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Introduction to Philosophy

Classical and Contemporary Readings

Fourth Edition

Edited by Louis P. Pojman and James Fieser

Publication Date - December 2007

ISBN: 9780195311617

704 pages
7-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

This highly acclaimed topically organized anthology features eighty-four selections that cover five major areas of philosophy--theory of knowledge, philosophy of religion, philosophy of mind, freedom and determinism, and moral philosophy.


Introduction to Philosophy: Classical and Contemporary Readings, Fourth Edition, is a highly acclaimed topically organized anthology featuring eighty-four selections that cover five major areas of philosophy--theory of knowledge, philosophy of religion, philosophy of mind, freedom and determinism, and moral philosophy. Louis P. Pojman and new coeditor James Fieser enhance the text's topical organization by presenting opposing articles on each issue so that students can better understand different perspectives. Offering a unique feature for a collection of this depth, the editors also include accessible introductions to each part, subsection, and individual reading, providing context for the essays and summarizing their key themes.
Beginning with the opening section, "What Is Philosophy?", the book focuses on a compelling sampling of classical material--including selections from Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant. It also incorporates some of philosophy's best contemporary work, offering articles by Harry Frankfurt, Richard Taylor, John Searle, Thomas Nagel, and others. The volume is enriched by helpful pedagogical features including "Questions for Further Reflection" after each selection; "Suggestions for Further Reading" at the end of the book; a glossary; and two appendices--"How to Read and Write a Philosophy Paper" and "A Little Bit of Logic."

The fourth edition includes the complete text of Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy and nine new selections:

* Sextus Empiricus: "Skepticism and Tranquility"
* Lorraine Code: "A Feminist Epistemology?"
* Samuel Clarke and David Hume: "The Causal Argument for God"
* Voltaire: "The Best of All Possible Worlds?"
* René Descartes: "Interactive Dualism"
* Anne Conway: "Mind and Body as a Continuum"
* Epictetus: "Stoic Resignation to Fate"
* David Hume: "Morality Not Derived from Reason"
* Alfred Jules Ayer: "Emotivism and Prescriptivism"

Previous Publication Date(s)

February 2004
October 1999
October 1997

Table of Contents

    *=New to this edition
    Plato, Socratic Wisdom
    John Locke, Philosophy as the Love of Truth versus Enthusiasm
    Bertrand Russell, The Value of Philosophy
    A. Classical Theories on Certainty and the Sources of Knowledge
    Plato, The Theory of the Forms and Doctrine of Recollection
    * Sextus Empiricus, Skepticism and Tranquility
    René Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy (complete)
    John Locke, Knowledge Through Experience
    George Berkeley, An Idealist Theory of Knowledge
    David Hume, Experience and the Limits of Human Reason
    Immanuel Kant, The Copernican Revolution in Knowledge
    B. Contemporary Theories on the Limits of Knowledge
    John Maynard Smith, Science and Myth
    Norman Malcolm, Two Types of Knowledge
    Karl Popper, Epistemology Without a Knowing Subject
    Richard Rorty, Dismantling Truth: Solidarity versus Objectivity
    Daniel Dennett, Postmodernism and Truth
    * Lorraine Code, A Feminist Epistemology?
    A. Traditional Arguments for the Existence of God
    St. Thomas Aquinas, The Five Ways
    * Samuel Clarke and David Hume, The Causal Argument for God
    F.C. Copleston and Bertrand Russell, A Debate on the Argument from Contingency
    William Paley, The Watch and the Watchmaker
    David Hume, A Critique of the Teleological Argument
    Anselm versus Gaunilo, The Ontological Argument
    F.C. Copleston and Bertrand Russell, A Debate on the Argument from Religious Experience
    C.D. Broad, The Argument from Religious Experience
    B. The Problem of Evil
    * Voltaire, The Best of All Possible Worlds?
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Why Is There Evil?
    Bruce Russell, The Problem of Evil: Why Is There So Much Suffering?
    Richard Swinburne, A Theistic Response to the Problem of Evil
    C. Faith and Reason
    Antony Flew, R.M. Hare, and Basil Mitchell, A Debate on the Rationality of Religious Belief
    Blaise Pascal, Faith Is a Rational Wager
    W.K. Clifford, The Ethics of Belief
    William James, The Will to Believe
    Alvin Plantinga, Religious Belief without Evidence
    A. The Mind-Body Problem
    * René Descartes, Interactive Dualism
    * Anne Conway, Mind and Body as a Continuum
    Jerome Shaffer, Consciousness and the Mind-Body Problem
    Paul Churchland, A Critique of Dualism
    Paul Churchland, On Functionalism and Materialism
    Thomas Nagel, What Is It Like to Be a Bat?
    David Chalmers, Against Materialism: Can Consciousness Be Reductively Explained?
    John Searle, Minds, Brains, and Computers
    B. The Problem of Personal Identity
    John Locke, The Self as Psychological Properties
    David Hume, The Self as a Bundle of Perceptions
    Derek Parfit and Godfrey Vesey, Brain Transplants and Personal Identity: A Dialogue
    C. Personal Identity and Survival: Will I Survive My Death?
    Plato, Arguments for the Immortality of the Soul
    Betrand Russell, The Illusion of Immortality
    John Hick, In Defense of Life After Death
    A. Free Will and Determinism
    Baron Paul Henri d'Holbach, A Defense of Determinism
    Richard Taylor, Libertarianism: Defense of Free Will
    W.T. Stace, Compatibilism: Free Will Is Consistent with Determinism
    John Hospers, Determinism: Free Will and Psychoanalysis
    Harry Frankfurt, Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person
    B. Moral Responsibility
    Aristotle, Voluntary Action and Responsibility
    * Epictetus, Stoic Resignation to Fate
    Galen Strawson, The Impossibility of Moral Responsibility
    Michael Levin, A Compatibilist Defense of Moral Responsibility
    Lois Hope Walker, A Libertarian Defense of Moral Responsibility
    C. Punishment
    Immanuel Kant, The Right to Punish: Retributivism
    Jonathan Glover, Utilitarianism and Punishment
    Karl Menninger, The Crime of Punishment: The Humanitarian Theory
    C.S. Lewis, Against the Humanitarian Theory of Rehabilitation
    John Rawls, Two Concepts of Punishment
    Plato, Socratic Morality
    A. Moral Relativism
    Herodotus, Custom Is King
    Ruth Benedict, In Defense of Moral Relativism
    Louis P. Pojman, Ethical Relativism versus Ethical Objectivism
    J.L. Mackie, The Subjectivity of Values
    Louis P. Pojman, A Critique of Mackie's Theory of Moral Subjectivism
    B. Morality and Self-Interest
    Plato, Gyges' Ring, or Is the Good Good for You?
    James Rachels, Ethical Egoism
    J.L. Mackie, The Law of the Jungle: Moral Alternatives and Principles of Evolution
    C. Religion and Ethics
    Plato, The Divine Command Theory of Ethics
    Bertrand Russell, A Free Man's Worship
    George Mavrodes, Religion and the Queerness of Morality
    Kai Nielsen, Ethics Without Religion
    D. Standards of Moral Evaluation
    Aristotle, Virtues
    Thomas Hobbes, The Social Contract
    John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism and Pleasure
    Immanuel Kant, Duty and the Categorical Imperative
    E. Challenges to Traditional Moral Theories
    * David Hume, Morality Not Derived from Reason
    * Alfred Jules Ayer, Emotivism and Prescriptivism
    Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil
    William Gass, The Case of the Obliging Stranger
    Thomas Nagel, Moral Luck
    Appendix I. How to Read and Write a Philosophy Paper
    Appendix II. A Little Bit of Logic
    Suggestions for Further Reading