Philosophical Quest: A Cross-Cultural Reader / Edition 2

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This is a true cross-cultural anthology which presents philosophers from different cultures in dialogue with one another. The text includes selections from both traditional and contemporary Western and non-Western philosophy: African American, Latin American, and feminist philosophers as well as Asian, African, Native American, and Islamic philosophers. The reader is organized by topic, and highlights the similarities and differences between Western and Non-Western philosophers — it arranges selections so that authors speak to one another across cultures. Chapter introductions and section introductions within chapters guide students. The second edition includes new sections on non-Western epistemology, the question of life after death, Rawls and criticism, and understanding others' experience and points of view. The authors have revised the more difficult sections of chapter 1 and have included more African, African American, and female philosophers, and more variety in the sections on social philosophy.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780072840698
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies, The
  • Publication date: 5/28/2002
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 574
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Gail M. Presbey is Assistant Professor at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York. She earned her doctorate at Fordham University, concentrating in the field of social and political philosophy. She has pursued postgraduate studies and independent research at Gandhigram Rural University in Tamil Nadu, India, and at University of Nairobi, Kenya. She has authored several articles in publications such as Acorn: Journal of the Gahndhi-King Society, and the book, NONVIOLENCE: Social and Psychological Issues. She is active in Concerned Philosophers for Peace and the Radical Philosophy Association. She is a participant in the yearly Institute for Global Cultural Studies conferences.

Karsten J. Struhl teaches philosophy and political theory in adult education programs (B.A. programs) at Adelphia University the New School for Social Research, Iona College, and the College of New Rochelle. He has also taught at Long Island University, La Guardia Community College, the Queens House of Detention, Harlem Hospital, and several senior citizen centers. His articles have appeared in philosophical, psychological, educational, and political journals and anthologies. He is the coeditor of PHILOSOPHY NOW: An Introductory Reader (Random House) and ETHICS IN PERSPECTIVE (McGraw-Hill). He has recently coauthored the entry on human nature for the forthcoming edition of THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIOETHICS (Macmillan). He is a member of the

American Philosophical Association, the Radical Philosophy Association, and Educators for Social


Richard E. Olsen is Professor of Philosophy at Adelphi University and chair of that university's philosophy department. He received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Brown University. He is the author of several journal articles and a book, KARL MARX (1979). He has also participated in National Endowment for the Humanities and Mellon Foundation grant projects. Professor Olsen has been a scholar of both Western and Asian philosophy for over twenty years and lived for a time as an ordained Buddhist monk in Thailand while pursuing his studies of Buddhism in that country. He is a member of the American Philosophical Association, the Phi Beta Kappa Society and the Sigma Xi Honorary Science Fraternity.

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Table of Contents

1 The World of the Forms
The Symposium 5
The Parable of the Cave 15
Crazy Horse's Vision 18
The Value of the Surface 19
2 Idealism: Western and Asian
Subjective Idealism 28
The Upanishads: Thou Art That 41
A Commentary on the Upanishads 42
The World as Will and Idea 45
The Sutra of Hui Neng 51
3 Materialism
Neo-Confucian Materialism 59
Materialism and the Scientific World View 61
1 The Problem of Method
The Fixation of Belief 71
Against Method 77
Is Science Multicultural? 84
An Afrocentric Feminist Epistemology 95
The Limits of Science 104
2 The Limits of Reason and the Limits of Knowledge
Knowledge and Relativity 110
Averroes Search 115
Zen Knowledge 119
1 Theistic Arguments and Atheist Challenges
Proofs of God's Existence 128
Theology and Falsification 133
A Philosophy of Life 135
2 The Religious Experience
Personal Experience of God 141
No Religion 147
Transforming Reality 149
3 Religions, Society, and Politics
Critique of Religion 160
Liberation Theology 164
Engaged Buddhism 175
Islam and Revolution 183
Why Women Need the Goddess 194
1 Universal Human Nature
Is Human Nature Good or Evil? A Chinese Debate 210
Human Nature Is Good 210
Human Nature Is Evil 214
Human Nature as Competitive 217
Mutual Aid 222
War and Aggression 226
There Is No Human Nature 234
Man without Theory 241
2 Gender Nature
Women's Nature: Two Islamic Views 252
The Proper Role for Women 252
Beyond the Veil 257
The Second Sex 264
Woman as Body 268
Gender and Race 271
The Sacred Hoop 274
3 Sexual Nature
Is Homosexuality Unnatural? 282
The Social Construction of Sexuality 286
1 The Self: A Controversy in the Modern Western Tradition
Meditations 293
Personal Identity 298
2 Hinduism and Buddhism: A Similar Controversy
Samkhya Dualism 302
The Upanishads, The True Self 303
Questions of King Milinda, No Self 304
The Middle Way 307
Ego-less Consciousness: A Zen View 310
3 A Defense of Human and Buddha Based on Modern Psychology
Divided Minds and the "Bundle" Theory of Self 317
4 The Self as Activity
Dynamic Unity of the Self 323
5 The Self Beyond Death
The Tibetan Book of the Dead, Death and Rebirth 335
Africa and Reincarnation: A Reappraisal 338
The Phaedo 345
On the Soul 352
Ancient Indian Materialism 353
Persons, Death, and the Body 356
1 Destiny and Freedom
Karma and Freedom 364
Destiny and Free Will: An African View 365
2 Radical Freedom
Notes from the Underground 375
Freedom and Action 382
3 Can We Reconcile Freedom and Determinism?
Freedom and Responsibility 388
Free Will and Psychoanalysis 394
Firming Up Soft Determinism 402
Freedom of the Will 411
1 The Ethics of Duty and Its Critics
Right-Action 419
Moral Duty 427
Utilitarianism 432
Feminist Transformation of Moral Theory 437
2 Universal Concern for Others: Altruism versus Egoism
Universal Love 444
The Virtue of Selfishness 448
Buddhist Ethics 453
On the Obligation to Stay Informed About Distant Atrocities 456
3 Subjectivism and the Problem of Relativism
Values Are Subjective 467
A Functional View of Value Ultimates 470
Relativism 477
1 Happiness and the Good Life
The Rational Life 489
Islam Is the Road to Happiness 498
Living the Rule of St. Benedict Today 501
The Four Noble Truths 508
Navajo Ways of Knowing 517
The Myth of Sisyphus 522
2 Taoist and Confucian Views
Living in the Tao 526
Lost in the Tao 530
Whichever the Way 536
The Spheres of Living 539
3 Facing Death
Thought of the Sages 542
Social Conceptions of Death 545
Facing Death 549
1 Perspectives, Difference, and Moral Respect
White Privilege and Male Privilege 558
Moral Defence 565
Chicana Identity 576
Philosophy and Disability 580
2 Social Equality
Defense of Varna (Caste) 591
A Theory of Justice 595
Critique of Rawls 603
3 Social Change: Violence or Nonviolence?
The Communist Manifesto 614
Non-Violent Resistance 621
Non-Violence and Social Change 628
By Any Means Necessary 630
Ethics and Community 633
Permissions Acknowledgments 637
Index of Authors and Titles 645
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