SECOND THOUGHTS: First Introductions to Philosophy



Maureen Sie & Bart Engelen (eds.)
Published by: Open Press TiU

Philosophy, in a sense, is about having second thoughts. When we have second thoughts, we allow room for doubt about things we thought we knew. As Socrates and Descartes already stressed, doubt can be considered the eminently philosophical method. When we do philosophy, we doubt and wonder about what amazes and surprises us, and we are led by our curiosity to see where our thinking may lead us. When we listen to scientists, journalists, politicians and, granted, also some philosophers, they all too often seem to be very sure of themselves, having all figured out how the world works, how we should act and what the truth is. This handbook, in contrast, aims to stimulate you to find out for yourself whether they are right! It all starts with having an open mind and being willing to question the preconceptions of yourself and others.
This handbook is the paper version of a born-digital open educational resource for whomever is interested in philosophical thinking. Each of the chapters is open in the sense of freely available and accessible to everyone. You may be a student who wants to obtain some background on a specific philosophical sub-discipline. You may be a teacher who wants to assign introductory reading for students. You may be a layperson interested in reading an overview of philosophical thinking, written in a clear and accessible way.