3 Answers

  1. I will answer as subjectively and at length as possible, but it may help you if you have the same problem that I had.

    When I was a student, I was taught philosophy by a teacher with a historical background, not a philosophical one. She was also a Marxist. Of course, the historical principle prevailed, philosophy is the history of philosophy, etc. So, philosophy turned out to be the only subject in which I, otherwise a complete excellent student, did not understand anything at all. It seemed to me that this was a series of mutually exclusive teachings, each of which tries to explain Everything in General, and in what I thought were dubious ways. And I have to memorize them all and keep them in my head, even though they're fucking incompatible! This led to the fact that I abandoned philosophy and did not like it for a very long time.

    It was only much later that I discovered that in the United States it is taught in a completely different way: firstly, in sections (ethics, philosophy of language, philosophy of consciousness, political philosophy, philosophy of religion, etc.), and secondly, it is problematic. And then I realized that almost all philosophical problems concern me, that philosophical polemics on all issues are extremely fascinating. That, finally, I don't have to memorize anyone's teaching in detail, but must philosophize MYSELF, reading philosophical texts that are only a support in independent philosophizing. “There can only be one philosophy – yours,” said Alexander Moiseevich Pyatigorsky. Today, these are my views, and I love philosophy very much. More than philosophy, I love only literature, with which I am professionally connected.

    Therefore, I personally, in addition to the traditional textbooks on the history of philosophy for our country, would recommend you some American textbook, at least ” Philosophy. Introductory course ” Popkin and Stroll.

  2. The main thing is not to read textbooks (although I don't know American textbooks, but don't read our textbooks for sure). The sequence has absolutely no meaning. Personally, I, for example, started with F.Nietzsche – thanks to his searing genius, I realized that philosophy is interesting, cool, exciting! But not necessarily, I'm not insisting on it.

    Sciences (and philosophy is not a science) are studied in a certain sequence, because you need to gradually complicate things-there is no other way. But philosophy is a different type of Knowledge, where the degree of complexity/simplicity does not depend on the” age ” of the teaching: for example, the philosophy of the ancient skeptics is three orders of magnitude more complex and interesting than any F.Engels (who, to be honest, is not worth spending your time and energy on at all).

    Good luck!

  3. Not only philosophy, but also any subject (phenomenon) is best studied in the sequence in which it (it) was formed and developed, because the process of development (history) of the subject (phenomenon) generally coincides with the process of its cognition – this is the so-called dialectical principle of coincidence of historical and logical. That is why all schools first study mechanics, then molecular physics, and then electricity+magnetism and optics, completing everything with nuclear physics.

    In philosophy, this principle is particularly evident – the history of philosophy is philosophy itself.

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