Fundamentals of Philosophy, 8th edition

  • David Stewart
  • H Gene Blocker


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Thematically introduces students to the major philosophic thinkers.


Fundamentals of Philosophy offers a broad scope of classic and contemporary selections from the world’s major thinkers via a narrative format that presents difficult issues and readings in a simplified manner for students.


Its readings are grouped around nine major themes/chapters, and are organized as a debate on one central issue. This approach helps students understand the argumentative style of philosophy, and learn how philosophic issues and solutions they encounter can be applied to their everyday life.


A better teaching and learning experience
This program will provide a better teaching and learning experience—for you and your students. Here’s how:

  • Improve Critical Thinking – “Questions for Discussion” and a “Glossary of Terms” help students study.
  • Engage Students – “Biographies” and “Recent Developments” stimulate student interest and understanding of philosophy’s contemporary applications.
  • Support Instructors – An Instructor’s Manual to accompany the text are available to be packaged with this text.

Table of contents

Part 1:  What is Philosophy?

Chapter 1:  The Activity of Philosophy

Chapter 2:  Philosophy’s History

Chapter 3:  Philosophy and the Examined Life

Part 2:  Thinking About Thinking (Logic)

Chapter 4:  The Life of Reason

Chapter 5:  Argument Forms

Chapter 6:  Induction and the Philosophy of Science

Chapter 7:  Strategies for Philosophical Arguments

Part 3:  What is Real?  (Metaphysics)

Chapter 8:  Introduction to Metaphysics

Chapter 9:  Dualism

Chapter 10:  Materialism

Chapter 11:  Idealism

Chapter 12:  The Mind-Body Problem and Personal Identity

Chapter 13:  Freedom and Determinism:  The Metaphysics of Human Agency

Part 4:  How Do We Know?  (Epistemology)

Chapter 14:  Introduction to Epistemology

Chapter 15:  Rene Descartes:  The Quest for Certainty

Chapter 16:  David Hume:  Trust Your Senses

Chapter 17:  Immanuel Kant:  A Compromise

Chapter 18:  Knowledge and Human Practices

Part 5: What Ought We to Do?  (Ethics)

Chapter 19:  Introduction to Ethical Reasoning

Chapter 20:  Moral Skepticism

Chapter 21:  Morality and Metaphysics

Chapter 22:  Endaemonism:  The Morality of Self-Realization

Chapter 23:  Utilitarianism:  Morality Depends on the Consequences

Chapter 24:  Deontology:  Morality Depends on the Motives

Part 6:  Philosophy of Religion

Chapter 25:  Introduction to Philosophy of Religion

Chapter 26:  Religion and Life’s Meaning

Chapter 27:  A Priori</emphasis> Arguments for God’s Existence

Chapter 28:  A Posteriori</emphasis> Arguments for God’s Existence: Aquinas’ Five Ways

Chapter 29:  The Problem of Evil

Part 7:  Philosophy of Art (Esthetics)

Chapter 30:  Introduction to the Philosophy of Art

Chapter 31:  The Value of Art

Chapter 32:  Art as Ideal

Chapter 33:  Esthetics and Ideology

Part 8:  Social and Political Philosophy

Chapter 34:  Introduction to Social and Political Philosophy

Chapter 35:  The Liberal, Secular State

Chapter 36:  The Individual and the State

Chapter 37:  Human Rights

Chapter 38:  Individual Happiness and Social Responsibility

Part 9:  Eastern Thought

Chapter 39:  Philosophy East and West

Chapter 40: Confucian Theories of Human Nature

Chapter 41:  Hindu Debate on Monism

Chapter 42:  Buddhist Theory of Emptiness

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Published by Pearson (February 16th 2012) - Copyright © 2013