Reason and Culture:an Introduction to Philosophy

Reason and Culture:an Introduction to Philosophy : Philosophical Issues in Morality, Science, and Religion

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For introductory courses to Philosophy. This text offers a fresh approach to introductory courses by focusing on three human practices: morality, science and religion. Each practice is discussed from three perspectives. The first group of selections looks at the nature of the practice itself, and the relationship with the problems of human meaning and purpose in life. Culture selections investigate the larger social, economic, and political implications of the practice-What is the role of morality in popular culture? In markets? In education? What are the practical and cultural implications of science and technology on our understanding of moral responsibility? On our relationship with other creatures and the natural environment? On human reproduction? Is religion socially useful or harmful? What is its proper role in education? Should it be kept out of politics? Reason selections weigh the truth and objectivity of claims within morality, science and religion-In what sense might they be true or objective? Does truth matter? Are there limits on what each is able to understand about the universe that another can complete?Should we participate in the practice even if its core claims are not true or able to be shown so?
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Product details

  • Paperback | 680 pages
  • 190.5 x 228.6 x 40.64mm | 1,133.98g
  • Prentice-Hall
  • Harlow, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0130285668
  • 9780130285669

Back cover copy

Everyone's life is fashioned in large measure from the three practices of morality, science, and religion. This fresh approach to philosophy focuses on these practices, each studied from the dual perspectives of reason and culture. Discussion and analysis of morality, science, and religion are infused with philosophical arguments and concepts. The book discusses each practice from three points of view: the nature of the practice (including its connections with larger issues of the purpose and meaning of human life), its ielttion to culture, and the role reason plays in the practice.

Reason and Culture, First Edition, shows how traditional philosophical problems emerge naturally, out of our relationships with morality, science, and religion. Students will see that the philosophical issues raised in these readings are intrinsic elements in their daily lives.

Key features of the book include:

links traditional philosophical issues to the practices of morality, science, and religion uses an interdisciplinary perspective to demonstrate philosophy's breadth; uses the critical, rational edge of philosophical writing as a tool to understand interactions among cultural practices emphasizes the impact of science on culture integrates the readings into a coherent whole allows instructors great flexibility, enabling them to tailor the readings to their own needs within a clear, thematic course shows how philosophical reflection is a natural part of human experience; encourages students to think critically about their own lives
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Review quote

"A rare achievement: an original, highly teachable, structured guide to philosophy) focusing on its connection to morality science and religion. Carefully chosen readings take the introductory student on three well planned tours."- James Montmarquet, Philosophy Department, Tennessee State University
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Table of contents

I. MORALITY, SCIENCE, AND RELIGION. 1. Introduction. Why Three Practices? Man against Darkness: The Challenge of Science to Religion and Morality, W.T. Stace. II. THE PRACTICE OF MORALITY. 2. What Is Morality? An Anthropologist's View: Morality as Culturally Approved Habits, Ruth Benedict. A Religious View: The Reality of the Law of Nature, C.S. Lewis. A Pragmatic View: Morality as Rational Advantage, Thomas Hobbes. 3. Why Care about Morality? Egoism and Self-Interest, James Rachels. Morality, Resentment, and Impartiality, Thomas Nagel. III. MORAL PRACTICE AND CULTURE. 4. Values in Popular Culture. Beauty and Evil: The Case of Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will, Mary Devereaux. Ethics and Death in Westerns: John Ford's The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence, Peter A. French. Obscenity, Paris Adult Theatre v. Slaton. 5. Censorship and the Limits of Liberty. Fighting the Culture War: The Responsibility of Artists, Henry J. Hyde. On Liberty, John Stuart Mill. 6. Values in the Curriculum. The Storm over the University, John Searle. Politics and the College Curriculum, Laura M. Purdy. 7. Morality in Markets. The Inherent Morality of Capitalism, Michael Novack. A Libertarian Defense of the Market, Robert Nozick. Markets and Desert, Michael Walzer.Markets in Women's Reproductive Labor, Debra Satz. IV. MORAL PRACTICE AND REASON. 8. Feelings and Reason in Morality. The Conscience of Huckleberry Finn, Jonathan Bennett. Feelings as the Basis of Morality, David Hume. Morality and Practical Reason, Thomas Nagel. 9. Classical Theories of Morality. Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle. Utilitarianism, John Stuart Mill. The Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals, Immanuel Kant. 10. Critical Perspectives on Morality. Feminist Transformations of Moral Theory, Virginia Held. Happiness, Robert Nozick. Master and Slave Morality, Friedrich Nietzsche. The Arc of the Moral Universe, Jonathan Cohen. V. THE PRACTICE OF SCIENCE. 11. What Is Science? Science as Conjectures and Refutations, Karl Popper. Science as Public Knowledge, John Ziman. Science as Problem Solving, Larry Laudan. 12. Alienation and the Scientific World View. Modern Science and the Loss of Purpose, Kurt Baier. At Home in the Universe, Stuart Kauffman. VI. SCIENCE AND CULTURE. 13. The Scientific Outlook and Its Critics. How to Defend Society against Science, Paul Feyerabend. The Anti-Science Phenomenon, Gerald Holton. The Monster and the Titan, Theodore Roszak. 14. Technology and Transformation of Culture. The Presumptions of Science, Robert L. Sinsheimer. Can Science Go Too Far?: The Debate about Cloning Humans. The Caseagainst Cloning: Leon Kass. In Defense of Cloning: Gregory Pence. Persons and Relationships in the Information Age, Kenneth Gergen. 15. Evolution and Ecology: Expanding the Scope of Morality. Darwinian Ethics, Michael Ruse. Morality in the Great Apes, Frans de Waal. The Land Ethic, Aldo Leopold. 16. The Science of Behavior: Determinism and Moral Responsibility. Freedom and the Science of Behaviour, B.F. Skinner. Punishment, Not Therapy, Herbert Morris. Deliberation and Freedom, Richard Taylor. VII. SCIENTIFIC PRACTICE AND REASON. 17. Objectivity and Values in Science. Objectivity and Its Critics, Israel Scheffler. Gender and Science, Evelyn Fox Keller. Scientific and Other Values, Patrick Grim. 18. Truth and Progress in Science. Normal and Revolutionary Science, Thomas Kuhn. Progress in Science: A Dialogue, Larry Laudan. Realism and Scientific Progress, Philip Kitcher. 19. How Much Can Science Explain? The Explanation of the Universe, Kurt Baier. The Explanation of the Mind, Paul Churchland. Minds, Brains and Science, John Searle. VIII. THE PRACTICE OF RELIGION. 20. Three Conceptions of Religion. Theism. William James. The Man of the Law, Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik. The Buddhist Way of Compassion. Ashok K. Malhorta. Many Faiths, One Reality, John Hick. Religion as a Cultural System, Clifford Geertz. 21. Religion and the Meaning of Life. Religion as the Source of Meaning, Leo Tolstoy. The Meaning of Life, Richard Taylor. The Absurd, Thomas Nagel. IX. RELIGIOUS PRACTICE AND CULTURE. 22. Social Critiques of Religious Practice. A Feminist Interpretation of Christianity, Patricia Altenbernd Johnson.The Evils of Christianity, Bertrand Russell. The Future of an Illusion, Sigmund Freud. 23. Religion and Education. Should Creationism Be Taught in the Public Schools?, Robert T. Pennock. Secular Humanism as Official Religion?, Smith vs. Board of Education of Mobile, Alabama. Who Controls a Child's Education?, Wisconsin v. Yoder. 24. Religion and Politics. A Letter Concerning Religious Tolerations, John Locke. Justice and Religious Freedom, John Rawls. Religion and the Liberal State: A Communitarian Critique, Michael J. Sandel. X. RELIGIOUS PRACTICE AND REASON. 25. Evidence for the Existence of God. The Design Argument: Pro and Con, William Paley and David Hume. The Cosmological Argument: Pro and Con, Samuel Clark and David Hume. The Ontological Argument: Pro and Con, St. Anslem and Immanuel Kant. 26. Evidence There Is No God. Evil and Suffering Prove Atheism Is True, B.C. Johnson. The Problem of Evil and Suffering: A Response, John Hick. 27. Faith and Reason. The Ethics of Belief, W.K. Clifford. The Will to Believe, William James. What Is Faith?: The Parable of the Gardener, Anthony Flew, et al. 28. Rethinking Religious Practice. Religious Belief and Practice, Dewi Z. Phillips. Religion without God, Stephen M. Cahn. Religious Practice and Make-Believe, Robin Le Poidevin. Gods, John Wisdom.
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