Synopses & Reviews
For Introductory Philosophy Courses.
An introductory philosophy text that covers all the major fields of philosophy in easy-to-read language, interspersed with short selections from the major philosophers. The text has been a best-selling leader in the field for more than thirty years. It is written by an internationally recognized author of more than twenty books. He is an important voice in social and political philosophy, Immanuel Kant's philosophy, and the philosophy of education.
Table of Contents
(NOTE: Each chapter concludes with The Main Points ...
and Questions for Discussion and Review.
1. What Is Philosophy?
What Do Philosophers Do? The Study of Human Nature. What Do Philosophers Do? The Study of the Universe. What Do Philosophers Do? Human Nature and the Universe. Rationality, Universality, Objectivity. The Limitations of the Western Philosophical Tradition.
2. Theory of Knowledge.
Descartes' Method of Doubt. Rationalism and Empiricism: Two Responses to Cartesian Doubt. Leibniz and Rationalism. Hume and Empiricism. Kant's Resolution of the Rationalism/Empiricism Debate. New Turns in Epistemology. ABC NEWS:
CONTEMPORARY APPLICATION: Virtual Reality.
3. Metaphysics and Philosophy of Mind.
What Is Metaphysics? Hobbes' Materialism. Free Will and Determinism. The Mind and the Body. ABC NEWS:
CONTEMPORARY APPLICATION: Do Computers Think?
4. Philosophy of Science.
The Place of Science in the Modern World. Francis Bacon and the Foundations of Scientific Method. The Relation Between Theory and Observation. Karl Popper and Falsifiability. Thomas Kuhn's Theory of Scientific Revolutions. Science as a Social Institution. Voices Beyond Popper & Kuhn.
CONTEMPORARY APPLICATION: Is Science Value-Neutal?
5. Ethical Theory.
The Varieties of Ethical Theory. Kant and the Commands of Duty. Three Reasons to Think About Ethics. Ethical Disagreement and the Categorical Imperative. Utilitarianism and the Calculation of Pleasures and Pains. Virtue Ethics. The Feminist Critique of Ethical Theory.
CONTEMPORARY APPLICATION: Same-Sex Marriage.
The Ethical Dimensions of Medicine. The Ethical Dimensions of Medical Decisions. Withholding Food and Water. The Buying and Selling of Human Organs. What Should the Doctor Tell the Patient? ABC NEWS
CONTEMPORARY APPLICATION: The Ethics of Cloning Human Beings.
6. Social and Political Philosophy.
Mill and Classical Laissez-Falre Liberalism.
The Socialist Attack on Capitalism.
Rousseau and the Theory of the Social Contract.
The Pluralist Theory of the State.
ABC NEWS CONTEMPORARY APPLICATION: Affirmative Action.
7. Philosophy of Art.
Plato's Attack on the Poets.
Aristotle's Defense of the Poets.
Marcuse and the Uses of Negation.
Arthur C. Danto’s Theory of Artistic Identification.
ABC NEWS CONTEMPORARY APPLICATION: Pornography, Art, and Censorship.
8. Philosophy of Religion.
Kierkegaard's Encounter with Faith.
Can We Prove That God Exists?
William Paley: The Argument from Design.
St. Thomas Aquinas: The Cosmological Argument.
St. Anselm: The Ontological Argument.
The Problem of Evil.
ABC NEWS CONTEMPORARY APPLICATION: Cults: Religion or Fanaticism?
Appendix: How to Write a Philosophy Paper.