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Peter Cole

The Theory of knowledge

I often feel that philosophy books are too wordy, and I look out for books which are formatted in a way which is more helpful to the reader. The theory of knowledge is such a book, with plenty of use of tables and bullet points to get the information across. Although to some extent it's a crib for those studying for philosophy A-level and in particular those with Descartes' Meditations as a set book, it would also be useful to anyone wishing for an introduction to Descartes' work or to the philosophy of knowledge. I also feel that other authors who are trying to put forward a philosophical argument would do well to look at the way such arguments are presented in this book.

This is a short book of just over 80 pages, but there's plenty packed into that space. The book starts by looking at common forms of argument and their drawbacks. It moves on to the question of Rationalism vs Empiricism, looking at the works of philosophers such as Locke, Hume and Kant. There is a chapter on scepticism, showing that it's more than just a negative attitude. The later chapters look at where our knowledge comes from and the different ways we justify our beliefs. At the end there is an appendix about Cartesian Dualism. I feel that this book is a useful resource and I shall certainly look out for more titles in the Access to Philosophy series.  |  Chronon Critical Points  |  Recent Science Book Reviews