Fundamentals of Philosophy / Edition 5

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Overview

This reader offers a broad scope and diversity of classic and contemporary selections -- and a narrative and format that presents difficult issues and readings in a simplified but not condescending manner. Covers the full range of philosophical questions. Organizes readings and narrative into topical sections, each of which addresses a particular facet of philosophical thought -- logic, metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, philosophy of religion, esthetics, and social/political philosophy. Represents a wide range of philosophical styles and temperaments -- from Kant, Berkeley, Hume, and Descartes to Tolstoy, Sartre and Susan Sontag.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780130308962
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Publication date: 8/31/2000
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 512
  • Product dimensions: 7.01 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

J. David Stewart, retired Professor of Philosophy and Provost at Ohio University. Author/co-author of Exploring Phenomenology, Political and Social Essays of Paul Ricoeur, Exploring the Philosophy of Religion.

H. Gene Blocker, retired Professor of Philosophy at Ohio University, specializing in philosophy of art, ethics, and non-Western thought. Author/co-author of Philosophy of Art, Japanese Philosophy, Ethics, and others.

James M. Petrik, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Ohio University. Author of Descartes’ Theory of the Will and Evil Beyond Belief.

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Read an Excerpt

PREFACE:

Preface

From our years of experience in teaching the introductory philosophy course, we have concluded that such a course should do two things: (1) introduce students to the major themes and thinkers in the philosophic tradition and (2) show how the issues they encounter in the great thinkers apply to concerns they encounter in their life experiences. A beginning philosophy course can attempt to do too much and, as a consequence, accomplish too little. However, we think that an introductory philosophy course should contribute to students' general education by helping them develop a conceptual framework and vocabulary for discussing important intellectual and social issues.

Philosophy has something to say when people become upset over a controversial art exhibit or groups complain about art works that critics say degrade a religious or ethnic group. It also has something to say when people are misled by specious arguments and faulty reasoning. It can assist us in understanding that claims to absolute knowledge are not to be taken at face value, and it can guide us through the perplexing issues raised in public policy debates, such as the ongoing tugs of war about the protection of minority groups or life styles. Students probably first begin to think philosophically about matters of ethics and religion, though they may not be fully aware that they are doing philosophy when they encounter such problems in their own thinking. And with the increased awareness of other countries and cultures, students today need to have an understanding of non-Western thought systems.

At the same time, we do not intend this book to be just aboutphilosophy, that is, a second-hand recounting of philosophical positions. We believe that students need to encounter the great thinkers directly. Therefore we offer here the best features of the reader and the expository text. The readings themselves have been selected to represent a wide range of philosophical styles and temperaments—from Kant, Berkeley, Hume, and Descartes to Tolstoy, Mencius, Wittgenstein, and Kenneth Clark. The readings are no mere snippets but are solid chunks of material that form relatively self-contained units, ranging from five to ten pages in length.

The book is divided into forty chapters (arranged under nine topics), and within each part users may select some readings and omit others without loss of pedagogical effectiveness. Since the book contains more material than can be covered in a single academic term, instructors may pick and choose those chapters that best suit their own philosophical dispositions. The book offers a wide array of selections from classic as well as contemporary philosophers so that students can understand philosophy as a living discipline that draws from its past in order to deal with current issues.

The fifth edition has allowed us to make several changes in response to readers' suggestions. The first part dealing with the nature of philosophy has been completely rewritten. Several readings were removed and a new chapter dealing with philosophy's history added, since users felt that students needed an introduction to the history of ideas. New in the section on logic is a selection on critical thinking, and the philosophy of religion section now includes the "Vale of Soul-Making" theodicy by the noted philosopher of religion, John Hick. The more "existential" selection from Tolstoy has been set off in its own separate chapter rather than being included as an introduction to the entire section. The discussion of issues in esthetics now connects modernism with the issues raised by postmodernism (featured in the section on epistemology). Finally, the section on social and political philosophy has been recast by adding one old classic (Mill, On Liberty) and two new readings dealing with the relationship between the individual and the state and the rising political reality of minorities within a state who call for independent nation status or demand special treatment just because of their minority status.

It is regrettable that any revision cannot incorporate all the good suggestions made by reviewers, but we hope that enough of them have been made to increase the usefulness of this text. In its production we wish to thank Ross Miller, philosophy editor at Prentice Hall, and assistant editor Katie Janssen, who was a constant source of help and encouragement. We would also like to acknowledge the work of David Bruce and thank him for his proofreading and indexing skills.

D.S.
H.G.B.

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Table of Contents

1 The Activity of Philosophy 2
2 Philosophy and the Examined Life 13
3 The Practice of Philosophy 23
4 Philosophy and the Search for Truth 33
5 The Life of Reason 46
6 Argument Forms 53
7 Inductive Arguments and Scientific Reasoning 68
8 Strategies for Philosophical Argument 80
9 Introduction to Metaphysics 100
10 Materialism 125
11 Idealism 147
12 The Mind-Body Problem 164
13 Metaphysics and Language 177
14 Introduction to Epistemology 186
15 Appearance and Reality 193
16 The Quest for Certainty 208
17 Trust Your Senses 224
18 A Compromise 234
19 The Challenges of Postmodernism 247
20 Introduction to Ethical Reasoning 260
21 The Need for Morality 267
22 The Morality of Self-Realization 288
23 Morality Depends on the Consequences 304
24 Morality Depends on Motives 318
25 Introduction to Philosophy and Religion 330
26 Arguments for God's Existence: The Ontological Argument 346
27 Arguments for God's Existence: The Cosmological Arguments 359
28 The Problem of Evil 384
29 Introduction to the Philosophy of Art 398
30 The Value of Art 409
31 Art as Ideal 420
32 Esthetics and Ideology 433
33 Introduction to Social Philosophy 446
34 The Libertarian View of the State 455
35 The Egalitarian View of the State 469
36 Justice as Fairness 485
37 Philosophy East and West 500
38 Eastern Thought: Theories of Human Nature 506
39 Eastern Thought: The Individual and the Collective 524
Glossary of Terms 544
Index 555
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Preface

PREFACE:

Preface

From our years of experience in teaching the introductory philosophy course, we have concluded that such a course should do two things: (1) introduce students to the major themes and thinkers in the philosophic tradition and (2) show how the issues they encounter in the great thinkers apply to concerns they encounter in their life experiences. A beginning philosophy course can attempt to do too much and, as a consequence, accomplish too little. However, we think that an introductory philosophy course should contribute to students' general education by helping them develop a conceptual framework and vocabulary for discussing important intellectual and social issues.

Philosophy has something to say when people become upset over a controversial art exhibit or groups complain about art works that critics say degrade a religious or ethnic group. It also has something to say when people are misled by specious arguments and faulty reasoning. It can assist us in understanding that claims to absolute knowledge are not to be taken at face value, and it can guide us through the perplexing issues raised in public policy debates, such as the ongoing tugs of war about the protection of minority groups or life styles. Students probably first begin to think philosophically about matters of ethics and religion, though they may not be fully aware that they are doing philosophy when they encounter such problems in their own thinking. And with the increased awareness of other countries and cultures, students today need to have an understanding of non-Western thought systems.

At the same time, we do not intend this book to be justaboutphilosophy, that is, a second-hand recounting of philosophical positions. We believe that students need to encounter the great thinkers directly. Therefore we offer here the best features of the reader and the expository text. The readings themselves have been selected to represent a wide range of philosophical styles and temperaments—from Kant, Berkeley, Hume, and Descartes to Tolstoy, Mencius, Wittgenstein, and Kenneth Clark. The readings are no mere snippets but are solid chunks of material that form relatively self-contained units, ranging from five to ten pages in length.

The book is divided into forty chapters (arranged under nine topics), and within each part users may select some readings and omit others without loss of pedagogical effectiveness. Since the book contains more material than can be covered in a single academic term, instructors may pick and choose those chapters that best suit their own philosophical dispositions. The book offers a wide array of selections from classic as well as contemporary philosophers so that students can understand philosophy as a living discipline that draws from its past in order to deal with current issues.

The fifth edition has allowed us to make several changes in response to readers' suggestions. The first part dealing with the nature of philosophy has been completely rewritten. Several readings were removed and a new chapter dealing with philosophy's history added, since users felt that students needed an introduction to the history of ideas. New in the section on logic is a selection on critical thinking, and the philosophy of religion section now includes the "Vale of Soul-Making" theodicy by the noted philosopher of religion, John Hick. The more "existential" selection from Tolstoy has been set off in its own separate chapter rather than being included as an introduction to the entire section. The discussion of issues in esthetics now connects modernism with the issues raised by postmodernism (featured in the section on epistemology). Finally, the section on social and political philosophy has been recast by adding one old classic (Mill, On Liberty) and two new readings dealing with the relationship between the individual and the state and the rising political reality of minorities within a state who call for independent nation status or demand special treatment just because of their minority status.

It is regrettable that any revision cannot incorporate all the good suggestions made by reviewers, but we hope that enough of them have been made to increase the usefulness of this text. In its production we wish to thank Ross Miller, philosophy editor at Prentice Hall, and assistant editor Katie Janssen, who was a constant source of help and encouragement. We would also like to acknowledge the work of David Bruce and thank him for his proofreading and indexing skills.

D.S.
H.G.B.

Read More Show Less

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