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Beginning Philosophy

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ISBN-10: 0195117816

ISBN-13: 9780195117813

Edition: 1999

Authors: Richard Double

List price: $89.95
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Description:

Beginning Philosophy offers students and general readers a uniquely straightforward yet challenging introduction to fundamental philosophical problems. Readily accessible to novices yet rich enough for more experienced readers, it combines serious investigation across a wide range of subjects in analytic philosophy with a clear, user-friendly writing style. Topics include logic and reasoning, the theory of knowledge, the nature of the external world, the mind/body problem, normative ethics, metaethics, free will, the existence of God, and the problem of evil. A concluding chapter outlines the worldview developed in the text and connects that view to questions about the meaning of life. The interconnection of philosophical problems and the relationship of philosophy and science are emphasized throughout. The book includes both extensive quotes from historical figures such as Aquinas, Descartes, and Hume and references to philosophically minded nonphilosophers like Dostoevski, Stephen Jay Gould, and Carl Sagan. Beginning Philosophy is designed for use in introductory philosophy courses at a wide range of institutions. It contains numerous pedagogical materials at the end of each chapter: sections called "misconceptions" list errors that introductory readers should avoid; guide questions prompt students to explain in their own words what the text is saying; review questions help students prepare for examinations; open-ended discussion questions call for independent judgment; and annotated bibliographies provide suggestions for further reading. The volume is further enhanced by a list of famous quotations from philosophers, a glossary of philosophical terms, a glossary of names of the most famous philosophers and scientists discussed in the text, and an extensive bibliography listing every work cited.
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Book details

List price: $89.95
Copyright year: 1999
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 9/3/1998
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 368
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.25" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 1.188
Language: English

Preface
Introduction
What Is Philosophy?
How Is Philosophy Possible?
A Survey of the Topics Covered in the Text
Why Do Philosophy?
Some Methodological Tools
Definition and Meaning
Logic
Inference to the Best Explanation
Cognitive Errors
Methodological Tools at Work
Logical Definitions Chart
Theory of Knowledge
Epistemology and Epistemic Agency
The General Problem of Skepticism
Specific Skeptical Problems
Inference to the Best Explanation
A Challenge to the Theory of Knowledge
Misconceptions about the Theory of Knowledge
The Nature of the External World
Direct Realism
Scientific Realism
Phenomenalism
A Final Remark on the Debate Between the Realists and the Phenomenalists
The Mind/Body Problem
Dualistic Theories
Materialism
Artificial Intelligence as a Challenge for Materialism
Conclusion
Misconceptions about the Mind/Body Problem
Normative Ethics
Some Problematic Theories of Moral Obligation
Two Main Approaches to Moral Obligation: Consequentialism and Deontology
Mixed Theories and What They Show about Normative Ethics
Metaethics
Objectivist Theories of Moral Judgments
Subjectivism
A Final Assessment of the Dispute Between the Objectivists and Subjectivists
The Free Will Problem
Six Theories
Summary of the Six Theories
The Four Questions Considered
The Case for Subjectivism
Misconceptions about the Free Will Problem
The Existence of God
Faith-Based Arguments for the Existence of God
A Posteriori Arguments for the Existence of God
An A Priori Argument for the Existence of God: The Ontological Argument
The Case for Atheism
The Problem of Evil
The Best of All Possible Worlds
Evil as a Necessary Part of Any World
The Virtue (Soul-Making) Defense
The Free Will Defense
Animal Suffering
A Problem of Goodness?
A Total Picture
Philosophy as Worldview Construction
A Worldview
The Meaning of Life
Discussion Questions
For Further Reading
Philosophical Quotes
Glossary of Philosophical Terms
Glossary of Names
Works Cited
Index
Chapters 3-10 open with an Introduction
Chapters 1-10 include Guide Questions
Review Questions for Examinations
Discussion Questions, and For Further Reading