Philosophy : The Big Questions

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"Philosophy: The Big Questions" occupies a unique position among introductory texts in philosophy. Designed for a single-semester introductory course in philosophy, it includes both classic readings in philosophy and newer articles. It presents, in one volume, canonical and contemporary works in ethics, metaphysics, philosophy of religion, and epistemology. Topics discussed in this title include knowledge, religion, freedom, morality, and the meaning of life. It serves as a comprehensive and compelling introduction to philosophy. Together with traditional readings, it also presents non-traditional, feminist readings from a continental perspectives.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 548 pages
  • 187 x 264 x 36mm | 1,148g
  • Blackwell Publishing Ltd
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1405108282
  • 9781405108287

Back cover copy

Philosophy: The Big Questionsoccupies a unique position among introductory texts in philosophy. Designed for a single-semester introductory course in philosophy, it includes both classic readings in philosophy and newer articles. The text is organized around central problems in philosophy and the diverse approaches that philosophers have taken toward those problems.

Readers of this innovative and accessible volume will encounter canonical works in the history of philosophy, and at the same time see the relevance of philosophy to topics they have encountered in their everyday lives.
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Table of contents

Preface.Acknowledgments.Part I: What Can We Know?.Introduction.1. Rene Descartes, From Meditations On First Philosophy.2. David Hume, From An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding.3. Jonathan Vogel, "Cartesian Skepticism And Inference To The Best Explanation".4. Helen Longino, From Science As Social Knowledge.5. Charles W. Mills, "Alternative Epistemologies".6. Genevieve Lloyd, From The Man Of Reason.7. W. K. Clifford, "The Ethics Of Belief".8. Peter Van Inwagen, "It Is Wrong, Everywhere, Always, And For Anyone, To Believe Anything Upon Insufficient Evidence".Part II: What Can We Know About The Nature And Existence Of God?.Introduction.9. St. Anselm, From Proslogium.10. Gaunilon, "Reply To Anselm".11. William L. Rowe, "The Ontological Argument".12. William L. Rowe, "The Cosmological Argument".13. David Hume, From Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion.14. R. G. Swinburne, "The Argument From Design".15. Blaise Pascal, "The Wager".16. Stephen P. Stich, "The Recombinant DNA Debate: A Difficulty For Pascalian-Style Wagering".17. George Schlesinger, "A Central Theistic Argument".18. J. L. Mackie, "Evil And Omnipotence".19. Eleonore Stump, "The Problem Of Evil".20. Deborah Mathieu, "Male-Chauvinist Religion".21. William R. Jones, From "Is God A White Racist?".Part III: Are We Ever Free?.Introduction.22. Paul Holbach, From The System Of Nature.23. A. J. Ayer, "Freedom And Necessity".24. Roderick M. Chisolm, "Human Freedom And The Self".25. Harry G. Frankfurt, "Freedom Of The Will And The Concept Of A Person".26. James P. Sterba And Janet Kourany, "How To Complete The Compatibilist Account Of Free Action".27. Derk Pereboom, "Living Without Free Will: The Case For Hard Incompatibilism".28. Richard Double, "Metaethics, Metaphilosophy, And Free Will Subjectivism".Part IV: Does Our Existence Have A Meaning Or Purpose?.Introduction.29. Leo Tolstoy, From My Confession.30. William Lane Craig, "The Absurdity Of Life Without God".31. Arthur Schopenhauer, "On The Vanity Of Existence".32. Albert Camus, From The Myth Of Sisyphus.33. Jean-Paul Sartre, "Existentialism Is A Humanism".34. Thomas Nagel, "The Absurd".35. Owen Flanagan, "What Makes Life Worth Living?".36. John Kekes, "The Meaning Of Life".37. Antony Flew, "Tolstoi And The Meaning Of Life".Part V: How Should We Live?.Introduction.38. Plato, "Morality As Good In Itself".39. James P. Sterba, "Morality And Rationality".40. John Stuart Mill, From Utilitarianism.41. Immanuel Kant, "Fundamental Principles Of The Metaphysic Of Morals".42. John Locke, "Of The State Of Nature".43. John Rawls, From A Theory Of Justice.44. Robert Nozick, From Anarchy, State, And Utopia.45. Ruth Sample, "Why Feminist Contractarianism?".46. Susan Moller Okin, "Gender Inequality And Cultural Difference".47. Jane Flax, "Race/Gender, And The Ethics Of Difference".48. Susan Moller Okin, "A Response To Jane Flax".49. Bernard Boxill, "Equality, Discrimination, And Preferential Treatment".50. Peter Singer, "All Animals Are Equal".51. Paul W. Taylor, "The Ethics Of Respect For Nature".52. James P. Sterba, "Morality As A Compromise Between Anthropocentrism And Non-Anthropocentrism".Index
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Review quote

"This is an extraordinary rich and refreshing collection of essays that brings together some of the most illuminating and provocative essays to be found in philosophy. This volume reveals the majesty of philosophy while, at the same time, showcasing the diversity and creativity that has made philosophy so appealing to the very best minds. I expect this reader to become a classic text." Laurence Thomas, Syracuse University "This marvelous collection of readings from the Western tradition draws judiciously both from classic texts and contemporary authors. Reminding us of the basic importance for all human life of the central questions of philosophy, it orms an excellent introduction to the subject." Roger Trigg, University of Warwick
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About Ruth J. Sample

Ruth J. Sample is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of New Hampshire. She teaches social and political philosophy, early modern philosophy, and feminist philosophy, and is the author of Exploitation: What It Is and Why It's Wrong (2003). Charles W. Mills is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He works in the area of oppositional political theory and is the author of three books: The Racial Contract (1997), Blackness Visible: Essays on Philosophy and Race (1998), and From Class to Race: Essays in White Marxism and Black Radicalism (2003). James P. Sterba is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, where he teaches ethics and political philosophy. His publications include How to Make People Just (1988), Feminist Philosophies (2nd edn., 1995), Justice for Here and Now (1998), Earth Ethics (2nd edn., 2000), Three Challenges to Ethics (2001),and Morality in Practice (7th edn., 2003).
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