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Nigel Warburton - book author

Nigel Warburton is Senior Lecturer at the Open University and author of a number of popular books about philosophy.

Warburton received a BA from the University of Bristol and a PhD from Darwin College, Cambridge and was a lecturer at the University of Nottingham before joining the Department of Philosophy at the Open University in 1994.

He runs a popular philosophy weblog Virtual Philosopher and with David Edmonds regularly podcasts interviews with top philosophers on a range of subjects at Philosophy Bites. He also podcasts chapters from his book Philosophy: The Classics.

Nigel Warburton is the author of books: A Little History of Philosophy, Philosophy: The Basics, Philosophy: The Classics, Free Speech: A Very Short Introduction, The Art Question, Thinking From A To Z, NTU Sports Textbook Pack: The Basics of Essay Writing, Pocket Edition (Volume 5), Philosophy: The Essential Study Guide, Philosophy: Basic Readings, Big Ideas in Social Science

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Author Books

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01
Philosophy begins with questions about the nature of reality and how we should live. These were the concerns of Socrates, who spent his days in the ancient Athenian marketplace asking awkward questions, disconcerting the people he met by showing them how little they genuinely understood. This engaging book introduces the great thinkers in Western philosophy and explores their most compelling ideas about the world and how best to live in it.

In forty brief chapters, Nigel Warburton guides us on a chronological tour of the major ideas in the history of philosophy. He provides interesting and often quirky stories of the lives and deaths of thought-provoking philosophers from Socrates, who chose to die by hemlock poisoning rather than live on without the freedom to think for himself, to Peter Singer, who asks the disquieting philosophical and ethical questions that haunt our own times.

Warburton not only makes philosophy accessible, he offers inspiration to think, argue, reason, and ask in the tradition of Socrates. A Little History of Philosophy presents the grand sweep of humanity's search for philosophical understanding and invites all to join in the discussion.
02
Now in its fourth edition, Nigel Warburton's best-selling book gently eases the reader into the world of philosophy. Each chapter considers a key area of philosophy, explaining and exploring the basic ideas and themes.


What is philosophy? Can you prove God exists? Is there an afterlife? How do we know right from wrong? Should you ever break the law? Is the world really the way you think it is? How should we define Freedom of Speech? Do you know how science works? Is your mind different from your body? Can you define art?
For the fourth edition, Warburton has added new sections to several chapters, revised others and brought the further reading sections up to date. If you've ever asked what is philosophy, or whether the world is really the way you think it is, then this is the book for you.
03
In his exemplary clear style, Warburton introduces and assesses twenty-seven philosophical classics from Plato's Republic to Rawls' A Theory of Justice. For the third edition there is new text design and revised further reading make this the ideal book for all students, while three new chapters on Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil, Russell's The Problems of Philosophy and Sartre's Existentialism and Humanism mean that all the A Level set texts are covered.

This brisk and invigorating tour through the great books of western philosophy explores the works of Plato, Aristotle, Boethius, Machiavelli, Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Locke, Hume, Rousseau, Kant, Schopenhauer, Mill, Kierkegaard, Marx and Engels, Nietzsche, Russell, Ayer, Sartre, Wittgenstein, and Rawls.

Offering twenty-seven guidebooks for the price of one, this is the most comprehensive introduction to philosophers and their texts currently available.
04
Voltaire's comment--"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"--is frequently quoted by defenders of free speech. Yet it is rare to find someone prepared to defend all freedom of speech, especially if the views expressed are obnoxious or obviously false. So where do we draw the line? How important is our right to freedom of speech? In this accessible and up-to-date Very Short Introduction, Nigel Warburton covers a wide range of controversial free-speech issues, from Holocaust denial and pornography to the status of modern copyright law. The book offers a concise guide to many of the vexing issues concerning our right to speak freely, including: Should a civilized society set limits on freedom of speech? How can we balance free speech with the sensitivities of religious and minority groups? How have digital technology and the Internet changed the debate?
05
If an artist sends a live peacock to an exhibition, is it art?
'What is art?' is a question many of us want answered but are too afraid to ask. It is the very question that Nigel Warburton demystifies in this brilliant and accessible little book. With the help of varied illustrations and photographs, from C�zanne and Francis Bacon to Andy Warhol and Damien Hirst, best-selling author Warburton brings a philosopher's eye to art in a refreshing jargon-free style.
With customary clarity, he explains art theories, that are much discussed but little understood, by thinkers such as Clive Bell, R.G Collingwood and Wittgenstein. He illuminates other perplexing problems in art, such as the artist's intention, representation and emotion. Drawing on photographs of Cindy Sherman and Tiananmen Square, Warburton shows that, if we are ever to answer the art question, we must consider each work of art on its own terms.
A stimulating and handy guide through the art maze, The Art Question is essential reading for anyone interested in art, philosophy or those who simply like looking at and thinking about pictures.
06
How can you beat lawyers, floor politicians and get your own way? By knowing how to use argument. Tricks of the rhetorical trade are included and explained in this volume, which aims to show you how to spot humptydumptying, wishful thinking, zig-zagging, rash generalizations, reductio ad absurdum, a gambler's fallacy or if someone is getting personal. Arranged in alphabetical order, the text offers guidance to anyone wanting to sharpen their thinking skills.
08
Philosophy: The Essential Study Guide is a compact and straightforward guide to the skills needed to study philosophy, aimed at anyone coming to the subject for the first time or just looking to improve their performance. Nigel Warburton clarifies what is expected of students and offers strategies and guidance to help them make effective use of their study time and improve their marks.

The four main skills covered by the book are:

reading philosophy - both skimming and in-depth analysis of historical and contemporary work, understanding the examples and terminology used listening to philosophy - formal lectures and informal classroom teaching, preparation, picking up on arguments used, note taking discussing philosophy - arguing and exploring, asking questions, communicating in concise and understandable ways writing philosophy - planning and researching essays and other written tasks, thinking up original examples, avoiding plagiarism.
09
Nigel Warburton brings philosophy to life with an imaginative selection of philosophical writings on key topics. Philosophy: Basic Readings is the ideal introduction to some of the most accessible and thought-provoking pieces in philosophy, both contemporary and classic.

The second edition of Philosophy: Basic Readings has been expanded to include new pieces in each major area of philosophy:
- What is philosophy?
- God
- Right and wrong
- The external world
- Science
- Mind
- Art

The readings in Philosophy: Basic Readings complement the chapters in Philosophy: The Basics (4th edition 2004).
10
Are human beings less violent than before? Why do we adopt certain moral and political judgements? Why is the gap between rich and poor getting bigger? How do we decide which criminal policies are effective? What is the Population Challenge for the 21st Century? What is social science?

In Big Ideas in Social Science, David Edmonds and Nigel Warburton put these and more of our society's burning questions to 18 of the world's leading social scientists including Steven Pinker, Ann Oakley, Lawrence Sherman, Kate Pickett, Robert J. Shiller and Doreen Massey.

The result is a collection of thought-provoking discussions that span the fields of sociology, politics, economics, criminology, geography and many more.From the people who brought us the Philosophy Bites series, Big Ideas in Social Science is a fascinating and accessible introduction to the key ideas and findings of the social sciences.

The interviews for this book are based on a series of podcasts, Social Science Bites, sponsored by SAGE. Social Science Bites was inspired by the popular Philosophy Bites podcast (www.philosophybites.com), which was founded by David and Nigel in 2007 and has so far had 26 million downloads. Philosophy Bites has spawned three books, Philosophy Bites, Philosophy Bites Back and Philosophy Bites Again.