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Cover

The Elements of Philosophy

Readings from Past and Present

Edited by Tamar Szabo Gendler, Susanna Siegel, and Steven M. Cahn

Publication Date - December 2007

ISBN: 9780195335422

816 pages
Paperback
7-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $89.95

This new volume offers an extensive collection of classic and contemporary readings, organized topically into five main sections. Uniquely student-friendly, it includes detailed introductions, explanatory footnotes, an extensive glossary, and a guide to further resources.

Description

The Elements of Philosophy: Readings from Past and Present offers an extensive collection of classic and contemporary readings, organized topically into five main sections: Religion and Belief, Moral and Political Philosophy, Metaphysics and Epistemology, Philosophy of Mind and Language, and Life and Death. Within these broad areas, readings are arranged in clusters that address both traditional issues--such as the existence of God, justice and the state, knowledge and skepticism, and free will--and contemporary topics--including God and science, just war theory, vegetarianism, and time travel. Carefully chosen selections from a wide range of pre-20th-century philosophers are paired with writings from more than fifty leading contemporary philosophers and thinkers. The traditional philosophers represented range from Plato and Aristotle to Immanuel Kant and A.J. Ayer; the contemporary philosophers include Saul Kripke, David Lewis, Thomas Nagel, Derek Parfit, Hilary Putnam, Robert Nozick, Judith Jarvis Thomson, John Rawls, Bernard Williams, and Susan Wolf. Also included are selections from linguist Noam Chomsky, physicist Albert Einstein, and psychologist William James.
Edited by a team of scholars who are also highly esteemed instructors, The Elements of Philosophy is uniquely student-friendly. A team of undergraduate philosophy majors played a central role in helping to select topics, choose readings, and identify terms likely to require clarification. In response to their suggestions, the volume includes detailed introductions to each section, explanatory footnotes that define unfamiliar terms and concepts, an extensive glossary, and a guide to further resources. A companion Instructor's Manual, available on CD, offers article summaries, suggested essay questions, reading guides, model handouts, and sample syllabi. One of the most extensive and expansive anthologies available, The Elements of Philosophy is an ideal choice for both general and targeted introductory philosophy courses.

Reviews

"An ideal anthology for an introductory course. Gendler, Siegel, and Cahn pair classic texts with readings of more recent vintage, preparing students for further courses in contemporary philosophy. I like every selection; discussions of trolley problems, The Matrix, consciousness, and time travel join familiar selections from Plato, Anselm, Descartes, and Mill in a balanced and comprehensive collection."--Ted Sider, New York University

"The Elements of Philosophy is an outstanding book on all fronts. The top-notch introductory essays and extensive glossary make the book extremely user-friendly from the student's perspective. The detailed set of high-quality instructors' materials do the same from the perspective of the professor. The readings are chosen with both care and creativity: I know of no comprehensive anthology that does such an excellent job of juxtaposing old and new materials. Elements is destined to become a standard."--Jason Stanley, Rutgers University

"The Elements of Philosophy is a carefully composed and arranged collection with useful introductions, notes, and glossary. With such an impressive range and variety of selections, any introductory class on philosophy can hardly do better than to start here."--Alex Byrne, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Table of Contents

    Preface
    Note to the Reader
    Note to the Instructor
    Acknowledgments
    About the Editors
    INTRODUCTION
    Simon Blackburn, What Is Philosophy?
    Simon Blackburn, The Elements of Logic
    I. RELIGION AND BELIEF
    Introduction
    A. TRADITIONAL ARGUMENTS FOR AND AGAINST THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
    The Ontological Argument--and Replies
    Saint Anselm, The Ontological Argument
    Gaunilo, In Behalf of the Fool
    G.E. Moore, Is Existence a Predicate?
    William Rowe, Why the Ontological Argument Fails
    The Cosmological Argument, the Argument from Design--and Replies
    Richard Taylor, The Cosmological Argument
    William Paley, The Argument from Design
    Ernest Nagel, Does God Exist?
    The Problem of Evil--and Replies
    John Hick, The Problem of Evil
    Steven M. Cahn, The Problem of Goodness
    B. GROUNDS FOR BELIEF
    Blaise Pascal, The Wager
    W.K. Clifford, The Ethics of Belief
    William James, The Will to Believe
    Robert McKim, The Hiddenness of God
    C. GOD AND SCIENCE: CONTEMPORARY DISCUSSIONS
    Nicholas Everitt, Theism and Modern Science
    II. MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
    MORAL PHILOSOPHY
    Introduction
    A. THREE MAJOR ETHICAL THEORIES
    Utilitarianism
    John Stuart Mill, Selections from Utilitarianism
    J.J.C. Smart, Extreme and Restricted Utilitarianism
    Bernard Williams, Utilitarianism, Integrity and Responsibility
    Deontology
    Immanuel Kant, Selections from Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals
    Onora O'Neill, A Simplified Account of Kant's Ethics
    Virtue Ethics
    Aristotle, Selections from the Nicomachean Ethics
    Rosalind Hursthouse, Normative Virtue Ethics
    B. SOME APPLICATIONS
    Moral Duties to the Poor
    Peter Singer, Rich and Poor
    Garrett Hardin, Lifeboat Ethics: The Case Against Helping the Poor
    Thomas W. Pogge, "Aiding" the Global Poor
    Vegetarianism and Animals
    Alastair Norcross, Puppies, Pigs, and People: Eating Meat and Marginal Cases
    Carl Cohen, A Critique of the Alleged Moral Basis of Vegetarianism
    C. PUZZLES AND CHALLENGES
    Puzzling Cases
    Judith Jarvis Thomson, The Trolley Problem
    Thomas Nagel, Moral Luck
    The Value of Morality
    Plato, "Glaucon's Challenge" from The Republic
    Susan Wolf, Moral Saints
    The Universality of Morality
    James Rachels, Egoism and Moral Skepticism
    James Rachels, The Challenge of Cultural Relativism
    Morality and Social Science
    Jennifer Saul, Women's "Different Voice"
    Cass R. Sunstein, Morality and Heuristics
    POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
    Introduction
    D. JUSTICE, EQUALITY, AND THE STATE
    Thomas Hobbes, "Contract and Commonwealth" from Leviathan
    John Rawls, "Justice as Fairness" from A Theory of Justice
    Robert Nozick, "Distributive Justice" from Anarchy, State and Utopia
    E. JUST WAR
    George I. Mavrodes, Conventions and the Morality of War
    Robert K. Fullinwider, War and Innocence
    Lawrence A. Alexander, Self-Defense and the Killing of Non-Combatants: A Reply to Fullinwider
    III. METAPHYSICS AND EPISTEMOLOGY
    KNOWLEDGE AND REALITY
    Introduction
    A. DEFINING "KNOWLEDGE"
    Plato, "What is Knowledge?" from The Meno
    Edmund Gettier, Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?
    Robert Nozick, "Knowledge" from Philosophical Explanations
    B. SKEPTICISM AND RESPONSES
    René Descartes, Meditations 1 and 2
    G.E. Moore, Proof of an External World
    G.E. Moore, Certainty
    Robert Nozick, "Skepticism" from Philosophical Explanations
    Jonathan Vogel, Cartesian Skepticism and Inference to the Best Explanation
    C. KNOWLEDGE AND THE NATURE OF REALITY
    Plato, "The Allegory of the Cave" from The Republic
    George Berkeley, Selections from Of the Principles of Human Knowledge
    W.V.O. Quine, Posits and Reality
    Hilary Putnam, Brains in a Vat
    David J. Chalmers, The Matrix as Metaphysics
    Robert Nozick, Fiction
    D. INDUCTION
    David Hume, "Induction" from An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding
    Wesley Salmon, Selections from The Problem of Induction
    Nelson Goodman, The New Riddle of Induction
    METAPHYSICAL PERPLEXITIES
    Introduction
    E. TIME AND TIME TRAVEL
    Albert Einstein, Time and the Relativity of Simultaneity
    Theodore Sider, Time
    David Lewis, The Paradoxes of Time Travel
    F. FREE WILL
    A.J. Ayer, Freedom and Necessity
    Roderick M. Chisholm, Human Freedom and the Self
    Harry Frankfurt, Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person
    Peter Strawson, Freedom and Resentment
    G. IDENTITY AND PERSONAL IDENTITY
    John Locke, "Of Identity and Diversity" from An Essay Concerning Human Understanding
    Bernard Williams, The Self and the Future
    Derek Parfit, "Personal Identity" from Reasons and Persons
    IV. PHILOSOPHY OF MIND AND LANGUAGE
    MIND
    Introduction
    A. METAPHYSICS OF MIND
    Dualism and Behaviorism
    René Descartes, Sixth Meditation
    Kisor Kumar Chakrabarti, Understanding Nyaya-Vaisesika Dualism
    Gilbert Ryle, Descartes' Myth
    Physicalism
    Daniel Stoljar, Physicalism
    J.J.C. Smart, Sensations and Brain Processes
    Paul M. Churchland, Eliminative Materialism and the Propositional Attitudes
    Challenges to Physicalism
    Saul Kripke, The Modal Argument
    Frank Jackson, The Knowledge Argument
    B. CONSCIOUSNESS AND PERCEPTION
    Consciousness
    Thomas Nagel, What Is It Like to Be a Bat?
    Daniel C. Dennett, Quining Qualia
    Ned Block, Concepts of Consciousness
    Minds and Machines
    A.M. Turing, Computing Machinery and Intelligence
    John Searle, Can Computers Think?
    Perception
    J.J. Valberg, Reasoning About Our Experience
    A.J. Ayer, The Argument from Illusion: A Defense of Sense Data
    J.L. Austin, The Argument from Illusion: A Critique of Sense Data
    LANGUAGE
    Introduction
    C. LANGUAGE, MEANING, AND REFERENCE
    H.P. Grice, Logic and Conversation
    Noam Chomsky, Language and Problems of Knowledge
    John Perry, The Problem of the Essential Indexical
    V. LIFE AND DEATH
    Introduction
    A. LIFE
    Plato, "On the Harmony of the Soul" from The Republic
    Jean-Paul Sartre, Existentialism
    Derek Parfit, What Makes Someone's Life Go Best
    Thomas Nagel, The Absurd
    B. DEATH
    Thomas Nagel, Death
    Walter Kaufmann, Death Without Dread
    Glossary
    Notes
    Resources