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.
Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION: WHAT IS PHILOSOPHY? The Nature of Philosophy. The Subject Matter of Philosophy. The Method of Philosophy. Exercise A: The Pattern of Critical Thinking. The Value of Philosophy. The Structure of this Text. The TCAPP Web Site. Worldviews. Notes for the Introduction. PART ONE: WHAT IS AN ARGUMENT? Arguments. The Need for Arguments in Philosophy. Arguments in General. Inductive and Deductive Arguments. Types of Inductive Arguments. Rules for Analyzing Inductive Arguments. Judging the Adequacy of Theories. Creative Thinking. Summary. Notes for Part One. PART TWO: IS IT REASONABLE TO BELIEVE THAT GOD EXISTS? Introduction: Philosophy and Religion. Chapter One: Basic Beliefs. Exercise 2.1: Your Personal Concept of God. The Concept of God. Exercise 2.2: Clarify the Concept of God. Chapter Two: The Problem. Possible Solutions. Exercise 2.3: Your Own Possible Solutions. Chapter Three: Arguments. Strong Theism. Strong Atheism. Agnosticism and Fideism. Religion as Myth. Chapter Four: Evaluation. Exercise 2.6: Evaluate Possible Solutions. Notes for Part Two. PART THREE: WHAT CAN I KNOW? Introduction: Reliable Knowledge. Chapter One: Basic Beliefs. Exercise 3.1: Your Epistemological Beliefs. The Definition of 'Knowledge.' Chapter Two: The Problem. Possible Solutions. Exercise 3.2: Your Solution. Chapter Three: Facts and Assumptions. Chapter Four: Arguments. Descartes and Rationalism. Exercise 3.3: What Do I Know for Sure? Locke and Empiricism. Exercise 3.4: Complex and Abstract Ideas. Berkeley and Idealism. Hume and Skepticism. Kant's Revolution. Exercise 3.5: The Universal Features of Experience. Chapter Five: Evaluation. Exercise 3.6: Your Own Epistemology. Notes for Part Three. PART FOUR: WHAT IS REAL? Introduction: The Nature of Metaphysics. Chapter One: Basic Beliefs. Exercise 4.1: The Reality Game. Our Common Sense Concept of Reality. Chapter Two: The Problem. Possible Solutions. Chapter Three: Facts and Assumptions. Exercise 4.2: The Common Sense World as Appearances. Chapter Four: Arguments. Common Sense Realism. Exercise 4.3: Evaluating Austin's Argument. Exercise 4.4: Evaluating Wittgenstein's Argument. Scientific Realism. Constructivism. Chapter Five: Evaluation. Notes for Part Four. PART FIVE: WHAT KIND OF BEING AM I? Introduction: Philosophy and Psychology. Chapter One: Basic Beliefs. Exercise 5.1: Define 'Mind.' Chapter Two: The Problem. Possible Solutions. Exercise 5.2: The Body Switch. Chapter Three: Facts and Assumptions. Exercise 5.3: Facts that Support Substance Dualism. Exercise 5.4: Cognitive Science Research. Chapter Four: Arguments. Substance Dualism. Exercise 5.5: Analyze Descartes' Argument. Brain Functionalism. The Argument for Brain Functionalism. Consciousness. Property Dualism. Chapter Five: Evaluation. Exercise 5.6: Your Evaluation. Notes for Part Five. PART SIX: WHAT IS RIGHT AND WHAT IS GOOD? Introduction: Right and Wrong, Good and Evil. Chapter One: Basic Beliefs. Value Theory. Exercise 6.1: Your Values. Theories of Obligation. Chapter Two: The Problem. Exercise 6.2: Deciding what is right. Possible Solutions. Consequentialism. Ethic Egoism. Utilitarianism. Deontology. Virtue Ethics. Other Ethical Theories. Chapter Three: Facts and Assumptions. Ethical Relativism. Exercise 6.3: Ethical Relativism. Freedom and Responsibility. Chapter Four: Arguments. Ethical Egoism. Exercise 6.4: Are There Any Unselfish Actions? Utilitarianism. Exercise 6.5: Exceptions to Rules. The Ethics of Kant. Virtue Ethics. Chapter Five: Evaluation. Theory of Obligation. Theory of Value. Case Studies. Notes for Part Six. PART SEVEN: WHAT IS THE BEST TYPE OF SOCIETY? Introduction: The Individual and the State. Chapter One: Basic Beliefs. Exercise 7.1: Using Reversal. Chapter Two: The Problem. Possible Solutions. Plato. The Natural Law. Social Contract Theories. Social Utilitarianism. Marxism. Contemporary Views. Exercise 7.2: Planet Zonar. Chapter Three: Facts and Assumptions. Chapter Four: Arguments. Libertarianism. Exercise 7.3: Nozick's Basketball Star. Socialism. Liberalism. Exercise 7.4: Redistribution on Planet Zonar. Chapter Five: Evaluation. Exercise 7.5: Design Your Own Exercise. Notes for Part Seven. PART EIGHT: HOW IS A WORLDVIEW CONSTRUCTED? Introduction: Worldviews. Chapter One: Three Worldviews. The Theistic Worldview. Naturalism. Humanism. Chapter Two: Evaluating Worldviews. Criteria for Evaluating Worldviews. Evaluating Theism, Naturalism and Humanism. Exercise 8.1: Constructing Your Own Worldview. Glossary of Philosophical Terms. Index.