Introduction to Modern Philosophy

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9780023200809: Introduction to Modern Philosophy

This popular introduction to modern philosophy features question-based chapters with a stimulating debate-style format, and intersperses primary sources with commentary. Each chapter deals with a fundamental question about human existence, exploring the subject through representative readings by classic, modern, and contemporary philosophers--with at least two contrasting perspectives for each main position. What Is Philosophy? Am I a Body and a Mind? Am I Free or Determined? What Grounds Do I Have For Belief in God? On What Principle Do I Judge Things Right or Wrong? When Should I Obey the Law? What Things Shall I Call Art? When Can I Say "I Know?" What Is Science? Positivism to Post-Modernism. Applied Ethics (medical ethics, business ethics, environmental ethics). Making Sense Out Of Life (a multi-cultural perspective). For anyone interested in modern philosophy.

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This well-known introductory anthology was the first to intersperse primary sources with commentary to keep students interested and critically engaged in what they are reading. The overall structure of the text further adds to its student appeal. Each chapter deals with a fundamental question about human existence, exploring the subject through representative readings by classic, modern, and contemporary philosophers. At least two contrasting perspectives elucidate each main position. In this latest edition, that debate has been expanded with many new voices and ideas.

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A Note on the Seventh Edition

Throughout the various editions of this text, the aim has been to introduce students to the wonder and rigor of philosophical analysis. We have tried to achieve a balance between making things plain for beginners and displaying conventional philosophical rigor for the more advanced student. This is the justification for our editorial comments breaking up the original sources in many of the readings. Sometimes the material is just too difficult or too long for beginning students, who often need to be reassured that they have actually understood a passage before they continue their reading.

While our strategy of shaping each chapter to reflect answers to the enduring questions of philosophy remains unchanged in this edition, nevertheless every chapter has undergone revisions ranging from enhanced editorial comments to new primary sources. Chapter 2 on the mind-body problem includes new material from Searle as well as a critique of him by Paul and Patricia Churchland. Chapter 3 has been enriched by a reading from John Hospers exploring the implications of psychology for the free will/determinism debate. Chapter 4 dealing with grounds for belief in God now includes St. Anselm's ontological argument for the existence of God. In discussing social and political philosophy in Chapter 6, we have added readings from John Locke, Robert Paul Wolff, and John Rawls. We enhanced our discussion of art in Chapter 7 by including material from Clive Bell, Paul Ziff, and Susan Sontag, and our examination of science in Chapter 9 by adding a discussion of the feminist philosophy of science by Helen Longino. We have also added another epilogue. The first epilogue deals with applied ethics in the fields of medicine, business, and the environment. The second epilogue continues to explore human cosmic stories from the biblical, Buddhist, African, Marxian, and existentialist traditions that invest life with meaning but concludes with an essay by Peter Geach on postdeath survival that introduces the issue of whether death is going to sleep or going on a journey, whether one's story ends at death or continues.

Adding new material led to the painful decision to delete some of the material included in the sixth edition. We believe that our editorial decisions have made for a better text of which Alburey Castell, who edited the first edition in 1943 and continued to be senior editor until his death in 1987, would be proud.

We would like to thank the Prentice-Hall staff, especially our production editor, Kim Gueterman, for the first-class professional assistance they have given us. Also, we are grateful to the secretaries in the Philosophy Department, Penny Schall and Patricia Black, who have aided us in so many ways.

Finally, our wives, Mary Ellen and Laurie, deserve our gratitude for their encouragement and support during the many hours we spent in bringing this project to completion.

Donald M. Borchert
Arthur Zucker
Ohio University
Athens, Ohio

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