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The World of Philosophy

An Introductory Reader

Edited by Steven M. Cahn

August 2015

ISBN: 9780190233396

576 pages

In Stock

Price: £69.99



The World of Philosophy is an accessible, flexible reader for Introductory Philosophy courses that combines standard Western historical and analytic materials with writings from Chinese, Indian, Native-American, continental, and other sources. It seeks to present philosophy in all its diverse array of thought and practice without neglecting to provide the most seminal philosophical readings from the traditional Western canon.

  • Message: Offering a world of philosophy, this topically- organized reader includes a diverse selection of classic and contemporary readings from Western, non -Western, female, and African-American thinkers and philosophers at an economical price.
  • All readings will be enhanced by introductions and study questions, as well as bolded key terms and a glossary.
  • An instructor's manual and test bank on the ARC, as well as a companion website, will accompany the book.
  • 18 articles by women
  • 9 articles by non-Westerners or people of color (3 African-American, 1 British-Ghanaian, 1 Indian, 2 Chinese, 1 Tibetan, 1 Sri-Lankan)

About the Author(s)

Edited by Steven M. Cahn, Professor of Philosophy, The City University of New York Graduate Center

Steven M. Cahn is Professor of Philosophy at The City University of New York Graduate Center. He is the author or editor of more than fifty books. Most recently, he wrote From Student to Scholar: A Candid Guide to Becoming a Professor (2008) and coauthored Happiness and Goodness: Philosophical Reflections on Living Well (2015). Dr. Cahn is the editor of Exploring Philosophy, Fifth Edition (OUP, 2014), Political Philosophy, Third Edition (OUP, 2014), and Exploring Ethics, Third Edition (OUP, 2013) and coeditor of Ethics, Sixth Edition (OUP, 2015).

Table of Contents

    , Preface
    Monroe C. Beardsley and Elizabeth Lane Beardsley: What Is Philosophy?
    Bertrand Russell: The Value of Philosophy
    Plato: Defence of Socrates
    Wesley C. Salmon: The Scope of Logic
    Stephen F. Barker: Improving Your Thinking
    Carl G. Hempel: Scientific Inquiry
    Nancy Tuana: Science and the Practices of Women
    René Descartes: Meditations on First Philosophy
    George Berkeley: A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge
    David Hume: An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding
    A. J. Ayer: What Is Knowledge?
    Edmund L. Gettier: Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?
    Uma Narayan: The Project of Feminist Epistemology
    Christopher W. Gowans: Buddhist Epistemology
    A. Mind and Body
    René Descartes: Meditations on First Philosophy
    Gilbert Ryle: The Ghost in the Machine
    Paul M. Churchland: The Mind-Body Problem
    Thomas Nagel: What Is It Like to Be a Bat?
    John Searle: Do Computers Think?
    Barbara Montero: The Body Problem
    B. The Self
    Joel Kupperman: Hinduism and the Self
    Thomas P. Kasulis: The Buddhist Concept of Self
    C. Identity
    Brian Smart: A Case of Identity
    John Perry: The Problem of Personal Identity
    D. Free Will
    Thomas Nagel: Free Will
    W. T. Stace: Free Will and Determinism
    Steven M. Cahn: Freedom or Determinism?
    Harry Frankfurt: The Principle of Alternative Possibilities
    A. Religious Beliefs
    Anselm and Gaunilo: The Ontological Argument
    Thomas Aquinas: The Five Ways
    William L. Rowe: The Kalam Cosmological Argument
    Ernest Nagel: Does God Exist?
    Richard Swinburne: Why God Allows Evil
    Raynor Johnson: Karma and Rebirth
    Whitley R. P. Kaufman: Karma, Rebirth, and the Problem of Evil
    Blaise Pascal: The Wager
    Linda Trinkaus Zagzebski: Pascal's Wager: An Assessment
    Xunzi: A Discussion of Heaven
    B. Religious Diversity
    Philip L. Quinn and Kevin Meeker: The Challenge of Religious Diversity
    Jeffery D. Long: The Jain Path
    Herbert Fingarette: The Confucian Way
    Ray Billington: The Tao
    Twelve Zen Stories
    Vine Deloria, Jr.: God Is Red: A Native View of Religion
    John H. Hick: Religious Pluralism and Salvation
    Linda Trinkaus Zagzebski: The Problem of Religious Diversity
    Dalai Lama: Interreligious Harmony
    Steven M. Cahn: God and Morality
    Mary Midgley: Moral Isolationism
    James Rachels: Egoism and Moral Skepticism
    Immanuel Kant: The Categorical Imperative
    John Stuart Mill: Utilitarianism
    Aristotle: The Nature of Virtue
    Virginia Held: The Ethics of Care
    Friedrich Nietzsche: Beyond Good and Evil
    Albert Camus: The Myth of Sisyphus
    Jean-Paul Sartre: Existentialism Is a Humanism
    Christopher W. Gowans: The Buddha's Message
    VII. MORAL PROBLEMS Jr.: Confucian Morality
    A. Morality and The Law
    Plato: Crito
    Martin Luther King, Jr.: Letter from a Birmingham Jail
    B. Abortion
    Judith Jarvis Thomson: A Defense of Abortion
    Don Marquis: Why Abortion Is Immoral
    Rosalind Hursthouse: Virtue Theory and Abortion
    C. World Hunger
    Peter Singer: Famine, Affluence, and Morality
    John Arthur: World Hunger and Moral Obligation: The Case Against Singer
    D. Terrorism
    Michael Walzer: Terrorism
    Lionel K. McPherson: Is Terrorism Distinctively Wrong?
    E. Animal Rights
    Tom Regan: The Case for Animal Rights
    Mary Anne Warren: Speaking of Animal Rights
    F. The Environment
    Tom Regan: We Are What We Eat
    Elliott Sober: Philosophical Problems for Environmentalism
    Plato: The Republic
    Thomas Hobbes: Leviathan
    John Stuart Mill: On Liberty
    Karl Marx: Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844
    John Dewey: Democracy
    John Rawls: A Theory of Justice
    Robert Nozick: Distributive Justice
    Virginia Held: Non-contractual Society: A Feminist View
    A. Education
    Sidney Hook: What Is a Liberal Education?
    Michel Foucault: Discipline and Punish
    B. Affirmative Action
    Celia Wolf-Devine: Proportional Representation
    Karen Hanson: Facing Facts and Responsibilities
    Laurence Thomas: What Good Am I?
    C. Sexism, Racism, and Rights
    Marilyn Frye: Sexism
    Iris Marion Young: Fives Faces of Oppression
    Kwame Anthony Appiah: Globalizing Human Rights
    Plato: Phaedo
    Epicurus: Writings
    Thomas Nagel: Death
    Shelly Kagan: The Badness of Death
    Walpola Rahula: What The Buddha Taught
    Christopher W. Gowans: The Cessation of Suffering
    Richard Taylor: The Meaning of Life
    Susan Wolf: Meaning in Life
    Christine Vitrano: Meaningful Lives?
    , Glossary


"I heartily recommend The World of Philosophy. The inclusion of many non-Western perspectives, and also a good number of critical perspectives from feminism, race theory, and post-colonial theory (along with many canonical sources) makes the book an invaluable resource for introducing students to a very diverse range of philosophical problems and issues." - Mason Cash, University of Central Florida

"The World of Philosophy combines the best of canonical philosophy with non-Western thinking and female philosophers. It's a rare breed among introductory texts." - Clint Tibbs, Delta State University

"I don't think that I have seen another textbook that covers such a wide range of the topics that I would want to address in an introductory philosophy course." - Jason Thibodeau, Georgia Perimeter College

"The World of Philosophy is both accessible and representative of a range of philosophical views and thinkers." - Alexandra Perry, Marietta College