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Introduction to Philosophy

Ninth Edition

John Perry, Michael Bratman, and John Martin Fischer

Publication Date - 16 June 2021

ISBN: 9780197543818

832 pages
7 1/2 x 9 1/4 inches

In Stock

The most widely used, trusted, and comprehensive topically organized collection of classical and contemporary readings available


Introduction to Philosophy: Classical and Contemporary Readings is the most comprehensive topically organized collection of classical and contemporary philosophy available. Ideal for introductory philosophy courses, the text offers a broad range of readings and depth. The text includes sections on God and Evil, Knowledge and Reality, the Philosophy of Science, the Mind/Body problem, Freedom of Will, Consciousness, Ethics, Political Philosophy, Existential Issues, and philosophical Puzzles and Paradoxes. (The unique section on Puzzles and Paradoxes is often praised by both instructors and students.)

Easy to use for both students and instructors alike, the book incorporates boldfaced key terms (listed after each reading and defined in the glossary); a guide to writing philosophy papers; and a “Logical Toolkit;” and study questions after each reading selection. These features have allowed more students to learn philosophy by using what is seen as the highest quality collection of philosophical readings available. The ninth edition will be revised based on reviewer suggestions, and will include more diversity and readings by female philosophers.

New to this Edition

  • Expanded Logical Toolkit
  • New pieces by: Robert Nozick, Keith DeRose and Fritz A. Warfield, Peter Graham, Christian Wenzel, Elizabeth Anderson, John Martin Fischer, and Samuel Scheffler. The pieces by Peter Graham and Christian Wenzel were commissioned just for this volume.
  • Selections from Descartes' Mediations on First Philosophy and Hume Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion have been re-edited and abridged for clarity.
  • The table of contents has been streamlined to focus on the most essential readings and topics.


  • A balanced and comprehensive collection of historical and contemporary works provides instructors with unparalleled flexibility and allows students to compare the major issues in philosophy over time
  • A "Logical Toolkit" lists and explains common terminology used in philosophical reasoning in Part I
  • A "Guide to Writing Philosophy Papers" walks students through the process of composing a sound paper in Part II
  • Substantive Part Introductions offer an insightful roadmap of the philosophical issues addressed in the readings
  • Study Questions following each selection help students focus on and review key points from their reading
  • A unique Part VII on Puzzles and Paradoxes offers intriguing mind-teasers

About the Author(s)

John Perry is the Henry Walgrave Stuart Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Stanford University, and Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at University of California-Riverside. He is author of Personal Identity (University of California Press, 1975); and A Dialogue on Personal Identity and Immortality (Hackett, 1978).
Michael Bratman is the U.G. and Abbie Birch Durfee Professor in the School of Humanities and Science and Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University. He is author of Intention, Plans, and Practical Reason (Center for the Study of Language and Information, 1999); Faces of Intention: Selected Essays on Intention and Agency (Cambridge UP, 1999).
John Martin Fisher is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and UC President's Chair at University of California-Riverside. He's the author of The Metaphysics of Death (Stanford University Press, 1993); My Way: Essays on Moral Responsibility (OUP, 2006); Perspectives on Moral Responsibility (Cornell UP, 1993); Responsibility and Control: A Theory of Moral Responsibility (Cambridge UP, 1999); Free Will: Critical Concepts in Philosophy (Routledge, 2005) and Death, Immortality, and the Meaning of Life (OUP 2019).

Table of Contents

    Part I
    Logical Toolkit
    Writing Philosophy Papers
    Bertrand Russell, "The Value of Philosophy"
    Plato, "Apology: Defense of Socrates"

    Part II
    God and Evil
    A. Why Believe?
    Saint Anselm, "The Ontological Argument"
    Saint Thomas Aquinas, "The Existence of God"
    William Paley, "Natural Theology"
    William James, “The Will to Believe”

    B. The Problem of Evil
    David Hume, "Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion"
    Gottfried Leibniz, "God, Evil and the Best of All Possible Worlds"
    William Rowe, “The Problem of Evil and Some Varieties of Atheism”
    Marilyn McCord Adams, “Horrendous Evils and the Goodness of God”
    Stewart Sutherland, “Horrendous Evils and the Goodness of God”
    Eleonore Stump, “The Mirror of Evil”
    Louise Antony, “For the Love of Reason”

    Part III
    Knowledge and Reality

    A. Plato, Descartes, and the Problems of Skepticism
    Plato's Allegory of the Cave
    Robert Nozick, The Experience Machine*
    Rene Descartes, "Meditations on First Philosophy"
    Keith DeRose and Ted A. Warfield, “Responding to Skepticism”*
    Peter Graham, “Beginning to Respond to Skepticism”*

    B. Hume's Problems and Some Solutions
    David Hume, "An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding"
    W.C. Salmon, "The Problem of Induction"

    Part IV
    Minds, Bodies, and Persons

    A. The Traditional Problem of Mind and Body
    David M. Armstrong, "The Nature of Mind"
    Paul M. Churchland, "Eliminative Materialism"
    Frank Jackson, "What Mary Didn't Know"
    Patricia Churchland, "Neurophilosophy"

    B. Minds, Brains, and Machines
    A. M. Turing, "Computing Machinery and Intelligence"
    John R. Searle, "Minds, Brains, and Programs"

    C. Personal Identity
    John Perry, "A Dialogue on Personal Identity and Immorality"
    Derek Parfit, "Personal Identity"
    J. David Velleman, "So It Goes"
    Daniel Dennett, "Where Am I?"
    Marya Schechtman, "Personhood and Personal Identity"
    Agnieszka Jaworska, "Respecting the Margins of Agency: Alzheimer's Patients and the Capacity to Value"

    D. Freedom, Determinism, and Responsibility
    Roderick M. Chisholm, "Human Freedom and the Self"
    David Hume, "Of Liberty and Necessity"
    Harry G. Frankfurt, "Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility"
    John Martin Fischer, "Responsiveness and Moral Responsibility"
    Harry G. Frankfurt, "Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person"
    Gary Watson, "Free Agency"
    Christian Wenzel, “Free Will and Zhaungzi”*

    Part V
    Ethics and Society

    A. Utilitarianism
    Jeremy Bentham, "The Principle of Utility"
    John Stuart Mill, "Utilitarianism"
    F. Carritt, "Criticisms of Utilitarianism"
    Mozi, "Excerpts from Mozi"
    Peter Singer, “Famine, Affluence, and Morality”

    B. Kantian Ethics
    Immanuel Kant, "Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals"
    Onora O'Neill, "Kantian Approaches to Some Famine Problems"

    C. Aristotelian Ethics
    Aristotle, "Nicomachean Ethics"
    Rosalind Hursthouse, "Right Actions"

    D. Justice and Equality
    John Rawls, "A Theory of Justice"
    Robert Nozick, "Justice and Entitlement"
    John Stuart Mill, "The Subjection of Women"
    Annette C. Baier, "The Need for More Than Justice"
    Elizabeth Anderson, “What's Wrong with Inequality?”*

    E. Contemporary Moral Problems
    Judith Jarvis Thomson, “A Defense of Abortion,”
    Debra Satz, "Markets in Women's Reproductive Labor"
    Kwame Anthony Appiah, “Racisms”
    Linda Martin Alcoff, “Racism and Visible Race”

    Part VI
    Existential Issues

    A. Meaning of Life
    Albert Camus, "The Myth of Sisyphus"
    Thomas Nagel, "The Absurd"
    Richard Taylor, "The Meaning of Human Existence"
    Susan Wolf, "The Meanings of Lives"

    B. Death
    Thomas Nagel, "Death"
    James Baillie, “Existential Shock”*
    John Martin Fischer, Excerpt from Death, Immortality and Meaning in Life*
    Amy Olberding, "Sorrow and the Sage: Grief in the Zhuangzi"
    Jenann Ismael, "The Ethical Importance of Death"
    Samuel Scheffler, “The Afterlife”*

    Part VII
    Puzzles and Paradoxes

    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 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