Higher Education

Cengage Advantage Books: Knowledge, Nature, and Norms, 2nd Edition

  • Mark Timmons University of Arizona
  • David Shoemaker Tulane University
  • ISBN-10: 1133934951  |  ISBN-13: 9781133934950
  • 464 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2009
  • © 2014 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $66.25
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Develop your students' interest in philosophical questions through use of original sources with Timmons and Shoemaker's KNOWLEDGE, NATURE, AND NORMS: AN INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY, Second Edition. Concise, tightly edited selections focus on the essential elements of each philosophical argument so students can engage with challenging ideas without getting distracted by extraneous unabridged material. Although brief, this anthology covers a broad range of philosophical topics, including key topics in epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of religion, personal identity, and ethics. Witty chapter introductions draw students into key debates, while Reading Comprehension and challenging Review Questions emphasize key ideas and arguments. A robust companion website is also available, all for a reasonable Cengage Advantage Books price.

Features and Benefits

  • The book features tightly-edited classic philosophy readings as well as short fiction and literature from popular writers, all within a page count that’s only half the length of the typical anthology for this course.
  • Students are able to benefit from reading original sources; the editing helps them to focus on the essential elements of the philosophical argument.
  • Concise, yet complete, KNOWLEDGE, NATURE AND NORMS covers key topics in epistemology, metaphysics, and ethics and addresses six essential areas of philosophy, including personal identity and immortality; the mind-body problem; free will, determinism, and responsibility; the existence of God; truth, knowledge, and skepticism; and ethics.
  • The strong, integrated pedagogy includes a comprehensive introductory essay advising students how to approach philosophy, reading Comprehension and Review Questions, and a thorough companion website all at a Cengage Advantage series price.

Table of Contents

Frederik Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth, "The Meeting." Plato, "Phaedo." Clarence Darrow, "The Myth of the Soul." John Locke, "The Prince and the Cobbler." John Perry, "A Dialogue on Personal Identity and Immortality." Marya Schechtman, "Narrative Identity." Derek Parfit, "The Unimportance of Identity."
Terry Bisson, "They're Made Out of Meat." J.J.C. Smart, "Sensations and Brain Processes." Brie Gertler, "In Defense of Mind-Body Dualism." A.M. Turing, "Computing Machinery and Intelligence." John Searle, "Minds, Brains, and Machines." David J. Chalmers, "The Puzzle of Conscious Experience."
Greg Egan, "Reasons to Be Cheerful." Baron d'Holbach, "The Illusion of Free Will." C. A. Campbell, "Has the Self 'Free Will'?" Walter T. Stace, The Problem of Free Will." Galen Strawson, "The Impossibility of Moral Responsibility." P. F. Strawson, "Freedom and Resentment." Susan Wolf, "Sanity and the Metaphysics of Responsibility."
Fyodor Dostoevsky, "Rebellion." St. Anselm/Gaunilo, "The Ontological Argument/The Lost Island Objection." St. Thomas Aquinas, "The Cosmological Argument." William Paley, "The Teleological Argument. William Lane Craig and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, "The Evidence of Miracles: An Exchange Between a Christian and an Atheist." Blaise Pascal, "The Wager." Simon Blackburn, "God." David Hume, "The Problem of Evil." Derk Pereboom, "Theodicies."
John L. Pollock, "A Brain in a Vat." Rene Descartes, "Within the Sphere of the Doubtful (Meditations I and II)." G. E. Moore, "Certainty." Peter Unger, "A Defense of Skepticism." William K. Clifford, "The Ethics of Belief." Peter van Inwagen, "Is It Wrong Everywhere, Always, and for Anyone to Believe Anything on Insufficient Evidence?"
Plato, "The Myth of Gyges." Gilbert Harman, "Moral Relativism." Thomas Nagel, "Right and Wrong." J.S. Mill, "In Defense of Utilitarianism."Immanuel Kant, "The Moral Law and Autonomy of the Will." W.D. Ross, "What Makes Right Actions Right?" Nel Noddings, "An Ethic of Caring." Aristotle, "Virtue and Character."

What's New

  • The updated Chapter Introductions provide a basic but detailed overview of the issues, written in a manner that first-time philosophy students will find both illuminating and informative.
  • Marya Schechtman’s exposition of her narrative identity view has been added to Chapter 2.
  • In Chapter 3, papers by Ducasse, Churchland, and Fodor have been replaced with papers by Smart, Gertler, and Turing.
  • In Chapter 4, the authors have replaced Darrow’s Leopold and Loeb defense with a new science fiction story by Greg Egan, called "Reasons to Be Cheerful," and have also added Susan Wolf’s discussion of the metaphysics of responsibility.
  • Stump’s article on the problem of evil, which previously appeared in Chapter 5, has been replaced with Pereboom’s more general discussion.
  • Chapter 6 now features an expanded Descartes selection, which now includes more of Meditation II.
  • In Chapter 7, Benedict’s piece on relativism has been replaced with Harman’s very recent accessible defense. The authors have also added a selection on ethical theory from W.D. Ross.

Efficacy and Outcomes


" An excellent, short, and affordable text that hits on all of the major ideas that will grab students and hold onto them for an entire semester."

— Noah Levin, Washington State University

" An excellent text for an introduction to philosophy course, one that I would highly recommend."

— Douglas Portmore, Arizona State University

" Without exception, the reading selections chosen comprise an outstanding introductory overview of what contemporary Western philosophy is all about."

— Lee Archie, Lander University

" A solid mix of essays in epistemology, metaphysics, and ethics, which is the core of philosophy. Mostly focused on classic readings and analytic philosophy."

— Charles Comer, Harrisburg Area Community College

" This is an excellent concise introduction to issue-based philosophy which hits on most of the key topics in philosophy."

— Erica Neely, Ohio North University

" A wide variety of classic texts on topics sure to be covered in any introductory course."

— Michael Patton, Washington State University

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Mark Timmons

Mark Timmons is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Arizona. Dr. Timmons has published extensively in the fields of ethics and epistemology. He is also one of the editors of KNOWLEDGE, NATURE AND NORMS, An Introduction to Philosophy.

David Shoemaker

David Shoemaker is Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Murphy Institute at Tulane University and has published several articles on personal identity, ethics, and moral responsibility. He is the editor for Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility.