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Publisher's Summary

The Problems of Philosophy discusses Bertrand Russell's views on philosophy and the problems that arise in the field. Russell's views focus on knowledge rather than the metaphysical realm of philosophy. The Problems with Philosophy revolves around the central question that Russell asks in his opening line of Chapter 1 - Is there any knowledge in the world which is so certain that no reasonable man could doubt it? He examines this question by delving into the idea of reality versus appearance, as for Russell and other philosophers who share his ideas it is sensory perception of the world around them that shapes their knowledge. It is in this work that he discusses his idea of sense-data to help explain the differences between appearance and reality. The Problems of Philosophy is Russell's first attempt at recording and working through a theory of epistemology, which is the theory of the nature of human knowledge.

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) was an English philosopher, logician, mathematician, social critic, and historian. He is remembered as being a leader in the British revolt against idealism, as well as a founding father of the field of analytic philosophy. He was also well known for his very public anti-war and anti-imperialist stances.

Public Domain (P)2012 Enunciation LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Logically Atomistic

As usual, Bertie employs his analytic style for which he is famous, while at the same time showing the reader why his other important work, 'A History of Western Philosophy', was an outstanding literary success. Russell seamlessly slices through difficult philosophy with succinct and relevant observations; he gives the reader a clear description (forgive the expression) of how complex ideas operate. The Third Earl is a master at synthesizing concepts, and knitting them together in manner which at first seems odd, but at last seems almost blatantly obvious. James Lagdon performs really well in this one, and apart from a few missed inflections, which one may forgive considering the nature of the subject, his voice is not a a nuisance, but in fact a delight when listening to things which are logically complex and somewhat mathematic-sounding. It comes, if you didn't already suspect, with my highest recommendation.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Marcin
  • Radom, Poland
  • 08-17-14

A good philosophical essay, mainly on epistemology

Any additional comments?

The essay is going to be a good read for any one interested in epistemology and philosophy of science. Although the title refers to philosophy as a whole, virtually all the problems expanded on in this relatively short essay concern the problems of knowledge - that is what we can and cannot know and in what sens.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • aaron
  • Portland, OR
  • 01-07-13

Not a first foray into philosophy

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Time well spent, yes, but...Unless someone truly appreciates philosophy for what it is, and what it isn't, then this book probably will not be for you. Each chapter is in itself a premise to logically conclude a greater argument, which the author does very well.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

The narration. The voice needed more emotion, energy and excitement in the subject matter. It felt dry, uninspired, and can lull the listener to sleep (which is bad for my 1-2 hr driving commute).

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Damian
  • Tauranga, New Zealand
  • 03-11-13

Interesting, but a bit soporiphic

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Oh yes. I like to listen to books like this just before I drift off to sleep. The ideas were stimulating and the voice droned a bit so it helped me to fall asleep in no time.

What did you like best about this story?

Basic ideas of philosophy that were reasonably clearly expressed.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Not appropriate.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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"OF" - not "WITH"!

If you could sum up The Problems with Philosophy in three words, what would they be?

Good philosophical introduction

Who was your favorite character and why?

Russell himself, quite the "character"...

Which scene was your favorite?

I always enjoy his attacks on pragmatists like me. He misunderstands and is unsympathetic to our view, but in a highly entertaining fashion.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

You could, but if you're philosophically inclined you'll want to come back to it again.

Any additional comments?

Russell had his prejudices and blind-spots, and I prefer his popular essays ("Why I Am Not a Christian" etc.) and his book "Conquest of Happiness." But this is still great.

[In an earlier "review" I complained intemperately about the title error, listed initially on the audible site as "Problems With Philosophy"... don't know if that was somebody's idea of a joke or just a slip. I'm not even sure I didn't slip myself, and complain about the wrong "pronoun" when of course I meant "preposition". Anyway, as Russell would point out: to err is only human.]

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Anthony
  • Old Bridge, NJ, United States
  • 05-08-14

Nope

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

No. its philosophers philosophy containing little substance.

What was most disappointing about Bertrand Russell’s story?

I get it, but i dont agree. Its over analyzing.

What three words best describe James Langton’s performance?

Good considering the thinking loops he had to relay.

Was The Problems with Philosophy worth the listening time?

not really.

5 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • Holon, Israel
  • 09-23-17

not very informative

slowly I come to realize how futile philosophy is. good thing that Russrl Admits it...m

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Eh

Did not enjoy or realize anything profound or interesting...try reading/listening to the first pages and see what I'm talking about.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Informational

Would you listen to The Problems with Philosophy again? Why?

I would definitely listen to this book again. It was very informative and great to listen to.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Bertrand Russell a genius of philosophy

What about James Langton’s performance did you like?

Simple dialog. Monotone speaking is not a detriment when you are looking for a purely information book.

Any additional comments?

When you want to fill your head with information, audio books are great. This is a great book for learning about Bertrand Russell.

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  • Jem
  • 01-10-17

The problems with philosophy!

I'm sure there was some interesting philosophy here but could not hear past the monotone presentation by the reader. I gave up with two hours to go.

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  • Dingani
  • 12-23-12

Excellent

Very interesting for sociology students and those who are interested in early philosophy. I suppose it's up to the individual to choose what is relevant and what is not.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

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