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Core Questions in Philosophy A Text with Readings,9780205206698
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Core Questions in Philosophy A Text with Readings



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Applying philosophy to everyday life. Core Questions in Philosophy emphasizes the idea that philosophy is a subject de­voted to evaluating arguments and constructing theories . Presented in an engaging lecture-style format, this text/reader focuses on the basic issues and ideas in philosophy with lectures/discussions, supported by readings from historically important sources. Discussions emphasize the logic of philosophical arguments and how they relate to the content of modern physical and social sciences. Teaching & Learning Experience The teaching and learning experience with this program helps to: Personalize Learning MySearchLab delivers proven results in helping students succeed, provides engaging experiences that personalize learning, and comes from a trusted partner with educational expertise and a deep commitment to helping students and instructors achieve their goals. Improve Critical Thinking Review questions at the end of each chapter allow students to review what they've just learned and think critically about related problems. Engage Students Following a lecture format, the text portion is written in an engaging conversational tone. Explore Theory Emphasis on evaluating arguments and constructing theories. Support Instructors An instructor's manual, test bank, MyTest Test Bank, and PowerPoint presentation provide more teaching resources. MySearchLab w/ etext has topic-specific assessment, flashcards, and chapter exams offer and report directly to your grade book. Note: MySearchLab with eText does not come automatically packaged with this text. To purchase MySearchLab, please visit: or you can purchase a valuepack of the text + MySearchLab (at no additional cost): ValuePack ISBN-10: 0205861156 / ValuePack ISBN-13: 9780205861156

Author Biography

Elliott Sober is Hans Reichenbach Professor of Philosophy and William F. Vilas Research Professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research is in the philosophy of science, especially in the philosophy of evolutionary biology. Sober’s books include The Nature of Selection -- Evolutionary Theory in Philosophical Focus (1984), Reconstructing the Past -- Parsimony, Evolution, and Inference (1988), Philosophy of Biology (1993), Unto Others -- The Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behavior (1998, coauthored with David Sloan Wilson), Evidence and Evolution – the Logic Behind the Science (2008), and Did Darwin Write the Origin Backwards? (2011). He won the Lakatos Prize in 1991 and the American Philosophical Association named him Prometheus Laureate for 2008. He has been president of the Philosophy of Science Association and the American Philosophical Association (Central Division). He is currently president of the International Union for History and Philosophy of Science (Division of Logic, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science).

Table of Contents

Part 1:  Introduction
Chapter 1:    What Is Philosophy?
          Reading: What is Philosophy - Bertrand Russell

Chapter 2:    Deductive Arguments

Chapter 3:    Inductive and Abductive Arguments


Part 2: The Philosophy of Religion
Chapter 4:    Aquinas’s First Four Ways
          Reading:  Five Ways to Prove That God Exists - Saint Thomas Aquinas
Chapter 5:    The Design Argument
          Readings: The Design Argument - William Paley
                        Critique of the Design Argument - David Hume
Chapter 6:    Evolution and Creationism
Chapter 7:    Can Science Explain Everything?
Chapter 8:    The Ontological Argument
          Reading: Debate - Saint Anselm and Gaunilo
Chapter 9:    Is the Existence of God Testable?
          Reading: The Meaninglessness of Religious Discourse - Alfred Jules Ayer
Chapter 10:  Pascal and Irrationality
          Readings: Belief in God – What Do You Have to Lose? - Blaise Pascal
                        The Will to Believe - William James
Chapter 11:  The Argument from Evil


Part 3: Theory of Knowledge
Chapter 12:  What Is Knowledge?
          Reading: The Theaetetus — Knowledge is Something More than True Belief Plato
Chapter 13:  Descartes’ Foundationalism
          Reading: Meditations on First Philosophy, 1-5 - René Descartes
Chapter 14:  The Reliability Theory of Knowledge
Chapter 15:  Justified Belief and Hume’s Problem of Induction
          Reading: Induction Cannot Be Rationally Justified - David Hume
Chapter 16:  Can Hume’s Skepticism Be Refuted?
Chapter 17:   Beyond Foundationalism
Chapter 18:  Locke on the Existence of External Objects
          Readings: The External World Probably Exists - Hans Reichenbach
                        Yada yada - John Locke


Part 4:  Philosophy of Mind
Chapter 19:  Dualism and the Mind/Body Problem
          Reading: Meditations on First Philosophy, 6 - René Descartes
Chapter 20:  Logical Behaviorism
          Reading: Other Minds Are Known by Analogy from One’s Own Case -Bertrand Russell
Chapter 21:  Methodological Behaviorism
Chapter 22:  The Mind/Brain Identity Theory
Chapter 23:  Functionalism
Chapter 24:  Freedom, Determinism, and Causality
Chapter 25:  A Menu of Positions on Free Will
          Readings: Determinism Shows That Free Will Is an Illusion - Baron D’Holbach
                        Of Liberty and Necessity - David Hume
                        Has the Self “Free Will”? - C. A. Campbell
Chapter 26:  Compatibilism
Chapter 27:  Psychological Egoism
          Reading: What Motivates People to Act Justly? - Plato


Part 5: Ethics
Chapter 28:  Ethics–Normative and Meta
Chapter 29:  The Is/Ought Gap and the Naturalistic Fallacy
Chapter 30:  Observation and Explanation in Ethics
Chapter 31:   Conventionalist Theories
          Readings: The Euthyphro — A Critique of the Divine Command Theory- Plato
                        Existentialism - Jean-Paul Sartre
Chapter 32:  Utilitarianism
          Readings: Defense of Utilitarianism - John Stuart Mill
                        Principle of Utility - Jeremy Bentham
                        On Liberty- John Stuart Mill
Chapter 33:  Kant’s Moral Theory
          Reading Ethics Founded on Reason Immanuel Kant
Chapter 34:   Aristotle on the Good Life


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