Classic Philosophical Questions, 14th edition

  • Robert J. Mulvaney

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Classic Philosophical Questions is an anthology of primary source readings covering the most enduring questions in philosophy. Taken from ancient, modern and contemporary sources, it offers pro and con arguments for various positions and challenges you to think critically and question your assumptions.

Published by Pearson (July 14th 2021) - Copyright © 2021

ISBN-13: 9780137559732

Subject: Philosophy

Category: Introduction to Philosophy & Ethics

Table of contents


1: Socrates and the Nature of Philosophy
2: Philosophy of Religion
3: Ethics
4: Knowledge
5: Metaphysics
6: Social and Political Philosophy
7: Aesthetics
8: Philosophy and the Good Life


PART I: Socrates and the Nature of Philosophy
What is Philosophy?
The Euthyphro: Defining Philosophical Terms
The Apology: Socrates’ Trial and Defense
The Crito: Socrates’ Refusal to Escape
The Phaedo: Virtue and Socrates’ View of Death

PART II: Philosophy of Religion
Can We Prove That God Exists?
St. Anselm: The Ontological Argument
St. Thomas Aquinas: The Cosmological Argument
William Paley: The Teleological Argument
Blaise Pascal: It is Better to Believe in God’s Existence Than to Deny it.

Does the Idea of a Good God Exclude Evil?
Boethius: God Can Allow Some Evil.
David Hume: A Good God Would Exclude Evil.
John Hick: Evil, Human Freedom and Moral Development

PART III: Ethics
Are Ethics Relative?
Ruth Benedict: Ethics Are Relative
W. T. Stace: Ethics Are Not Relative

Are Humans Always Selfish?
Humans Are Always Selfish: Glaucon’s Challenge to Socrates
James Rachels: Humans Are Not Always Selfish

Which is Basic in Ethics: Happiness or Obligation?
Aristotle: Happiness Is Living Virtuously
Jeremy Bentham: Happiness Is Seeking the Greatest Pleasure for the Greatest Number of People
Immanuel Kant: Duty Is Prior to Happiness
Friedrich Nietzsche: Happiness Is Having Power
Jean-Paul Sartre: Existentialist Ethics
Virginia Held: Feminist Ethics Are Different

PART IV: Knowledge
What is Knowledge?
Plato: Knowledge Is "Warranted True Belief"

What Method is Best For Acquiring Knowledge?
Charles Sanders Peirce: Four Approaches to Philosophy

How Do We Acquire Knowledge?
René Descartes: Knowledge Is Not Ultimately Sense Knowledge
John Locke: Knowledge is Ultimately Sensed
Immanuel Kant: Knowledge Is Both Rational and Empirical.

How Is Truth Established?
Bertrand Russell: Truth Is Established By Correspondence
Brand Blanshard: Truth Means Coherence
William James: Truth Is Established by Pragmatic Means

Can We Know the Nature of Causal Relations?
David Hume: Cause Means Regular Association
David Hume: There Are No Possible Grounds for Induction

PART V: Metaphysics

Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing?
Parmenides: Being Is Uncaused
Lao-Tzu: Non-Being Is the Source of Being

Is Reality General Or Particular?
Plato: Universals Are Real
David Hume: Particulars Are Real

Of What Does Reality Consist?
René Descartes: Reality Consists of Mind and Matter
Paul Churchland: Reality Consists of Matter
George Berkeley: Reality Consists of Ideas
John Dewey: Reality Consists of Mental and Physical Qualities

Are Humans Free?
Holbach: Humans Are Determined
John Stuart Mill: Determinism and Freedom Are Compatible
Richard Taylor: Humans Are Free

Do Humans Have an Identical Self?
John Locke: Humans Beings Have an Identical Self
David Hume: Human Beings Have No Identical Self

Is There Life After Death?
Plato: The Soul is Immortal and Imperishable
Joseph Butler: Human Beings Survive Death
David Hume: Life After Death Is Philosophically Unprovable

PART VI: Social and Political Philosophy
What is Liberty?
Fyodor Dostoevski: Liberty and Authority
John Stuart Mill: Liberty is Independence from the Majority’s Tyranny
Martin Luther King Jr.: Liberty and Racial Prejudice
Simone de Beauvoir: Women’s Liberation.

Which Government is Best?
Thomas Hobbes: Monarchy Is Best
John Locke: Democracy Is Best
Karl Marx: Communism and Nonalienated Labor Is Best
Benjamin Barber: ‘Strong Democracy’ Is Best

PART VII: Aesthetics
What Constitutes The Experience of Beauty?
Plotinus: Beauty, Sensuous and Ideal

What is the Function of Art?
Aristotle: The Nature of Tragedy
Henri Bergson: The Nature of Comedy

PART IIX: Philosophy and the Good Life
Two Classic Views of the Good Life
Epicurus and the Pleasant Life
Epictetus and the Life of Self-Control

What Gives Life Meaning?
Leo Tolstoy: Faith Provides Life’s Meaning
Albert Camus: Life’s Meaning Is Determined by Each Individual

What Is the Value Of Philosophy?
Bertrand Russell: The Value of Philosophy to Individual Life.
John Dewey: The Value of Philosophy to Society


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