Exploring Philosophy

Exploring Philosophy : An Introductory Anthology

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Exploring Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology is a remarkably accessible and inviting introduction to philosophy. In this unique volume Steven M. Cahn brings together extraordinarily clear recent essays by noted philosophers and supplements them with influential historical sources. Most importantly, the articles have been carefully edited to make them understandable to every reader. The topics are drawn from the major fields of philosophy and include knowledge and skepticism, freedom and determinism, mind and body, the existence of God, the problem of evil, faith and reason, cultural relativism, abortion, euthanasia, democracy, privacy, capital punishment, affirmative action, death, and the meaning of life. The collection also contains, in preeminent translations and with explanatory notes, the complete texts of Plato's Meno, Euthyphro, Apology, and Crito as well as specially selected materials by Aristotle, Aquinas, Descartes, Hume, Kant, and Mill. Also provided are an introduction to logic and scientific method and guiding commentary by the editor.Exploring Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology is a landmark collection that enables all readers to appreciate for themselves the importance and fascination of philosophical inquiry.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 446 pages
  • 165.1 x 233.7 x 23.4mm | 653.18g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • 3 halftones, 16 line illustrations, further reading
  • 0195133528
  • 9780195133523

Table of contents

PART I Introduction: what is philosophy?, Monroe C. Beardsley and Elizabeth Lane Beardsley. HISTORICAL SOURCE: defence of Socrates, Plato. PART II Reasoning: the scope of logic, Wesley C. Salmon; improving your thinking, Stephen F. Barker; fixing belief, Morris R. Cohen and Ernest Nagel; testing hypotheses, Steven M. Cahn, Patricia Kitcher, and George Sher; science and common sense, Ernest Nagel. PART III Knowledge and Self; appearance and reality, Bertrand Russell; what can I know?, D.Z. Phillips; the problem of induction, Bertrand Russell; will the future be like the past?, Frederick L. Will; free will or determinism?, Steven M. Cahn; free will and determinism, W.T. Stace; mind and body, Richard Taylor; death, Thomas Nagel. HISTORICAL SOURCES: "Meno", Plato; meditations on first philosophy, Rene Descartes; an enquiry concerning human understanding, David Hume. PART IV God: does God exist?, Ernest Nagel; why God allows evil, Richard Swinburne; theology and falsification, Antony Flew and Basil Mitchell; do miracles occur?, Monroe C. Beardsley and Elizabeth Lane Beardsley; faith, Richard Taylor; faith and reason, Michael Scriven. HISTORICAL SOURCES: "Euthyphro", Plato; "summa theologiae", Saint Thomas Aquinas; meditations on first philosophy, Rene Descartes; an enquiry concerning human understanding, David Hume. PART V Morality: the challenge of cultural relativisim, James Rachels; how not to answer moral questions, Tom Regan; the nature of ethical disagreement, Charles L. Stevenson; a supreme moral principle?, Steven M. Cahn; abortion, Joel Feinberg; giving birth, Virginia Held; active and passive euthanasia; active and passive euthanasia - a reply, Thomas D. Sullivan; choosing death, Sidney Hook. HISTORICAL SOURCES: Nicomachean ethics, Aristotle; foundation of the metaphysics of morals, Immanuel Kant; Utilitarianism, John Stuart Mill. PART VI Society: democracy, John Dewey; political action - the problem of dirty hands, Michael Walzer; privacy, Charles Fried; the death penalty, Burton Leiser; capital punishment, Hugo Adam Bedau; two concepts of affirmative action, Steven M. Cahn; are quotas sometimes justified?, James Rachels; what is a liberal education?, Sidney Hook. HISTORICAL SOURCES: "Crito", Plato; on liberty, John Stuart Mill. PART VII Conclusion: the meaning of life, Richard Taylor; the value of philosophy, Bertrand Russell. HISTORICAL SOURCE: "Phaedo", Plato.show more

Review quote

"The contemporary essays in this anthology have been carefully chosen and the historical selections skillfully edited so that the whole volume presents genuinely deep work that is at the same time genuinely accessible. This book represents a wonderful idea, beautifully executed."--Karen Hanson, Professor of Philosophy, Indiana University"This bold yet very wise anthology splendidly proves that philosophy texts can display substance and rigor without being arcane, intimidating, or trendy. Thanks to Cahn's judicious choices, introductory students will become more engaged, professors will cover topics more efficiently, and the joys of learning will easily dominate its frustrations." --David Shatz, Professor of Philosophy, Yeshiva University"Exploring Philosophy engages readers in a dialogue between the West's ancients and its moderns on questions that remain fundamental to the human experience. Plato and Walzer, Elizabeth and Munroe Beardsley, Aquinas and Bertrand Russell, Aristotle and Sidney Hook. The discourse ranges from: 'What is philosophy?' and 'Does God exist?' to affirmative action. The balance in points of view and Cahn's introductory remarks stimulate the reader to consider these questions in fresh new ways. The striking omission is jargon. Cahn has chosen texts that communicate clearly--yes to students--but also to doctors, artists, and stockbrokers, to adults whose life experiences make them want to get back to exploring philosophy."--Claire L. Gaudiani, President, Connecticut College"An engaging introduction to philosophical inquiry for both students and general readers, Cahn's Exploring Philosophy demonstrates that philosophers can write clearly and cogently about important issues."--John O'Connor, Professor of Philosophy, William Paterson University, and former Executive Director, American Philosophical Association"Steven M. Cahn's Exploring Philosophy provides a selection of readings for introductory courses that offers unusual depth of treatment, combining contemporary and historical sources chosen and edited for accessibility." --Robert L. Simon, Professor of Philosophy, Hamilton Collegeshow more

Rating details

47 ratings
3.8 out of 5 stars
5 28% (13)
4 45% (21)
3 15% (7)
2 6% (3)
1 6% (3)
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