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The Quest for Truth

Tenth Edition

Louis P. Pojman and Lewis Vaughn

Publication Date - September 2016

ISBN: 9780190254773

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

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $89.95

This best-selling anthology presents ninety-four selections, arranged in pro/con format and enhanced by numerous pedagogical features


Praised for its unique combination of accessibility and comprehensiveness, Philosophy: The Quest for Truth, Tenth Edition, provides an excellent selection of ninety-five classical and contemporary readings--on twenty key problems in philosophy--carefully organized so that they present pro/con dialogues that allow students to compare and contrast the philosophers' positions.

Each of the readings is accompanied by study questions, end-of-reading reflective questions, and an individual introduction featuring a biographical sketch of the philosopher. A tutorial on logic and argument, a time line, boldfaced key terms, a detailed glossary, and an appendix on reading and writing philosophy papers further enhance the text's pedagogical value. In addition, each major section opens with a substantial introduction and ends with a short bibliography.

New to this Edition

  • Eight new readings, featuring work by Alison Ainley, Eve Browning Cole, Maggie Gallagher, Martin Luther King, Jr., Thomas Nagel, Susan Moller Okin, Bernard Williams, and Mary Wollstonecraft
  • A new section, "What Is Social Justice?," in Part VII: Justice and Political Philosophy
  • A revised Part I: What Is Philosophy?
  • A revised time line, additional key terms, and an expanded glossary

About the Author(s)

The late Louis P. Pojman was Professor of Philosophy at the United States Military Academy at West Point and the author, editor, or coeditor of more than twenty books.

Lewis Vaughn is the author or coauthor of numerous books, including Bioethics, Third Edition (2016), The Power of Critical Thinking, Fifth Edition, (2015), Philosophy Here and Now, Second Edition (2015), and Living Philosophy (2014), all published by Oxford University Press.

Previous Publication Date(s)

September 2013
December 2010
May 2008


"Philosophy: The Quest for Truth is simply superb. It is clearly one of the best--if not the best--introductory philosophy texts available today. Its greatest strengths are its clarity, its commitment to conveying the relevance of philosophy, its logic excursus, and its comprehensiveness. Pojman was, and Vaughn is, a master at accessible, clear, engaging writing for introductory students. And the pedagogical features are superb."--Mark Piper, James Madison University

"This is an impressive collection of the most relevant readings one might hope for in conducting an introductory course. Students fearful of philosophy will have their prejudice ruptured upon seeing the relevant and enjoyable topics covered in this anthology. The book doesn't just speak the language of philosophy, it speaks the language of students. What a nice pairing!"--Shandon L. Guthrie, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Table of Contents

    Each part opens with an Introduction and ends with Key Terms and Suggestions for Further Reading.
    *=New to this Edition
    Time Line
    The Good of Philosophy
    Philosophical Terrain
    Thinking Philosophically
    Reasons and Arguments
    Fallacious Reasoning
    Identifying Arguments
    Some Applications
    Exercises in Critical Reasoning
    Study and Discussion Questions
    1. Plato: Socratic Wisdom
    2. Plato: The Allegory of the Cave
    3. John Locke: Of Enthusiasm and the Quest for Truth
    4. Bertrand Russell: The Value of Philosophy
    II.A. Is Belief in God Rationally Justified? Arguments for the Existence of God
    The Cosmological Argument
    5. Thomas Aquinas: The Five Ways
    6. William Lane Craig: The Kalam Cosmological Argument and the Anthropic Principle
    7. Paul Edwards: A Critique of the Cosmological Argument
    The Teleological Argument
    8. William Paley: The Watch and the Watchmaker
    9. David Hume: A Critique of the Teleological Argument
    The Ontological Argument
    Pro et Contra
    10. St. Anselm and Gaunilo: The Ontological Argument
    11. William Rowe: An Analysis of the Ontological Argument
    II.B. Why Is There Evil?
    12. Fyodor Dostoevsky: Why Is There Evil?
    13. B.C. Johnson: Why Doesn't God Intervene to Prevent Evil?
    14. John Hick: There Is a Reason Why God Allows Evil
    15. William L. Rowe: The Problem of Evil and Some Varieties of Atheism
    II.C. Is Faith Compatible with Reason?
    16. Blaise Pascal: Yes, Faith Is a Logical Bet
    17. W.K. Clifford: The Ethics of Belief
    18. William James: The Will to Believe
    19. Antony Flew, R.M. Hare, and Basil Mitchell: A Debate on the Rationality of Religious Belief
    20. Alvin Plantinga: Religious Belief Without Evidence
    21. Søren Kierkegaard: Faith and Truth
    22. Bertrand Russell: Can Religion Cure Our Troubles?
    III.A. What Can We Know? Classical Theories of Knowledge
    23. René Descartes: Cartesian Doubt and the Search for Foundational Knowledge
    24. John Locke: The Empiricist Theory of Knowledge
    25. George Berkeley: An Idealist Theory of Knowledge
    26. David Hume: The Origin of Our Ideas
    27. G.E. Moore: Proof of an External World
    III.B. Truth, Rationality, and Cognitive Relativism
    28. Bertrand Russell: The Correspondence Theory of Truth
    29. William James: The Pragmatic Theory of Truth
    30. Richard Rorty: Dismantling Truth: Solidarity versus Objectivity
    31. Daniel Dennett: Postmodernism and Truth
    * III.C. Feminist Perspectives on Knowledge
    * 32. Eve Browning Cole: Philosophy and Feminist Criticism
    * 33. Alison Ainley: Feminist Philosophy
    III.D. Induction
    34. David Hume: Skeptical Doubts Concerning the Operations of the Understanding
    35. Wesley C. Salmon: The Problem of Induction
    IV.A. What Am I? A Mind or a Body?
    36. RenéDescartes: Substance Dualism
    37. Gilbert Ryle: Exorcising Descartes' "Ghost in the Machine"
    38. J.P. Moreland: A Contemporary Defense of Dualism
    39. Paul Churchland: On Functionalism and Materialism
    40. J.J.C. Smart: Sensations and Brain Processes
    41. Thomas Nagel: What Is It Like to Be a Bat?
    42. Jerry A. Fodor: The Mind-Body Problem
    43. David Chalmers: Property Dualism
    44. John Searle: Minds, Brains, and Computers
    45. Ned Block: Troubles with Functionalism
    IV.B. Who Am I? Do We Have Personal Identity?
    46. John Locke: Our Psychological Properties Define the Self
    47. David Hume: We Have No Substantial Self with Which We Are Identical
    48. Baron d'Holbach: We Are Completely Determined
    49. William James: The Dilemma of Determinism
    50. Roderick M. Chisholm: Human Freedom and the Self
    Pro et Contra
    51. Harry Frankfurt: Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person
    52. David Hume: Liberty and Necessity
    VI.A. Are There Any Moral Absolutes or Is Morality Completely Relative?
    53. Ruth Benedict: Morality Is Relative
    54. James Rachels: Morality Is Not Relative
    VI.B. Ethics and Egoism: Why Should We Be Moral?
    55. Plato: Why Should I Be Moral?: Gyges' Ring and Socrates' Dilemma
    56. Louis P. Pojman: Egoism and Altruism: A Critique of Ayn Rand
    57. Joel Feinberg: Psychological Egoism
    VI.C. Which Is the Correct Ethical Theory?
    58. Immanuel Kant: The Moral Law
    59. John Stuart Mill: Utilitarianism
    * 60. Bernard Williams: Against Utilitarianism
    61. Aristotle: The Ethics of Virtue
    62. Virginia Held: The Ethics of Care
    63. Alison M. Jaggar: Feminist Ethics
    64. Annette C. Baier: The Need for More than Justice
    65. Jean-Paul Sartre: Existentialist Ethics
    66. James Rachels: The Divine Command Theory
    * 67. Thomas Nagel: Moral Luck
    VII.A. What Is the Most Just Form of Government?
    68. Robert Paul Wolff: In Defense of Anarchism
    69. Thomas Hobbes: The Absolutist Answer: The Justification of the State Is the Security It Affords
    70. John Locke: The Democratic Answer: The Justification of the State Is Its Promotion of Security and Natural Human Rights
    71. John Stuart Mill: A Classical Liberal Answer: Government Must Promote Freedom
    72. John Rawls: The Contemporary Liberal Answer
    73. Robert Nozick: Against Liberalism
    * VII.B. What Is Social Justice?
    * 74. Martin Luther King, Jr.: Nonviolence and Racial Justice
    * 75. Susan Moller Okin: Justice, Gender, and Family
    * 76. Mary Wollstonecraft: A Vindication of the Rights of Women
    77. Epicurus: Moderate Hedonism
    78. Epictetus: Stoicism: Enchiridion
    79. Albert Camus: Life Is Absurd
    80. Julian Baggini: Living Life Forwards
    81. Louis P. Pojman: Religion Gives Meaning to Life
    82. Thomas Nagel: The Absurd
    83. Bertrand Russell: Reflections on Suffering
    IX.A. Is Abortion Morally Permissible?
    84. Don Marquis: Why Abortion Is Immoral
    85. Francis J. Beckwith: Arguments from Bodily Rights
    86. Mary Anne Warren: On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion
    87. Judith Jarvis Thomson: A Defense of Abortion
    Pro et Contra
    88. Jane English: The Moderate Position: Beyond the Personhood Argument
    IX.B. Is the Death Penalty Morally Permissible?
    89. Burton Leiser: The Death Penalty Is Permissible
    90. Hugo Adam Bedau: No, the Death Penalty Is Not Morally Permissible
    IX.C. Should Society Permit Same-Sex Marriage?
    * 91. Maggie Gallagher: What Marriage Is For: Children Need Mothers and Fathers
    92. Jonathan Rauch: For Better or Worse?
    IX.D. Do We Have Obligations to the Poor and Hungry?
    93. Peter Singer: Famine, Affluence, and Morality
    94. Garrett Hardin: Living on a Lifeboat
    Appendix: How to Read and Write a Philosophy Paper

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