Elements of Philosophy: An Introduction, with Free Powerweb / Edition 4

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The new edition of this introductory text presents, in an accessible way, classical and contemporary readings on topics central to and representative of all major periods of the Western philosophical tradition. The book presents 55 readings (23 of which are new to the fourth edition) on seven topics: epistemology, philosophy of religion, metaphysics, personal identity and immortality, free will and determinism, ethics, and political and social philosophy. Pedagogical features make these readings accessible and interesting to beginning students. All the introductions and biographical sketches have been revised for the fourth edition, as have the study questions and glossary. The explanatory footnotes and the stylistic modernization of texts are new to the fourth edition.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780072504354
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies, The
  • Publication date: 7/28/2001
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 586
  • Product dimensions: 6.24 (w) x 9.14 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Meet the Author

Samuel Enoch Stumpf was Emeritus Professor of Philosophy and Emeritus Professor of Law at Vanderbilt University prior to his death in 1998, at the age of eighty. He earned a B.S. in Business and Finance from the University of California at Los Angeles, a B.D. in Theology from Andover Newton Theological School, and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Chicago. He joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 1948 and served as Chair of the Philosophy Department from 1952 to 1967. After a five-year term as President of Cornell College, Professor Stumpf returned to Vanderbilt, where he remained until his retirement in 1984. Professor Stumpf’s publications include Democratic Manifesto (1954), Morality and the Law (1966), and four McGraw-Hill textbooks: Socrates to Sartre: A History of Philosophy (1966; 6th ed., posthumous, 1999); Philosophical Readings: Selected Problems (1971; 4th ed., 1994); Philosophy: History and Problems (1971; 5th ed., 1994); and Elements of Philosophy: An Introduction (1979; 3rd ed., 1993).

DONALD C. ABEL is Professor of Philosophy at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin. He holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Gonzaga University, an M.A. in Philosophy from Tulane University, a Ph.L. in Philosophy from St. Michael’s Institute, an M.Div. in Theology from Loyola University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Northwestern University. He is the author of Freud on Instinct and Morality (1989), Theories of Human Nature: Classical and Contemporary Readings (McGraw-Hill, 1992), Fifty Readings in Philosophy (McGraw-Hill 1994; 2nd. ed., 2004), and coauthor (with Samuel Enoch Stumpf, deceased) of Elements of Philosophy: AnIntroduction, 4th ed. (McGraw-Hill, 2002). He is the editor of Discourses, an electronic database of philosophy readings that is part of Primis, McGraw-Hill’s online resource for creating customized textbooks, and the editor of the readings in PowerWeb: Philosophy and PowerWeb: Ethics, McGraw-Hill’s online supplements for introductory philosophy courses and ethics courses. Professor Abel has received two awards for excellence in teaching and an award for outstanding scholarship. He is a member of the American Philosophical Association, the American Catholic Philosophical Association, the Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy, and the Society for Philosophy and Psychology.

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Table of Contents


Introduction: What Is Philosophy?

Plato, Euthyphro (complete)

Part 1 Theory of Knowledge

1 Opinion and Knowledge

Plato, The Republic (selection)

2 Knowledge through Reason

Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy (selection)

3 Knowledge through Experience

Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (selection)

4 Experience Structured by the Mind

Kant, Critique of Pure Reason (selection)

5 Knowing and Doing

James, Pragmatism (selection)

6 Knowledge and Emotion

Jaggar, Love and Knowledge (selection)

Part 2 Philosophy of Religion

7 Proving the Existence of God

Anselm, Proslogion (selection)

Aquinas, Summa Theologiae (selection)

Paley, Natural Theology (selection)

Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker (selection)

8 Justifying Religious Belief

Pascal, Pensées (selection)

James, The Will to Believe (selection)

Freud, The Future of an Illusion (selection)

9 Confronting the Problem of Evil

Mackie, Evil and Omnipotence (complete)

Hick, Philosophy of Religion (selection)

Part 3 Metaphysics

10 Idealism and Materialism

Berkeley, Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous (selection)

Armstrong, Naturalism, Materialism and First Philosophy (selection)

11 The Mind-Body Problem

Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy (selection)

Searle, Minds, Brains and Science (selection)

12 Physics and Metaphysics

O'Hear, Introduction to the Philosophy of Science(selection)

Part 4 Personal Identity and Immortality

13 Personal Identity

Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature (selection)

Reid,Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man (selection)

Dennett, The Origin of Selves (complete)

Pali Canon (selection)

14 Immortality

Plato, Phaedo (selection)

Penelhum, Religion and Rationality (selection)

Part 5 Freedom to Choose

15 Libertarianism

James, The Dilemma of Determinism (selection)

Taylor, Metaphysics (selection)

16 Determinism

Hospers, Meaning and Free Will (selection)

Skinner, Walden Two (selection)

17 Compatibilism

Stace, Religion and the Modern Mind (selection)

Radhakrishnan, Indian Philosophy (selection)

Part 6 Ethics

18 Fulfilling Human Nature

Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics (selection)

19 Loving God

Augustine, The Morals of the Catholic Church & The City of God (selections)

20 Following Natural Law

Aquinas, Summa Theologiae (selection)

21 Doing One's Duty

Kant, Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals (selection)

22 Maximizing Utility

Mill, Utilitarianism (selection)

23 Turning Values Upside Down

Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human & Beyond Good and Evil (selections)

24 Creating Ourselves

Sartre, Existentialism Is a Humanism (selection)

25 Hearing the Feminine Voice

Gilligan, In a Different Voice (selection)

Baier, What Do Women Want in a Moral Theory? (selection)

Part 7 Political and Social Philosophy

6 The State as Natural

Plato, The Republic (selection)

Aristotle, Politics (selection)

27 The State as a Social Contract

Hobbes, Philosophical Rudiments Concerning Government and Society (selection)

Locke, The Second Treatise of Government (selection)

28 Liberty of the Individual

Mill, On Liberty (selection)

29 Alienation in Capitalism

Marx, Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 (selection)

30 Justice and Social Trust

Rawls, A Theory of Justice (selection)

Nozick, Anarchy, State, and Utopia (selection)

Held, Rights and Goods (selection)

31 Women in Society

Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (selection)

De Beauvoir, The Second Sex (selection)

Conclusion: The Value of Philosophy

Russell, The Problems of Philosophy (selection)

Midgley, Philosophical Plumbing (selection)


For Further Reading


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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2006

    How To Butcher a Masterpiece

    I have taught Philosophy for 12 years using the masterful 3rd edition of this text. My students loved Dr. Stumpf's selection of authors and works, and his conversational notations and explanations. THIS edition, however, is a disaster. How can anyone justify removing masterpieces like Tolstoy's 'My Confession' in favor of modern pseudo-psychological PC nonsense? He hasn't included anything by Kierkegaard or Bentham, he has gutted the section on Neitzsche, he has seen fit to 'modernize' the actual language of many of the authors, and he has written new and hard to follow introductions to the readings. Buy the 3rd Edition while they are still available, then treasure them like gold. Consign this vile exercise to the oblivion it rightly deserves.

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