ISBN-10:
0262529270
ISBN-13:
9780262529273
Pub. Date:
10/21/2016
Publisher:
MIT Press
What Is the Argument?: An Introduction to Philosophical Argument and Analysis

What Is the Argument?: An Introduction to Philosophical Argument and Analysis

by Maralee Harrell

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Overview

What Is the Argument?: An Introduction to Philosophical Argument and Analysis

Exploring philosophy through detailed argument analyses of texts by philosophers from Plato to Strawson using a novel and transparent method of analysis.

The best way to introduce students to philosophy and philosophical discourse is to have them read and wrestle with original sources. This textbook explores philosophy through detailed argument analyses of texts by philosophers from Plato to Strawson. It presents a novel and transparent method of analysis that will teach students not only how to understand and evaluate philosophers' arguments but also how to construct such arguments themselves. Students will learn to read a text and discover what the philosopher thinks, why the philosopher thinks it, and whether the supporting argument is good.

Students learn argument analysis through argument diagrams, with color-coding of the argument's various elements—conclusion, claims, and “indicator phrases.” (An online “mini-course” in argument diagramming and argument diagramming software are both freely available online.) Each chapter ends with exercises and reading questions.

After a general introduction to philosophy and logic and an explanation of argument analysis, the book presents selections from primary sources, arranged by topics that correspond to contemporary debates, with detailed analysis and evaluation. These topics include philosophy of religion, epistemology, theory of mind, free will and determinism, and ethics; authors include Aristotle, Aquinas, Descartes, Hume, Kant, Ryle, Fodor, Dennett, Searle, and others. What Is the Argument? not only introduces students to great philosophical thinkers, it also teaches them the essential skill of critical thinking.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262529273
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 10/21/2016
Series: The MIT Press
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 685,424
Product dimensions: 8.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.81(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author


Maralee Harrell is Teaching Professor of Philosophy at Carnegie Mellon University.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

I Doing Philosophy 1

1 Introduction 3

1.1 What Is Philosophy? 3

1.2 How Do We Do Philosophy? 6

1.3 Purpose and Structure of This Book 11

1.4 In-Class Exercise 12

1.5 Reading Questions 13

2 Types of Arguments 15

2.1 Vocabulary 16

2.2 Necessary versus Sufficient Conditions 22

2.3 Deductive versus Nondeductive Arguments 24

2.4 Forms of Valid and Invalid Deductive Arguments 24

2.5 A Priori versus A Posteriori Deductive Arguments 27

2.6 Types of Nondeductive Arguments: Induction, Argument by Analogy, and Abduction 28

2.7 Answers to Self-Assessment Exercises 29

2.8 In-Class Exercises 30

3 Argument Analysis and Diagramming 33

3.1 Visual Representations of Reasoning 34

3.2 Understanding and Representing Argument Structure 39

3.3 Interpreting Arguments to Create Diagrams 51

3.4 Diagramming Objections and Replies 59

3.5 Summary 65

3.6 Answers to Self-Assessment Exercises 66

3.7 In-Class Exercises 72

II Philosophy of Religion 85

Introduction 87

4 Deductive Arguments for the Existence of God 93

4.1 Proslogion St. Anselm 93

4.2 Summit Theologica St. Thomas Aquinas 101

4.3 In-Class Exercises 113

5 Deductive Arguments against the Existence of God 119

5.1 "Three Reasons for Nonbelief" Michael Martin 119

5.2 "Evil and Omnipotence" John Mackie 126

5.3 In-Class Exercises 132

5.3 Reading Questions 136

6 Nondeductive Arguments for the Existence of God 137

6.1 Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion David Hume 137

6.2 Natural Theology William Paley 144

6.3 In-Class Exercises 156

6.4 Reading Questions 161

III Epistemology 163

Introduction 165

7 The Definition of Knowledge 171

7.1 Plato, Theactetus 171

7.2 "Is justified True Belief Knowledge?" Edmund L. Gettier 175

7.3 In-Class Exercises 180

7.4 Reading Questions 184

8 Justification and Certainty 187

8.1 Meditations on First Philosophy René Descartes 187

8.2 An Essay Concerning Human Understanding John Locke 206

5.1 An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding David Hume 212

8.1 In-Class Exercises 221

8.2 Reading Questions 227

9 The Problem of Induction 229

9.1 Experience and Prediction Hans Reichenbach 229

9.2 "Science: Conjectures and Refutations" Karl Popper 234

9.3 Fact, Fiction, and Forecast Nelson Goodman 241

9.4 In-Class Exercises 247

9.5 Reading Questions 252

IV Theory of Mind 253

Introduction 255

10 Dualism 259

10.1 Meditations on First Philosophy René Descartes 259

10.2 "Descartes' Myth" Gilbert Ryle 267

10.3 In-Class Exercises 273

10.4 Reading Questions 275

11 Materialism 277

11.1 "Sensations and Brain Processes" J. J. C. Smart 277

11.2 "The Mind-Body Problem" Jerry Fodor 281

11.3 In-Class Exercises 283

11.4 Reading Questions 288

12 Antimaterialism 289

12.1 "What Is It Like to Be a Bat?" Thomas Nagel 289

12.2 "Epiphenomenal Qualia" Frank Jackson 293

12.3 "Knowing Qualia: A Reply to Jackson" Paul Churchland 296

12.4 In-Class Exercises 300

12.5 Reading Questions 305

13 Consciousness 307

13.1 "Can Computers Think?" John Searle 307

13.2 "Consciousness Imagined" Dan Dennett 311

13.3 In-Class Exercises 314

13.4 Reading Questions 316

V Free Will and Determinism 317

Introduction 319

14 Hard Determinism 323

14.1 "Of the System of Man's Tree Agency" Baron d'Holbach 323

14.2 "The impossibility of Moral Responsibility" Galen Strawson 328

14.3 In-Class Exercises 333

14.4 Reading Questions 336

15 Compatibilism 337

15.1 "Of Liberty and Necessity" David Plume 337

15.2 "The Problem of Free Will" W. T. Stace 341

15.3 In-Class Exercises 346

15.4 Reading Questions 348

16 Libertarianism 349

16.1 "Human Freedom and the Self" Roderick M. Chisholm 349

16.2 "The Powers of Rational Beings: Freedom of the Will" Peter van Inwagen 354

16.3 In-Class Exercises 360

16.4 Reading Questions 363

VI Ethics 365

Introduction 367

17 Meta-ethics: Divine Command Theory 373

17.1 Euthyphro Plato 373

17.2 "Does Morality Depend on Religion?" James Rachels 379

17.3 In-Class Exercises 385

17.4 Reading Questions 388

18 Meta-ethics: Relativism 389

18.1 "Anthropology and the Abnormal" Ruth Benedict 389

18.2 "The Challenge of Cultural Relativism" James Rachels 393

18.3 In-Class Exercises 397

18.4 Reading Questions 399

19 Normative Ethics: Virtue Ethics, Egoism, and Contractarianism 401

19.1 Nicomachmn Ethics Aristotle 401

19.2 "Egoism and Moral Skepticism" James Rachels 405

19.3 Leviathan Thomas Hobbes 412

19.4 In-Class Exercises 418

19.5 Reading Questions 428

20 Normative Ethics: Utilitarianism and Deontological Ethics 429

20.1 An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation Jeremy Bentham 429

20.2 Utilitarianism John Stuart Mill 435

20.3 Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals Immanuel Kant 440

20.4 In-Class Exercises 445

20.5 Reading Questions 448

Notes 451

Index 457

What People are Saying About This

Kaija Mortensen

Finally!An Intro to Philosophy textbook that teaches students to read!While most introductory textbooks include only cursory instruction in logic, and most critical thinking texts are not designed for philosophy students, this book contains the best of both worlds—serious consideration of canonical primary texts and sustained instruction and practice in rigorous argument analysis.

Brendan Lalor

At long last, in Mara Harrell's What Is the Argument? we have an introductory philosophy text that makes systematic use of argument-diagramming techniques proven to enhance students' philosophical and critical thinking skills. It is the delightfully clear, engaging, and competence-building introduction to core arguments in philosophy that I've been waiting for.

From the Publisher

Harrell's book nicely combines the craft of argument construction and analysis with essential primary source material—both indispensable to any Intro to Philosophy course.Her first-person writing style presents an easy read and it is evident that her years of classroom teaching experience shaped and molded an interesting, thorough curriculum that she unselfishly shares with us in this book.Harrell's book is an excellent resource that conveniently gathers all the information students need in one smart package. It could be used at both the university and college preparatory levels.

Joyce Lazier, Philosophy Instructor, The Canterbury School

Finally!An Intro to Philosophy textbook that teaches students to read!While most introductory textbooks include only cursory instruction in logic, and most critical thinking texts are not designed for philosophy students, this book contains the best of both worlds—serious consideration of canonical primary texts and sustained instruction and practice in rigorous argument analysis.

Kaija Mortensen, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Randolph College

At long last, in Mara Harrell's What Is the Argument? we have an introductory philosophy text that makes systematic use of argument-diagramming techniques proven to enhance students' philosophical and critical thinking skills. It is the delightfully clear, engaging, and competence-building introduction to core arguments in philosophy that I've been waiting for.

Brendan Lalor, Philosophy Coordinator and Associate Professor, Castleton University

Endorsement

At long last, in Mara Harrell's What Is the Argument? we have an introductory philosophy text that makes systematic use of argument-diagramming techniques proven to enhance students' philosophical and critical thinking skills. It is the delightfully clear, engaging, and competence-building introduction to core arguments in philosophy that I've been waiting for.

Brendan Lalor, Philosophy Coordinator and Associate Professor, Castleton University

Joyce Lazier

Harrell's book nicely combines the craft of argument construction and analysis with essential primary source material—both indispensable to any Intro to Philosophy course.Her first-person writing style presents an easy read and it is evident that her years of classroom teaching experience shaped and molded an interesting, thorough curriculum that she unselfishly shares with us in this book.Harrell's book is an excellent resource that conveniently gathers all the information students need in one smart package. It could be used at both the university and college preparatory levels.

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