8 Answers

  1. In advance, it is worth noting that I will deliberately narrow the scope of the question and under” philosophy ” I will understand Western European philosophy, since, strictly speaking, at the present stage of development of this “discipline” many other practitioners (mainly Eastern, but not only) often study as “philosophy”.

    Now to the heart of the matter.

    The “problem” of philosophy is that in the process of understanding what it is studying, revealing its “subject” in the narrow scientific sense of the word, you will actually “study” philosophy. For the meaning of philosophy is revealed through the “history” of philosophy, the corpus of philosophical systems that took place in the course of the development, in our case, of Western European thought.

    In this sense, the answer to the question ” where to start?” it will be obvious – from the “beginning”, from the first philosophical constructions of the pre-Socratics and move to modern systems. The standard approach works here – we take an acceptable textbook (for example, Antiseri and Reale “Western Philosophy from its origins to the present day” or “History of Philosophy” edited by N. Motroshilova) and, of course, depending on the thinker being studied – his texts (from Plato's Dialogues to our contemporaries) and study them.

    However, there is a difficult point here, because when you start reading philosophical texts from the first thinkers, you should already be immersed in a certain understanding – how to” study”, catch and follow the thought of, for example, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas or Hegel, that is, already have at least some “clues” – already co-experience when reflecting, studying all these thinkers. In other words, you need to “tune” the instrument at least minimally in order to start playing.

    To put it in the” poetic ” language of Merab Mamardashvili (“How I understand philosophy”), you should” light up “with this setup, then you can study the endless corpora of philosophical systems of individual thinkers and” burn ” with thought together with them. In this sense, you can just start studying philosophy with the mentioned work of Mamardashvili in order to understand how you can “light up” with philosophy.

    A more academic preliminary “setup” can be given to you by the works of thinkers who have tried to outline the subject of philosophy in their separate works dedicated specifically to it without retelling the entire history of philosophy. There are many such works.

    For example, try to start with two texts: “What is Philosophy” by Ortega y Gasset and “What is Philosophy” by Deleuze and Guattari. The texts are not the most complex, but they are also not simple. But since you want to study philosophy, they will be able to immerse you in a certain “discourse”, as well as show in broad strokes that there is a philosophy for these authors in general, and also that it is still different for everyone (even for the example of these philosophers – Mamardashvili, Ortega y Gasset, Deleuze, Guattari) and this is “normal”.

  2. About correct thinking-this is not about philosophy. It is better to read textbooks on logic. A very interesting textbook is Berkov Logic.

    Now to philosophy. And first of all, what not to do. No need to listen to advice about “enroll in the Faculty of Philosophy”. This doesn't guarantee anything. Further, we should not try to study philosophy from ancient times to the present in chronological order. It doesn't make sense.

    What should I do? Start with a good book on the history of philosophy. Russell's History of Western Philosophy is the best I've ever seen. Interestingly written, and most importantly-everything is clear.

    As you read this book, watch yourself. What idea, what philosopher, what direction will be closest to you? That's what we need to answer. When you finish reading the book and get the answer, you need to take on those philosophers whose ideas you are interested in. From them, it will be possible to expand later, to capture new directions and ideas.

    And two more points. Philosophy is not about an objective reflection of reality. There is a science for this. Philosophy is about “my opinion on all of this”. Don't read to read it. Read to invent your own solution to the eternal philosophical problems.

    Don't be afraid that you won't understand something. At the first stages, there is no such “understand everything” task at all. Do not panic and accuse yourself of stupidity. Remember that, for example, Wittgenstein honestly admitted that he did not understand anything about Kant. Listen to my podcast #7 Why read smart books if you don't understand them?

  3. Immersion in philosophy is better to start with textbooks, for example, with the textbook “History of Philosophy” Vasiliev, Krotov, Bugay. There you can get a basic layer of knowledge, having which, you can more easily immerse yourself in individual philosophical schools, trends and epochs.

    And then you can study philosophers by epoch, starting with Antiquity.

  4. Hoho, a question from the same author! Since it's not just logic, the list is also broader. So, here is my incomplete but still list:

    Plato (“Dialogues”, “The State”(it is better to start with him), “Apology of Socrates”)

    Aristotle (Organon, Metaphysics, Politics)

    Rene Descartes (“Discourses on method”, “Discourses on the First Philosophy”)

    Immanuel Kant (Critique of Pure Reason, Critique of Practical Reason)

    Georg Hegel (Science of Logic, Phenomenology of Spirit)

    Friedrich Nietzsche (“Thus Spake Zarathustra”)

    only the authors will go further, since I have not yet discussed them in detail.

    Also worth noting are the works of Marx, Sartre, Camus, Schopenhauer, Heidegger, Schelling and Fichte( if you pull on German classical philosophy), Wittgenstein. It is worth remembering positivism with Auguste Comte, Herbert Spencer, Karl Popper.

  5. I tried to get acquainted with the posted answers to the question, but apparently I never got to the end of them. I have a different position compared to them, I decided to express it-maybe it will help someone….

    1. It is better to start with Lukian's “Hermotim or on the choice of philosophy” and follow his advice “Avoid philosophers like mad dogs”. Before understanding the essence and function of philosophy, it is pointless to study it. But without a true philosophy, society will not survive in our time, and you will not achieve the expected success…

    2. If you have a fabulous income and you do not need to worry about it, but you want to occupy your time with something, then read everything in a row, including philosophical works. All this will be impractical, fruitless, but you are in business and can even consider yourself a genius, as is widespread among philodoxians…

    3. If you want to provide your material well-being with a scientific profession and achieve success in it, then it is important to theoretically and systematically understand the object of your activity. To do this, you must understand the essence of theory as the highest form of science and logical thinking as its canon. Only classical philosophy as the science of science and dialectical logic applied to it will provide you with this… Of course, be prepared to be ostracized by philosophers (more precisely, philodoxians), but you will do everything in order to succeed in life. Everything you need to do is published-treating philosophy as the science of science, dialectical logic, which will easily and quickly teach you the power of an essentialist understanding of objects, etc. All this can be found on the Internet (including lessons of logical thinking, which allow you to learn the basics of it in a day), but according to the saying “who will you lead…” 11/23/2020

  6. The study of philosophy is most effective in its historical discourse. If this area is still unknown to you, then you can try to start with B. Russell's very famous book “The History of Western Philosophy” and understand for yourself to some extent the influence of epochs and the development of thought, appealing to the primary sources as you progress and fix the specific philosophical vocabulary and abundance of terms. And, of course, just as it is impossible to enter the same river twice, it is impossible to deny the fact that a person's place in the world has been reinterpreted in a new way and is still being reinterpreted, and therefore it is necessary to treat critically everything that happened in the past, separating the grain from the chaff, coming to some independent understanding. And do not forget that the goal of philosophy is to some extent independent thinking, or, if you like, your own philosophizing.

  7. I really liked the books of Eastern philosophy. There are many books. But most of all, I was hooked on the Bhagavad-Gita as it is. The philosophy is intertwined with the deep experience of the author of the book, You can view it here

  8. Books and other information are the AUTHORS ' philosophy . If you are interested in their philosophy – – – read, study. Philosophy is you with your thoughts, your vision of the World. Learn from YOURSELF!!! TRY TO LOOK INSIDE YOURSELF !!! And there you will find everything. Good luck with your search!!!

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