An Intelligent Person's Guide to Philosophy by Roger Scruton

By Roger Scruton

"Philosophy's the 'love of wisdom', might be approached in methods: by means of doing it, or by means of learning the way it has been done," so writes the eminent thinker Roger Scruton. during this straightforward ebook, he chooses to introduce philosophy through doing it. Taking the self-discipline past conception and "intellectualism," he offers it in an empirical, available, and functional mild. the result's no longer a historical past of the sector yet a bright, lively, and private account to lead the reader making his or her personal enterprise into philosophy. Addressing more than a few topics from freedom, God, truth, and morality, to intercourse, tune, and heritage, Scruton argues philosophy's relevance not only to highbrow questions, yet to modern lifestyles.

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But this is necessarily so, as the case of pointing illustrates. You cannot pick things out unless you distinguish them from other things, and to distinguish one thing from another is to classify and therefore to apply a concept. ^Can it be that, from this trivial observation, such momentous conclusions follow, as that the world is nothing but thought, that there is no reality beyond concepts, or that ^ man a recent invention? Surely not. > • The reason why those 'idealist' conclusions do not follow is was given by Kant, in the first part of the Critique of Pure Reason.

Guage, and leans on language for its precision. It is only when we are able to read the gesture as an expression of thought that we can use it to anchor our words in reality. But that raises the question what thought? Why, the thought that my car is red! Indeed, no other thought would do: only this would serve to convey the fact that we have in mind, when referring to whatever makes it true that my car is red. We are once again back where we started. All attempts to pass from a thought to the reality described by it come round in a circle.

Vtvo ? ^a J/*kJh*~ "> nu~( _ 30 i An Intelligent Person's Guide to sentences from old ones - including If Philosophy \ 'not', and 'or. Seeing language in this way. we begin to make sense of its structure. We see how it is that, from a finite array of words, infinitely many sentences can be constructed and understood. We begin to distinguish the valid from the invalid arguments, the well-formed from the ill-formed complexes, and the different functions of the parts of speech. For example, we can begin to describe the real logical difference between names, which refer to objects, predicates, which refer to concepts, and 'quantifiers' like "some" and 'all', which have a logical role of their own.

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