About the Book

A great deal of the satisfaction of studying philosophy lies in exploring its landmark arguments. Working from this premise, Great Philosophical Arguments: An Introduction to Philosophy focuses on the debates that define and drive the field. Editor Lewis Vaughn presents seventy-eight readings—both classic selections and contemporary works—that are topically organized into six chapters: the existence of God, knowledge and skepticism, mind and body, free will and determinism, ethics, and contemporary ethical debates. The readings are grouped by argument into pro/con dialogues within each chapter. Each of the thirty-four arguments is introduced with a brief outline, which is followed by two to four essays presenting the classic statement of the argument, critiques and defenses of it, and discussions of related debates.


  • A substantial introductory chapter and extensive chapter introductions
  • Essay questions at the end of each argument section and chapter
  • Pedagogical features including boldfaced key terms, biographical text boxes, suggestions for further reading, and a glossary
  • An appendix on how to read and write argumentative essays

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