All of michaba03m's Comments + Replies

I have been studying utilitarianism in particular in quite some depth as part of my university degree (PPE). And yes I would DEFINITELY recommend that book, it is excellent. Also, of couse, Mill's book itself is very important to read as it had such a significant effect on ethics and politics, though I wouldn't say that he is necessarily the best representative of what utilitarians generally believe (the devil's in the details).

Another very simple, straightforward & lucid book is Roger Crisp's 'Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Mill on Utilitarianism',... (read more)

I was recently introduced to utilitarianism, more precisely, Mill's Utilitarianism, because I was assigned to do a speech on it for a class. I found the work fascinating and frustrating, and I immediately sought my professor and the library for help in better understanding Mill's views. I found the book by Lyons and I've been engrossed by it. The different critical essays on different parts of utilitarianism have made it so much more clear to me. I like how there are essays with different takes on utilitarianism, some that argue for/against rule-utilitarianism, or for/against act-utilitarianism, and some that just explain it in more depth without choosing a side. This book and Mill's own Utilitarianism are the only books I've read so far, but both are excellent. Can someone recommend good books on Bentham's Utilitarianism?

Sorry Luke I rushed that a little bit and didn't check before hitting 'comment'. In economics I would say you should read macroeconomics and microeconomics separately, and most college-level textbooks are on either one rather than both anyway. So Mankiw is definitely the best on Macro, whilst Varian is the best for Micro, but his is quite dry and mathsy, whereas for a Micro alternative Katz and Rosen is more readable but less mathematical.

So for Macro, go for Mankiw, and for Micro go Katz and Rosen if you can't handle Varian.

Hope that clears that up!

For elementary economics: "Macroeconomics" by Mankiw, is without a doubt the best on the market. It is incredibly well written, and it's so good once you've read the book it fools you into thinking you understand absolutely everything on the topic! "Intermediate Microeconomics" by Varian, is arguably the one to get. It can be a tad dry, and he uses lots of maths. If you don't like the idea of that then "Microeconomics" by Katz and Rosen is a very readable and less mathematical, though not quite as comprehensive as Varian.

Two issues with this recommendation 1. It is a macroeconomics text and has very little on microeconomics - a large and arguably the more useful part of economics. 2. This is not an introductory text. For someone starting on economics Mankiw has another very readable text "Principles of Economics" which I recently read and recommend. This will get you up to speed on the main concepts and then you can happily proceed to more advanced texts with plenty of math. As an introductory text I would prefer this to Samuelson "Economics" which I found covered similar material but too slowly. A lot of what people think of as "Economics" is another related discipline called "Finance" - which is about investing, and speculating, more or less. No recommendations there as all the books I have read on the subject are pretty bad. Edit: reading the above post you seem to be actually recommending a book on macro and one on micro also, though this is not entirely clear (eg the top level poster managed to misunderstand it). That may be OK provided the reader is prepared for a very steep learning curve. I would suggest that time spend reading an introductory text first would be well spent. BTW I have a copy of Mankiw's introduction if any LWer in Australia would like to read it.

it's so good once you've read the book it fools you into thinking you understand absolutely everything on the topic

That's a weird feature to claim for a book you say is both good and only covers elementary knowledge.