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The Review Man

Formerly of Goodreads, now of both words, in the coming times only here?

Currently reading

Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature
Margaret Atwood
Lila: An Inquiry Into Morals
Robert M. Pirsig
Simulacra and Simulation (The Body, In Theory: Histories of Cultural Materialism)
Jean Baudrillard, Sheila Faria Glaser
Leaven of Malice
Robertson Davies
The Salterton Trilogy
Robertson Davies
Effi Briest (Penguin Classics)
Theodor Fontane
Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World
Nicholas Ostler
Cases And Materials On The Law Of Torts
Robert M. Solomon
Public Law : Cases Materials and Commentary
Philip Bryden, Craik, Neil, Craig Forcese, Forcese, Craig
A Property Law Reader
Bruce H. Ziff

Classic Philosophical Questions (10th Edition)

Classic Philosophical Questions - James A. Gould This introductory textbook examines basic philosophical concepts from different perspectives by collecting arguments on popular topics like ethics, morality, free will et al. It's not a bad way to study these issues in principle, but this particular textbook fails in its attempt on multiple fronts. One problem is obvious: there are usually only two (opposing) viewpoints presented in each section, but who is to say that there can only be two stances on an issue? The textbook suffers since it cannot possibly examine an issue in an interesting way; instead it's forced to pit two extremes against each other. While this is sometimes interesting—think of it as a philosophical cage match—it lacks any nuance or subtlety.

Another problem with Classic Philosophical Questions is the authors themselves and their arguments. Some contributers are well-respected (think Tolstoy, Camus, Aristotle...), and others are lesser-known philosophers. This wouldn't normally be a problem except that some sections suffer as a result. For example, both articles on aesthetics and subjectivity of taste present weak and unconvincing arguments. (One author basically admits that he cannot critique his counterpart's argument—a waste of pages if I've ever seen one.)

I appreciate the idea behind the textbook, but its implementation leaves much to be desired.