Thinking Critically about Philosophical Problems

ISBN-10: 0534574203

ISBN-13: 9780534574208

Edition: 2002

Authors: Thomas F. Wall
List price: $161.95
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Description: Cited by one reviewer as "a work of stunning originality," this new text presents philosophy both as a collection of fundamental problems and as a method to solve problems, the method of critical thinking. Students become active participants in doing philosophy, in using the method of philosophy as philosophers do when they are thinking well. The various parts of the text are organized to reflect a recurring pattern of critical thinking, and exercises are provided throughout the text to sharpen these thinking skills in the context of solving philosophical problems. In addition to addressing individual philosophical problems, this text also encourages students to integrate their solutions into a coherent worldview.

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Book details

List price: $161.95
Copyright year: 2002
Publisher: Wadsworth
Publication date: 6/14/2001
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 496
Size: 7.25" wide x 8.75" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 2.090
Language: English

Preface
A Note to Instructors
Acknowledgments
Introduction: What Is Philosophy?
The Nature of Philosophy
The Subject Matter of Philosophy
The Divisions of Philosophy
Historical Periods of Philosophy
The Method of Philosophy
The Elements of Critical Thinking
The Value of Philosophy
The Structure of This Text
Units
Worldviews
The tcapp Website
Notes
What Is an Argument?
Arguments
The Need For Arguments in Philosophy
Arguments in General
Inductive and Deductive Arguments
Analyzing Deductive Arguments
Types of Inductive Arguments
Rules for Evaluating Inductive Arguments
Judging the Adequacy of Theories
Universality
Consistency
Simplicity
Creative Thinking
Summary
Critical Thinking
Types of Arguments
Notes
Is It Reasonable to Believe That God Exists?
Introduction: Philosophy and Religion
Basic Beliefs
The Concept of God
Examining Implications
Two Concepts of God
The Functional Concept of God
God and Worldviews
The Problem
Possible Solutions
Facts and Assumptions
Facts
Judging the Reliability of Facts
The Insufficiency of Facts in Philosophy
Assumptions
Points of View
Arguments
Strong Theism
The Cosmological Argument
Science and The Origin of the Universe
The Design Argument
Religious Experience
Miracles
Strong Atheism
Science and Religion
The Problem of Evil
Agnosticism and Fideism
William James on Agnosticism and Fideism
Religion as Myth
Literal and Metaphorical Meanings
The Mythical Origins of Religion
Religion and Personal Growth
The Common Story of Various Religions
Evaluation
Strong Theism and Strong Atheism
Agnosticism
Fideism
Religion as Myth
Notes
What Can I Know?
Introduction: Reliable Knowledge
Basic Beliefs
The Definition of 'Knowledge'
Knowing How and Knowing That
Propositional Knowledge
Knowledge Requires Belief
Knowledge Requires Truth
Knowledge Requires Justification
Knowledge and Worldviews
The Problem
The Origin, Extent, and Justification of Knowledge
Possible Solutions
Empiricism and Rationalism
The Philosophy of Kant
Pragmatism
The Scientific Method
Naive Realism
Facts and Assumptions
Facts
Hallucinations and Illusions
Scientific Facts About Sensation and Perception
Perception Requires Sensation and Concepts
Perception Requires Belief
Perception as Representation
Assumptions
The Egocentric Predicament
Biases and Points of View
Arguments
Descartes and Rationalism
The Method of Mathematics: The Search for Axioms
The Method of Doubt: Dreams and the Evil Genius
I Think, Therefore I Am
The Existence of the World
Descartes's Epistemology
The Justification of Knowledge
The Origin of Knowledge
The Extent of Knowledge
Locke and Empiricism
The Origin of Knowledge
The Justification of Knowledge
The Extent of Knowledge
Berkeley and Idealism
The Extent of Knowledge
Hume and Skepticism
The Origins of Knowledge
The Justification of Knowledge
The Extent of Knowledge
The Things We Cannot Know
The Things We Can Know
Kant's Revolution
Kant and Hume
Synthetic A Priori Statements
The "Copernican Revolution"
Innate Mechanisms of the Mind
The Universal and Necessary Conditions of Experience
Noumena and Phenomena
The Transcendental Deduction
Kant's Epistemology
Evaluation
Descartes
The British Empiricists
Kant
Pragmatism
Scientific Realism
Final Suggestions
Notes
What Is Real?
Introduction: The Nature of Metaphysics
Basic Beliefs
Our Commonsense Concept of Reality
The Concept of Space
The Concept of Time
Reality and Worldviews
The Problem
Possible Solutions
Facts and Assumptions
Facts
Assumptions
Biases
Arguments
Commonsense Realism
The "Phone Call" Argument
The Linguistic Arguments
Scientific Realism
Various Types of Sciences
Reductionism in Science
Reality as an Ideal
Conceptual Frameworks
The Critique of Commonsense Realism
Rejection of the "Epistemological Dependency" Argument
The Commonsense World as Appearances
Sciences as a Superior Way of Knowing
The Limits of Commonsense Realism
The Scientific Method
Knowledge of Theoretical Entities
The Limits of Scientific Knowledge
Scientific Realism as Superior to Commonsense Realism
Constructivism
Constructivism and Pragmatism
Constructivism and Relativism
Constructivism and Kant
Meaning, Not Existence, Is Constructed
Reality Is Not Different for Each of Us: Reality as a Social Construct
Some Languages Are More Adequate Than Others
The Argument for Constructivism
Evaluation
Areas of Agreement
Areas of Difference
Commonsense Realism
Scientific Realism
Constructivism
Social Entities and Natural Entities
Final Recommendations
Constructivism
Commonsense Realism
Scientific Realism
Metaphysics
Notes
What Kind of a Being Am I?
Introduction: Philosophy and Psychology
Basic Beliefs
The Definition of 'Mind'
Minds and Worldviews
The Problem
Possible Solutions
Your Solutions
Creative Thinking
Dualism
Descartes's Dualism
Materialism
Functionalism
Facts and Assumptions
Facts Supporting Dualism
Mental Events Appear to Be Different from Physical Events
Incorrigibility
Privacy
Consciousness
Other Facts That Support Dualism
Facts Supporting Materialism
Maps of the Brain
Assumptions
Idealism
The New Mysterians
Buddhism and the Denial of the Self
Western Philosophy and the Denial of the Self
Points of View
Arguments
Substance Dualism
The Good-Reasons Argument for Substance Dualism
Objections to Substance Dualism
Brain Functionalism
The Mind as a Processor of Information
The Mind Is Modular
The Argument for Brain Functionalism
Brain Functionalism Avoids the Problems of Other Views
Brain Functionalism Is Supported by Science
Brain Functionalism Explains the Facts of Our Mental Lives
Brain Functionalism Explains Substance Dualism Facts
Consciousness
Property Dualism
Epiphenomenalism
Interactionist Property Dualism
Evaluation
Substance Dualism Offers No Explanations of the Mind
Criteria for Theory Acceptance
An Adequate Theory Is Universal
An Adequate Theory Is Consistent
An Adequate Theory Is Simple
Materialism and Rule 1
Property Dualism
Final Remarks: Metaphysical and Epistemological Property Dualism
Notes
What Is Right and What Is Good?
Introduction: Right and Wrong, Good and Evil
Basic Beliefs
Value Theory
Moral and Nonmoral Values
Monistic and Pluralistic Theories of Value
Theories of Obligation
Moral Rules
Moral Principles
A Few More Concepts
Ethics and Worldviews
The Problem
Possible Solutions
Consequentialism
Ethical Egoism
Utilitarianism
Deontology
The Ethics of Kant
Kant's Theory of Obligation
The Categorical Imperative: Rules Must Be Universal
The Second Formulation: Respect for Persons
The Third Formulation: Respect for Autonomy
Virtue Ethics
Virtues and Obligations
Aristotle: The Good Life
The Golden Mean
Other Ethical Theories
Do No Harm
The Ethics of Care
The Ethics of Rights
Facts and Assumptions
Facts
Assumptions
Ethical Relativism
Freedom and Responsibility
Arguments
Criteria for an Adequate Ethical Theory
Ethical Egoism
Psychological Egoism
The Role of Selfishness in Ethics
Utilitarianism
Act Utilitarianism
Rule Utilitarianism
The Ethics of Kant
Virtue Ethics
Evaluation
Theory of Obligation
The Nature of Right Action
Moral Reasoning
"Good-Reasons" Arguments
Theory of Value
Moral Values
Values and Obligations
Final Remarks
Case Studies
Cloning Human Beings
Physician-Assisted Suicide
Distributing Scarce Resources
Notes
What Is the Best Type of Society?
Introduction: The Individual and the State
Basic Beliefs
The Best Type of Society Must Be Just
The Best Type of Society Has Limits to Its Legitimate Powers
Society and Worldviews
The Problem
Possible Solutions
Plato
The Natural Law
Social Contract Theories
Social Utilitarianism
Marxism
Contemporary Views
Libertarianism
Socialism
Liberalism
Facts and Assumptions
Facts
Types of Political Societies
Core Documents
Assumptions
Human Nature
Moral Relativism
Points of View
The Feminist Critique
Arguments
Libertarianism
Liberty as the Highest Value
Unregulated Capitalism Preserves Liberty
Justice and Negative Rights
The "Rights" Argument
The Economic Argument
The "Bodyguard" Argument
The Best Type of Society
Socialism
Equality, Need, and Positive Rights
Types of Socialism
The Evils of Capitalism
The Ethical Argument
The Best Type of Society
Liberalism
Liberty and Equality
Positive and Negative Rights
Rawls: Justice as Fairness
The Best Type of Society
Evaluation
Libertarianism
Socialism
Liberalism
The Communitarian Critique of Liberalism
Final Recommendations
Notes
How Is a Worldview Constructed?
Introduction: Worldviews
Three Worldviews
The Nature of Worldviews
Theism
Basic Beliefs Compatible with the Theistic Worldview
Secondary Beliefs Compatible with the Theistic Worldview
Naturalism
Humanism
Evaluating Worldviews
Criteria for Evaluating Worldviews
Worldviews Must Be Universal, Consistent, and Simple
Worldviews Must Be Psychologically Acceptable
Evaluating Theism, Naturalism, and Humanism
Internal Consistency and Simplicity
Universality
External Consistency
The Meaning of Life
Concluding Remarks
Glossary of Important Philosophical Terms
Index
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