Plato's Sun: An Introduction to Philosophy
Published: June 2005© 2005
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 290 Pages
Dimensions: 6.02 x 9.00
290 Pages, 6.02 x 9.00 x 1.09 in
Writing an introductory text for philosophy is an exceedingly difficult task. The discipline has spent a century or more in existential crisis with the attack on metaphysics dating back at least to Nietzsche and carried forward in different ways by Heidegger, Wittgenstein, and Derrida, to name a few. This constant upheaval has precipitated a climate of self-doubt that goes to the core of philosophy, the result being a strange discipline with many of its most illustrious names proudly announcing its demise.
In Plato's Sun, Andrew Lawless takes on the challenge of creating an introductory text for philosophy, arguing that such a work has to take into account of the strangeness of the field and divulge it, rather than suppress it beneath traditional certainties and authoritative pronouncements. Lawless writes within the shadow of post-modern anti-metaphysical skepticism, introducing some of the principal areas of philosophy: metaphysics, epistemology, logic, ethics, and language.
Lawless's concern is not to resolve the issues he raises so much as to set them out in a way that lets the reader experience something of the philosopher's struggle. In so doing, Lawless holds fast to the Socratic vision of philosophy as a process of inquiry that values questions above answers, pushing the inquirer beyond his or her answers. With numerous pedagogical features including glossaries of names and key terms, suggested readings, and short chapter summaries, Plato's Sun will be an essential text to new students of philosophy and an important aid in teaching the subject.
- What Is Philosophy?
- Metaphysics: The Search for the God's-Eye View
- Wittgenstein's Ladder: The Modern Reaction to Metaphysics
- Epistemology: The Ghost in the Metaphysical Machine
- Logic and Its Place in the Universe
- Ethics: The Good, the Bad and the Beautiful
- Philosophy and Language: The House of Being
Appendix 1: The Twelve-Coin Puzzle and the paradox of the Heap
Appendix 2: Ethics and the 'Other'
‘An excellent introduction to philosophy for anyone interested in the area, be they students or not, Plato’s Sun is not just a book about philosophy, it is philosophy. Readers engage the text by doing philosophy, even if they aren’t aware they are. Andrew Lawless’s comprehensive review of the Western philosophical tradition, including the ideas of most major philosophers is enjoyable and easy to read. This is truly a first rate text.’Christopher D. Viger, Department of Philosophy, University of Western Ontario