Revealing® Philosophy

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Revealing® Philosophy makes learning richer and more meaningful. It is highly flexible. It can be used alone or in conjunction with additional materials. Revealing® Philosophy is an easy fit for both distance learning courses and traditional classroom environments. Student achievements in Revealing® Philosophy are tracked and reported to the instructor through the Interactive Grade Book®.

By teaching the basics of philosophy in an engaging manner that enhances independent learning, Revealing® Philosophy frees up class time for the kind of learning that teachers and classrooms provide best: student interaction, discussion, and the opportunity to address specific student needs and interests. If you are tired of assigning material that students don’t read, or that leaves them struggling to retain basic information, you will be thrilled with Revealing® Philosophy.

Revealing® Philosophy includes twelve modules (corresponding to textbook chapters) that treat the major topics covered in philosophy courses.

  • Exploring Philosophy
  • Logical Arguments
  • Metaphysics: What Is Reality?
  • Metaphysics: Who Am I?
  • Metaphysics: Is There a God?
  • Foundations of Epistemology
  • Approaches to Epistemology
  • Social Epistemology
  • Personal Ethics: Choices
  • Personal Ethics: Character
  • Social & Applied Ethics
  • Aesthetics

Revealing® Philosophy explores the traditional categories of logic, metaphysics, epistemology, and aesthetics. However, the text is anything but traditional. The self-paced and highly responsive format of Revealing® Philosophy 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 who engage 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, or metaphysical topics.

Revealing® Philosophy has an array of tools to allow the instructor to customize the student learning experience and to help the student succeed. Every page of text is attractively illustrated and packed with information to bring the concepts alive. The narrated text offers students a number of ways to interact with the material to maximize learning. Students have frequent opportunities to check their comprehension of the material. Students are prompted to write journal entries that allow for reflection and critical application of ideas. 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). Extensive use of quoted material and links to full texts give the student opportunities to read selections of original works.

The opening module offers a comprehensive introduction to the field of philosophy, including sections on the definition of philosophy, the importance of studying philosophy, the composition of philosophy, a brief history of philosophy, and the tools of philosophy—including online resources. Revealing® Philosophy takes nothing for granted. An extensive, easily searchable glossary, review questions, and search tool provide additional resources for students. Content is updated on a semester-by-semester basis, improving and extending existing material with new developments related to each topic.

Images of the materials presented are available at the rate of one for roughly every paragraph of text—a ratio that print textbooks cannot begin to match. The narration is a tremendous asset for students with learning differences, auditory learners, and those whose native language is not English. A robust set of supplementary materials (including test banks in various formats) is provided to the instructor on adoption.

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

About the author: Revealing® Philosophy

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.


Revealing® Philosophy Highlights

  • Designed for adoption in college and university introductory philosophy courses
  • Students explore principles of philosophy in a clearly organized framework
  • Cutting-edge multimedia technologies enliven the learning experience with narration, interactivity, and sound.
  • Achievement Profile emphasizes progress and acts as a clearly organized table of contents and navigational hub
  • Assistance Palette includes integrated Glossary, Bibliography, Search, Recent Pages, Review, and Help
  • Try Its encourage analytic understanding of content
  • Affordable student cost
  • Instructors who adopt Revealing® Philosophy for class use receive access to the time-saving Thinking Strings Interactive Grade Book® at no charge
  • Runs on Apple® Macintosh® and Windows® computers
  • Prompt and courteous technical support for both students and instructors

Revealing® Philosophy enriches each student’s learning experience. It is a flexible teaching and learning tool that can be used either as the principal class text or in conjunction with additional materials.

Revealing® Philosophy is an easy fit for either distance learning courses or regular classroom use. By teaching the basics of philosophy in an engaging manner that is proven to enhance independent learning, Revealing® Philosophy frees up class time for the kind of learning that classrooms and distance learning teaching platforms provide best: student interaction, discussion, and the opportunity to address specific student needs and interests.

Instructors who adopt Revealing® Philosophy receive no-cost access to the Interactive Grade Book®. This time-saving tool securely and automatically collects, compiles, and summarizes student achievement reports.

Thinking Strings® handles all technical support, allowing the instructor to concentrate on teaching, not technology.


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?
  • Try It: 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?
  • Try It: 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
  • Try It: 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
  • Try It: 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
  • Try It: 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
  • Try It: Defining Logic


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


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


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


  • Goals: Time
  • Time Travel
  • Predestination Paradox
  • What Is Time?
  • Questions about Time
  • Presentism versus Eternalism
  • Spotlight: Martin Heidegger
  • Summary: Time
  • Try It: 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
  • Try It: Ontology & Existentialism


  • 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
  • Try It: 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
  • Try It: Mind & Body

Freedom & Determinism

  • Goals: Freedom & Determinism
  • Minority Report
  • Causation
  • Determinism
  • Free Will
  • Compatibilism
  • Karma
  • Spotlight: Hannah Arendt
  • Summary: Freedom & Determinism
  • Try It: 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
  • Try It: 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
  • Try It: 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
  • Try It: 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
  • Try It: 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
  • Try It: History & Definition of Epistemology


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


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

Approaches to Epistemology


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


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


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

Social Epistemology & Science

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


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


  • Goals: Egoism
  • Yada, Yada, Yada
  • Ethical Egoism
  • Altruism
  • Spotlight: Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Egoism, Individualism, Capitalism
  • Spotlight: Ayn Rand
  • Criticisms of Egoism
  • Summary: Egoism
  • Try It: 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
  • Try It: 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
  • Try It: 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
  • Try It: 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
  • Try It: 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
  • Try It: 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
  • Try It: Animal & Environmental Ethics

Social & Applied Ethics


  • Goals: Justice
  • Death Penalty
  • Social Ethics
  • Defining Justice
  • Forms of Justice
  • Spotlight: John Rawls
  • Care/Justice Debate
  • Spotlight: Susan Moller Okin
  • Summary: Justice
  • Try It: 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
  • Try It: 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
  • Try It: Business & Economic Theories


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


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
  • Try It: Art

Artists & Audiences

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

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