Problems from Philosophy / Edition 3by James Rachels, Stuart Rachels
Pub. Date: 01/28/2011
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Higher Education
Problems from Philosophy is an introduction to philosophy which is organized around the great philosophical problemsthe existence of God, the nature of the mind, human freedom, the limits of knowledge, and the truth about ethics. It begins by reflecting on the life of the first great philosopher, Socrates. Then it takes up the fundamental question of whether
Problems from Philosophy is an introduction to philosophy which is organized around the great philosophical problemsthe existence of God, the nature of the mind, human freedom, the limits of knowledge, and the truth about ethics. It begins by reflecting on the life of the first great philosopher, Socrates. Then it takes up the fundamental question of whether God exists. Next comes a discussion of death and the soul, which leads to a chapter about persons. The later chapters of the book are about whether objective knowledge is possible in science and ethics. Each chapter is self-contained and may be read independently of the others.
Problems from Philosophy represents the final work of author and philosopher James Rachels. In it, he brings the same liveliness and clarity to the introduction of philosophy that he brings to his best-selling ethics text, The Elements of Moral Philosophy. The second and third edition have been revised by Rachels' son Stuart, who carefully has carefully refined his father's work to further strengthen its clarity and accessibility.
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Table of Contents
PrefaceChapter 1: The Legacy of Socrates1.1. Why Was Socrates Condemned?1.2. Why Did Socrates Believe He Had to Die?Chapter 2: God and the Origin of the Universe2.1. Is It Reasonable to Believe in God?2.2. The Argument from Design2.3. Evolution and Intelligent Design2.4. The First Cause Argument2.5. The Idea that God Is a Necessary BeingChapter 3: The Problem of Evil3.1. Why Do Good People Suffer?3.2. God and Evil3.3. Free Will and Moral CharacterChapter 4: Do We Survive Death?4.1. The Idea of an Immortal Soul4.2. Is There Any Credible Evidence of an Afterlife?4.3. Hume's Argument Against MiraclesChapter 5: The Problem of Personal Identity5.1. The Problem5.2. Personhood at a Moment5.3. Personhood over Time5.4. Bodily Continuity5.5. MemoryChapter 6: Body and Mind6.1. Descartes and Elizabeth6.2. Materialist Theories of the Mind6.3. Doubts About Materialist TheoriesChapter 7: Could a Machine Think?7.1. Brains and Computers7.2. An Argument that Machines Could Think7.3. The Turing Test7.4. Why the Turing Test FailsChapter 8: The Case Against Free Will8.1. Are People Responsible for What They Do?8.2. Determinism8.3. Psychology8.4. Genes and BehaviorChapter 9: The Debate Over Free Will9.1. The Determinist Argument9.2. The Libertarian Response9.3. The Compatibilist Response9.4. Ethics and Free WillChapter 10: Our Knowledge of the World Around Us10.1. Vats and Demons10.2. Idealism10.3. What Evidence for These Views Might Be Like10.4. Descartes' Theological Response10.5. Direct vs. Indirect Realism10.6. Vision and the Brain10.7. The Natural TheoryChapter 11: Ethics and Objectivity11.1. Thrasymachus's Challenge11.2. Is Ethics Just Social Conventions?11.3. Ethics and Science11.4. The Importance of Human InterestsChapter 12: Why Should We Be Moral?12.1. The Ring of Gyges12.2. Ethics and Religion12.3. The Social Contract12.4. Morality and BenevolenceChapter 13: The Meaning of Life13.1. The Problem of the Point of View13.2. Happiness13.3. Death13.4. Religion and the Indifferent Universe13.5. The Meaning of Particular LivesAppendix: How to Evaluate ArgumentsNotes on SourcesIndex
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