Does the Center Hold? is an entertaining, topically-organized introductory text with more than 500 original illustrations. The ideas and issues typically covered in introductory courses are presented here in a remarkably accessible and enjoyable manner. The author demonstrates that serious philosophical inquiry may be perplexing but is ultimately enlightening and liberating.
Table of Contents
Preface / Introduction
1. What Are We Doing in This Class?
Is Philosophy Possible? / The Origins of Philosophy / Contemporary Branches of Philosophy / The Philosophy of Socrates
2. Truth Is Beauty, Beauty Is Truth
Rationalist Epistemology / The Philosophy of Plato / René Descartes’ Rationalism /
3. What You See Is What You Get
Empiricist Epistemology / Aristotle as a Precursor to Empiricism / The Empiricism of John Locke / Berkeley’s Correction of Locke / Hume’s Radicalization of Berkeley’s Empiricism / Kant’s Compromise / Conclusion
4. Who’s on First, What’s on Second?
Ontology / Dualism / Materialistic Monism / Pluralism / Conclusion
5. Mount Olympus, Mount Moriah, and Other Godly Places
Philosophy of Religion / Theism / Atheism / Volitional Justifications of Religious Belief / Religious Mysticism / Religious Existentialism / Conclusion
6. The Largest Airline in the Free World
Philosophy of Freedom / Determinism: Ancient Greek and Enlightenment Views / Hard Determinism: Modern Views / Soft Determinism / Indeterminism / Conclusion
7. Thou Shalt Become Perfected
Ethics / Ancient Greek Moral Philosophers / Egoism / Hedonism / Utilitarianism / Duty-Oriented Morality / Conclusion
8. Different Strokes for Different Folks
Critiques of Traditional Ethical Theories / Existentialism / Hume and the Naturalistic Fallacy / Logical Positivism / Cultural Relativism / Ethics and Feminism / Ethics and Deep Ecology / Conclusion
9. Let Them Eat Cake
Political and Social Philosophy / Political Philosophy / Social Philosophy / Conclusion
10. But Is It Art?
Philosophy of Art / Plato and Freud / Aristotle / The Interlude between Aristotle and the Nineteenth Century / Marx / Marcuse / Existentialism / Wittgenstein / Conclusion
At the end of each chapter:
Topics for Consideration
Suggestions for Further Reading: Paperback Editions