This guide is intended for use by all students of the London Philosophy degrees, BA, MA and its research degrees. It contains an entry for each of the papers currently available within the B.A. degree. For each of these you will find a number of general hints about studying for that particular paper, together with a number of central readings. These reading lists vary greatly in length, but no inferences should be made on this basis about the comparative difficulty of the papers. In every case these reading lists will be supplemented by others you will receive in lectures or tutorials, and there is no attempt here at comprehensive coverage.
Reading Philosophy: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/philosophy/LPSG/intro.htm#Reading
At no stage in one's career is reading philosophy easy. Some people claim to read philosophy for pleasure. Wittgenstein is reported to have said that he found reading some philosophy 'a kind of agony'. Many people are inclined to agree with this. Whatever good intentions philosophers have to make their works clear, accessible, and fun to read, the result is rarely any better than more dull and dense prose with a few corny jokes. Remember that you read philosophy not for the pleasure of the moment, but for what you can come away with.
It is important, then, that you make your reading of philosophy as efficient and rewarding as possible. In order to do this you must maintain a sympathetic but critical attitude to the text. This can often be best achieved by approaching the text with a number of general questions in mind. Normally you will not have got everything you could have out of the text until you can answer the following questions.
A. WHAT CONCLUSION DOES THE AUTHOR WISH TO REACH?
B. WHY IS THAT CONCLUSION INTERESTING?
C. WHAT IS THE ARGUMENT?
D. IS THE ARGUMENT VALID IN ITS OWN TERMS?
E. SHOULD THE PREMISSES OF THE ARGUMENT BE ACCEPTED?
F. IF WE ACCEPT THE ARGUMENT AND CONCLUSION, WHAT ELSE FOLLOWS?
G. FINALLY: A CAUTION
Writing Philosophy: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/philosophy/LPSG/intro.htm#Writing
Style Sheet for Bibliographical References: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/philosophy/LPSG/intro.htm#StyleSheet
General Works and Series in Philosophy: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/philosophy/LPSG/intro.htm#General
Routledge Arguments of The Philosophers
Oxford Readings in Philosophy
The Blackwell Philosopher Dictionaries
Blackwell Companions to Philosophy
Routledge Philosophy GuideBooks
Philosophy: A Guide Through The Subject (vol. 1) and Philosophy: Further Through the Subject (vol. 2) ed. A. Grayling
The Encyclopedia of Philosophy
The Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Logic & Metaphysics
Epistemology & Methodology
Philosophy of Mind
Philosophy of Religion
Philosophy of Language
Philosophy of Science
Set Theory & Further Logic
Indian Philosophy (PDF)
19th Century German Philosophy
Frege, Russell & Wittgenstein
Philosophy of Psychology
Philosophy of Mathematics