Questions that Matter: An Invitation to Philosophy / Edition 6

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This classic text-reader introduces readers to the fundamental, timeless, and pressing questions of philosophy. The authors make the issues accessible for students with primary source readings incorporated into clearly written text material and an extensive pedagogical program that includes running summaries, high-interest boxes, biographies, epigrams, a philosophical dictionary. The new edition has been streamlined and revised to include a new chapter on Democracy, which expands the coverage of the ever-evolving realm of social and political philosophy.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780073386560
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Higher Education
  • Publication date: 3/10/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 6
  • Pages: 576
  • Sales rank: 127,971
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Ed L. Miller holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Southern California and a Doctorate of Theology from the University of Basel, Switzerland. He has taught for the last thirty years at the University of Colorado, Boulder. In addition to being a member of the philosophy faculty, he also teaches for the Religious Studies Department and is Director of the Theology Forum. He is a member of the American Academy of Religion, the Society of Christian Philosophers, and Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas.

JON JENSEN received his PhD in Philosophy from the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he was a student of Professor Miller. While his philosophical interests vary widely, his research and publications focus on environmental philosophy. Jensen has taught at the University of Colorado, Green Mountain College, and now at Luther College, his alma mater. In addition to teaching philosophy, he is an active member of Luther’s Environmental Studies program and enjoys canoeing, bicycling, backpacking, and gardening.

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Table of Contents

1. What Is Philosophy?
The Word Itself
The Fields of Philosophy
A Rational, Critical Enterprise
A Working Definition
Philosophy, Religion, and Science
A Little Logic
What Is An Argument
Professor Miller’s Four Principles
Of Beards and Bread
Chapter 1 in Review

Readings from:

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers

Plato, Apology

Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles

Jaggar, "How Can Philosophy Be Feminist?"

Woodhouse, A Preface to Philosophy
2. The First Metaphysicians
The First Theory of Reality
Three Pre-Socratic Traditions
The Discovery of Form
Chapter 2 in Review

Readings from:

Aristotle, Metaphysics

Copleston, A History of Philosophy

Guthrie, A History of Greek Philosophy

Heidegger, An Introduction to Metaphysics
3. The Idea of Form
Plato and Socrates
The Two Worlds: Appearance and Reality
The Theory of Forms
Degrees of Reality and Knowledge
The Good, the Sun, and the Cave
Aristotle’s Criticism of Plato
Aristotle’s View of Form
After Plato and Aristotle
Chapter 3 in Review

Readings from:

Plato, Euthyphro, Timaeus, The Republic, Phaedo

Aristotle, Metaphysics, Poetics

Quine, "On What There Is"
4. Mind and Matter
Descartes: The Father of Modern Philosophy
“What Can I Know for Certain?”
The Intuition of Mind
The Deduction of God
The Deduction of Matter
Some Objections
The Mind-Body Problem
Mind: A Set of Dispositions or Functions
Chapter 4 in Review

Readings from:

Descartes, Discourse on Method, Meditations on First Philosophy

Searle, Minds, Brains and Science

Ryle, The Concept of Mind

Churchland, Matter and Consciousness
5. Idealism
What is Idealism?
Berkeley and Locke
Berkeley’s View: Esse est percipi
Five Proofs for Subjective Idealism
Hylas and Philonous
Solipsism or God?
Some Objections
Chapter 5 in Review

Readings from:

Berkeley, Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous
6. Materialism
What is Materialism?
Man a Machine
The New Materialism
Are the Mind and Body Identical?
Beyond Freedom and Dignity: Skinner
Are All Things Dertermined?
Chapter 6 in Review

Readings from:

Lucretius, The Nature of Things

Hobbes, Leviathan

Laplace, A Philosophical Essay on Probabilities

La Mettrie, Man a Machine

Hanson, "The Dematerialization of Matter"

Taylor, Metaphysics

Churchland, Matter and Consciousness

Danto, Connections to the World

Skinner, Beyond Freedom and Dignity
7. Skepticism
Varieties of Skepticism
Pyrrho: The Classic Skeptic
Is Absolute Skepticism a Coherent Position?
Rorty and Friends: Historicism and Pluralism
Chapter 7 in Review

Readings from:

Diogenes Laertius (on Pyrrho), Lives of Eminent Philosophers

St. Augustine, Against the Academicians

Richard Roty, Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature

Grenz, “Star Trek and the Next Generation”

Plantinga, "The Twin Pillars of Christian Scholarship"
8. The Way of Reason
Two Main Theories about the Basis of Knowledge
Reason as the Basis of Knowledge
The Rationalism of Plato
The Rationalism of Descartes
A Contemporary Version: Chomsky
Chapter 8 in Review:

Readings from:

Plato, Phaeodo

Descartes, Discourse on Method, Rules for the Direction of the Mind

Chomsky, Aspects of the Theory of Syntax, "Language and the Mind"
9. The Way of Experience
What is Empiricism?
Classical Empiricism: Aristotle and St. Thomas
Modern Empiricism: Locke
Radical Empiricism: Hume
Chapter 9 in Review

Readings from:

Aristotle, Posterior Analytics

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologia

Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding

Hume, A Treatsie of Human Nature, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanging
10. The Problem of Certainty
Kant and Hume
Some Important Terminology
Is There Synthetic A Priori Knowledge?
The Limits of Reason
Chapter 10 in Review

Readings from:

Kant, Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics, Critique of Pure Reason
11. God and the World
Natural Theology
The Cosmological Argument
The Teleological Argument
The Problem of Causality
Chapter 11 in Review

Readings from:

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, Summa Contra Gentiles

Jastrow, God and the Astronomers

Paley, Natural Theology; Tennant, Philosophical Theology

Black Elk Speaks

Hume, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion

Kant, Critique of Pure Reason
12. God and Reason
The Ontological Argument
Is Existence a Predicate?
The Moral Argument
Is There a Moral Law?
Is Religious Experience Evidence for God?
Chapter 12 in Review

Readings from:

St. Anselm, Proslogium

Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy

Kant, Critique of Pure Reason

Malcolm, Knowledge and Certainty

Lewis, Mere Christianity

Rashdall, The Theory of Good and Evil

Russell and Copleston, "The Existence of God"

Weil, Waiting for God

Broad, Religion, Philosophy, and Psychical research

James, The Varieties of Religious Experience

Freud, The Future of an Illusion
13. God and Evil
What Is the Problem?
Some Solutions
Evil as a Privation of Goodness
The Free-will Defense
Evil as Therapy
Evil Is Irrational
Chapter 13 in Review

Readings from:

Mill, Three Essays on Religion

Hume, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion

St. Augustine, The Enchiridion on Faith, Hope and Love, On Free Choice of the Will

Plantinga, God, Freedom, and Evil

Mackie, "Evil and Omnipotence"

Irenaeus, Against Heresies

Hick, Evil and the God of Love

Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays, The Plague
14. Challenges to Morality
The Challenge of Relativism
The Challenge of Determinism
The Challenge of Psychological Egoism
The Challenge of Existentialism
Chapter 14 in Review

Readings from:

Skinner, beyond Freedom and Dignity

Benedict, "Anthropology and the Abnormal"

James, "The Dilemma of Determinism"

Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

D'Holbach, The System of Nature

Stace, Religion and the Modern Mind

Frankena, Ethics

Hume, An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals

Hobbes, On Human Nature

Sartre, "Existentialism"

de Beauvoir, The Second Sex

Jaggar, "Feminist Ethics"

Marcel, The Philosophy of Existentialism
15. Utilitarianism
The Question of Consequences
What Is Utilitarianism?
Bentham’s Version: Quantity over Quality
Mill’s Version: Quality over Quantity
Some Objections
Chaper 15 in Review

Bentham, The Rationale of Reward, An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation

Mill, Utilitarianism

Williams, A Critique of Utilitarianism

Moore, Principia Ethica

Regan, "The Radical Egalitarian Case for Animal Rights"
16. The Role of Duty
Morality as Unconditional
The Good Will
Kant’s Categorical Imperative
The Test of Moral Actions
Some Objections
Chapter 16 in Review

Readings from:

Beck, Preface to translation of Kant, Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals

Kant, Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals

Martin Luther King, Jr., "The Ethical Demands of Integration"

Regan, The Case for Animal Rights

Taylor, Respect for Nature
17. Virtue
Character and Action
Aristotle on Happiness and Virtue
The Virtues
Is There a Natural Law?
Chapter 17 in Review

Readings from:

Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics

Hill, Ideals of Human Excellence and Preserving the Natural Environment

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae
18. Liberty
The Liberal Perspective: Locke
Liberalism and Capitalism
A Radical Response: Marx
Some Objections
Chapter 18 in Review
Readings from:

The Bill of Rights

Locke, Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Second Treatise of Government

The International Declaration of the Rights of Man

Declaration of Independence

Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations

Marx, Early Writings
19. Democracy
Government by the People
Rousseau's Social Contract
Some Objections
Plato's Philosopher Kings
Chapter 19 in Review
Readings from:

Declaration of Independence

Rousseau, The Social Contract

Hobbes, Leviathan

Hume, Of the Original Contract

de Tocqueville

Democracy in America

Plato, Republic

Aristotle, Politics
20. Justice
The Problem
Rawls: Justice as Fairness
Nozick: Justice as Entitlement
MacIntyre: Justice as Virtue
Okin: Justice, Gender, and the Family
Chapter 20 in Review
Readings from:

MacIntyre, After Virtue

Rawls, A Theory of Justice

Marty, "Rawls and the Harried Mother"

Nozick, Anarchy, State, and Utopia

Sheffler, "Natural Rights, Equality, and the Minimal State"

Feinberg, Social Philosophy

Okin, Justice, Gender, and the Family
A (Short) Philosophical Dictionary
Text Credits
Photo Credits
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