Capturing the inimitable enthusiasm of Louis Pojman's much acclaimed teaching, PHILOSOPHY: THE PURSUIT OF WISDOM introduces students to all of the core topics in philosophy. Beginning with an inquiry into the nature and purpose of philosophy, this text moves through many traditional discussions-such as the existence of God, the problems of knowledge, the freewill/determinism debate, and the foundations of ethics-and concludes with an exploration into existentialism and the meaning of life.
Table of Contents
A Personal Word to the Student.
Part I: INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY.
1. What Is Philosophy?
2. A Little Bit of Logic.
Deductive and Inductive Reasoning. Abductive Reasoning. Some Applications. Fallacies of Reasoning. Box: Necessary and Sufficient Conditions.
3. The Beginning of Philosophy: The Ancient Greeks.
The Milesians. Pythagoras. The Eleatics. Heracleitus. The Pluralists: Empedocles and the Atomists. Anaxagoras of Klazomenae.
4. The Rise of the Sophists and Socrates.
The Rise of the Sophists. Socrates:The Father of Ethics�Knowledge Is Virtue. Box: Plato.
Part II: PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION.
5. The Value of Religion: An Introduction.
6. The Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God: A First Cause.
Traditional Arguments for the Existence of God. The Cosmological Argument. The Argument from Contingency.
7. The Teleological Argument for the Existence of God.
Paley's Argument. Hume's Critique. The Darwinian Objection.
8. The Ontological Argument for the Existence of God.
9. The Argument from Religious Experience.
Encounters with God. An Analysis of Religious Experience. A Critique of the Strong-Justification Thesis.
10. The Problem of Evil.
The Mystery of Evil. The Argument from Evil. The Free-Will Defense. The Theodicy Defense. Evolution and Evil.
11. Faith and Reason.
Pragmatic Justification of Religious Belief. Fideism: Faith Without/Against Reason. Reformed Epistemology: Alvin Plantinga.
Part III: THE THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE.
12. What Can We Know? An Introduction.
Knowledge and Its Types. What Is Truth? Knowledge and Belief. Types of Knowledge.
The Challenge of Skepticism.
14. Perception: Can We Have Knowledge of the External World?
Part IV: PHILOSOPHY OF MIND.
15. The Mind-Body Problem.
Dualistic Interactionism. A Critique of Dualistic Interactionism. Dualism Revived. Box: The Mind-Body Problem.
16. Materialist Monism.
17. Functionalism and Biological Naturalism.
18. Who Am I? The Problem of Personal Identity.
What Is It to Be a Person? What Is Identity? What Is Personal Identity?
19. Is There Life After Death? Personal Identity and Immortality.
Part V: FREEDOM OF THE WILL AND DETERMINISM.
Universal Causality. Teleological Determinism.
The Argument from Deliberation. The Argument from Moral Responsibility.
22. Compatibilism: How to Have Your Cake and Eat It Too.
A Reconciling Project. A Critique of Compatibilism: A "Quagmire of Evasion"? The Argument Against Compatibilism from Moral Responsibility. The Compatibilist Response.
Part VI: ETHICS.
23. What Is Ethics?
Why Do We Need Morality? The Purposes of Morality.
24. Ethical Relativism Versus Ethical Objectivism.
An Analysis of Ethical Relativism. Subjective Ethical Relativism (Subjectivism). Conventional Ethical Relativism (Conventionalism). The Case for Ethical Objectivism.
25. Egoism, Self-Love, and Altruism.
Arguments for Ethical Egoism. Arguments Against Ethical Egoism. Evolution and Altruism.
26. Utilitarianism and the Structure of Ethics.
What Is Utilitarianism? The Strengths and Weaknesses of Utilitarianism. Utilitarian Reponses to the Standard Objections.
27. Kantian Deontological Ethics.
Immanuel Kant's Rationalist Deontological System. The Goodwill. Duty and the Moral Law. Kant's Second Formulation of the Categorical Imperative. The Principle of Autonomy.
28. Virtue Ethics.
29. Religion and Ethics.
Does Morality Depend on Religion? Is Religion Irrelevant or Even Inimical to Morality? Does Religion Enhance the Moral Life?
Part VII: EXISTENTIALISM AND THE MEANING OF LIFE.
30. Existentialism and the Meaning of Life.
31. The Meaning of Life and the Fear of Death.
Appendix: How to Read and Write a Philosophy Paper.