Part I: PHILOSOPHY, RELIGION AND THE MEANING OF LIFE.
1. What Gives My Life Meaning?
Mary Oliver, The Summer Day. Ilham Dilman, Life and Meaning. Leo Tolstoy, A Confession. Yuval Lurie, The Meaning of Life: A Philosophical Question. John Hick, On Doing Philosophy of Religion. The Dali Lama, Compassion and the Individual. bell hooks: Love as the Practice of Freedom. Albert Camus: The Absurd. Robert C. Solomon, Gratitude: The Idea of Life as a Gift.
2. What Should I Believe About the Existence and Nature of God?
St. Augustine: Faith and Reason. Saint Anselm: The Ontological Argument. Saint Thomas Aquinas: Whether God Exists. William Paley: The Teleological Argument. David Hume: Why Does God Let People Suffer? Immanuel Kant: Proving the Existence of God by Way of Morality. Søren Kierkegaard: The Leap of Faith and the Limits of Reason. William James: The Will To Believe. Friedrich Nietzsche: God is Dead. Friedrich Nietzsche: The Anti-Christ. Sallie McFague, Intimate Creation: God’s Body, Our Home. Bertrand Russell, The Existence and Nature of God. Nica Lalli, Nightmare.
3. Should I Be Afraid of Death?
The Essential Phowa. Plato: The Death of Socrates. Chuang-Tzu: A Taoist on Death.Epicurus: Death is Nothing to Us. Robert C. Solomon: Death, Fetishism, and Morbid Solipsism. Thomas Nagel: Death. Jeff Malpas: The Strangeness of Death. Luc Sante: The Unknown Soldier.
Part II: SCIENCE, MIND, AND NATURE.
4. What Does Science Tell Me About the World?
Carl Hempel: The Deductive–Nomological Model of Science. Thomas Kuhn: The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Karl Popper: Science: Conjectures and Refutations. Evelyn Fox Keller: Feminism and Science. Richard Feynman: Seeking New Laws of Nature.
5. Which Should I Believe: Evolution, Creation, or Design?
The Bible: Genesis. Charles Darwin: The Descent of Man. Michael Ruse: Is Evolutionary Theory a Secular Religion? William A. Dembski: Science and Design. H. Allen Orr: Darwin vs. Intelligent Design. Michael J. Behe, Response to Critics. Daniel C. Dennett: Show Me the Science.
6. How Is My Mind Connected to My Body?
René Descartes: Mind as Distinct From Body. Gilbert Ryle: The Concept of Mind. William Lycan: Robots and Minds. David Chalmers: The Puzzle of Conscious Experience. John R. Searle: The Problem of Consciousness. Colin McGinn: The Mysterious Flame. Daniel Dennett, Consciousness: How Much is that in Real Money?
Part III: THINKING AND KNOWING.
7. What Do I Know?
Plato: The Myth of the Cave. René Descartes: Meditations I and II. Mark Rowlands: Keanu’s Cartesian Meditations. Lewis Carroll: Through the Looking Glass. John Locke: Where Our Ideas Come From. George Berkeley: To Be Is to Be Perceived. Bertrand Russell: Appearance and Reality. Lorraine Code: What Can She Know?
8. Does Language Make Me Think the Way I Do?
Jonathan Swift: Getting Rid of Words. Ludwig Wittgenstein: Meaning as Use. Benjamin Whorf: Language, Thought, and Reality. Steven Pinker: The Language Instinct. Lewis Carroll: Humpty Dumpty.
Part IV: THE DILEMMAS OF PERSONHOOD.
9. Who Am I?
John Perry: The First Night. John Locke: Of Identity and Diversity. David Hume: Of Personal Identity. Meredith Michaels: Persons, Brains, and Bodies. Elizabeth Wolgast: Personal Identity: Many Criteria. Bernard Williams: Identity and Identities.
10. Why Are My Emotions Important to Me?
Aristotle: On Anger. René Descartes: The Passions of the Soul. David Hume: On Pride.
William James: What Is an Emotion? Jean-Paul Sartre: Emotions as Transformations of the World. Robert C. Solomon: What Love Is. Robert C. Solomon: Grief. Judy Foreman: Can Science Tell Us Why We Fall, and Stay, in Love? Owen Flanagan: Destructive Emotions
11. What Should I Think About the Morality of Abortion?
Ani DiFranco: Abortion and Life. Florence Rice: Abortion and Life. Judith Jarvis Thompson: A Defense of Abortion. Anthony Kenny: The Beginning of Individual Human Life. Lynn Rudder Baker: When Does a Person Begin? Susanne Gibson: Essentially Contested Concepts and the Problem of Abortion. Alice Walker: Right to Life: What Can the White Man Say to the Black Woman?
12. What Should I Think About Terrorism and Torture?
Michael Walzer: Terrorism and Just War. Alison Jaggar: What is Terrorism, Why is it Wrong, and Could it Ever be Morally Permissable? Claudia Card: Questions Regarding a War on Terrorism. Charles Krauthammer: The Truth About Torture. Henry Shue: Torture in Dreamland: Disposing of the Ticking Bomb.
13. How Does Racism Affect My Life?
Toi Derricotte: Early Memory: The California Zephyr. Jean-Paul Sartre: Anti-Semite and Jew. Kwame Appiah: Racisms. Tommie Shelby: Is Racism in the "Heart"? Daniel Kelly and Erica Rodder: Racial Cognition and the Ethics of Implicit Bias Sally Haslanger: Future Genders? Future Races? Esmeralda Santiago: Spiks and Gringos.
Part V: LIVING A GOOD LIFE.
14. Why Shouldn''t I Be Selfish?
Ntozake Shange: get it and feel good. Plato: The Ring of Gyges. Epicurus: The Pursuit of Pleasure. Thomas Hobbes: People are Selfish. Richard Dawkins: The Selfish Gene. Sharon Begley: Adventures in Good and Evil: The Evolutionary Roots of Morality. James Rachels: Ethical Egoism. Ayn Rand: The Virtue of Selfishness. Peter Singer: Ivan Boesky’s Choice. Tracy Kidder: The Good Doctor. Jim Holt: The Life of the Saint.
15. Does It Matter What Gender I Am?
John Stuart Mill: The Subjection of Women. Simone deBeauvoir: Woman as Other. Naomi Zack: The Right Definition of Women. Larry May: A Progressive Male Standpoint. Camille Paglia: It’s a Jungle Out There. Megan Seely: The "F" word.
16. What Is the Right Thing for Me to Do?
The Bible: The Ten Commandments and The Sermon on the Mount. Confucius: The Analects. The Koran: The Unjust. Aristotle: Happiness and the Good Life. Hume: Morality is an Emotional Response. Immanuel Kant: Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals. John Stuart Mill: Utilitarianism. Friedrich Nietzsche: The Natural History of Morals. Simone de Beauvoir: Freedom and Morality. Claudia Card: One Feminist View of Ethics. Bob Kane: Through the Moral Maze.
17. I Like It, but Is It Art?
Leo Tolstoy: What Is Art? Theodore Adorno and Max Horkheimer: The Culture Industry.
Roger Scruton: Art, Beauty, and Judgment. C.J. Ducasse: What Has Beauty to do with Art? Noël Carroll: Art, Practice, and Narrative. Kathleen Higgins: The Music of our Lives. Mary Deveraux: The Male Gaze.
Part VI: JUSTICE AND RESPONSIBILITY.
18. Am I Free to Choose What I Do?
Aristotle: Voluntary and Involuntary Action. Baron d''Holbach: Are We Cogs in the Universe? Friedrich Nietzsche: Twilight of an Error. John Hospers: Meaning and Free Will.Jean-Paul Sartre: Freedom and Responsibility. B.F. Skinner: Freedom and the Control of Men. Patricia Churchland: Do We Have Free Will? Harry Frankfurt: Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility. Bob Kane: The Significance of Free Will: Old Dispute, New Themes.
19. What Do I Justly Deserve?
Plato: Does Might Make Right. Thomas Hobbes: Justice and the Social Contract. John Stuart Mill: A Utilitarian Theory of Justice. John Rawls: Justice as Fairness. Robert Nozick: The Principle of Fairness. David Brooks: Triumph of Hope over Self-Interest. Peter Singer: Rich and Poor. Iris Young: The Myth of Merit. Amartya Sen: Property and Hunger. Malcolm X: Human Rights, Civil Rights. Cheshire Calhoun: Justice, Care, and Gender Bias.
20. How Should I Make (and Spend) Money?
Confucius: On Business. Adam Smith: Benefits of the Profit Motive. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels: The Immorality of Capitalism. Milton Friedman: The Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits. Brian P. Schaefer, Shareholders and Social Responsibility. Ford Motor Company: The Ford Pinto Memo. William Greider: Crime in the Suites. Jim Hightower: SweatX is Chic. Joanne Ciulla: Honest Work. Peter Singer: The Hidden Costs of Money. Robert C. Solomon: Making Money and the Importance of the Virtues. Charles Handy: What’s a Business For? Joseph Campbell: Follow Your Bliss.