A Preface to Philosophy

A Preface to Philosophy

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This book should be of interest to introductory philosophy courses.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 160 pages
  • 149.86 x 226.06 x 12.7mm | 204.12g
  • Cengage Learning, Inc
  • Wadsworth Publishing Co Inc
  • Belmont, CA, United States
  • Revised
  • 4th Revised edition
  • 0534120121
  • 9780534120122

Table of contents

Recognizing philosophical subject matter. Philosophical problems involve fundamental ideas. Philosophical problems involve questions of meaning, truth, and logical relations. Philosophical problems are not straightforwardly empirical. Two case studies. Will we ever settle anything? Postscript: Divisions of philosophy. Why philosophize? How philosophers see their goals. The relevance of philosophy. The lure of philosophical issues. Postscript: Are gurus philosophers? Doing philosophy: Getting started. Preparing to philosophize. What kind of claim is advanced? What is the meaning of key terms? Doing philosophy: Further considerations. Do the arguments support the thesis? Are the premises true? Are the assumptions correct? Are the logical consequences plausible? How adequate is the theory? An example of philosophical analysis: Near-death experience. An example of philosophical analysis: Equality of opportunity. Common fallacies in argument. Question-beginning argument. False alternative. False disjunct. Ad hominem fallacy. Genetic fallacy. Red herring fallacy. Straw man. Slippery slope. Appeal to tradition. Appeal to novelty. Appeal to a saying. Bandwagon. Composition. Division. Half truth. Weasel words. Leading question. Irrelevant reasons. A final checklist. Philosophical progress: Clearing up some misconceptions. Philosophy is not merely an exercise in semantics. The choice between competing theories is not arbitrary. Philosophers do agree. Philosophical theories are not merely rationalizations of personal belief. Why be rational? Postscript: The cultural matrix of reason. Reading philosophy. Kinds of philosophical writings. Preparing to read philosophy. Reading for understanding. Reading critically. Writing philosophy. The nature of a critical philosophy essay. Organizing your essay. Achieving clarity. A sample essay. Postscript: A note on research methods. Answers to exercise. Appendix. Brief synopses of philosophers' thoughts. Glossary. Index.show more

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