1 book, 2 dictionaries and a podcast I recommend for studying philosophy.

Not getting College Philosophy? It doesn’t have to be a bewildering malaise. Here are four tools that you should get (if nothing else three of them make excellent blunt objects)

1/ Philosophical Foundations for a Christian World viewPhilosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview

This is a cracker book and I reckon it should be standard issue for all Moore Students. In fact I hear the Christian Thought dept. are toying with making this the textbook for future years. I referenced this book in nearly every philosophy essay I wrote in my undergrad. It covers – well… everything (even the argument and logic stuff). It’s written by people who know how to communicate to an audience broader than people who know the difference between analytical and continental philosophy and yet it maintains its academic street cred as these guys distil their combined lifetimes of philosophical study and education. This book is really worth getting a hold of if you doubt whether the Christian worldview can really swim in the deep end of philosophic thought.

Frustratingly Moore Books doesn’t have any in stock but they said if you order it they’d get it in. Alternatively you can buy it here from the other place.

evangelical-dictionary-of-theology2/ The next one isn’t even a philosophical work; it’s a theological one.
But the lines between philosophy and theology are so often blurred that the editors of The Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Theology have wisely included essays a range of topics we cover in philosophy 2, like some of the sub categories discussed in ontology and epistemology.

It should be said that the dictionary has been criticised in the past by some who have suggested that some of the articles are written by people who are actually in favour of what are writing about, and this prevents a good critique as they aren’t writing dispassionately. To my mind these problems have been cleared up in later editions.

Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy3/ Next a secular work, the Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy. You can get dictionaries in the penguin series on all sorts of things but for students of theology this is a handy one to have on the shelf as we are so often dealing with world view kind of questions. If you haven’t got a good grasp of idealism, realism, etc. then grab a copy.

I understand that Blackwell has a similar dictionary for western philosophy. I just haven’t had a look at it, it could be good too.

Probably the easiest place to get this one would be the co-op bookshop at USyd.

philosohy bites4/ Finally – a free resource. This is another (very) production – the philosophy bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is free. It can be downloaded from iTunes and the best bit about it is that it isn’t the slightest bit Christian. It is free. It will do your mind a world of good to hear how some of the most learned people in the world use the problem of evil to demonstrate that God doesn’t exist. It is free.

Each episode goes for around 10 minutes and I believe was meant to be a radio program at some stage. It’s worth a listen just so you can hear the English guy with a lisp.

Hope these help.


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