A PREFACE TO PHILOSOPHY, 9E prepares readers for the challenges of studying philosophy and writing philosophical essays. This classic textbook, in print for over thirty years, addresses such foundational topics as discerning philosophical questions, the purpose of philosophy, and the practice of doing philosophy. With its brief, accessible format and conversational writing style, A PREFACE TO PHILOSOPHY, 9E is a perfect compliment to a traditional Introduction to Philosophy textbook.
A Note to Students.
1. RECOGNIZING PHILOSOPHICAL ISSUES.
Philosophical Problems Involve Fundamental Ideas. Philosophical Problems Involve Questions of Meaning, Truth (Rational Defensibility), and Logical Relations. Philosophical Problems Are Not Straightforwardly Empirical. Two Case Studies. Taking Your First Philosophy Course. Study Questions. Postscript: Divisions of Philosophy.
2. WHY PHILOSOPHIZE?
How Philosophers See Their Goals. The Relevance of Philosophy. The Lure of Philosophical Issues. Postscript: Are Gurus Philosophers?
3. THINKING CRITICALLY: CLEARING UP SOME MISCONCEPTIONS.
Philosophy Is Not Merely Quibbling Over Words. The Choice Between Competing Theories Is Based on Reason and Does Not Require Absolute Certainty. Philosophical Theories Are More Than Personal Beliefs. Why Be Rational? The Cultural Roots of Reason. Critical Thinking.
4. DOING PHILOSOPHY: GETTING STARTED.
Preparing to Philosophize. What Kind of Claim Is Advanced? The Claims: A Summary. Exercises. What Is the Meaning of Key Terms? Exercises.
5. DOING PHILOSOPHY: FURTHER CONSIDERATIONS.
Do the Arguments Support the Thesis? Exercises. Are the Premises True? Are the Assumptions Correct? Exercises. Are the Logical Consequences Plausible? Exercises. How Adequate Is the Theory? Exercises. Five Common Informal Fallacies. Exercises. An Example of Philosophical Analysis: Near-Death Experience. Are Any Informal Fallacies Committed? An Example of Philosophical Analysis: Equality of Opportunity.
6. READING PHILOSOPHY.
Kinds of Philosophical Writings. Preparing to Read Philosophy. Reading for Understanding. Reading Critically.
7. WRITING PHILOSOPHY.
The Nature of a Critical Philosophy Essay. Organizing Your Essay. Achieving Clarity. A Sample Essay.Postscript: A Note on Research Materials.
Answers to Exercises.
"This is an excellent "how to" tool for the first-time philosophy student, providing practical definitions and helpful exercises to ease the student into a difficult discipline."— Dave Beck, Liberty University
"A very thought provoking (yet practical) book , which I think would help students get more out of any Philosophy class, especially upper division ones."— Ted Barnes, Coastline Community College
"A great introduction for potential majors in philosophy."— David Bramhall, San Juan College