Second Thoughts

First Introductions to Philosophy

Contributors: Bart Engelen (ed.)Maureen Sie (ed.)

All you need to start reading this accessible introduction to the thought-provoking and pertinent field of philosophy, is an open and inquisitive mind. You will be encouraged to have second thoughts, to think twice about your gut feelings and intuitions and the assumptions and prejudices that often characterize our way of thinking and living. Each of this book’s chapters discusses things that matter in our lives. How should we organize our societies? What does human nature look like? How can we come to know things about the world we live in? These questions, and the diverse answers of philosophers that are presented here, will very likely require you to rethink what you thought you knew. This book is completely open access and freely available for everyone and for you to share with others. It is also open ended: an interactive version can be found here and will grow and be updated over time.

Recent Activity

  • Text Added

    Supplement: Valerie Tiberius, 'Humean Heroism'

  • Text Added

    Supplement: Langdon Winner, 'Do Artifacts Have Politics?'

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    Supplement: Ludwig Wittgenstein, 'Philosophical Investigations'

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    Supplement: Martin Heidegger, 'Sein und Zeit' / 'Being and Time'

  • Text Added

    Supplement: Willard Van Orman Quine, 'On What There Is'

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    Supplement: Plato, 'Gorgias'

Table of Contents


Thinking about Society

Thinking about Humans

Thinking about Thinking

Thinking about Reality

Most Recent Additions


  • rights
    This book and all material included in it is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license, which means that you are free to copy and distribute this work in any medium or format, granted that you a) give appropriate credit to the author (see above), b) do not use the material for commercial purposes and c) do not remix, transform, or build upon the material. For more information, see
  • edition
  • isbn
  • publisher
    Open Press Tilburg University
  • publisher place
    Tilburg, The Netherlands
  • restrictions
    CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
  • rights holder
    The authors (2021)


Second Thoughts. First Introductions to Philosophy (2021, Maureen Sie & Bart Engelen Eds.) is an open educational and open-ended handbook published by Open Press TiU.

Open Press TiU is the academic Open Access publishing house for Tilburg University and beyond. As part of the Open Science Action Plan of Tilburg University, Open Press TiU aims to accelerate Open Access in scholarly book publishing. For more information, contact Open Press Tilburg University.

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Online publication by Thomas F. K. Jorna and Violet Zagt
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