This is a series of introductory philosophy lectures LarrySanger
wrote out completely and read to his unfortunate OhioState?
students in the spring of 1998. Printed out it's about 350 pages long. Its audience is average undergraduates who have never had a philosophy class before. It covers, in a conversational yet concise fashion, all the main subdisciplines of philosophy, with a few exceptions (e.g., PhilosophyOfScience?
are omitted). This material will require radical reworking and general wikification to become appropriate for WikiPedia
. On this page, we can discuss how to do this.
See all [these pages] to search for all current pages that mention 'LarrysText'.
Table of contents (please keep this updated as you wikify!):
- 1 Introduction to Philosophy
- WhyPhilosophize -- PhilosophicalMethod -- DefinitionOfPhilosophy -- PhilosophicalSubdisciplines
- 2 Some Rudiments of Logic
- DefinitionOfLogic -- DeductionAndInduction -- ArgumentForms -- MeaningAndDefinitions
- 3 Metaphysics
- SomeMetaphysicalQuestions -- MetaphysicsAndOntology -- TheExistenceOfPhysicalObjects -- ProblemOfSubstance -- ProblemOfUniversals -- IdentityAndChange
- 4 Philosophy of Religion
- PhilosophyOfReligion -- WhatIsGod -- FaithAndRationality -- ObviouslyBadArgumentsForTheExistenceOfGod -- TraditionallyRespectableArgumentsForTheExistenceOfGod -- TheOntologicalArgument -- TheCosmologicalArgument -- TheTeleologicalArgument -- TheProblemOfEvil -- TheRationalityOfAtheism -- TheoDicy
- 5 Philosophy of Mind
- PhilosophyOfMind -- MentalEvent -- MentalFunctions -- ConsciousNess -- TheMindBodyProblem -- ReducTion -- MonIsm -- NeutralMonism -- DualIsm -- DualisticInteractionism -- PhysicalIsm -- PhilosophyOfPerception -- FreeWillAndDeterminism
- 6 Philosophy of Language
- PhilosophyOfLanguage -- TheMeaningOfMeaning -- ProperNames -- MeaningfulNess -- NaiveRelativismAboutTruth -- TheoriesOfTruth
- 7 Epistemology
- EpistemOlogy -- TheoryOfJustification -- TheRegressArgumentInEpistemology -- APrioriAndAPosteriorKnowledge -- KnowLedge -- ScepticIsm -- CommonSenseAndTheDiallelus
- 8 Ethics
- EthIcs -- MetaEthics/Naturalism MetaEthics/NonNaturalism MetaEthics/NonCognitivism -- TheoryOfValue -- TheoryOfConduct
- 9 Political Philosophy
- PoliticalPhilosophy -- TheJustificationOfTheState -- AnarchismAndNaturalLawTheory -- SocialContractTheories -- ConsequentialistJustificationsOfTheState -- ThePurposeOfGovernment -- LibertarianisM -- SocialisM
OK, here's the deal:
- I know a lot of this sucks. It is written to get the general concepts across to Ohio State undergrads. Yes, some of what I've written might be outright wrong, and most of it can be tightened up considerably. So, help me do that. Don't bother replying to something I've written here. Just make the change you think is necessary, please.
- I have taken actual stands on certain issues. You should de-opinionate these, if you can. (This, like much other but not all improvement, will have to be done by philosophers who know the issues.)
- Please render my prose a little more formal, less lecture-like.
- I have saved the text in section-sized chunks, but I think it could have been saved in much smaller chunks. If you want to do that, that would be Very Cool.
- Since these are lectures, I refer to myself, the students, Ohio State, readings, other lectures I've given (hence, other parts of the wiki) and other stuff that shouldn't belong on the wiki. If you want to help totally wikify this text, you would remove all that stuff. Please?
- I have saved the sections on pages with titles describing their content. Ultimately, perhaps, the titles should be changed, or the entirety of a certain page should be split up and put on other pages. I leave that to you.
- Finally, you might not like my style, and you might think that I don't present the issues reliably enough, and otherwise feel that this contribution is not exactly a boon to WikiPedia. If that's the case, you can feel free to replace what I've written with your own golden prose; I'd just appreciate that you convey roughly the same information that I do (i.e., you cover the same topics and say the same (true) things I have to say about them). If these textbook entries are placeholders before better stuff comes along, that's perfectly fine by me. The lectures are long since over and it took me all of an hour to upload them to the wiki! So I won't mind, really!
I think that's it for now. Any comments or questions?
I added a note to the top of most of the pages. I would hope the notes don't last longer than the first couple of edits, which should suffice to make them read sufficiently less like lectures. And having them link here means interested parties can find which ones have not yet been reviewed (that gives me an idea: ReviewRequests
). That having been said... Thanks for the material, Larry. I skimmed sections here and there, and it all looks quite good. Quite a boon for the PhiloSophy
section. I might just look you up and request a copy when I have to teach some undergrad intro class (or will the wikipedia be enough by then...). --PhillipHankins
Thanks very much, Phillip! -- Larry
Update, Feb. 3, from LarrySanger
: as an example of how I would like this text to be wikified, I have started working on wikifying [the original PhilosophyOfMind entry]
and [the original TheMindBodyProblem entry]
. In the process of wikifying these pages, as you can see by comparing the originals (click on the bracketed links) with the most recent versions (PhilosophyOfMind
), I have done the following:
- Prised out large portions of the text that belong in their own headings; see DualIsm and PhysicalIsm
- Prised out smaller portions of text that explicate jargon; see MentalEvent, MentalFunctions, ConsciousNess, ReducTion, MonIsm, NeutralMonism
- Importantly, I added links to the new entries created by prised-out text in the appropriate places in the table of contents above. This is useful for someone who wants to follow the original text.
- Invented a few new entries along the way; see PhysicalEvent, NeuroN (planned--go ahead, do it yourself), BrainEvent, PhilosophicalView
- Changed some of the "I" talk to "magisterial-we" talk
- Deleted parts of the text that make it easier to read/listen to (this was padding)
- Deleted parts of the text that made transitions from one part to another (this isn't going to be one continuous text when we're done with it)
- Did a little copyediting, tightening up, and even added a thought or two
Go thou and do likewise--please!