Ultimate Questions : Thinking about Philosophy

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-01-01
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
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This inexpensive and brief text offers careful explanations of how problems are connected to our thinking about the universe, then uses vivid and engaging examples to further enhance this up-to-date examination of the main problems in contemporary philosophy. More than 100 "Food for Thought" exercises elicit reaction to philosophical problems, give readers a chance to test whether they have grasped important philosophical concepts, and offer opportunities for genuine conversations about philosophy.Readers interested in contemporary philosophy.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. x
What Is Philosophy?p. 1
Making Sense of the Worldp. 1
The Relationship Between Science and Philosophyp. 7
The Main Branches of Philosophyp. 11
Philosophical Toolsp. 16
Logical Consistencyp. 16
Logical Possibilityp. 19
Definitionsp. 21
Counterexamplesp. 25
The Basic Structure of Argumentsp. 26
Putting Arguments into Standard Formp. 28
Deductive and Inductive Argumentsp. 30
Evaluating Deductive Arguments: Validity and Soundnessp. 32
Evaluating Deductive Arguments: Logical Formp. 35
Evaluating Inductive Arguments: Probabilityp. 38
What Do We Know?p. 44
What Is Knowledge?p. 44
Three Different Theories of Knowledgep. 50
Skepticismp. 51
The Case for Skepticismp. 51
Descartes' Quest for Certaintyp. 54
Empiricismp. 61
The Case for Empiricismp. 64
Problems with Perceptionp. 65
The Problem of Inductionp. 70
Rationalismp. 73
The Case for Rationalismp. 77
Problems for Rationalismp. 79
Final Remarks on Epistemologyp. 82
The Problem of Free Willp. 84
Why Is There a Problem with Free Will?p. 84
The Case for Hard Determinismp. 89
Can Indeterminism Save Free Will?p. 93
Soft Determinismp. 96
Traditional Compatibilismp. 97
Deep Self-Compatibilismp. 100
A Fundamental Problem for Soft Determinismp. 105
Libertarianismp. 106
The Case for Libertarianismp. 106
Problems for Libertarianismp. 108
Final Remarks on the Problem of Free Willp. 111
The Problem of Personal Identityp. 113
Do We Always Remain the Same?p. 113
The Illusion Theory of Personal Identityp. 118
The Case for the Illusion Theoryp. 118
Problems for the Illusion Theoryp. 120
The Body Theory of Personal Identityp. 122
The Case for the Body Theoryp. 122
Problems for the Body Theoryp. 124
The Soul Theory of Personal Identityp. 125
The Case for the Soul Theoryp. 125
Problems for the Soul Theoryp. 126
The Memory Theory of Personal Identityp. 127
The Case for the Memory Theoryp. 127
Problems for the Memory Theoryp. 129
Final Remarks on Personal Identityp. 135
The Mind/Body Problemp. 137
What Is the Problem?p. 137
Possible Solutions to the Mind/Body Problemp. 141
Substance Dualismp. 144
Arguments for Substance Dualismp. 144
Near-Death Experiencesp. 144
The Conceivability Argumentp. 147
Intentionalityp. 150
Arguments Against Substance Dualismp. 150
The Problem of Interactionp. 150
Do Dualists Commit a Category Mistake?p. 153
Varieties of Physicalismp. 154
Behaviorismp. 155
Logical Behaviorismp. 156
Arguments Against Logical Behaviorismp. 158
The Identity Theoryp. 159
Arguments Against the Identity Theoryp. 161
Functionalismp. 162
Functional Concepts and "Stuff" Conceptsp. 162
Functionalism: Mind as Softwarep. 163
Functionalism and Artificial Intelligence: The Turing Testp. 164
Arguments Against Functionalismp. 165
The Chinese Room Argumentp. 165
Problems with Qualiap. 167
Eliminative Materialismp. 169
Final Remarks on the Mind/Body Problemp. 170
Does God Exist?p. 173
God, Faith, and Reasonp. 173
What Do We Mean by the Word "God"?p. 174
Arguments in Defense of Classical Theismp. 178
Arguments from Religious Experiencesp. 178
Cosmological Argumentp. 182
Design Argumentsp. 187
The Ontological Argumentp. 195
Pascal's Wagerp. 200
What Is the Effect of These Arguments?p. 204
Arguments Against Classical Theismp. 204
The Logical Problem of Evilp. 205
The Evidential Problem of Evilp. 207
Final Remarks on the Problem of God's Existencep. 211
What Ought We to Do?p. 214
Moral Intuitions and Moral Principlesp. 214
A Fundamental Challenge: Relativismp. 216
The Case for Subjective Relativismp. 218
Problems for Subjective Relativismp. 219
The Case for Cultural Relativismp. 221
Problems for Cultural Relativismp. 223
Final Remarks on Cultural Relativismp. 226
Some Important Ethical Theoriesp. 227
Divine Command Theoryp. 228
The Case for the Divine Command Theoryp. 229
Problems for the Divine Command Theoryp. 229
Utilitarianismp. 231
The Basic Ideap. 231
Pleasure and Happinessp. 234
Problems for Utilitarianismp. 237
Duty-Based Theoriesp. 240
The Importance of a Good Willp. 240
Advantages of Kant's Ethicsp. 246
Problems for Kant's Ethicsp. 247
Virtue-Based Theoriesp. 248
The Importance of Moral Characterp. 248
Advantages of Virtue Ethicsp. 252
Problems for Virtue Ethicsp. 254
Final Remarks on the Problem of Moralityp. 255
Indexp. 257
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