Beginning Philosophy

Paperback | August 1, 1998

byRichard Double

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Beginning Philosophy offers students and general readers a uniquely straightforward yet challenging introduction to fundamental philosophical problems. Readily accessible to novices yet rich enough for more experienced readers, it combines serious investigation across a wide range of subjectsin analytic philosophy with a clear, user-friendly writing style. Topics include logic and reasoning, the theory of knowledge, the nature of the external world, the mind/body problem, normative ethics, metaethics, free will, the existence of God, and the problem of evil. A concluding chapteroutlines the worldview developed in the text and connects that view to questions about the meaning of life. The interconnection of philosophical problems and the relationship of philosophy and science are emphasized throughout. The book includes both extensive quotes from historical figures such asAquinas, Descartes, and Hume and references to philosophically minded nonphilosophers like Dostoevski, Stephen Jay Gould, and Carl Sagan. Beginning Philosophy is designed for use in introductory philosophy courses at a wide range of institutions. It contains numerous pedagogical materials at the end of each chapter: sections called "misconceptions" list errors that introductory readers should avoid; guide questions prompt studentsto explain in their own words what the text is saying; review questions help students prepare for examinations; open-ended discussion questions call for independent judgment; and annotated bibliographies provide suggestions for further reading. The volume is further enhanced by a list of famousquotations from philosophers, a glossary of philosophical terms, a glossary of names of the most famous philosophers and scientists discussed in the text, and an extensive bibliography listing every work cited.

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Beginning Philosophy offers students and general readers a uniquely straightforward yet challenging introduction to fundamental philosophical problems. Readily accessible to novices yet rich enough for more experienced readers, it combines serious investigation across a wide range of subjectsin analytic philosophy with a clear, user-fr...

Richard Double is at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 6.5 × 9.09 × 0.91 inPublished:August 1, 1998Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195117816

ISBN - 13:9780195117813

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Table of Contents

Preface1. IntroductionWhat Is Philosophy?How Is Philosophy Possible?A Survey of the Topics Covered in the TextWhy Do Philosophy?2. Some Methodological ToolsDefinition and MeaningLogicInference to the Best ExplanationCognitive ErrorsMethodological Tools at WorkLogical Definitions Chart3. Theory of KnowledgeEpistemology and Epistemic AgencyThe General Problem of SkepticismSpecific Skeptical ProblemsInference to the Best ExplanationA Challenge to the Theory of KnowledgeMisconceptions about the Theory of Knowledge4. The Nature of the External WorldDirect RealismScientific RealismPhenomenalismA Final Remark on the Debate Between the Realists and the Phenomenalists5. The Mind/Body ProblemDualistic TheoriesMaterialismArtificial Intelligence as a Challenge for MaterialismConclusionMisconceptions about the Mind/Body Problem6. Normative EthicsSome Problematic Theories of Moral ObligationTwo Main Approaches to Moral Obligation: Consequentialism and DeontologyMixed Theories and What They Show about Normative Ethics7. MetaethicsObjectivist Theories of Moral JudgmentsSubjectivismA Final Assessment of the Dispute Between the Objectivists and Subjectivists8. The Free Will ProblemSix TheoriesSummary of the Six TheoriesThe Four Questions ConsideredThe Case for SubjectivismMisconceptions about the Free Will Problem9. The Existence of GodFaith-Based Arguments for the Existence of GodA Posteriori Arguments for the Existence of GodAn A Priori Argument for the Existence of God: The Ontological ArgumentThe Case for Atheism10.The Problem of EvilThe Best of All Possible WorldsEvil as a Necessary Part of Any WorldThe Virtue (Soul-Making) DefenseThe Free Will DefenseAnimal SufferingA Problem of Goodness?11. A Total PicturePhilosophy as Worldview ConstructionA WorldviewThe Meaning of LifeDiscussion QuestionsFor Further ReadingPhilosophical QuotesGlossary of Philosophical TermsGlossary of NamesWorks CitedIndexChapters 3-10 open with an IntroductionChapters 1-10 include Guide Questions, Review Questions for Examinations, Discussion Questions, and For Further Reading

Editorial Reviews

"An excellent text for students unfamiliar with the problems and terms of the field."--Joan Anderson, Orange Coast College, CA