ISBN-10:
0133976963
ISBN-13:
9780133976960
Pub. Date:
12/04/1995
Publisher:
Prentice Hall Professional Technical Reference
Fundamentals of Philosophy / Edition 4

Fundamentals of Philosophy / Edition 4

by David Stewart, H. Gene Blocker

Hardcover

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780133976960
Publisher: Prentice Hall Professional Technical Reference
Publication date: 12/04/1995
Edition description: Older Edition
Pages: 553
Product dimensions: 7.73(w) x 9.45(h) x 1.29(d)

About 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.

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.

Table of Contents

I. WHAT IS PHILOSOPHY?

1. The Activity of Philosophy.
2. Philosophy and the Examined Life. READING: Socrates, In Defense of Philosophy.
3. The Practice of Philosophy.
READING: Jay F. Rosenberg, The Character of Philosophy.

4. Philosophy and the Search for Truth.
READING: David Stewart, The Philosopher as Detective.

II. THINKING ABOUT THINKING (LOGIC).

5. The Life of Reason.
6. Argument Forms.
7. Inductive Arguments and Scientific Reasoning.
8. Strategies for Philosophical Argument.

III. WHAT IS REAL? (METAPHYSICS).

9. Introduction to Metaphysics.
READING: Plato, Phaedo.

10. Materialism.
READING: Epicurus, First Principles of Materialism.

11. Idealism.
READING: George Berkely, Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous.

12. The Mind-Body Problem.
READING: Richard Taylor, Materialism and Personal Identity.

13. Metaphysics and Language.
READING: Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations.

IV. HOW DO WE KNOW? (EPISTEMOLOGY).

14. Introduction to Epistemology.
15. Appearance and Reality.

READING: Plato, The Visible and the Invisible.

16. The Quest for Certainty.
READING: René Descartes, Mediations.

17. Trust Your Senses.
READING: David Hume, Skeptical Doubts Concerning the Operations of the Understanding.

18. A Compromise.
READING: Immanuel Kant, Two Sources of Knowledge.

19. The Challenges of Postmodernism.

V. WHAT OUGHT WE TO DO? (ETHICS).

20. Introduction to Ethical Reasoning.
21. The Need for Morality.
READING: Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan.

22. The Morality of Self-Realization.
READING: Aristotle, The Good Life.

23. Morality Depends on the Consequences.
READING: John Steward Mill, Utilitarianism.

24. Morality Depends on Motives.
READING: Immanuel Kant, Moral Duty.

VI. PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION.

25. Introduction to Philosophy and Religion.
READING: Leo Tolstoy, A Confession.

26. Arguments for God's Existence: The Ontological Arguments.
READING: St. Anselm, The Proslogion.

27. Arguments for God's Existence: The Cosmological Arguments.
READINGS: St. Thomas Aquinas, The Five Ways; William Paley, Natural Theology.

28. The Problem of Evil.
READING: C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain.

VII. PHILOSOPHY OF ART (ESTHETICS).

29. Introduction to the Philosophy of Art.
30. The Value of Art.
READING: H. Gene Blocker, The Esthetic Attitude.

31. Art as Ideal.
READING: Kenneth Clark, The Naked and the Nude.

32. Esthetics and Ideology.
READING: Jennifer M. Jeffers, The Politics of Representation.

VIII. SOCIAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.

33. Introduction to Social Philosophy.
34. The Libertarian View of the State.
READING: John Locke, The State and the State of Nature.

35. The Egalitarian View of the State.
READING: Kai Nielsen, In Defense of Egalitarianism.

36. Justice as Fairness.
READING: John Rawls, A Theory of Justice.

IX. EASTERN THOUGHT.

37. Philosophy East and West.
38. Eastern Thought: Theories of Human Nature.
READINGS: Mencius, Xun Zi, and Dong Zhongshu.

39. Eastern Thought: The Individual and the Collective.
READINGS: The Bhagavad Gita; Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching.

Glossary of Terms.
Index.

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.

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