We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more

Introduction to Philosophy

Classical and Contemporary Readings

Seventh Edition

John Perry, Michael Bratman, and John Martin Fisher

July 2015

ISBN: 9780190200237

928 pages

In Stock

Price: £71.99

If you are a lecturer interested in adopting this title for your course, please contact your Oxford representative to arrange a local price



Easy to use for both students and instructors, Introduction to Philosophy: Classical and Contemporary Readings includes highlighted key terms (listed after each reading and defined in the glossary), a "Logical Toolkit," and a guide to writing philosophy papers.
The seventh edition features eleven new readings, including eight by contemporary women philosophers, bringing the total number of essays by women to twelve. It is also accompanied by a robust support package that includes a more extensive test bank, available on the new online Ancillary Resource Center, and expanded self-quizzes for students on the Companion Website.

  • Offering the most comprehensive and high-quality collection of historical and contemporary works, this acclaimed anthology addresses the major issues in philosophy over time
  • Features a substantial number of articles by women philosophers on a broad range of topics—eleven total, eight new to this edition
  • Part I includes a "Logical Toolkit" that lists and explains common terminology used in philosophical reasoning
  • A guide to writing philosophy papers walks students through composing an effective papter
  • A unique Part VII: Puzzles and Paradoxes offers intriguing mind-teasers
  • An introduction to each part offers an insightful roadmap of the philosophical issues addressed in the readings
  • Study questions follow each reading selection
  • An extensive glossary defines all key terms, which are boldfaced throughout the text and listed at the ends of readings

About the Author(s)

John Perry, Henry Walgrave Stuart Professor Emeritus and Distinguished Professor of Philosophy Emeritus, Stanford University and the University of California, Riverside, Michael Bratman, U.G. and Abbie Birch Durfee Professor in the School of Humanities and Science and Professor of Philosophy, Stanford University, and John Martin Fisher, Chair and Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, the University of California, Riverside

John Perry is Henry Waldgrave Stuart Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at Stanford University and Distinguished Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at the University of California, Riverside.

Michael Bratman is U.G. and Abbie Birch Durfee Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences and Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University.

John Martin Fischer is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Riverside.

Table of Contents

    *=New to this Edition
    , Preface
    , Logical Toolkit
    , Writing Philosophy Papers
    1. Bertrand Russell, "The Value of Philosophy"
    2. Plato, "Apology: Defence of Socrates"
    A. Why Believe?
    3. Saint Anselm, "The Ontological Argument"
    4. Saint Thomas Aquinas, "The Existence of God"
    5. William Paley, "Natural Theology"
    6. Blaise Pascal, "The Wager"
    B. The Problem of Evil
    7. David Hume, "Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion"
    8. Gottfried Leibniz, "God, Evil, and the Best of All Possible Worlds"
    9. John Perry, "Dialogue on Good, Evil, and the Existence of God"
    * 10. Marilyn McCord Adams, "Horrendous Evils and the Goodness of God"
    * 11. Stewart Sutherland, "Horrendous Evils and the Goodness of God"
    * 12. Eleonore Stump, "The Mirror of Evil"
    * 13. Louise Antony, "For the Love of Reason"
    A. Descartes and the Problems of Skepticism
    14. René Descartes, "Meditations on First Philosophy"
    15. Christopher Grau, "Bad Dreams, Evil Demons, and the Experience Machine: Philosophy and The Matrix"
    16. Robert Nozick, "Excerpt from Philosophical Explanations"
    B. Hume's Problems and Some Solutions
    17. David Hume, "Of Scepticism with Regard to the Senses"
    18. David Hume, "An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding"
    19. W. C. Salmon, "The Problem of Induction"
    A. The Traditional Problem of Mind and Body
    20. Bertrand Russell, "The Argument from Analogy for Other Minds"
    21. Gilbert Ryle, "Descartes's Myth"
    22. David M. Armstrong, "The Nature of Mind"
    23. Paul M. Churchland, "Eliminative Materialism"
    24. Frank Jackson, "What Mary Didn't Know"
    B. Minds, Brains, and Machines
    25. A. M. Turing, "Computing Machinery and Intelligence"
    26. John R. Searle, "Minds, Brains, and Programs"
    C. Personal Identity
    27. John Perry, "A Dialogue on Personal Identity and Immortality"
    28. Bernard Williams, "The Self and the Future"
    29. Derek Parfit, "Personal Identity"
    30. J. David Velleman, "So It Goes"
    31. Daniel Dennett, "Where Am I?"
    D. Freedom, Determinism, and Responsibility
    32. Roderick M. Chisholm, "Human Freedom and the Self"
    33. Peter van Inwagen, "The Powers of Rational Beings: Freedom of the Will"
    34. David Hume, "Of Liberty and Necessity"
    35. Harry G. Frankfurt, "Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility"
    36. John Martin Fischer, "Responsiveness and Moral Responsibility"
    37. Harry G. Frankfurt, "Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person"
    * 38. Gary Watson," Free Agency"
    * 39. Susan Wolf, "Sanity and the Metaphysics of Responsibility"
    A. Utilitarianism
    40. Jeremy Bentham, "The Principle of Utility"
    41. John Stuart Mill, "Utilitarianism"
    42. E. F. Carritt, "Criticisms of Utilitarianism"
    43. J. J. C. Smart, "Extreme and Restricted Utilitarianism"
    44. Bernard Williams, "Utilitarianism and Integrity"
    45. Peter Singer, "Famine, Affluence, and Morality"
    B. Kantian Ethics
    46. Immanuel Kant, "Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals"
    47. J. David Velleman, "A Brief Introduction to Kantian Ethics"
    48. Onora O'Neill, "Kantian Approaches to Some Famine Problems"
    C. Aristotelian Ethics
    49. Aristotle, "Nicomachean Ethics"
    50. Rosalind Hursthouse, "Right Action"
    D. Justice and Equality
    51. John Rawls, "A Theory of Justice"
    52. Robert Nozick, "Justice and Entitlement"
    53. G. A. Cohen, "Where the Action Is: On the Site of Distributive Justice"
    54. John Stuart Mill, "The Subjection of Women"
    * 55. Annette Baier, "The Need for More Than Justice"
    E. Contemporary Moral Problems
    * 56. Judith Jarvis Thomson, "A Defense of Abortion"
    * 57. Rosalind Hursthouse, "Thomson's Arguments"
    58. Debra Satz, "Markets in Women's Reproductive Labor"
    59. Kwame Anthony Appiah, "Racisms"
    * 60. Linda Martin Alcoff, "Racism and Visible Race"
    F. Challenges to Morality
    , 1. Morality and Self-Interest
    61. Plato, "The Republic"
    62. David Hume, "An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals"
    63. David Gauthier, "Morality and Advantage"
    , Subjectivism, Relativism, and Skepticism
    64. J. L. Mackie, "The Subjectivity of Values"
    65. Gilbert Harmon, "Ethics and Observation"
    66. Nicholas L. Sturgeon, "Moral Explanations"
    67. Albert Camus, "The Myth of Sisyphus"
    68. Thomas Nagel, "The Absurd"
    69. Richard Taylor, "The Meaning of Human Existence"
    70. Susan Wolf, "The Meanings of Lives"
    71. Thomas Nagel, "Death"
    72. Anthony L. Brueckner and John Martin Fischer, "Why Is Death Bad?"
    * 73. Dan Moller, "Love and Death"
    A. Zeno's Paradoxes
    , Achilles and the Tortoise
    , The Racecourse
    , The Argument Against Plurality
    B. Metaphysical and Epistemological Puzzles and Paradoxes
    , The Paradox of Identity
    , The Paradox of the Heap
    , The Surprise Examination
    , Goodman's New Riddle of Induction
    C. Puzzles of Rational Choice
    , The Prisoner's Dilemma
    , Newcomb's Problem
    , Kavka's Toxin Puzzle
    , Quinn's Puzzle of the Self-Torturer
    D. Paradoxes of Logic, Set Theory, and Semantics
    , The Paradox of the Liar
    , Other Versions of the Liar
    , Russell's Paradox
    , Grelling's Paradox
    E. Puzzles of Ethics
    , The Trolley Problem
    , Ducking Harm and Sacrificing Others
    Glossary of Philosophical Terms


"Introduction to Philosophy is the best introductory philosophy text of its kind. It is well organized and the readings are thoughtfully selected and edited for the audience. Furthermore, the book's editors do an excellent job of providing commentary and questions for students. I find the introductions to be exceptionally clear and very helpful for my students when they are trying to figure out how to approach the readings." - Tracie Mahaffey, Florida State University

"This is my first choice in introductory anthologies; it's better than the Feinberg/Shafer-Landau. This edition is one of the best introductory textbooks on the market. It has coverage of important topics and positions and a clear and helpful structure." - Eugene Marshall, Wellesley College

"I am pleased to see the addition of several works by female authors. That is certainly a positive change. In addition, the organization is excellent and one of the book's great strengths." - Shane Gronholz, University of Colorado Boulder

"This introduction to philosophy provides instructors with unparalleled latitude in designing their courses. The book includes both historical and contemporary readings in all areas of philosophy including metaphysics, epistemology, logic, ethics, and political philosophy. It also includes important readings by female philosophers, something that is sadly lacking in most other introductory texts." - Aleksandar Pjevalica, The University of Texas at El Paso

"Introduction to Philosophy has sections on most of the central topics in philosophy, making it adaptable to almost any topical introduction to the field. It has a good selection of classical texts on each topic, and, for some topics, a nice sampling of more contemporary literature." - Louise Antony, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Additional Resources

A companion website accompanies the textbook and includes:

Instructor Resources:
- A Downloadable Instructors Manual, which features:
- Summaries of every reading for main ideas and easy reference
- Four Sample Syllabi to aid in selecting pieces that fit together well
- A Logical Toolkit, which explains common terminology used in philosophical reasoning
- A guide to Writing Philosophy papers
- A traditional pen-and-pencil Test Bank, containing the same questions as the Computerized Test Bank
- 3-5 Essay/Discussion Questions per reading
- A Computerized Test Bank, which features
- 10 Multiple-Choice Questions per reading
- 5 True/False Questions per reading
- PowerPoint Lecture Outlines to help you structure your classes

Student Resources:
- Student Self-Quizzes on every reading in the book, including:
- 5 Multiple-Choice Questions per reading, selected from the Test Bank
- 3 True/False Questions per reading, selected from the Test Bank
- Flash Cards to practice key terms from the book
- A Logical Toolkit, which explains common terminology used in philosophical reasoning
- A guide to Writing Philosophy papers