Classic Philosophical Questions

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  • Edition: 13th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-01-01
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
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Classic Philosophic Questionshas presented decades of students with the most compelling classic and contemporary primary source readings on the most enduring and abiding questions in philosophy. Classic Philosophic Questionsis a longstanding and highly respected anthology of basic readings in philosophy, taken from ancient, modern, and contemporary sources. Issues are treated in a fundamentally open manner with arguments pro and con for the various positions covered. All selections are taken from primary sources, with introductions and study guides to facilitate reading for the beginning student. A unique feature of this book is the list of "think abouts" at the end of most of the readings. These suggest issues raised in the readings that can promote new ways of thinking about themes and concepts. This text offers a comprehensive, first-hand experience of all the major branches of Philosophy. It covers all the fundamentals in philosophy, as opposed to volumes dealing with specialized topics. It draws from the ancient as well as modern and contemporary sources, rather than focusing on one particular historical period. Each reading contains a biographical sketch of the author, and a group of further readings for the student wishing to pursue the issue in greater depth.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xiii
Plato and the Trial of Socrates
What Is Philosophy?
Euthyphro: Defining Philosophical Termsp. 1
The Apology, Phaedo, and Crito: The Trial, Immortality, and Death of Socratesp. 12
Philosophy of Religion
Can We Prove That God Exists?
St. Anselm: The Ontological Argumentp. 37
St. Thomas Aquinas: The Cosmological Argumentp. 43
William Paley: The Teleological Argumentp. 50
Blaise Pascal: It Is Better to Believe in God's Existence Than to Deny Itp. 56
William James: Free Choice Is the Basis of Beliefp. 62
Does the Idea of a Good God Exclude Evil?
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz: God Can Allow Some Evilp. 72
David Hume: A Good God Would Exclude Evilp. 83
Are Ethics Relative?
Ruth Benedict: Ethics Are Relativep. 91
W.T. Stace: Ethics Are Not Relativep. 99
Are Humans Always Selfish?
Humans Are Always Selfish: Glaucon's Challenge to Socratesp. 111
James Rachels: Humans Are Not Always Selfishp. 115
Which Is Basic in Ethics: Happiness or Obligation?
Aristotle: Happiness Is Living Virtuouslyp. 127
Jeremy Bentham: Happiness Is Seeking the Greatest Pleasure for the Greatest Number of Peoplep. 137
Immanuel Kant: Duty Is Prior to Happinessp. 146
Friedrich Nietzsche: Happiness Is Having Powerp. 160
Jean-Paul Sartre: Existentialist Ethicsp. 168
Rosemarie Tong: Feminist Ethics Are Differentp. 178
Two Contemporary Moral Problems: Abortion, Animal Rights
Jane English: Are Most Abortions Moral?p. 196
The Animal Rights Issue
Peter Singer: Do Animals Have Rights?p. 207
What Is Knowledge?
Plato: Knowledge Is "Warranted, True Belief"p. 221
What Method Is Best for Acquiring Knowledge?
Charles Sanders Peirce: Four Approaches to Philosophyp. 231
How Do We Acquire Knowledge?
Rene Descartes: Knowledge Is Not Ultimately Sense Knowledgep. 242
John Locke: Knowledge Is Ultimately Sensedp. 254
Immanuel Kant: Knowledge Is Both Rational and Empiricalp. 267
How Is Truth Established?
Bertrand Russell: Truth Is Established by Correspondencep. 276
Francis. H. Bradley: Truth Is Established by Coherencep. 283
William James: Truth Is Established on Pragmatic Groundsp. 290
Can We Know the Nature of Causal Relations?
David Hume: Cause Means Regular Associationp. 298
David Hume: There Are No Possible Grounds for Inductionp. 305
Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing?
Parmenides: Being Is Uncausedp. 317
Lao-Tzu: Non-Being Is the Source of Beingp. 323
Is Reality General or Particular?
Plato: Universals Are Realp. 329
David Hume: Particulars Are Realp. 339
Of What Does Reality Consist?
Rene Descartes: Reality Consists of Mind and Matterp. 345
Paul Churchland: Reality Consists of Matterp. 352
George Berkeley: Reality Consists of Ideasp. 360
John Dewey: Reality Consists of Mental and Physical Qualitiesp. 373
Are Humans Free?
Holbach: Humans Are Determinedp. 382
Robert Kane: Humans Are Freep. 392
Social and Political Philosophy
What Is Liberty?
Fyodor Dostoevski: Liberty and Authorityp. 409
John Stuart Mill: Liberty Is Independence from the Majority's Tyrannyp. 422
Martin Luther King Jr.: Liberty and Racial Prejudicep. 434
Which Government Is Best?
Thomas Hobbes: Monarchy Is Bestp. 445
John Locke: Democracy Is Bestp. 453
Karl Marx: Communism and Nonalienated Labor Is Bestp. 460
Alexis de Tocqueville: Democracy Can Have Serious Problemsp. 476
Karl Popper: Utopias Lead to Violencep. 484
What Constitutes the Experience of Beauty?
Plotinus: Beauty, Sensuous and Idealp. 495
What Is the Function of Art?
Aristotle: The Nature of Tragedyp. 505
Henri Bergson: The Nature of Comedyp. 514
Philosophy and the Good Life
Two Classic Views of the Good Life
Epicurus and the Pleasant Lifep. 525
Epictetus and the Life of Self-Controlp. 534
What Gives Life Meaning?
Leo Tolstoy: Faith Provides Life's Meaningp. 541
Albert Camus: Each Person Determines His or Her Life's Meaningp. 553
What Is the Value of Philosophy?
Bertrand Russell: The Value of Philosophyp. 565
Glossaryp. 572
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