The Big Questions: A Short Introduction to Philosophy / Edition 9

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Solomon and Higgins's engaging text covers philosophy's central ideas in an accessible, approachable manner. You'll explore timeless "big questions" about the self, God, justice, and other meaningful topics, gaining the context you need for an understanding of the foundational issues, as well as the confidence to establish your own informed positions on these "big questions." Available with InfoTrac Student Collections

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"THE BIG QUESTIONS could serve well as the backbone for almost any introductory philosophy course you might offer. . . . The table of contents is admirably comprehensive, clear, and structured. It covers practically every topic that someone might wish to discuss in an introductory course for philosophy, and by going into a fair amount of depth it provides the reader with an overall picture of the topics canvassed."

"Reading this text is like listening to a pair of learned, witty, and altogether fascinating lecturers."

"The author's writing is superbly clear and accessible, perfectly pitched to the freshman and introductory student to capture his/her imagination and intellect."

"Teachable and topically engaging for students."

"Engaging. Very thought-worthy information is presented in this book, such as issues about feminism, metaphysics, and the self. The authors are obviously knowledgeable about a wide range of topics, philosophers, and the history of philosophy, both Eastern and Western, that makes this book a worthy read and worth keeping in one's own library of philosophy books."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781133610649
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning
  • Publication date: 2/12/2013
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 9
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 164,103
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert C. Solomon (1942-2007) was internationally renowned as a teacher and lecturer in philosophy. He was Quincy Lee Centennial Professor and Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Texas at Austin. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and over the course of his career taught at numerous institutions, including Princeton University, the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Auckland, and the University of California, in addition to the University of Texas. He authored more than 40 books, including INTRODUCING PHILOSOPHY, A SHORT HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY, THE PASSIONS, IN THE SPIRIT OF HEGEL, ABOUT LOVE, ABOVE THE BOTTOM LINE, Fourth Edition (with Clancy Martin), ETHICS AND EXCELLENCE, THE JOY OF PHILOSOPHY, and TRUE TO OUR FEELINGS, and he was co-editor of TWENTY QUESTIONS, Fifth Edition (with Lee Bowie and Meredith Michaels), and SINCE SOCRATES (with Clancy Martin).

Kathleen M. Higgins is professor at the University of Texas at Austin. She received her Ph.D. from Yale University and has taught at the University of Auckland and the University of California, Riverside, in addition to the University of Texas. She is author of several books, including NIETZSCHE'S "ZARATHUSTRA," THE MUSIC OF OUR LIVES, COMIC RELIEF: NIETZSCHE'S "GAY SCIENCE," THE MUSIC BETWEEN US: IS MUSIC THE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE? and co-wrote (with Robert C. Solomon) WHAT NIETZSCHE REALLY SAID, A SHORT HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY, and A PASSION FOR WISDOM. She has edited or co-edited numerous books, including AESTHETICS IN PERSPECTIVE and THIRTEEN QUESTIONS IN ETHICS AND SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY, Second Edition (with Lee Bowie and Meredith Michaels).

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Table of Contents

Preface. DOING PHILOSOPHY. Beyond Buzzwords, Articulation and Argument: Two Crucial Features of Philosophy, Concepts and Conceptual Frameworks, Doing Philosophy with Style, A Little Logic, Deduction, Induction, Criticizing Arguments, Closing Questions, Suggested Readings. 1. PHILOSOPHICAL QUESTIONS. What is Philosophy?, Opening Questions, Suggested Readings. 2. THE MEANING OF LIFE. Opening Questions, What Kind of Meaning?, The Meanings of Life, Closing Questions, Suggested Readings. 3. GOD. Opening Questions, Believing in God, Gods and Goddesses, The Traditional Western Conceptions of God, The Problem of Evil, Faith and Reason: Grounds for Believing , Religious Tolerance: Ritual, Tradition and Spirituality, Doubts, Closing Questions, Suggested Readings. 4. THE NATURE OF REALITY. Opening Questions, The Real World, What is Most Real?, The First Metaphysicians, Early Nonphysical Views of Reality, Plato's Forms , Aristotle's Metaphysics, Mind and Metaphysics, Idealism, Taleology, Metaphysics and the Everyday World, Closing Questions, Suggested Readings. 5. THE SEARCH FOR THE TRUTH. Opening Questions, What is True?, Two Kinds of Truth, Rationalism and Empiricism, Three Presuppositions of Knowledge, Skepticism, Knowledge, Truth, and Science, The Nature of Truth, Rationality, Subjective Truth and the Problem of Relativism, Closing Questions , Suggested Readings. 6. SELF. Opening Questions, The Essential Self, The Self and Its Emotions, The Egocentric Predicament, The Mind-Body Problem, Other Theories of the Self, Closing Questions, Suggested Readings. 7. FREEDOM. Opening Questions, Freedom and the Good Life, Free Will and Determinism, Closing Questions, Suggested Readings. 8. MORALITY AND THE GOOD LIFE. Opening Questions, Moral Philosophy, The Good Life, Egoism Versus Altruism, Morality and Theories of Morality, Duty-Defined Morality, Consequentialist Theories, Aristotle and the Ethics of Virtue, Feminist Ethics: The Ethics of Care, Morality - Relative or Absolute?, Friedrich Nietzsche and the Attack on Morality, Closing Questions, Suggested Readings. 9. JUSTICE AND THE GOOD SOCIETY. Opening Questions, Morals and Society, The Nature of Society, Who Should Rule? The Question of Legitimacy, Anarchism, the Free Market, and the Need for Government, What is Justice?, The Meaning of Equality, The Origins of Justice and Social Contract, Justice Beyond Our Borders, Rights and the Self, Justice Denied: The Problem of Race, Sexual Politics: The Rise of Feminist Philosophy, Closing Questions, Suggested Readings. 10. NON-WESTERN PHILOSOPHY. Opening Questions, Beyond the Western Tradition, The Challenges of Broadening Our Horizons, Other Cultures, Other Philosophies, Closing Questions, Suggested Readings. 11. BEAUTY. Opening Questions, Aesthetics, Beauty and Truth, Enjoying Tragedy, Arguing About Taste, Art, Ethics, and Religion, Why is Art?, The Aesthetics of Popular Culture, Closing Questions, Suggested Readings. Appendix A: Writing Philosophy. Opening Questions, The Rules of Good Writing in Philosophy, Indirect Styles, Suggested Readings. Appendix B: Deductive Logic Valued Argument Forms. Appendix C: Common Informal Falacies. Informal Fallacies . Glossary. Index.

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