What is philosophy? Who pursues it, and why? Aren't people who study it sort of weird? How is philosophy connected to wonder? How is it connected to being critical? What good does it do? How is it like / unlike psychology or history? What kinds of questions do philosophers pose? Do they ever answer them?
These are the kinds of questions perplexed students often ask when first encountering philosophy as an academic discipline, and these are the kinds of questions this text takes seriously and attempts to answer. Designed to be a first encounter with philosophy, this text includes:
Dialogues that provoke and engage students in philosophical thinking. Discussions that clarify and explain issues and introduce the "discipline" of philosophy. Inquiries pursued with seriousness and a sense of humor. Brief introductions to a variety of thinkers from Socrates and Diogenes the Cynic to Iris Murdoch and Suzi Gablik. Philosophical theorizing about human freedom, the nature of the self, the ends and means of education, the way language shapes thinking, why we often think in cliches and stereotypes, etc. Questions at the end of each chapter designed to encourage students in critical reflection and writing. "show more