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Introducing Philosophy

Twelfth Edition

Robert C. Solomon, Kathleen M. Higgins, and Clancy Martin

Publication Date - July 2020

ISBN: 9780190939632

688 pages
8 x 10 inches

In Stock

Combines exceptionally clear explanations with excerpts of works from Western philosophy and alternative perspectives


Introducing Philosophy: A Text with Integrated Readings, Twelfth Edition, is an exciting, accessible, and thorough introduction to the core questions of philosophy and the many ways in which they are, and have been, answered. The authors combine substantial selections from significant works in the history of philosophy with excerpts from current philosophy, clarifying the readings and providing context with their own detailed commentary and explanation. Spanning 2,500 years, the selections range from the oldest known fragments to cutting-edge contemporary essays. Organized topically, the chapters present alternative perspectives--including analytic, continental, feminist, and non-Western viewpoints--alongside the historical works of major Western philosophers.

Oxford Learning Link, accessible to adopting instructors, will provide a Test Bank with about thirty multiple-choice, ten essay/discussion, twenty true/false, and ten fill-in-the-blank questions per chapter; PowerPoint lecture outlines; an Instructor's Manual; and a glossary

A free, open-access Companion Website for students will include interactive flashcards of key terms from the text and self-quizzes with about fifteen multiple-choice, ten true/false, and five fill-in-the-blank questions per chapter

New to this Edition

  • A new Chapter 3, "Truth and Knowledge," that combines Chapters 3 and 4 from the previous edition
  • Seven new readings, featuring work from Xinzhong Yao, Alvin Plantinga, Robert C. Solomon, Kaibara Ekken and Marilyn Evelyn Tucker, Boshan, and Simone de Beauvoir
  • Throughout the text, readings have been shortened wherever possible, and commentary has been expanded to improve clarity and accessibility
  • Additional discussions of recent trends in analytic metaphysics (Chapter 1) and philosophical zombies (Chapter 5)


  • Approximately 280 images that illustrate key concepts and encapsulate famous philosophical figures
  • More than 100 brief profiles of philosophers, interspersed throughout the text
  • Discussion questions, a summary, and a bibliography with suggestions for further reading at the end of each chapter
  • Questions at the end of every subsection and additional chapter-ending review questions
  • Marginal quotations from the featured readings
  • Key philosophical terms, boldfaced in the text and collected at the end of each chapter

About the Author(s)

The late Robert C. Solomon was Quincy Lee Centennial Professor of Business and Philosophy and Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Texas at Austin.

Kathleen M. Higgins is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin.

Clancy Martin is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.


"Solomon's writing style is superlative. The updates by Higgins and Martin are also exemplary. I believe that this is among the best books in the field, which is why I have kept it for almost fifteen years."--Paul Wilson, Texas State University

"This is among the best texts out there. Its strengths are in the wonderful breadth of primary-source excerpts. It is the only introductory text I have found that shows students the connection between philosophy and awe, wonder, yearning, pain, hope. The authors' writing is heartfelt in this way and this in itself is a big step toward making the content relevant to students."--Ellen Stansell, Austin Community College

"This text is thorough and impressive because of the significant quotations and excerpts from primary-source material. The excerpts are well selected, well presented, and well interpreted. In addition, the ancillaries for this textbook are very, very good."--Nancy Shaffer, California University of Pennsylvania

Table of Contents

    *=New to this Edition

    Philosopher Biographies
    History of Philosophy

    A. Socrates

    Aristophanes, from The Clouds
    Plato, from Apology
    Plato, from Crito
    Plato, from Phaedo
    Plato, from Republic
    B. What Is Philosophy?
    Plato, from the Apology
    Karl Jaspers, from "The 'Axial Period'"
    Laozi, from Dao De Jing
    C. A Modern Approach to Philosophy
    René Descartes, from Discourse on Method
    D. A Brief Discourse on Method


    A. "The Way the World Really Is"
    Aristotle, from Metaphysics
    B. The First Greek Philosophers
    C. Ultimate Reality in the East: India, Persia, and China

    From Upanishads
    From Zend-Avesta
    From the Confucian Analects
    Laozi, from Dao De Jing
    Buddha, from "Fire-Sermon"
    D. Two Kinds of Metaphysics: Plato and Aristotle
    Plato, from Symposium
    Plato, from Republic
    Plato, from Meno
    Aristotle, Metaphysics
    Aristotle, from Physics
    Aristotle, from Metaphysics
    E. Modern Metaphysics
    René Descartes, on Substance
    René Descartes, from "Meditation VI"
    John Locke, from An Essay Concerning Human Understanding
    Benedictus de Spinoza, from Ethics
    Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz, from Monadology
    Summary and Conclusion

    A. What Is Religion?

    John Wisdom, from "Gods"
    Albert Einstein, on the Design of the Universe
    Keiji Nishitani, from "What Is Religion?"
    B. The Western Religions
    C. An Eastern Practice: Confucianism
    * Xinzhong Yao, "The Way of Confucianism"
    D. Proving God: The Ontological Argument
    St. Anselm, on the Ontological Argument
    René Descartes, on the Ontological Argument
    Immanuel Kant, Against the Ontological Argument
    E. God as Creator: Intelligence and Design
    St. Thomas Aquinas, Five Arguments for the Existence of God
    William Paley, "The Watch and the Watchmaker"
    David Hume, from Dialogues on Natural Religion
    Cory Juhl, "On the 'Fine-Tuning' Argument"
    F. Religion, Morality, and Evil
    Immanuel Kant, On God and Morality
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky, from The Brothers Karamazov
    William James, from "The Will to Believe"
    St. Augustine, from Confessions
    From the Bhagavadgita
    G. Beyond Reason: Faith and Irrationality
    Mohammad al-Ghazali, from The Deliverance from Error
    Søren Kierkegaard, on Subjective Truth
    Paul Tillich, on the Ultimate Concern
    H. Doubts about God and Religion
    Karl Marx, from "Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right"
    Friedrich Nietzsche, from Beyond Good and Evil
    Friedrich Nietzsche, from The Antichrist
    Friedrich Nietzsche, from The Gay Science
    Sigmund Freud, from The Future of an Illusion
    * Alvin Plantinga, from Warranted Christian Belief
    * Robert C. Solomon, from Spirituality for the Skeptic
    Mary Daly, "The Qualitative Leap beyond Patriarchal Religion"
    * Kaibara Ekken and Mary Evelyn Tucker, from The Philosophy of Qi
    * Boshan, "Exhortation for Those Unable to Arouse Doubt"
    Summary and Conclusion

    A. What Is Truth?
    B. Theories of Truth

    Brand Blanshard, from The Nature of Thought
    William James, from Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking
    C. Distinguishing Reality from Appearance
    Bertrand Russell, from The Problems of Philosophy
    D. The Rationalist's Confidence: Descartes
    René Descartes, from "Meditation I"
    René Descartes, from "Meditation II"
    René Descartes, from "Meditation VI"
    E. Innate Ideas Concerning Human Understanding: John Locke
    John Locke, from An Essay Concerning Human Understanding
    Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz, from New Essays on Human Understanding
    F. Two Empiricist Theories of Knowledge
    John Locke, from An Essay Concerning Human Understanding
    Bishop George Berkeley, from Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge
    G. The Congenial Skeptic: David Hume
    David Hume, from A Treatise of Human Nature
    David Hume, from An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding
    H. Kant's Revolution and the Issue of Relativism
    Immanuel Kant, from The Critique of Pure Reason
    Immanuel Kant, from Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics
    I. The Analytic Turn
    Bertrand Russell, from The Problems of Philosophy
    W. V. O. Quine, from "Epistemology Naturalized"
    J. Feminist Epistemology
    Elizabeth Grosz, from On Feminist Knowledge
    Uma Narayan, from On Feminist Epistemology
    Summary and Conclusion


    A. What Is Consciousness?
    René Descartes, from "Meditation VI"
    René Descartes, from "Meditation III"
    RenéDescartes, from "Meditation VI"
    B. The Problem of Dualism
    René Descartes, from "The Passions of the Soul"
    C. The Rejection of Dualism
    Gilbert Ryle, from The Concept of Mind
    J. J. C. Smart, from "Sensations and Brain Processes"
    Jerome Shaffer, Against the Identity Theory
    Paul M. Churchland, On Eliminative Materialism
    David Braddon-Mitchell and Frank Jackson, from Philosophy of Mind and Cognition
    John R. Searle, from "The Myth of the Computer"
    John R. Searle, from Minds, Brains, and Science
    D. The Problem of Consciousness
    Sigmund Freud, On the "Unconscious"
    Thomas Nagel, from Mortal Questions
    E. Changing Our Minds: Holism and Consciousness
    Aristotle, from De Anima
    Galen Strawson, On "Cognitive Experience"
    F. The Politics of the Mind-Body Problem
    Elizabeth V. Spelman, from "Woman as Body: Ancient and Contemporary Views"
    Summary and Conclusion

    A. Consciousness and the Self: From Descartes to Kant

    René Descartes, from "Meditation VI"
    John Locke, On Personal Identity
    David Hume, On the Idea of the Self
    Immanuel Kant, Against the Soul as Substance
    Meredith Michaels, from "Personal Identity"
    Derek Parfit, from Reasons and Persons
    B. Existentialism: Self-Identity and the Responsibility of Choice
    Jean-Paul Sartre, from "Existentialism Is a Humanism"
    Jean-Paul Sartre, from No Exit
    * Simone de Beauvoir, from The Second Sex
    C. The Individual and the Community
    Søren Kierkegaard, On the Public
    Søren Kierkegaard, On Self and Passion
    David Reisman, On Individualism
    Malcolm X, On Being "African"
    Malcolm X, from "At the Audubon"
    Sherry Ortner, from "Is Female to Male as Nature Is to Culture?"
    Ann Ferguson, On Androgyny
    Dierdre McClosky, from Crossing
    D. One Self? Any Self? Questioning the Concept of Personal "Essence"
    Hermann Hesse, from Steppenwolf
    Hermann Hesse, from Siddhartha
    Laozi, from Dao De Jing
    Summary and Conclusion

    A. Fatalism and Karma

    Keiji Nishitani, "On Fate"
    B. Predestination
    St. Augustine, from On Free Choice of the Will
    Muhammad Iqbal, from The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam
    Jacqueline Trimier, On the Yoruba Ori
    Jonathan Edwards, from "Freedom of the Will"
    C. Determinism
    Baron Paul Henri d'Holbach, from System of Nature
    Daniel Dennett, from Elbow Room
    Robert Kane, On Indeterminism
    John Stuart Mill, On Causation and Necessity
    David Hume, On Causation and Character
    Robert Kane, On "Wiggle Room"
    Harry Frankfurt, from "Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person"
    D. Compulsion and Ignorance
    Aristotle, On Voluntary Action
    Judith Orr, "Sex, Ignorance, and Freedom"
    John Hospers, from "What Means This Freedom?"
    B. F. Skinner, Beyond Freedom
    Robert Kane, Beyond Skinner
    Anthony Burgess, from A Clockwork Orange
    Catherine MacKinnon, On Coercion of Women's Sexuality
    E. Freedom in Practice: Kant's Solution
    Summary and Conclusion

    A. Morality
    B. Is Morality Relative?

    Gilbert Harman, from "Moral Relativism Defended"
    St. Thomas Aquinas, from The Summa Theologica
    John Corvino, from Same Sex: Debating the Ethics, Science, and Culture of Homosexuality
    C. Egoism and Altruism

    Plato, from Republic
    Tara Smith, The Necessity of Egoism (Ayn Rand)
    D. Are We Naturally Selfish? A Debate
    Mencius, On Human Nature: Man Is Good
    Xunzi, from "Human Nature Is Evil"
    Joseph Butler, Against Egoism
    E. Morality as Virtue: Aristotle
    Aristotle, from The Nicomachean Ethics
    F. Morality and Sentiment: Hume
    and Rousseau
    David Hume, On "Reason as Slave of the Passions"
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau, from Émile
    G. Morality and Practical Reason: Kant
    Immanuel Kant, from Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals
    H. Utilitarianism
    Jeremy Bentham, from An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation
    John Stuart Mill, from Utilitarianism
    I. The Creation of Morality: Nietzsche and Existentialism

    Friedrich Nietzsche, On Morality as Herd-Instinct
    Friedrich Nietzsche, On Master and Slave Morality
    Jean-Paul Sartre, from "Existentialism Is a Humanism"
    Simone de Beauvoir, from The Ethics of Ambiguity
    J. Ethics and Gender
    Virginia Held, On Feminist Ethics
    Summary and Conclusion

    Chapter 8. Justice
    A. The
    Problem of Justice
    B. Two Ancient Theories of Justice: Plato and Aristotle

    Plato, from Republic
    Aristotle, from The Nicomachean Ethics
    C. Two Modern Theories of Justice: Hume and Mill on Utility and Rights
    David Hume, On "Justice and Utility"
    John Stuart Mill, from Utilitarianism
    D. The Social Contract
    Thomas Hobbes, from Leviathan
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau, from The Social Contract
    Thomas Jefferson et al., from The Declaration of Independence
    E. Fairness and Entitlement
    John Rawls, from "Justice as Fairness"
    Robert Nozick, from Anarchy, State, and Utopia
    F. Justice or Care: A Feminist Perspective

    Cheshire Calhoun, from "Justice, Care, Gender Bias"
    María Lugones, from "Playfulness, World-Traveling, and Loving Perception"
    G. Justice and the Emotions
    * Robert C. Solomon, "The Emotions as Justice"
    H. Individual Rights and Freedom
    John Locke, from The Second Treatise on Government
    John Stuart Mill, from On Liberty
    Malcom X, On Civil and Human Rights
    Amartya Sen, from "Property and Hunger"
    I. Fighting for Rights and Justice
    Henry David Thoreau, from "Resistance to Civil Government" ("Civil Disobedience")
    Martin Luther King, Jr., from "Letter from Birmingham Jail"
    Summary and Conclusion