I simply don't know enough even to know what it is that I don't know. I am interested, but don't know where to start.
I read Kierkegaard on Don Juan in 10th grade. It kind of turned me off on philosophy for awhile--just as Daniel Defoe's A Journal of the Plague Years kept me from enjoying Gulliver's Travels...
Or, to quote science fiction author Keith Laumer:
"I didn't know you read Kant."
"Can't read, you mean."
If cornelius, RightWhale, Alamo_Girl, & Betty Boop could give me a couple of 3rd grade level primers to start with, I'd promise to put them on my ever-burgeoning "to read" pile. :-)
(Full Disclosure: Just had a very successful job interview in Minneapolis yesterday...might have to put off the reading until I've relocated...)
And thank you for the kudos, but truly when cornelis and betty boop get into a brisk discussion of philosophy - or when RightWhale asserts a new theory - I have to spend a lot of time researching the word concepts and thinkers before I can even comprehend much less respond. So I'd greatly benefit from one of the primers, too. LOL!
I would, but believe me this is evolved far from my own starting point. I was merely looking for the origin of rights and the state. There is darned little on that of any use, and I have even read Hegel and some other names including Aristotle, which is possibly a translation from Latin, which was from Arabic, which was from Aramaic, and who knows if he wrote it in Aramaic to begin with.
Hhhmmmmm third-grade level philosophy primer??? Jeepers, I wouldn't know what to recommend! I don't have one of those myself....
If I may offer a suggestion: On the observation that "all of philosophy is but a recapitulation of Plato," I'd recommend reading his dialogues! The beauty of Plato is that he is not a system builder, he does not construct doctrines. He is more interested in the formulation of proper questions than he is in finding answers. His method is not to tell you what to think, but to show you where to look, and bid you to go and see for yourself. My favorites: Timaeus, Apology, Symposium, Gorgias, Critias (which features the Atlantis myth), Republic, and Laws.
There is virtually no issue in philosophy that Plato didn't originally raise in his works. Which explains the statement, "all of philosophy is but a recapitulation of Plato."
Truth is, great literature written for beginners and the advanced.