Download An Intelligent Person's Guide to Philosophy by Roger Scruton PDF

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 trouble-free publication, he chooses to introduce philosophy via doing it. Taking the self-discipline past conception and "intellectualism," he provides it in an empirical, available, and useful mild. the result's no longer a background of the sphere yet a bright, lively, and private account to lead the reader making his or her personal enterprise into philosophy. Addressing a number of matters from freedom, God, fact, and morality, to intercourse, song, and background, Scruton argues philosophy's relevance not only to highbrow questions, yet to modern existence.

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An animal which learns adapts its behaviour to changes in the stag thinks there the environment: hence, with the concept of belief come those of recognition, expectation and surprise. \ <* Learning is 'conditioning' The process therefore not to be thought of in terms of the made familiar by behaviourist psychology. - the association of a repeated response - can be observed in of conditioning stimulus with a 'learned' forms of life that have not yet risen to the cognitive level. Conditioning involves a change in behaviour, but not neces- change of mind.

Biology tells us that humans are animals; so why do we give ourselves such airs? 5 ' I \ PERSONS ^ Well, we don't in fact. Human behaviour has been 'de-moralized', dragged down from in the laboratory. its The very sacred pedestal and dissected 'third-person viewpoint' that banishes Descartes' demon, prompts us to do the work of a more serious devil^The most important task for philosophy in the modern world is to resurrect the human person, to rescue it from trivializing science, and to replace the sarcasm which knows that we are merely animals, with the irony which sees that we are not.

All discourse and dialogue depend upon the concept of truth. To agree with another is to accept the truth of what he says; to disagree is to reject it. In ordinary speech we aim at truth, and it is only on the assumption of this aim that people make sense. Imagine trying to learn French in a Frenchmen, without making the assumption that, in general, they aim to speak truly. Of course, not everything we say is true: sometimes we make mistakes, sometimes we tell lies or half-truths ^ut without the concept of truth, and its sovereign standing in our discourse, we could not tell lies; nor could we have the concept society of monolingual of a mistake, Y Truth is r sovereign too in rational argument.

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