We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more

  • Purchase
  • Send feedback
  • Also available as:

    Ebook

Cover

Stories of Philosophy

An Introduction Through Original Fiction and Discussion

Thomas D. Davis

Publication Date - July 2019

ISBN: 9780190903695

384 pages
Paperback
5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $49.95

Illuminates philosophical concepts through lively stories

Description

Stories of Philosophy provides students with a fun and dramatic introduction to philosophical issues through fiction. It combines short stories written by the author, a philosopher and novelist, with detailed guided discussions to inspire students to think about issues related to logic, appearance and reality, the nature of mind, freedom and responsibility, the existence of God, and morality.

The twelve stories include a futuristic experiment in which scientists try to predict everything that a prisoner will do and think within a library-like prison cell; a comic dialogue between God and Satan, who have trouble figuring out what free will is supposed to be; and a medieval man suffering through a Black Death computer simulation done for homework and a little malicious pleasure by two school children.

The text is enhanced by pedagogical features including "Preview" and "Let's Review" sections, biographical boxes of many of the philosophers discussed, boldfaced key terms and their definitions, questions for discussion, and suggested further readings.

Features

  • Introduces philosophical issues in a fun and dramatic manner, with original fictional stories by a philosopher/novelist
  • Offers accessible philosophical discussions that refer to the fictional stories, providing students with an interesting way to think about the issues
  • Covers both classic philosophical problems and current issues like feminist issues and race
  • Pedagogical features provide students with lots of support. These include "Preview" and "Let's Review" sections; biographical boxes of many of the philosophers discussed, boldfaced key terms and their definitions, questions for discussion, and suggested further readings.

About the Author(s)

Thomas D. Davis has taught at Grinnell College, the University of Redlands, San Jose State University, and DeAnza College. His publications include Contemporary Moral and Social Issues: An Introduction Through Original Fiction, Discussion and Readings (2014) and three novels.

Reviews

"Stories of Philosophy captures the reader's attention with vivid narratives that illustrate with subtlety and precision various philosophical concepts, theories, and arguments. It is a pedagogical tour de force."--Mark Alfano, Delft University of Technology

"Davis is the best storywriter among philosophers that I am aware of, and his short stories are an effective way to engage students' imagination and thinking about possibilities and different positions on philosophical issues. I like how he consistently starts with the stories, then expands on the philosophical issues in them into a broader canvas of debates and positions. The book is a complete and integrated package for all instructors who like to do something alternative to just doing a history of philosophy."--Guy Axtell, Radford University

"Stories of Philosophy is comprehensive, engaging, clear, and written at an appropriate level. The inclusion of the literary introductions makes this volume more engaging for students than other texts. I also like its inclusion of discussions of personal identity, women, minorities, and a host of other often-ignored topics."--Stephen H. Daniel, Texas A & M University

"I think that using fiction to hook the reader is an excellent idea, and one that I've tried using previously. The blend of classical and modern philosophers used to illustrate the different concepts is appreciated."--Karl A. Stocker, Eastern Connecticut State University

Table of Contents

    Preface
    The Evolution of This Text and How It Works
    What Is Philosophy?
    Acknowledgments
    About the Author
    1. LOGIC
    Fiction
    Philosophy Is Murder: A Nebuchadnezzar Hulk Mystery
    Another Pilgrim's Progress
    Discussion
    Arguments
    Deductive Arguments
    Inductive Arguments
    Analogical Induction
    Inductive Generalization
    Hypothetical Induction
    Fallacies in Reasoning
    Provincialism
    Ad Hominem (to the Person)
    Straw Man
    Slippery Slope
    False Dilemma
    Appeal to Force
    Equivocation
    Begging the Question or Circular Argument
    Inconsistency
    Appeal to Popular Opinion
    Hasty Conclusion
    Suppressed Evidence
    Appeal to Authority
    Appeal to Ignorance
    Impervious
    Hypothesis
    Skepticism, Faith, and Philosophy
    2. APPEARANCE AND REALITY
    Fiction
    Add Some More Boils
    Why Don't You Just Wake Up?
    Discussion
    Commonsense Beliefs
    Doubting the External World: Dreams
    Descartes, Doubt and the Cogito
    Doubting the External World: Perception
    Direct Realism
    Representative Realism: John Locke
    Subjective Idealism: George Berkeley
    Skepticism: David Hume
    Can I Know There's An External World?
    Are We Living in a Computer Simulation?
    3. THE NATURE OF THE MIND
    Fiction
    Strange Behavior
    Life after Life
    Discussion
    Substance Dualism
    Three Materialist Theories of Mind
    Why Materialism?
    Behaviorism
    The Identity Theory
    Functionalism

    Zombies and the "Hard Problem" of Consciousness
    Three More Dualist Theories
    Property Dualism
    Epiphenomenalism
    Panpsychism
    Life after Death
    Personal Identity
    4. FREEDOM AND RESPONSIBILITY
    Fiction
    Please Don't Tell Me How the Story Ends
    A Little Omniscience Goes A Long Way
    Discussion
    The Determinism-Free Will Issue
    Freedom of Action and Fatalism
    Do We Have Contra-Causal Freedom?
    Libertarianism and Its Critics
    Is there a Coherent Concept of Contra-Causal Freedom?
    Freedom as Compatible with Determinism or Indeterminism
    Holding People Responsible
    5. THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
    Fiction
    The Vision
    Surprise! It's Judgment Day
    Discussion
    Religious Experience
    Traditional Arguments for God's Existence
    Assessing Arguments for God's Existence
    The Ontological/Definitional Argument
    The Cosmological/First Cause Argument
    The Teleological/Design Argument
    Atheism and the Problem of Suffering
    Disbelieving in God
    Omnipotence and Contradiction
    Does Happiness Require Unhappiness?
    The Free Will Defense
    The Virtue Defense
    Faith and Reason
    6. MORALITY
    Fiction
    The Land of Certus
    Those Who Help Themselves
    Discussion
    Metaethics Versus Normative Ethics
    Moral Objectivism and Moral Subjectivism
    An Argument for Moral Subjectivism
    Moral Subjectivism Reconsidered
    What About Cultural Relativism?
    A More Technical Take on Metaethics
    From the Moral Point of View
    Utilitarianism and John Rawls
    Morality, Virtue, and Living Well
    Feminism and the Ethics of Care
    Race From the Moral Point of View
    Credits
    Index