The Philosophical Apprentice

“Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person.” Albert Einstein

The Approach

What’s the best way to learn Philosophy?

Based on my own interests I’ve come up with a three-pronged approach.

  1. Historical.
  2. Subject specific / Analytical
  3. Scholastic

The historical approach is necessary because philosophical problems never seem to go away but always seem to get restated with each new generation, i.e. the problem of universals. I plan to rely on Teaching company lectures here. There is always a good reading list to go along with a series. I don’t want to get carried away with this approach because I could spend an entire lifetime devouring TC reading lists; however, the reading list included with the “Great Minds of the Western intellectual Tradition” course is a good place to start.

Regards the analytical approach, I have been debating whether to pursue the University of London’s external BA in philosophy. Its cheap and its reading list is extensive. I’d probably seek some sort of tutorial assistance with it. The Pathways to Philosophy program comes to mind.

The third – scholastic – approach is what really interests me (I’m a big fan of Ed Feser.) I’ve been trying to read as much in this area as I can, the Introductions to Philosophy by Daniel Sullivan, Paul Glenn and Jacques Maritain have been very helpful. I’ve also found the seven volumes of Paul Gerard Horrigan a good resource in this area. Beyond the large number of references in the Horrigan books, Holy Apostles College & Seminary has a distance learning Masters program in philosophy that dovetails nicely with my own interests.

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