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Get Set for Philosophy

Douglas Burnham

Paperback (Printed to Order)

This is the first book to combine an introduction to Philosophy as a degree subject with the practical study and assessment skills that the student is likely to need. It begins by helping a student to make an informed choice about which philosophy course to apply for and goes on to introduce the subject via key problems and philosophers. It expertly guides the reader towards philosophical thinking as an activity and offers practical advice for developing techniques specific to the study of philosophy.

Key Features

  • Gives brief biographies of major philosophers
  • Provides clear definitions of key terms and guidance on further reading
  • Includes sample essays and examination questions
  • Covers time-management and self-motivation skills
  • Offers tips on making use of contact time with tutors


Table of Contents
Part One: A Guide to Philosophy
Chapter 1: Philosophy Degrees
A. What is philosophy? Why Study philosophy? (careers and personal growth)
1. What is philosophy?
2. Philosophy and Your Future
A Special Word to Mature Students
B. Philosophy at university
1. Choosing Where to Study: Which university?
2: Which Type of Degree?
3. Typical philosophy Courses
Chapter 2: An Orientation in Philosophy
A. Typical Courses on the First Year of philosophy Degrees
1. Problems of Metaphysics
2. Epistemology and Philosophy of Science
3. Ethics, Applied Ethics, and Political Philosophy
4. Aesthetics
5. The Philosophy of Religion
6. Ancient philosophy
7. Early Modern Philosophy
8. European' Philosophy
Part Two: Study skills
Chapter 3: Be in the Know
Chapter 4: Learning at university
A. Reading
B. Learning by Assessment
C. Self-Directed Learning
D. Time Management
E. Tutorials and seminars
F. Lectures
Chapter 5: Assessments
A. Essays and Dissertations
1. Why Write Essays?
2. Philosophy Essays are Different
3. First, Read the Question
4. The Writing Process: From Notes to a First Draft
5. The Essay Returns
6. Finding and Using Sources
a. Why Use Sources?
B. Finding Sources
7. Portfolio of Work
8. The Dissertation
B. Examinations
1. Preparing for exams
2. On the Day
3. After the Exam
C. Oral Presentations
1. Preparing and Presenting
2. Working in Groups
Chapter 6:General Skills Handbook
A. Argument and Justification
1. Critical Thinking
2. Examples and Analogies
B. Writing Clear and Correctly
1. References and Bibliographies
2. Good Academic Style
C. Writing Skills Self-Assessment.

About the Author

Douglas Burnham is Professor of Philosophy at Staffordshire University and author of An Introduction to Kant's Critique of Judgement (Edinburgh University Press, 2000).


An indispensable text for newcomers to the subject. I like the explicit distinction between the content of the subject and the skills required of a successful Philosophy student.
- Dr John Gordon, Lecturer in Philosophy, Stevenson College, Edinburgh
The obvious care and attention to the needs of first year undergraduates is all too evident. I have nothing but unqualified praise for the book. Having been involved with devising syllabuses for A’ Level Philosophy I am also confident that students at this level will find the text extremely useful.
- Dr Roger Marples, Lecturer in Philosophy, Roehampton Institute

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