Philosophy Explained

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The Thinking Strings Explained™ series of eBooks offers high-quality, low-cost alternatives to traditional textbook content. Written by respected scholars in their disciplines, Explained™ eBooks are designed to be read on-screen. Their responsive format means they are comfortably read on a computer, a tablet, or smartphone. To facilitate learning, the main point of each paragraph of text precedes it in bold.

Philosophy Explained™ includes twelve chapters exploring the traditional categories of logic, metaphysics, epistemology, and aesthetics. However, the text is anything but traditional. Philosophy Explained™ is infused with material that provides a more comprehensive approach to philosophy in the Western tradition than most contemporary textbooks, including feminist, indigenous, American, and non-Western philosophies. Concrete examples drawn from history, contemporary culture, and literature capture the imagination of the reader prior to exploring a philosophical topic.

Students reading this introductory text will receive a solid grounding in the Western philosophic tradition. They will be introduced to a diverse set of philosophies that provide the critical thinking skills necessary in a cosmopolitan and multicultural society. The text does not shy away from challenging and controversial ethical, epistemological, and metaphysical topics.

Rather than treat each philosopher as merely a talking head, “spotlight” pages dig deeper into the lives and context of various thinkers, bringing their philosophies alive. Pillars of the Western tradition (such as Plato, Aquinas, Locke, and Kant) are addressed, but so too are diverse figures who are not usually included in standard philosophy textbooks (such as Angela Davis, Jane Addams, W.E.B. DuBois, Nāgārjuna, Jaegwon Kim, and Mulla Sadra).

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Note: Adoption of Revealing® Philosophy Interactive Explorations® courseware includes use of Philosophy Explained™.

Author: Maurice Hamington, Ph. D. (Portland State University)

About the author: Revealing® Philosophy and Philosophy Explained™

Maurice Hamington is Director of University Studies at Portland State University. He holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Oregon, a Ph.D. in Religion and Social Ethics, and an M.B.A. and a Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies from the University of Southern California. He has taught philosophy for over 25 years. Revealing® Philosophy is his tenth authored or edited volume. His other books include Embodied Care (2004) and The Social Philosophy of Jane Addams (2009). He has won awards for his research at the University of Southern Indiana and Metropolitan State University of Denver. His edited volume, Contemporary Feminist Pragmatism was named an Outstanding Book of 2012 by the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language, and Gender.

Highlights

  • Designed for adoption in college and university introductory philosophy courses
  • Students explore principles of philosophy in a clearly organized framework
  • Affordable student cost
  • Instructors who adopt Revealing® Philosophy receive Philosophy Explained™ at no charge to their students.

 

Contents

Copyright © 2013-2016, Thinking Strings, LLC

Table of Contents

Exploring Philosophy

What Is Philosophy?

  • Goals: What Is Philosophy?
  • Allegory of the Cave
  • Wisdom
  • Asking Questions
  • Skepticism
  • Spotlight: Socrates
  • Who Is a Philosopher?
  • Spotlight: Angela Davis
  • Summary: What Is Philosophy?

Why Study Philosophy?

  • Goals: Why Study Philosophy?
  • Why Philosophy?
  • Skills Learned
  • Philosophy & Careers
  • Non-Instrumental Value
  • Spotlight: Bertrand Russell
  • Spotlight: Siddhartha Gautama
  • Summary: Why Study Philosophy?

Areas of Study

  • Goals: Areas of Study
  • Traditional Subdivisions
  • Approaches to Philosophy
  • Applied Philosophical Fields
  • Philosophies of Identity
  • Belief & Unbelief
  • Spotlight: Alain Locke
  • Non-Western Philosophies
  • Summary: Areas of Study

History of Western Philosophy

  • Goals: History of Western Philosophy
  • Importance of History
  • Philosophical Timeline
  • Major Philosophic Periods
  • Ancient Philosophy
  • Medieval Philosophy
  • Modern Philosophy
  • Contemporary Philosophy
  • Summary: History of Western Philosophy

Tools of Philosophy

  • Goals: Tools of Philosophy
  • Toolkit of Life Skills
  • Reading & Listening Skills
  • Critical Thinking
  • Philosophical Research
  • Writing Philosophy
  • Speaking Philosophy
  • Summary: Tools of Philosophy

Logical Arguments

Defining Logic

  • Goals: Defining Logic
  • Identifying Witches
  • Vocabulary of Logic
  • Logic of Aristotle
  • Categories of Logic
  • Spotlight: Alfred Tarski
  • Paradox: Liars
  • Summary: Defining Logic

Arguments

  • Goals: Arguments
  • Can Terrorism Be Justified?
  • Argument versus Rhetoric
  • Spotting Arguments
  • Deductive Arguments
  • Inductive Arguments
  • Spotlight: Andrea Nye
  • Protagoras versus Euathlus
  • Summary: Arguments

Argument Fallacies

  • Goals: Argument Fallacies
  • Vulcan Logic
  • Informal versus Formal Logic
  • Fallacies
  • Aristotle: Fallacies
  • Types of Fallacies
  • Paradox: Meno
  • Spotlight: Mary Margaret McCabe
  • Summary: Argument Fallacies

Metaphysics: What Is Reality?

Defining Metaphysics

  • Goals: Defining Metaphysics
  • The Matrix
  • Metaphysics: Definition
  • Metaphysics: Areas of Study
  • Indigenous Metaphysics
  • Spotlight: Parmenides
  • Summary: Defining Metaphysics

Idealism

  • Goals: Idealism
  • Power of the Mind
  • Defining Idealism
  • Idealism: Plato
  • Idealism: Berkeley
  • Idealism: Other Forms
  • Spotlight: Schopenhauer
  • Criticisms of Idealism
  • Summary: Idealism

Realism

  • Goals: Realism
  • Nineteen Eighty-Four
  • Defining Realism
  • Materialism
  • Scientific Realism
  • Spotlight: Karl Popper
  • Spotlight: Lynne Rudder Baker
  • Criticisms of Realism
  • Summary: Realism

Time

  • Goals: Time
  • Time Travel
  • Predestination Paradox
  • What Is Time?
  • Questions about Time
  • Presentism versus Eternalism
  • Spotlight: Martin Heidegger
  • Summary: Time

Metaphysics: Who Am I?

Ontology & Existentialism

  • Goals: Ontology & Existentialism
  • I Heart Huckabees
  • Defining Ontology
  • Existentialism
  • Spotlight: Mulla Sadra
  • Spotlight: Jean-Paul Sartre
  • Spotlight: Mary Daly
  • Summary: Ontology & Existentialism

Identity

  • Goals: Identity
  • Ship of Theseus
  • What Is Identity?
  • Spotlight: G.W. Leibniz
  • Personal Identity
  • Personal Identity: Locke
  • Personal Identity: Reid
  • Personal Identity: Hume
  • Personal Identity in Buddhism
  • Summary: Identity

Mind & Body

  • Goals: Mind & Body
  • Turing Test
  • Philosophy of Mind
  • Mind-Body Problem
  • Other Minds
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Consciousness
  • Spotlight: Jaegwon Kim
  • Summary: Mind & Body

Freedom & Determinism

  • Goals: Freedom & Determinism
  • Minority Report
  • Causation
  • Determinism
  • Free Will
  • Compatibilism
  • Karma
  • Spotlight: Hannah Arendt
  • Summary: Freedom & Determinism

Metaphysics: Is There a God?

Characteristics of God

  • Goals: Characteristics of God
  • The Bible
  • God, Gods, or None
  • God: Personal versus Ineffable
  • God & Time
  • God & Power
  • God & Goodness
  • God & Gender
  • God, Religion & Theology
  • Process Theology
  • Liberation Theology
  • Spotlight: Frances Wright
  • Summary: Characteristics of God

Arguments for the Existence of God

  • Goals: Arguments for the Existence of God
  • The Color Purple
  • Faith
  • Cosmological Arguments
  • Ontological Arguments
  • Teleological Arguments
  • Moral Arguments
  • Wager of Pascal
  • Spotlight: Thomas Aquinas
  • Summary: Arguments for the Existence of God

Problem of Evil

  • Goals: Problem of Evil
  • South Park
  • Evil
  • Fundamental Problem of Evil
  • Logical Problem of Evil
  • Evidential Problem of Evil
  • Theodicies
  • Spotlight: Anne Conway
  • Summary: Problem of Evil

Comparative World Metaphysics

  • Goals: Comparative World Metaphysics
  • Gandhi
  • World Religions
  • Buddhist Metaphysics
  • Spotlight: Nagarjuna
  • Chinese Religious Metaphysics
  • Hindu Metaphysics
  • Islamic Metaphysics
  • Summary: Comparative World Metaphysics

Foundations of Epistemology

Epistemology: History & Definition

  • Goals: History & Definition of Epistemology
  • Sage of Baltimore
  • Definitions of Epistemology
  • Epistemological Terms
  • Approaches to Knowledge
  • Epistemology & Science
  • Epistemology in Ancient Philosophy
  • Epistemology in Medieval Philosophy
  • Epistemology in Modern Philosophy
  • Epistemology in Contemporary Philosophy
  • Spotlight: Al-Farabi
  • Summary: History & Definition of Epistemology

Truth

  • Goals: Truth
  • Beloved
  • Truth & Philosophy
  • Theories of Truth
  • Coherence Theories of Truth
  • Deflationary Theories of Truth
  • Spotlight: Harry Frankfurt
  • Summary: Truth

Justification

  • Goals: Justification
  • Homosexuality
  • Supporting a Claim
  • Internalism versus Externalism
  • Gettier Problem
  • Spotlight: Lorraine Code
  • Summary: Justification

Approaches to Epistemology

Rationalism

  • Goals: Rationalism
  • Epic Theater
  • Definitions of Rationalism
  • Ancient Western Origins
  • Karl Popper
  • Internalism & Externalism
  • Intuition
  • Innate Knowledge & Concepts
  • Spotlight: Alison Jaggar
  • Summary: Rationalism

Empiricism

  • Goals: Empiricism
  • Albert Einstein
  • Definitions of Empiricism
  • Ancient Greek Empiricism
  • British Empiricism
  • Phenomenalism
  • Positivism
  • Spotlight: William James
  • Summary: Empiricism

Pragmatism

  • Goals: Pragmatism
  • Leo Tolstoy
  • Definitions of Pragmatism
  • Origins of American Pragmatism
  • Resurgence & Critiques
  • Spotlight: Charles Sanders Peirce
  • Spotlight: Jane Addams
  • Summary: Pragmatism

Social Epistemology

Social Construction Theory

  • Goals: Social Construction Theory
  • Pink & Blue
  • Defining Social Epistemology
  • Social Construction Theory
  • Spotlight: Alvin Goldman
  • Spotlight: Patricia Hill Collins
  • Summary: Social Construction Theory

Social Epistemology & Science

  • Goals: Social Epistemology & Science
  • Copernican Revolution
  • Science & Society
  • Spotlight: Thomas Kuhn
  • Spotlight: Paul Feyerabend
  • Summary: Social Epistemology & Science

Feminist Epistemology

  • Goals: Feminist Epistemology
  • What We Do Not Know
  • Defining Feminist Epistemology
  • Standpoint Theory
  • Objectivity
  • Spotlight: Sandra Harding
  • Summary: Feminist Epistemology

Power & Epistemology

  • Goals: Power & Epistemology
  • Food Pyramid
  • Power, Truth & Knowledge
  • Nietzsche: Will to Truth
  • Fricker: Epistemology of Injustice
  • Spotlight: Michael Foucault
  • Summary: Power & Epistemology

Personal Ethics: Choices

Defining Ethics

  • Goals: Defining Ethics
  • Huckleberry Finn
  • What Is Ethics?
  • Categories of Ethics
  • Origin or Source of Ethics
  • Ethics, Epistemology, Metaphysics
  • Spotlight: Miguel De La Torre
  • Summary: Defining Ethics

Relativism

  • Goals: Relativism
  • Female Genital Mutilation
  • Forms of Relativism
  • Criticisms of Relativism
  • Respect for Cultural Diversity
  • Summary: Relativism

Egoism

  • Goals: Egoism
  • Yada, Yada, Yada
  • Ethical Egoism
  • Altruism
  • Spotlight: Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Egoism, Individualism, Capitalism
  • Spotlight: Ayn Rand
  • Criticisms of Egoism
  • Summary: Egoism

The Ends Do Not Justify the Means

  • Goals: The Ends Do Not Justify the Means
  • Revenge
  • Moral Rules
  • Deontological Ethics
  • Good Will
  • Spotlight: Immanuel Kant
  • Biblical Deontology
  • Contemporary Deontology
  • Rights
  • Criticisms of Principle-Based Ethics
  • Summary: The Ends Do Not Justify the Means

The Ends Justify the Means

  • Goals: The Ends Justify the Means
  • Making Ethical Decisions
  • Utilitarianism
  • Bentham: Utilitarian Calculus
  • Spotlight: John Stuart Mill
  • Modern Utilitarianism
  • Rule Utilitarianism
  • Utilitarianism as Common Sense
  • An Ethical Comparison
  • Criticisms of Utilitarianism
  • Summary: The Ends Justify the Means

Personal Ethics: Character

Virtue Ethics

  • Goals: Virtue Ethics
  • What Makes a Good Friend?
  • Spotlight: Aristotle
  • Eudaimonia
  • Thomas Aquinas & Virtues
  • Confucian Virtue
  • Contemporary Virtue Theories
  • Criticisms of Virtue Theories
  • Summary: Virtue Ethics

Care Ethics

  • Goals: Care Ethics
  • To Steal or Not to Steal
  • A New & Challenging Approach
  • Elements of Care Ethics
  • Spotlight: Nel Noddings
  • Genealogies of Care
  • An Evolving Ethic
  • Criticisms of Care
  • Summary: Care Ethics

Ethics of Identity

  • Goals: Ethics of Identity
  • Colbert Report
  • Epistemic Privilege
  • Does Race Matter?
  • Spotlight: Cornel West
  • Does Gender Matter?
  • Does Class Matter?
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Intersectionality
  • Summary: Ethics of Identity

Animal & Environmental Ethics

  • Goals: Animal & Environmental Ethics
  • Rabbits: Pets or Meat?
  • Moral Status of Animals
  • Protecting Animals
  • Utilitarianism & Animal Welfare
  • Spotlight: Peter Singer
  • Ethical Veganism
  • Ethics of Care for Animals
  • Environment & Ethics
  • Anthropocentrism
  • Ecofeminism
  • Spotlight: Vandana Shiva
  • Summary: Animal & Environmental Ethics

Social & Applied Ethics

Justice

  • Goals: Justice
  • Death Penalty
  • Social Ethics
  • Defining Justice
  • Forms of Justice
  • Spotlight: John Rawls
  • Care/Justice Debate
  • Spotlight: Susan Moller Okin
  • Summary: Justice

Political Philosophy

  • Goals: Political Philosophy
  • Immigration Debate
  • Defining Political Philosophy
  • Political Philosophies
  • Social Contract Theories
  • Spotlight: John Locke
  • Citizenship
  • Feminist Political Philosophy
  • Spotlight: Seyla Benhabib
  • Just War Theory
  • Summary: Political Philosophy

Business & Economic Theories

  • Goals: Business & Economic Theories
  • Enron Scandal
  • Business & Economics
  • Spotlight: Adam Smith
  • Spotlight: Karl Marx
  • Business Ethics
  • Stakeholder Theory
  • Ethics of Corporate Culture
  • Ethics of Corporate Compensation
  • Summary: Business & Economic Theories

Utopias

  • Goals: Utopias
  • Thomas More: Utopia
  • Utopian Thinking
  • Varieties of Utopias
  • Spotlight: Plato
  • Spotlight: Charlotte Perkins Gillman
  • Dystopias
  • Summary: Utopias

Aesthetics

Political Philosophy

  • Goals: Art
  • Art & Controversy
  • Defining Aesthetics
  • Art as Imitation
  • Art as Form
  • Art as Expression
  • Spotlight: R.G. Collingwood
  • Spotlight: Susanne K. Langer
  • Summary: Art

Artists & Audiences

  • Goals: Artists & Audiences
  • Pygmalion
  • Who Is an Artist?
  • Feminist Aesthetics
  • Artistic Intention
  • Spotlight: John Dewey
  • Apollonian & Dionysian
  • Summary: Artists & Audiences

Art & Its Purposes

  • Goals: Art & Its Purposes
  • Federal Art Project
  • Does Art Have a Function?
  • Art & Ethics
  • Spotlight: G.W.F. Hegel
  • Art & Social Purpose
  • Spotlight: Theodor W. Adorno
  • Summary: Art & Its Purposes