Sunday, November 27, 2011

New Intro to Philosophy text?

I've been trying to replace the late Robert Solomon's A Passion for Wisdom: A Very Brief History of Philosophy for a long time in the course formerly known as Intro which I've started calling "CoPhi" instead (short for the pluralistic collaborative form of  "CoPhilosophy" William James advocated).

It packs philosophy's story into an extremely concise and accessible package, without sacrificing too much precision or honesty. But Passion's nearly fifteen years old, and I'd like to try something a little fresher.

So far, I have yet to find a worthy successor. But Nigel Warburton's A Little History of Philosophy looks promising. (Sample pages)

My concern is the new book may be just a little too light and breezy. Its ideal reader, I think, would be a motivated high schooler encountering philosophy for the first time. Will it strike our college students as beneath them? Will they read it? (Always a question, nowadays, whatever the text.)

I would supplement it with an intellectual biography or two. How to Live,  perhaps. Or Courtier and Heretic. Or maybe bring back Logicomix, which went over well last year. Or stick with Doubt and Passion.

Change is a good thing, but it's never good to fix what ain't broken. This'll be a tough call.

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