Philosophy: The Pursuit of Wisdom / Edition 5

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Can philosophy be fun? With PHILOSOPHY: THE PURSUIT OF WISDOM it most certainly is. Because of its lively writing style and clear presentation, this introduction to philosophy textbook is both interesting and informative. You'll discover all the major philosophical theories, as well as tackle hot topics like the existence of God, the free will/determinism debate, and the meaning of life.

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Editorial Reviews

This book opens with immediate interest: on the inside front cover and first flyleaf is an alphabetical listing of almost 90 philosophers in alphabetical order with their dates, and then a list of the same philosophers in chronological order. The book is divided into an introduction about logic and the origins of philosophy in Greece, and subsequent sections on the philosophy of religion, the theory of mind, the philosophy of mind, free will and determinism, ethics, and lastly, existentialism and the meaning of life. Third edition changes include 11 revised chapters, a new section on fallacies, developed material on the pre-Socratics, added material on the empiricist/rationalist debate, and a newly available instructor's manual. An appendix gives concise instructions on how to write a philosophy paper, and a glossary is also featured. Pojman received his Ph.D. from Oxford and has been using his textbook to teach at the US Military Academy at West Point, New York. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780495007128
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning
  • Publication date: 10/25/2005
  • Edition description: 5TH
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 408
  • Sales rank: 672,101
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Louis P. Pojman (1935-2005) was Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus, at the United States Military Academy and a Life Member of Clare Hall, Cambridge University. He received an M.A. and Ph.D. from Union Theological Seminary/Columbia University. He was a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Copenhagen and a Rockefeller Fellow at Hamburg University. He received his D.Phil. in Philosophy from Oxford University in 1997.His first position was at the University of Notre Dame, after which he taught at the University of Texas at Dallas. Later, at the University of Mississippi, he served for three years as Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion. In 1995, he became Professor of Philosophy at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He most recently was Visiting Professor at Brigham Young University in Utah and Visiting Fellow at Clare Hall, Oxford University. Pojman won several research and teaching awards, including the Burlington Northern Award for Outstanding Teaching and Scholarship (1988) and the Outstanding Scholar/Teacher in the Humanities at the University of Mississippi (1994). He wrote in the areas of philosophy of religion, epistemology, ethics, and political philosophy and authored or edited more than 30 books and 100 articles. Pojman passed away in 2005.

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Table of Contents

Contents. Preface. A Personal Word to the Student. Part I: INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY. 1. What Is Philosophy? 2. A Little Bit of Logic. Deductive and Inductive Reasoning. Abductive Reasoning. Some Applications. Fallacies of Reasoning. Box: Necessary and Sufficient Conditions. 3. The Beginning of Philosophy: The Ancient Greeks. The Milesians. Pythagoras. The Eleatics. Heracleitus. The Pluralists: Empedocles and the Atomists. Anaxagoras of Klazomenae. 4. The Rise of the Sophists and Socrates. The Rise of the Sophists. Socrates:The Father of Ethicsā€”Knowledge Is Virtue. Box: Plato. Part II: PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION. 5. The Value of Religion: An Introduction. Terminology. 6. The Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God: A First Cause. Traditional Arguments for the Existence of God. The Cosmological Argument. The Argument from Contingency. 7. The Teleological Argument for the Existence of God. Paley's Argument. Hume's Critique. The Darwinian Objection. 8. The Ontological Argument for the Existence of God. 9. The Argument from Religious Experience. Encounters with God. An Analysis of Religious Experience. A Critique of the Strong-Justification Thesis. 10. The Problem of Evil. The Mystery of Evil. The Argument from Evil. The Free-Will Defense. The Theodicy Defense. Evolution and Evil. 11. Faith and Reason. Pragmatic Justification of Religious Belief. Fideism: Faith Without/Against Reason. Reformed Epistemology: Alvin Plantinga. Part III: THE THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE. 12. What Can We Know? An Introduction. Knowledge and Its Types. What Is Truth? Knowledge and Belief. Types of Knowledge. 13. Skepticism. The Challenge of Skepticism. 14. Perception: Can We Have Knowledge of the External World? Part IV: PHILOSOPHY OF MIND. 15. The Mind-Body Problem. Dualistic Interactionism. A Critique of Dualistic Interactionism. Dualism Revived. Box: The Mind-Body Problem. 16. Materialist Monism. 17. Functionalism and Biological Naturalism. Box: Intentionality. 18. Who Am I? The Problem of Personal Identity. What Is It to Be a Person? What Is Identity? What Is Personal Identity? 19. Is There Life After Death? Personal Identity and Immortality. Box: Reincarnation. Part V: FREEDOM OF THE WILL AND DETERMINISM. 20. Determinism. Universal Causality. Teleological Determinism. 21. Libertarianism. The Argument from Deliberation. The Argument from Moral Responsibility. 22. Compatibilism: How to Have Your Cake and Eat It Too. A Reconciling Project. A Critique of Compatibilism: A "Quagmire of Evasion"? The Argument Against Compatibilism from Moral Responsibility. The Compatibilist Response. Part VI: ETHICS. 23. What Is Ethics? Why Do We Need Morality? The Purposes of Morality. 24. Ethical Relativism Versus Ethical Objectivism. An Analysis of Ethical Relativism. Subjective Ethical Relativism (Subjectivism). Conventional Ethical Relativism (Conventionalism). The Case for Ethical Objectivism. 25. Egoism, Self-Love, and Altruism. Arguments for Ethical Egoism. Arguments Against Ethical Egoism. Evolution and Altruism. 26. Utilitarianism and the Structure of Ethics. What Is Utilitarianism? The Strengths and Weaknesses of Utilitarianism. Utilitarian Reponses to the Standard Objections. 27. Kantian Deontological Ethics. Immanuel Kant's Rationalist Deontological System. The Goodwill. Duty and the Moral Law. Kant's Second Formulation of the Categorical Imperative. The Principle of Autonomy. 28. Virtue Ethics. 29. Religion and Ethics. Does Morality Depend on Religion? Is Religion Irrelevant or Even Inimical to Morality? Does Religion Enhance the Moral Life? Part VII: EXISTENTIALISM AND THE MEANING OF LIFE. 30. Existentialism and the Meaning of Life. 31. The Meaning of Life and the Fear of Death. Appendix: How to Read and Write a Philosophy Paper. Glossary. Credits. Index.

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