Philosophy for Dummies

ISBN-10: 0764551531
ISBN-13: 9780764551536
Edition: 1999
Authors: Tom Morris
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Description: Written in plain English, Tom Morris's introduction to philosophy explains how the great philosophers answered the great imponderables that have puzzled mankind over the ages.

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Book details

List price: $19.99
Copyright year: 1999
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated
Publication date: 9/17/1999
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 384
Size: 7.50" wide x 9.75" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.474
Language: English

Written in plain English, Tom Morris's introduction to philosophy explains how the great philosophers answered the great imponderables that have puzzled mankind over the ages.

Introduction
About This Book
Conventions Used in This Book
What You're Not to Read
Foolish Assumptions
Icons Used in This Book
Where to Go from Here
What Is Philosophy, Anyway?
Great Thinkers, Deep Thoughts
A Few Nuts Spice the Cake
Socrates on the Examination that Counts
The Questions We'll Ask
Philosophy as an Activity
Outward Bound for the Mind
Mapping Our Way Forward
The Extreme Power of Belief
The image of Plato's Cave
The philosophical Houdini
The Love of Wisdom
The Triple-A Skill Set of Philosophy
Paralysis without analysis
The skill of assessment
The use of argument
Wisdom Rules
The Socratic Quest for Wisdom
How Do We Know Anything?
Belief, Truth, and Knowledge
Our Beliefs about Belief
The Importance of Belief
The Ideal of Knowledge
The truth about truth
The complete definition of knowledge
Truth and rationality
The Challenge of Skepticism
The Ancient Art of Doubt
Incredible Questions We Cannot Answer
The questions of source skepticism
The questions of radical skepticism
What the skeptics show us
Doubting Your Doubts
Where Do We Go from Here?
The Amazing Reality of Basic Beliefs
The Foundations of Knowledge
Empiricism and rationalism
The foundations of knowledge
Evidentialism
The Principle of Belief Conservation
Belief conservation and radical skepticism
Belief conservation and source skepticism
The basic status of belief conservation
Evidentialism refuted and revised
William James on Precursive Faith
Leaps of Faith
What Is the Good?
What Is Good?
A Basic Approach to Ethics and Morality
Defining the Good in the Context of Life
Three Views on Evaluative Language
The philosophy of noncognitivism: The boo/yay theory
Ethical subjectivism
Moral objectivism
Objectivism and the moral skeptic
Teleological Target Practice
Happiness, Excellence, and the Good Life
Memo to the Modern World
The Idea of Good: A Short Course in Options
Divine Command Theory
Social Contract Theory
Utilitarianism
Deontological Theory
Sociobiological Theory
Virtue Theory
Four Dimensions of Human Experience
The intellectual dimension
The aesthetic dimension
The moral dimension
The spiritual dimension
The Ultimate Context of Good
Ethical Rules and Moral Character
Commandments, Rules, and Loopholes
The Golden Rule and what it means
The precise role of The Golden Rule
Character, Wisdom, and Virtue
Can Goodness Be Taught?
What am I? -- A test of character
What should I do? -- A test of action
The answer to our question
Are We Ever Really Free?
Fate, Destiny, and You
The Importance of Free Will
Foreseeing the Future: The Theological Challenge to Freedom
What Will Be Will Be: The Logical Challenge to Freedom
Robots and Cosmic Puppetry: The Scientific Challenge to Freedom
Standard Views of Freedom
God, Logic, and Free Will
The Theological Challenge answered
The Logical Challenge answered
The Modern Scientific Challenge
Scientific Determinists
Libertarians
Compatibilism
Which approach is the right one?
Just Do It: Human Agency in the World
Some Wisdom about Freedom
The Big Picture
How to Be an Agent and Get More than 15 Percent
The Incredible, Invisible You
What Is a Person?
Guitars, Ghosts, and People
Glimpses of the Mind
Philosophical Views of the Person
Monism
Dualism
The Contenders
Interactionism
Epiphenomenalism
Parallelism
Narrowing the Options
The Case for Materialism
The Positive Arguments
The man-is-an-animal argument
The artificial intelligence argument
The brain chemistry argument
The Negative Arguments
The superfluity argument
The mystery objection
The problem of other minds
A Verdict on the Materialist Case
The Case for Dualism
The Natural Belief in Dualism
I'm a Soul Man
The introspection argument
The discernibility argument
The Cartesian argument
The Platonic argument
The parapsychology argument
The need for evidence
What's the Deal with Death?
From Dust to Dust: Fear and the Void
The Final Exit and the Four Fears
Fear of the process of dying
Fear of punishment
Fear of the unknown
Fear of annihilation
Philosophical Consolations on Death
Don't Worry, Be Happy
The stoic response to fear of the process
The natural process argument
The Necessity Argument
The Agnostic Argument
The Two Eternities Argument
Epicurus' argument
Materialist Conceptions of "Immortality"
Social immortality
Cultural immortality
Cosmic immortality
Scientific immortality
Is There Life After Death?
Philosophical Doubts and Denials
The psychological origin argument
The silence argument
The trumpet analogy argument
The brain damage argument
Arguments for Survival
Plato's indestructibility argument
Then nature analogy argument
The argument from desire
Moral arguments
The Light at the End of the Tunnel
Claims of former lives
Apparent contact with the dead
Near-death experiences
Is There a God?
Two World Views
The Lost Beach Ball
The Great Divide
The mainline theistic world view
The naturalistic world view
How the two world views compare
The Great Debate
Theistic Visions
The Ontological Argument
Cosmology and God
A Designer Universe?
Religious Experience
The Problem of Evil
Expectations of Theism
The Argument from Evil
The main argument against theism
The alleged incompatibility of God and evil
Moral justification for allowing evil
Moral justification and the atheist's argument
The theist's claim
The Great Theodicies
The punishment theodicy
The free will theodicy
The soul-making theodicy
A fourth combination theodicy
The Element of Mystery
The Meaning of Life
What Is the Meaning of Life?
The Questions We Can Ask
Meaning and This World
Nihilism: The ultimate negativity
The do-it-yourself-approach to the meaning of life
God and Meaning
Pascal's Wager: Betting Your Life
Blaise Pascal: Philosopher-Genius
The Wager
Criticisms of the Wager
The immorality objection
The probability assignment objection
The many claimants objection
The single case objection
Choosing a World View Right for You
Success and Happiness in Life
What is Enough? The Race for More
True Success
The Universal Conditions of Success
A clear conception of what we want, a vivid vision, a goal clearly imagined
A strong confidence that we can attain that goal
A focused concentration on what it takes to reach the goal
A stubborn consistency in pursuing our vision
An emotional commitment to the importance of what we're doing
A good character to guide us and keep us on a proper course
A capacity to enjoy the process along the way
A Concluding Note on Happiness
The Part of Tens
Ten Great Philosophers
Socrates
Plato
Aristotle
Saint Thomas Aquinas
William of Ockham
Rene Descartes
Immanuel Kant
G.W.F. Hegel
Soren Kierkegaard
Bertrand Russell
Ten Great Questions
Is Philosophy Practical?
Can We Ever Really Know Anything?
Is There Ultimately an Objectivity to Ethics?
Who Am I?
Is Happiness Really Possible in Our World?
Is There, After All, a God?
What Is the Good Life?
Why Is So Much Suffering in the World?
If a Tree Falls in the Forest
Bishop Berkeley speaks
What's Stronger in Human Life, Rationality or Irrationality?
Index
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