What is this thing called Philosophy? is the definitive textbook for all who want a thorough introduction to the field. It introduces philosophy using a question-led approach that reflects the discursive nature of the discipline. Edited by Duncan Pritchard, each section is written by a high-profile contributor focusing on a key area of philosophy, and contains three or four question-based chapters offering an accessible point of engagement.

The core areas of philosophy covered are:

  • Ethics
  • Political Philosophy
  • Aesthetics
  • Epistemology
  • Philosophy of Mind
  • Metaphysics
  • Philosophy of Science
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • The Meaning of Life.

The accompanying Routledge companion website features valuable online resources for both instructors and students including links to audio and video material, multiple-choice questions, interactive flashcards, essay questions and annotated further reading. This is the essential textbook for students approaching the study of philosophy for the first time.

part I|32 pages


part II|48 pages

Political philosophy

chapter 5|17 pages

What is freedom?

chapter 6|16 pages

What is justice?

part III|40 pages


part IV|38 pages


part V|34 pages

Philosophy of mind

part VI|43 pages


part VII|40 pages

Philosophy of science

part VIII|41 pages

Philosophy of religion