Philosophy Asking Questions--Seeking Answers

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2018-08-10
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Featuring a remarkably clear writing style, Philosophy: Asking Questions--Seeking Answers is a brief and accessible guide designed for students with no prior knowledge of the subject. Written by renowned scholars Stephen Stich and Tom Donaldson, it focuses on the key issues in Western philosophy, presenting balanced coverage of each issue and challenging students to make up their own minds. Each chapter incorporates discussion questions, key terms, a glossary, and suggestions for further readings to help make the material more understandable to novices. Comprehensive enough to be used on its own, Philosophy can also be used as a supplement to any introductory anthology.

Author Biography

Stephen Stich is Board of Governors Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University and an Honorary Professor at the University of Sheffield. Known for his contributions to the philosophy of mind, he is the author of Mindreading (OUP, 2003) and Deconstructing the Mind (OUP, 1996) and many other books.

Tom Donaldson is Assistant Professor in the Philosophy Department at Simon Fraser University. While receiving his MMathPhil (1st class) in Mathematics and Philosophy at Oxford University, he was awarded the Henry Wilde Prize, the Elizabeth Anscombe Prize, and the Gibbs Prize.

Table of Contents

Chapters 3-15 end with a Glossary, Comprehension Questions, Discussion Questions, What to Look at Next, and Notes.
Chapter 1. What Is Philosophy?
1. Philosophy Is Everywhere
2. What Is a Philosophical Question?
3. The Philosophical Method
4. Philosophy and Science
5. Why Bother?
Discussion Question
Chapter 2. What Are Arguments, and How Should We Evaluate Them?
1. Introduction
2. Premises and Conclusions
3. Evaluating Arguments
4. Deductive Validity
5. Induction and Abduction
6. Multistep Arguments
7. Evaluating Multistep Arguments
8. Some Arguments to Evaluate
9. Answers to Problems
What to Look at Next
Chapter 3. Does God Exist?
1. Introduction
2. The First Cause Argument
3. Some Questions about the First Cause Argument
4. Leibniz's Cosmological Argument
5. The Design Argument
6. Criticisms of the Design Argument
7. Anselm's Ontological Argument
8. What, If Anything, Is Wrong with Anselm's Ontological Argument?
9. A Pragmatic Case for Theism?
10. Conclusion
Chapter 4. Why Does God Leave Us to Suffer?
1. Introduction
2. Three Logical Puzzles for Theists
3. Introducing the Problem of Evil
4. Three Inadequate Responses
5. Rethinking the Nature of God
6. Theodicy
7. Skeptical Theism
8. Conclusion
Chapter 5. Can We Be Completely Certain of Anything?
1. Introduction
2. Descartes's Project
3. Certainty Is Hard to Find
4. Achieving Certainty
5. Vivid and Clear Perception
6. Descartes's Theism, and His Solution to the Evil Demon Problem
7. The Cartesian Circle
8. Descartes's Legacy
9. Conclusion
Chapter 6. Can We Trust Our Senses?
1. Rationalism and Empiricism
2. Indirect Realism
3. Primary and Secondary Qualities
4. Do Material Objects Really Exist?
5. Berkeley's Idealism
6. Direct Realism
7. Conclusion
Chapter 7. Will the Sun Rise Tomorrow?
1. Introduction
2. Making Predictions
3. Hume's Problem
4. The Principle of Uniformity of Nature
5. Karl Popper
6. Peter Strawson
7. Epistemically Basic Beliefs
8. Beyond Enumerative Induction
Chapter 8. What Is Knowledge?
1. Introduction
2. Three Kinds of Knowledge
3. Analyzing Propositional Knowledge: The Easy Part--Belief and Truth
4. Analyzing Propositional Knowledge: The Hard Part--Justification
5. Foundationalism
6. Coherentism
7. Internalism and Externalism
8. Fallibilism and Skepticism
9. Gettier Cases--A Challenge to the Justified True Belief Account of Knowledge
Chapter 9. Do We Have Free Will?
1. What Is Determinism?
2. Hard Determinism
3. Soft Determinism
4. Libertarianism
Chapter 10. How Is Your Mind Related to Your Body?
1. Introduction
2. Cartesian Dualism
3. Philosophical Behaviorism
4. The Mind-Brain Identity Theory
5. Functionalism
6. Back to Dualism?
Chapter 11. Will You Be the Same Person in Ten Years? Could You Survive Death?
1. The Philosophical Issue and Its Practical Importance
2. The Soul Theory
3. Problems for Soul Theory
4. Memory Theories
5. Personal Identity and the Brain
Chapter 12. Are There Objective Truths about Right and Wrong?
1. Introduction
2. Objective Truth
3. The Divine Command Theory
4. Cultural Relativism
5. Subjectivism and Expressivism
6. The Qualified Attitude Theory
7. Conclusion
Chapter 13. What Really Matters?
1. Introduction
2. Hedonism
3. Sartre
4. Susan Wolf on Meaningfulness
5. Conclusion
Chapter 14. What Should We Do? (Part I)
1. Act Consequentialism and Act Utilitarianism
2. Objections to Act Utilitarianism
3. Rule Consequentialism and Rule Utilitarianism
4. Kant's Universalization Test
5. Kant's Humanity Formula
6. Comparing Kantianism and Consequentialism
Chapter 15. What Should We Do? (Part II)
1. Introduction
2. Is It Morally Wrong to Go to the Opera While People Are Starving?
3. Vegetarianism
4. Is Abortion Morally Wrong?
Appendix A. Reading and Writing Tips
Seven Tips on Reading Philosophy
Eighteen Tips for Writing Philosophy Papers
Appendix B. The Truth about Philosophy Majors

Supplemental Materials

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The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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