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Knowledge: A very short introduction

Book cover - abstract orange, yellow, red imageBy Jennifer Nagel
Review by Sherma (PPE)

I had never studied philosophy prior to my arrival at Univ and was recommended this book as an intro into what the areas the subject concerns. The book introduced me to epistemology, the philosophical study of how knowledge can be derived. The book clearly details the history of the study while simultaneously detailing the theories proposed by various philosophers in a clear and concise format. I feel Nagel was able to disseminate objectively complex theories into an easily digestible framework. The variety of examples and thought experiments greatly aided in my understanding of the concepts in the book. The ideas covered are treated fairly insofar as the potential objections to the theories covered being showcased as well as how adherents to each would challenge each other. The language used is plain and free of jargon, allowing it to be picked up regardless of prior experience epistemology or philosophy in general. The book acts as a springboard for further reading, skilfully explaining the main concepts of philosophical works while simultaneously encouraging exploring these texts further due to its brevity. It is important to note the purpose of the book is to provide mainly a brief outline of the various areas of epistemological thought and thus is not completely comprehensive detailing the arguments mentioned. I would greatly recommend this book for anyone who’s interested in potentially studying philosophy as it does a great job of explaining the types of reasoning and methods employed by philosophers and how philosophical arguments and ideas form and change.

Knowledge: A very short introduction by Jennifer Nagel
ISBN-10: 9780199661268
ISBN-13: 978-0199661268

Try checking the availability of this book at your school or local library or explore second hand bookshops and websites. You may also wish to purchase from either Amazon or Blackwell’s.

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