THIS IS PHILOSOPHY The second edition of This is Philosophy improves upon an excellent first edition. This clear, succinct book is quite possibly the best introduction to Western philosophy on the market.
-Gregory Morgan, Stevens Institute of Technology
This is a terrific book. The writing is not only extremely clear, it is downright gripping-with relevant and detailed examples at every turn. Steven Hales has produced not just a great little introduction to philosophy-he has produced a great little book in philosophy, period.
-Michael Lynch, University of Connecticut
Hales clearly explains important philosophical ideas with a minimum of jargon and without sacrificing depth of content and he consistently gives a fair and accurate presentation of both sides of central philosophical disputes.
-Matthew Van Cleave, Teaching Philosophy
As the oldest discipline in the academy, philosophy began by asking questions of the world and of human nature. Philosophers are responsible for the Enlightenment and laid the foundations for constitutional governments. Yet, while it may have given birth to the natural sciences, philosophy has earned a contemporary reputation as an esoteric and impractical field out of touch with everyday life-but it doesn't have to be that way. This is Philosophy: An Introduction expertly guides students through the fundamentals of philosophy by illuminating difficult, abstract ideas with straightforward language. Assuming no prior background in the subject, this volume brings philosophical concepts into sharp focus through relatable examples and clear explanations of philosophy's big questions and arguments.
The second edition of this accessible textbook is organized around seven central philosophical problems, including ethics, the existence of God, free will, personal identity, philosophy of mind, and epistemology. New to this edition is a chapter on political philosophy that explores the state of nature, anarchy, contractarianism, libertarianism, and the liberal state. These self-contained chapters have been reordered and recalibrated to best suit the needs of introductory philosophy courses, and can be taught independently or in sequence. Enhanced by updated examples, new hyperlinks and references, and detailed bibliographies, the book is complemented by extensively-revised online resources available to instructors, including a 200-question test bank and over 450 PowerPoint slides designed to strengthen student comprehension of key concepts.
Strengthening the popular first edition which launched the series, This is Philosophy: An Introduction, Second Edition is the perfect primary textbook for beginning philosophy students as well as general readers with an interest in philosophy.
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Publication Date: 02 April 2021
Professional and scholarly
Preface for Instructors x Preface for Students xiv Acknowledgments xvi 1 Ethics: Preliminary Views 1 1.1 Is Morality Just Acting on Principles? 3 1.2 Divine Command Theory (Is Morality Just What God Tells Me to Do?) 6 1.3 Egoism (Is Morality Just My Own Personal Code?) 10 1.4 Moral Relativism (Is Morality Just How Society Says We Should Act?) 18 2 Ethics: The Big Three Theories 27 2.1 Utilitarianism (Is Morality Doing What I Can to Make This the Best World Possible?) 27 2.2 Deontology, or Kantianism (Is There an Absolute Moral Law?) 42 2.3 Objections 48 2.4 Virtue Ethics (Is Morality all about Having a Virtuous Character?) 52 2.5 Objections 54 3 God 62 3.1 The Attributes of God 64 3.2 Why There is a God 66 3.3 Why There is No God 93 3.4 Atheist Responses to the Free Will Defense 102 4 Freedom 111 4.1 Against Free Will, Part 1: Divine Foreknowledge 114 4.2 Against Free Will, Part 2: A Regress of Reasons for Acting 117 4.3 Against Free Will, Part 3: Determinism and the Dilemma Argument 123 4.4 The Incompatibilist Argument 126 4.5 The Dilemma Argument Against Free Will 129 4.6 Free Will and Moral Responsibility 129 4.7 Agent Causation 133 4.8 Compatibilism 135 4.9 The Feeling of Freedom 139 5 Self 145 5.1 Preliminary Positions 147 5.2 The Soul Criterion 149 5.3 Objections 151 5.4 The Physicalist Criterion 156 5.5 The Psychological Criterion 163 5.6 The Bundle Theory 173 6 Mind 183 6.1 Substance Dualism 184 6.2 Behaviorism 192 6.3 Mind-brain Identity Theory 196 6.4 Functionalism 202 7 Knowledge 215 7.1 The Value of Truth 215 7.2 The Value of Evidence 219 7.3 The Sources of Evidence 230 7.4 The Nature of Knowledge 233 7.5 The Skeptic's Challenge 236 8 Politics 254 8.1 State of Nature 255 8.2 Anarchy 257 8.3 Contractarianism 260 8.4 Leviathan and the Philosopher Kings 266 8.5 The Minimal State 272 8.6 The Liberal State 276 Postscript 284 Index 286
Steven Hales is Professor and Chair at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. He works primarily in metaphysics and epistemology, and has published in leading journals such as Mind, Nous, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, and Philosophical Studies. He has written or edited 12 books, most recently The Myth of Luck: Philosophy, Fate and Fortune. He has been a Visiting Professor at the Universities of Cambridge, Turin, Edinburgh, and London, and has won awards for both teaching and research.