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Exploring Philosophy

An Introductory Anthology

Fifth Edition

Steven M. Cahn

Publication Date - November 2014

ISBN: 9780190204419

848 pages
6-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $65.95

The most accessible, economical, and carefully edited set of classic and contemporary readings in introduction to philosophy, now with the largest selection of readings by women


Extensively revised and updated in its fifth edition, Exploring Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology is a uniquely accessible and engaging introduction to philosophy. Steven M. Cahn brings together exceptionally clear recent essays by noted philosophers and supplements them with influential historical sources. Most importantly, the articles have been carefully edited to make them understandable to every reader. The readings are enhanced by concise introductions, study questions, explanatory notes, and suggestions for further reading. While most other widely used introductory philosophy anthologies contain fewer than five articles authored by women, Exploring Philosophy, Fifth Edition, includes more than thirty, thus reflecting the major role of women in contemporary philosophy.

New to this Edition

  • Thirty-eight new readings, bringing the total number of contemporary essays authored or coauthored by women to thirty-three, by far the largest selection available in any major introductory text
  • New selections by Paul Churchland, Philippa Foot, Rosalind Hursthouse, Frank Jackson, Mary Midgley, Martha Nussbaum, Derek Parfit, Samuel Scheffler, Iris Marion Young, and Linda Zagzebski
  • Coverage of new topics including non-cognitivism, animal rights, the trolley problem, and the collective afterlife
  • A new final section on The Meaning of Life and expanded sections on Reasoning, God, Mind, Moral Theory, Moral Problems, Society, Art, and Life and Death

About the Author(s)

Steven M. Cahn is Professor of Philosophy at The City University of New York Graduate Center. He is the author or editor of fifty books. Most recently, he wrote From Student to Scholar: A Candid Guide to Becoming a Professor (2008) and coauthored Polishing Your Prose: How to Turn First Drafts into Finished Work (2013). Dr. Cahn is the editor of Political Philosophy, Third Edition (2014) and Exploring Ethics, Third Edition (2013), and coeditor of Ethics, Fifth Edition (2011), all published by Oxford University Press.


"Cahn's Exploring Philosophy is really fantastic because it takes the best of traditional philosophy and pairs it with modern, up-to-date philosophy. It has finally put women philosophers on an equal footing with the men. By using this book, an introductory course in philosophy can now reflect the contributions of women philosophers. It will be used from now on in my intro courses!"--Clint Tibbs, Delta State University

"I am thrilled to see so many female philosophers added to the textbook. These new additions will enrich the survey of articles offered."--Sara Rettus, Mission College

Table of Contents

    *=New to this Edition
    What Is Philosophy?, Monroe C. Beardsley and Elizabeth Lane Beardsley
    The Value of Philosophy, Bertrand Russell
    Historical Source
    Defence of Socrates, Plato
    The Scope of Logic, Wesley C. Salmon
    Improving Your Thinking, Stephen F. Barker
    * Necessary and Sufficient Conditions, Steven M. Cahn
    * Thinking to Some Purpose, L. Susan Stebbing
    * Pushover Arguments, Scott F. Aikin and Robert B. Talisse
    Fixing Belief, Morris R. Cohen and Ernest Nagel
    Scientific Inquiry, Carl G. Hempel
    * Antiscientism, Gillian Barker and Philip Kitcher
    * Caring and Epistemic Demands, Linda Zagzebski
    What Is Knowledge?, A. J. Ayer
    Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?, Edmund L. Gettier
    Conditions for Knowledge, Robert Nozick
    Appearance and Reality, Bertrand Russell
    What Can I Know?, D. Z. Phillips
    The Problem of Induction, Bertrand Russell
    Induction Without a Problem, P. F. Strawson
    * Puzzling Out Knowledge, Susan Haack
    Historical Sources
    Meditations on First Philosophy, René Descartes
    An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, John Locke
    A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge, George Berkeley
    An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, David Hume
    Critique of Pure Reason, Immanuel Kant
    4. MIND
    The Ghost in the Machine, Gilbert Ryle
    Body and Soul, Richard Taylor
    * The Mind-Body Problem, Paul M. Churchland
    What Is It Like to Be a Bat?, Thomas Nagel
    * The Qualia Problem, Frank Jackson
    Knowing What It's Like, David Lewis
    Computing Machinery and Intelligence, Alan Turing
    Do Computers Think?, John Searle
    * The Body Problem, Barbara Montero
    Historical Source
    Meditations on First Philosophy, René Descartes
    5. FREE WILL
    Free Will, Thomas Nagel
    Free Will and Determinism, W. T. Stace
    Free Will or Determinism?, Steven M. Cahn
    The Principle of Alternative Possibilities, Harry Frankfurt
    The Capacities of Agents, Neil Levy
    Historical Sources
    An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, David Hume
    The Dilemma of Determinism, William James
    6. GOD
    Does God Exist?, Ernest Nagel
    Why God Allows Evil, Richard Swinburne
    * The Desires of the Heart, Eleonore Stump
    Pascal's Wager, Simon Blackburn
    * Pascal's Wager: An Assessment, Linda Zagzebski
    * The Problem of Hell, Marilyn McCord Adams
    Faith and Reason, Michael Scriven
    The Hiddenness of God, Robert McKim
    * God and Forgiveness, Anne C. Minas
    * God and Morality, Steven M. Cahn
    Historical Sources
    The Ontological Argument, Anselm and Gaunilo
    Summa Theologiae, Thomas Aquinas
    Natural Theology, William Paley
    Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, David Hume
    The Wager, Blaise Pascal
    The Will to Believe, William James
    A Case of Identity, Brian Smart
    The Problem of Personal Identity, John Perry
    * The Unimportance of Identity, Derek Parfit
    Life After Death, Terence Penelhum
    Do We Need Immortality?, Grace M. Jantzen
    Historical Sources
    An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, John Locke
    A Treatise of Human Nature, David Hume
    Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man, Thomas Reid
    How Not to Answer Moral Questions, Tom Regan
    * Moral Isolationism, Mary Midgley
    * The Nature of Ethical Disagreement, Charles L. Stevenson
    * The Rationality of Moral Action, Philippa Foot
    Kant's Ethics, Onora O'Neill
    Assessing Utilitarianism, Louis P. Pojman
    A Supreme Moral Principle?, Steven M. Cahn
    Virtue Ethics, Bernard Mayo
    The Ethics of Care, Virginia Held
    Happiness and Morality, Christine Vitrano
    Existentialism, Jean-Paul Sartre
    Historical Sources
    Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle
    Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, Immanuel Kant
    Utilitarianism, John Stuart Mill
    A Defense of Abortion, Judith Jarvis Thomson
    * On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion, Mary Anne Warren
    Why Abortion Is Immoral, Don Marquis
    * Virtue Theory and Abortion, Rosalind Hursthouse
    Active and Passive Euthanasia, James Rachels
    * The Intentional Termination of Life, Bonnie Steinbock
    Famine, Affluence, and Morality, Peter Singer
    World Hunger and Moral Obligation: The Case Against Singer, John Arthur
    * The Case for Animal Rights, Tom Regan
    * Why Animals Have No Rights, Carl Cohen
    * Speaking of Animal Rights, Mary Anne Warren
    10. SOCIETY
    * Two Concepts of Citizenship, Jean Hampton
    Democracy, John Dewey
    Letter from a Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King, Jr.
    What Is a Liberal Education?, Sidney Hook
    * Cultivating Humanity, Martha Nussbaum
    * Proportional Representation, Celia Wolf-Devine
    * Facing Facts and Responsibilities, Karen Hanson
    * What Good Am I?, Laurence Thomas
    * Five Faces of Oppression, Iris Marion Young
    Historical Sources
    Crito, Plato
    On Liberty, John Stuart Mill
    Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, Karl Marx
    A Theory of Justice, John Rawls
    Distributive Justice, Robert Nozick
    The Idea of Justice, Amartya Sen
    Non-contractual Society: A Feminist View, Virginia Held
    Historical Sources
    The Republic, Plato
    Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes
    Second Treatise of Government, John Locke
    12. ART
    The Role of Theory in Aesthetics, Morris Weitz
    Interpreting Poetry, Charles L. Stevenson
    Fearing Fictions, Kendall Walton
    * The Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature, Marcia M. Eaton
    Historical Sources
    The Republic, Plato
    Poetics, Aristotle
    * The Trolley Problem, Judith Jarvis Thomson
    * Turning the Trolley, Judith Jarvis Thomson
    Death, Thomas Nagel
    * The Badness of Death, Shelly Kagan
    * The Afterlife, Samuel Scheffler
    * How the Afterlife Matters, Harry G. Frankfurt
    * The Significance of Doomsday, Susan Wolf
    Historical Sources
    Phaedo, Plato
    Writings, Epicurus
    The Handbook, Epictetus
    The Meaning of Life, Richard Taylor
    Meaning in Life, Susan Wolf
    Meaningless Lives?, Christine Vitrano
    * Philosophy and the Meaning of Life, Robert Nozick
    Bibliographical Note

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