Cengage Advantage Series: Voyage of Discovery: A Historical Introduction to Philosophy, 4th Edition

  • William F. Lawhead University of Mississippi
  • ISBN-10: 1285195930  |  ISBN-13: 9781285195933
  • 640 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2007, 2002, 1996
  • © 2015 | Published
  • List Price = $ 140.95
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Philosophy is a dynamic historical conversation rather than a collection of fixed opinions and conclusions. With VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY: A HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY, you'll be able to retrace each philosopher's intellectual journey and add your voice to the philosophical conversation. The book's biographical stories, striking examples, diagrams, photos, and study tools help you master concepts and understand their practical implications.

Additional Product Information

Features and Benefits

  • This title is part of the Cengage Advantage Program, a series created specifically to deliver quality content from highly respected authors in an attractive format and at an affordable price.
  • The chapter on "Recent Issues in Philosophy" includes such topics as virtue ethics, cognitive science, and philosophy of science.
  • "Think About It" boxes throughout the chapters encourage students to stop and reflect on the ideas presented and to think about their implications.
  • "Contemporary Connections" boxes show the relevance of each philosopher's ideas to our contemporary society and current debates.
  • This edition can be split and is available as four volumes focused on different historical periods, using the Cengage Compose program. Visit to learn more.
  • Helping students to be more active critical readers, the Introduction provides tools for evaluating ideas and encourages students to actively engage with philosophical thinking as they read the text.
  • The book begins with seven real-life scenarios that show how philosophical issues arise in the midst of everyday life and demonstrate the practical significance of philosophical ideas.
  • Six chapters set the cultural context for different historical epochs in philosophy, to help students see that philosophy is related to issues in literature, science, religion, and politics (Chapters 1, 7, 13, 18, 23, and 29).
  • Pedagogical features include a glossary at the end of the book, with glossary terms boldfaced and defined throughout the text; and diagrams and tables throughout the book that visually represent or summarize key concepts.

Table of Contents

Introduction: A Brief Tour Guide to Philosophy.
1. The Greek Cultural Context: From Poetry to Philosophy.
2. Greek Philosophy Before Socrates.
3. The Sophists and Socrates.
4. Plato: The Search for Ultimate Truth and Reality.
5. Aristotle: Understanding the Natural World.
6. Classical Philosophy After Aristotle.
7. Cultural Context: The Development of Christian Thought. 
8. St. Augustine: Philosophy in the Service of Faith.
9. Early Medieval Philosophy.
10. Philosophy and Theology in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries.
11. St. Thomas Aquinas: Aristotle's Philosophy and Christian Thought.
12. The Unraveling of the Medieval Synthesis.
13. Cultural Context: Renaissance, Reformation, and the Rise of Modern Science.
14. Early Empiricists: Francis Bacon and Thomas Hobbes.
15. René Descartes: Founder of Modern Philosophy.
16. Benedict (Baruch) Spinoza: Rationalist and Mystic.
17. Gottfried Leibniz: The Optimistic Rationalist.
18. Cultural Context: The Enlightenment and the Age of Newton.
19. John Locke: The Rise of Modern Empiricism.
20. George Berkeley: Following the Road of Empiricism.
21. David Hume: The Scottish Skeptic.
22. Immanuel Kant: Finding the Powers and the Limits of the Mind.
23. The Nineteenth-Century Cultural Context: Romanticism, Science, and the Sense of History.
24. G. W. F. Hegel: Biographer of the World Spirit.
25 Karl Marx: A Philosophy for Changing the World.
26. Søren Kierkegaard: The Founder of Religious Existentialism.
27. Friedrich Nietzsche: The Founder of Secular Existentialism.
28. Nineteenth-Century Empiricism: Comte, Bentham, and Mill.
29. The Twentieth-Century Cultural Context: Science, Language, and Experience.
30. Pragmatism: The Unity of Thought and Action.
31. Analytic Philosophy and the Linguistic Turn.
32. Phenomenology and Existentialism.
33. Recent Issues in Philosophy.

What's New

  • In the Introduction, the author briefly discusses the absence of female philosophers in the historical accounts of philosophy.
  • Chapter 3, "The Sophists and Socrates," contains Socrates's argument with Thrasymacus concerning the nature of justice, from Plato's Republic.
  • Chapter 4, "Plato: The Search for Ultimate Truth and Reality," contains Plato's Allegory of the Cave from the Republic.
  • Chapter 6, "Classical Philosophy after Aristotle," contains a historical profile of Hypatia of Alexandria.
  • Chapter 10, "Philosophy and Theology in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries," now includes a historical profile of Hildegard of Bingen.
  • Chapter 11, "St. Thomas Aquinas: Aristotle's Philosophy and Christian Thought," now includes his five arguments for God from the Summa Theologica.
  • Chapter 15, "René Descartes: Founder of Modern Philosophy," supplements the discussion of his struggle with skepticism by adding material from Meditations 1 and 2.
  • Chapter 19, "John Locke: The Rise of Modern Empiricism," has been enriched with a historical profile of Mary Wollstonecraft. Although Locke and Wollstonecraft were not contemporaries, Locke's influence on Wollstonecraft's work makes this the best place to discuss her life and philosophy.
  • Chapter 21, "David Hume: The Scottish Skeptic," makes the discussion of his skeptical arguments concerning causal reasoning more concrete by including the relevant passages from An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding.
  • Chapter 32, "Phenomenology and Existentialism," now includes a historical profile of Simone de Beauvoir.
  • Chapter 33, "Recent Issues in Philosophy," contains a historical profile of Martha Nussbaum.

Efficacy and Outcomes


"It is the best written survey history of philosophy textbook I have found (and I have looked at many of them). . . . I know I sound like a Lawhead fan club, but I really like these textbooks, and they have helped me in the teaching of these courses."

— Craig Payne, Indian Hills Community College

"This book is an excellent survey of the history of western philosophy--ancient, medieval, modern, and contemporary--through the 'great figures' approach."

— Marc A. Pugliese, Saint Leo University

Meet the Author

Author Bio

William F. Lawhead

William Lawhead received a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Texas. Presently, he is Chair of the Philosophy Department at the University of Mississippi where he focuses on History of Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion, and Philosophy of Language.