would be the best place to find factual evidence?

Thanks again.

~Zac

Become a fanatical follower of Chinese Legalism ;)
"Praise Allah."
~YYW
Fkkize
Posts: 2,149
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11/6/2015 12:38:00 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/6/2015 3:10:24 AM, n7 wrote:
At 11/4/2015 10:53:34 PM, SM2 wrote:
Start by doing Science instead. Then, if you actually get around to doing Philosophy, you'll be immunized against its intellectual wank.

Or you'll adopt a screwed up view of epistemology (e.g. positivism)

I guess for the most part that happens to internet new atheists who already embrace some kind of scientism.

Ironically, the lecturers and professors I have met so far are a lot more sympathetic to philosophy than are these science crusaders you find online.

That said, it is highly advisable to be scientifically educated as a philosopher (and in general).
Otherwise one might end up thinking the Penrose ratio is a probability.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,924
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11/6/2015 3:36:08 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/6/2015 3:12:47 AM, SM2 wrote:
At 11/6/2015 3:10:24 AM, n7 wrote:
At 11/4/2015 10:53:34 PM, SM2 wrote:
Start by doing Science instead. Then, if you actually get around to doing Philosophy, you'll be immunized against its intellectual wank.

Or you'll adopt a screwed up view of epistemology (e.g. positivism)

Epistemology is necessarily prior to science and science itself adopts philosophies.

And this "positivism" is bad because...?

Because it's either self defeating or trivial?
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
Insignifica
Posts: 285
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11/6/2015 4:42:27 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/4/2015 10:53:34 PM, SM2 wrote:
Start by doing Science instead. Then, if you actually get around to doing Philosophy, you'll be immunized against its intellectual wank.

Lol science is an application of philosophy
n7
Posts: 1,360
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11/6/2015 4:58:44 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/6/2015 3:12:47 AM, SM2 wrote:
At 11/6/2015 3:10:24 AM, n7 wrote:
At 11/4/2015 10:53:34 PM, SM2 wrote:
Start by doing Science instead. Then, if you actually get around to doing Philosophy, you'll be immunized against its intellectual wank.

Or you'll adopt a screwed up view of epistemology (e.g. positivism)

Epistemology is necessarily prior to science and science itself adopts philosophies.

And this "positivism" is bad because...?

What PCP said. It is self-refuting or trivial.
404 coherent debate topic not found. Please restart the debate with clear resolution.


Uphold Marxist-Leninist-Maoist-Sargonist-n7ism.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,244
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11/6/2015 6:41:34 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/5/2015 4:27:43 AM, sadolite wrote:
Start with old people, not because they are always right. But because they have more experience at being wrong.

What, no rant against the uselessness of philosophy? I'm disappointed in you, sadolite.
ShabShoral
Posts: 3,229
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11/6/2015 8:00:05 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/6/2015 3:36:08 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 11/6/2015 3:12:47 AM, SM2 wrote:
At 11/6/2015 3:10:24 AM, n7 wrote:
At 11/4/2015 10:53:34 PM, SM2 wrote:
Start by doing Science instead. Then, if you actually get around to doing Philosophy, you'll be immunized against its intellectual wank.

Or you'll adopt a screwed up view of epistemology (e.g. positivism)

Epistemology is necessarily prior to science and science itself adopts philosophies.

And this "positivism" is bad because...?

Because it's either self defeating or trivial?

In what way is it self-defeating?
"This site is trash as a debate site. It's club penguin for dysfunctional adults."

~ Skepsikyma <3

"Your idea of good writing is like Spinoza mixed with Heidegger."

~ Dylly Dylly Cat Cat

"You seem to aspire to be a cross between a Jewish hipster, an old school WASP aristocrat, and a political iconoclast"

~ Thett the Mighty

"fvck omg ur face"

~ Liz
Insignifica
Posts: 285
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11/6/2015 8:28:39 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/6/2015 8:00:05 PM, ShabShoral wrote:
At 11/6/2015 3:36:08 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 11/6/2015 3:12:47 AM, SM2 wrote:
At 11/6/2015 3:10:24 AM, n7 wrote:
At 11/4/2015 10:53:34 PM, SM2 wrote:
Start by doing Science instead. Then, if you actually get around to doing Philosophy, you'll be immunized against its intellectual wank.

Or you'll adopt a screwed up view of epistemology (e.g. positivism)

Epistemology is necessarily prior to science and science itself adopts philosophies.

And this "positivism" is bad because...?

Because it's either self defeating or trivial?

In what way is it self-defeating?

Can't empirically verify the verification principle.
ShabShoral
Posts: 3,229
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11/6/2015 8:41:01 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/6/2015 8:28:39 PM, Insignifica wrote:
At 11/6/2015 8:00:05 PM, ShabShoral wrote:
At 11/6/2015 3:36:08 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 11/6/2015 3:12:47 AM, SM2 wrote:
At 11/6/2015 3:10:24 AM, n7 wrote:
At 11/4/2015 10:53:34 PM, SM2 wrote:
Start by doing Science instead. Then, if you actually get around to doing Philosophy, you'll be immunized against its intellectual wank.

Or you'll adopt a screwed up view of epistemology (e.g. positivism)

Epistemology is necessarily prior to science and science itself adopts philosophies.

And this "positivism" is bad because...?

Because it's either self defeating or trivial?

In what way is it self-defeating?

Can't empirically verify the verification principle.

Because it's tautologically true.
"This site is trash as a debate site. It's club penguin for dysfunctional adults."

~ Skepsikyma <3

"Your idea of good writing is like Spinoza mixed with Heidegger."

~ Dylly Dylly Cat Cat

"You seem to aspire to be a cross between a Jewish hipster, an old school WASP aristocrat, and a political iconoclast"

~ Thett the Mighty

"fvck omg ur face"

~ Liz
Insignifica
Posts: 285
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11/6/2015 8:43:03 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/6/2015 8:41:01 PM, ShabShoral wrote:
At 11/6/2015 8:28:39 PM, Insignifica wrote:
At 11/6/2015 8:00:05 PM, ShabShoral wrote:
At 11/6/2015 3:36:08 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 11/6/2015 3:12:47 AM, SM2 wrote:
At 11/6/2015 3:10:24 AM, n7 wrote:
At 11/4/2015 10:53:34 PM, SM2 wrote:
Start by doing Science instead. Then, if you actually get around to doing Philosophy, you'll be immunized against its intellectual wank.

Or you'll adopt a screwed up view of epistemology (e.g. positivism)

Epistemology is necessarily prior to science and science itself adopts philosophies.

And this "positivism" is bad because...?

Because it's either self defeating or trivial?

In what way is it self-defeating?

Can't empirically verify the verification principle.

Because it's tautologically true.

How so?
ShabShoral
Posts: 3,229
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11/6/2015 8:53:18 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/6/2015 8:43:03 PM, Insignifica wrote:
Because it's tautologically true.

How so?

Anything which is meaningless is meaningless and anything which is not tautological or empirically verifiable is meaningless?
"This site is trash as a debate site. It's club penguin for dysfunctional adults."

~ Skepsikyma <3

"Your idea of good writing is like Spinoza mixed with Heidegger."

~ Dylly Dylly Cat Cat

"You seem to aspire to be a cross between a Jewish hipster, an old school WASP aristocrat, and a political iconoclast"

~ Thett the Mighty

"fvck omg ur face"

~ Liz