Modern Philosophy: An Introduction and Survey


Philosopher Roger Scruton offers a wide-ranging perspective on philosophy, from logic to aesthetics, written in a lively and engaging way that is sure to stimulate debate. Rather than producing a survey of an academic discipline, Scruton reclaims philosophy for worldly concerns.

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Modern Philosophy: An Introduction and Survey

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Philosopher Roger Scruton offers a wide-ranging perspective on philosophy, from logic to aesthetics, written in a lively and engaging way that is sure to stimulate debate. Rather than producing a survey of an academic discipline, Scruton reclaims philosophy for worldly concerns.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This extensive survey of topics in modern philosophy as taught in English-speaking universities consists of two parts, about 500 and 100 pages, respectively. The former is the text that presents the ideas, theses, and arguments themselves; and the latter is a study guide that elucidates details, suggests topics for discussion, and names readings that expand the main text. The book is clearly written and well proportioned. By choosing sensibly which complexities to ignore, Scruton (The Classical Vernacular, St. Martin's, 1995) explains material no more technically and at no greater length than is necessary for nonprofessional readers to get the hang of it. Unfortunately, his penchant for making invidious remarks occasionally mars his exposition, but readers who inure themselves to this habit will cease to be distracted. Recommended for large public libraries and for academic philosophy collections.-Robert Hoffman, York Coll., CUNY
From Barnes & Noble
This wide-ranging view on philosophy guides non-philosophers through the frontiers of the soul, life and death, space and time, and many more profound realms of thought without bogging them in the controversies of the subject. A leading philosopher, Scruton has been lauded by the Times Literary Supplement as having the "capacity to illuminate central problems."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140249071
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/28/1996
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 624
  • Sales rank: 669,970
  • Product dimensions: 5.13 (w) x 7.79 (h) x 1.36 (d)

Meet the Author

Roger Scruton is the author of a number of books, including Modern Philosophy and A Short History of Philosophy. Formerly Professor of Aesthetics at Birkbeck College, London University, and a visiting professor at Boston University, he lives in Wiltshire, England.

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Table of Contents

Modern Philosophy 1. The Nature of Philosophy
2. Scepticism
3. Some More-isms
4. Self, Mind and Body
5. The Private Language Argument
6. Sense and Reference
7. Descriptions and Logical Form
8. Things and Properties
9. Truth
10. Appearance and Reality
11. God
12. Being
13. Necessity and the a priori
14. Cause
15. Science
16. The Soul
17. Freedom
18. The Human World
19. Meaning
20. Morality
21. Life, Death and Identity
22. Knowledge
23. Perception
24. Imagination
25. Space and Time
26. Mathematics
27. Paradox
28. Objective Spirit
29. Subjective Spirit
30. The Devil
31. Self and Other Study Guide Index

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 29, 2011

    Not An Objective Account of Philosophy to Put It Mildly

    If you are a white, conservative man who believes in God and you want to turn back the clock on the world, you will probably enjoy this book. I say probably because I'm convinced that even some conservatives will feel manipulated by the book.

    My main complaint is with the title of the book. By reading the title, one might be tempted to draw the conclusion that the book would present an objective survey of modern philosophy. This is certainly not the case. In the introduction Mr. Scruton does inform you that he will express his opinions in the book and that the book will sometimes be controversial and he suggests that it will be clear to the reader when he is expressing his opinion.

    This last statement by the author is only half true. Sruton does indeed express his opinions throughout the book, however, he is much more sly in how he goes about manipulating the reader. He does this by his choice of philosophers to treat, by giving some philosophers much more ink than most modern philosphers think they deserve. His explantion and discussion of existentialism is facile, to put it mildly.

    Marxism comes in for particular scorn throughout the book. In his chapter on "The Devil" (of all things) I lost count of the number of times he mentions Marxism, but the word "Nazi" appears only once. Perhaps because Nazism was a far right fascist political movement and not a liberal movement, and after all, Mr. Scruton is out to attack the liberal position at every turn.

    On a positive note, Scruton is a gifted writer with an impressive style and this is the only reason I gave the book a rating of "2" instead of the lowest possible rating.

    If you have a degree in philosophy and you are interested in dipping your toes back into the subject then you might profit from reading the book because you would be able to put it in perspective. For a person new to the subject, I would suggest beginning with a more objective and less politically charged book or books on modern philosophy.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

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