Craig, Edward. 2002. Philosophy. A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press.
Contents: List of illustrations IX; 1. Philosophy 1; 2. What should I do? 11; 3. How do we know? 24; 4. What am I? 35; 5. Some themes 45 6.
Of 'isms' 6; 7. Some more high spots 74; 8. What's in it for whom? 100; Bibliography 119; Index 127.
"We may be standing in the water, but why try to swim? In other words, what is philosophy for? There is far too much philosophy, composed
under far too wide a range of conditions, for there to be a general answer to that question. But it can certainly be said that a great deal of philosophy has
been intended as (understanding the words very broadly) a means to salvation, though what we are to understand by salvation, and salvation from what, has
varied as widely as the philosophies themselves. A Buddhist will tell you that the purpose of philosophy is the relief of human suffering and the attainment of
'enlightenment'; a Hindu will say something similar, if in slightly different terminology; both will speak of escape from a supposed cycle of death and rebirth
in which one's moral deserts determine one's future forms. An Epicurean (if you can find one nowadays) will pooh-pooh all the stuff about rebirth, but offer
you a recipe for maximizing pleasure and minimizing suffering in this your one and only life.
The reader will notice that I haven't made any attempt to define philosophy, but have just implied that it is an extremely broad term
covering a very wide range of intellectual activities. Some think that nothing is to be gained from trying to define it. I can sympathize with that thought,
since most attempts strike me as much too restrictive, and therefore harmful rather than helpful in so far as they have any effect at all. But I will at least
have a shot at saying what philosophy is; whether what I have to offer counts as a definition or not is something about which we needn't, indeed positively
shouldn't, bother too much." (pp. 4-5).
Margolis, Joseph. 2006. Introduction to Philosophical Problems. London: Continuum.
Second edition with a new Preface (First edition with the title Knowledge and Existence: An Introduction to Philosophical Problems,
New York: Oxford University Press, 1973).
Contents: Preface (2006) IX; Preface to the First Edition XIII-XX; I. Knowledge and Belief 1; II. Perception and Sensation 33; III. Doubt and
Certainty 66; IV. Existence and Reality 84; V. Identity and Individuation 110; VI. Actions and Events 137; VII. Language and Truth 169; VIII. Mind and Body
203; IX. Facts and Values 240; Epilogue 262-288.
"Finally, I must say again that I have been very forcefully impressed, in preparing this account, with the way in which an unfolding problem
simply drives one to explore topics that had not initially seemed so sensitively linked with one's opening concern. I have, in fact, deliberately tried to
convey a clear sense of this developing linkage. I begin with an analysis of knowledge, that forces us at once to anticipate the need to admit a public world,
our principal access to it, the nature of creatures capable of knowledge, and their primary way of expressing what they know. Hence, it seemed fair to proceed
from a general account of knowledge (contrasted with belief) to perception (contrasted with other forms of sentience) to the boundaries of doubt and certainty
regarding what we may know. In the interests of an enlarging coherence, I found myself obliged to distinguish between what is linguistically expressed and what
we may convey by way of linguistic models without supposing an ability to use language (as in speaking of animal beliefs and expectations) or an actual use of
language (as when beliefs are implied by one's actions); to distinguish between determining what is true (against the backdrop of a public world) and
determining that there is a public world (given which, questions of truth and falsity arise); and to coordinate our analysis of perception (our principal
access to the external world) with the admission of such a world, as by the use of the critical term 'exists'.
Hence, the first three chapters afford a provisional sense of closure respecting knowledge - on the condition, that is, that the essential
features of the world of which, presumably, we have knowledge would be disclosed. Accordingly, the fourth and fifth chapters explore the difference between
what we can talk about and what, within that range, we say exists. There, we are forced to notice a threatening gap between what we admit exists (in accord
with our principal means of access to the external world) and what we judge to be the nature of whatever there is in the world (the vexed question of the
nature of metaphysics); and, since whatever there is is identical with itself, we are obliged to sort out the large variety of senses in which the verb 'to be'
is used (including, now, the 'is' of existence and the 'is' of reference) in order to facilitate whatever we may say about whatever exists (distinguishing,
say, the 'is' of identity, of spatiotemporal continuity, of present time, of composition, and of predication).
These distinctions raise further problems, oblige us for instance to decide whether we can refer to what does not exist and why it is that we
cannot always say the same thing, under given linguistic circumstances, of what is self-identical. Here, we come to see the respect in which questions of
identity, particularly where discontinuity and decomposition obtain, are resolved in informal ways and the sense in which the very meaning of identity is made
difficult to explicate.
Also, recognizing that the enterprise of pursuing knowledge is essentially the activity of men, chiefly by means of language, the next three
chapters provide a natural sequel. There, we are drawn to examine the general nature of actions (contrasted with physical events), the nature of language (with
emphasis on meaning and truth), and the nature of persons and creatures that have minds (contrasted with physical bodies)." (from the Preface to the First
Honer, Stanley M., Hunt, Thomas C., and Okholm, Dennis L. 2005. Invitation to Philosophy. Issues and Options. Belmont:
Tenth Edition (First edition: 1973).
Contents: Preface; Prologue; 1. What is Philosophy?; 2. Philosophical Thinking; 3. Perception and Truth; 4. Epistemology: How We Know; 5.
Metaphysics: What is Real?; 6. Freedom and Determinism; 7.Philosophy and Religion; 8.Philosophy and Ethics; 9.Philosophy and Esthetics; 10.Philosophy and Human
Nature; 11.Philosophy in Politics; Epilogue; Appendix: Writing Philosophy Papers; Glossary; Index.
"Honer (philosophy emeritus, Mt. San Antonio College) and his co- authors provide an introduction to the basic questions of philosophy for
undergraduates and lay readers. The authors have substantially updated several chapters, including their case studies, and have also added significantly to
their glossary. General topics include definitions of "philosophy" and philosophical thinking. Other topics include perception and truth, epistemology,
metaphysics, freedom and determinism, and philosophy's relationships with religion, ethics, aesthetics, human nature, and politics. Chapters include study and
discussion questions, and online and print resources."
Creel, Richard E. 2001. Thinking Philosophically. An Introduction to Critical Reflection and Rational Dialogue. Malden:
" Thinking Philosophically consists primarily of the lectures I used to give in my Introduction to Philosophy course - though now
they are considerably expanded and polished. By putting into written form a great deal of obligatory, foundational material that I used to deliver by lecture,
I have freed in-class time to engage students in discussions of that material and to introduce them to primary sources by way of short handouts that we read,
interpret, and discuss in class. I frequently present students with opposed primary source handouts on the topic of the day - for example, Aristotle versus
Schopenhauer on happiness, Gorgias versus Hegel on human knowledge, Clifford versus James on the ethics of belief, Bertrand Russell versus Carl Jung on
religious experience, Socrates versus Thomas Hobbes on conscience. Sometimes a single handout includes opposed ideas, such as Plato's treatment of The Ring of
Gyges or the short debate between Socrates and Thrasymachus on justice. On other occasions a single handout from one point of view can be provocative and
illuminating, such as Plato's Allegory of the Cave, with which I always begin my Intro course, and to which I then refer at relevant points as the course goes
along. The short dialogues of Plato and some of Descartes' Meditations also work well as in-class supplements to Thinking Philosophically."
(From the Preface).
Shand, John, ed. 2003. Fundamentals of Philosophy. New York: Routledge.
Contents: List of contributors IX; Preface XI; Introduction 1; 1. Alan Goldman: Epistemology 11; 2. Michael Jubien; Metaphysics 36; 3. Greg
Restall: Logic 64; 4. Piers Benn: Ethics 94; 5. Suzanne Stern-Gillet: Ancient philosophy: from Thales to Aristotle 122; 6. Dermot Moran: Medieval philosophy:
from Augustine to Nicholas of Cusa 155; 7. Richard Franks: Modern philosophy: the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries 204; 8. Stephen Burwood: Philosophy of
mind 234; 9. Alexander Miller: Philosophy of language 262; 10. Alexander Bird: Philosophy of science; 11: Dudley Knowles: Political philosophy 326; 12. Colin
Lyas: Aesthetics 351; 13: W. Jay Wood: Philosophy of religion 377; 14. Simon Glendinning: Continental philosophy 408; Index: 443.
"This book is an accessible stimulating gateway to the central areas of philosophy. The chapters are carefully arranged to begin with what
are usually regarded as the core areas of the subject and then extend out to other important subjects of less generality, not, one should emphasise, of less
importance. The prime purpose of the chapters is not to give comprehensive coverage of each subject, but rather to open the door on the subject for the reader
and encourage thought about all the ideas within. Someone once said to me that studying philosophy had 'opened doors'; if this book does that, it will have
succeeded." (from the Introduction).
Rescher, Nicholas. 2001. Philosophical Reasoning. A Study in the Methodology of Philosophizing. Malden: Blackwell.
"This is a study in the methodology of philosophical inquiry. It is, accordingly, a venture in metaphilosophy, that rather neglected and
nevertheless perhaps most controversial of philosophical disciplines. The aim of the book is to expound and defend the thesis that systematization is the
proper instrument of philosophical inquiry and that the effective pursuit of philosophy's mission calls for constructing a doctrinal system that answers our
questions in a coherent and comprehensive way. Both of these factors - comprehensiveness and coherence - are indispensable with the adequacy of our
philosophizing, since the discipline is concerned with the big picture that emerges from the harmonious coordination of the essential details. Accordingly,
philosophy does not reject or other wise conflict with the cognitive materials obtained on other fronts - science and everyday-life experience. Rather, it
exploits and coordinates them. Its coherentist methodology requires it to accomplish its question resolving work with a maximum utilization of, and a minimum
disruption to, the materials that our other cognitive resources provide.
Philosophy is caught up in something of a dilemma. On the one hand, its admission as a legitimate and appropriate venture in rational inquiry
requires its looking to "the big picture" and striving to counteract the fragmentation that accompanies the specialization that pervades other cognitive
domains. On the other hand, it does not and cannot avert division of labor. It remains committed to the quest for unity and coherence in our understanding of
the nature of things. But this task is unquestionably difficult in a world where our knowledge is exploding in scope and in complexity, and this has profound
implications for how we can pursue philosophy. In the end, however, the fact remains that with this difficult task, as elsewhere, we must and should endeavor
to do the best we can." (pp. 1-2).
Daly, Chris. 2010. An Introduction to Philosophical Methods. Buffalo: Broadview Press.
Contents: Preface; Introduction; 1. Common sense; 2. Analysis; 3. Thought experiment; 4. Simplicity; 5. Explanation; 6. Science; Conclusion;
""Contemporary analytic philosophers are becoming more and more explicit about methodological issues, from the relevance of intuitions and
thought experiments to talk about inference to the best philosophical explanation and the 'cost and benefits' of accepting their philosophical views. This is
the first book to survey the discussion of these methods. Daly has separate chapters on common sense, analysis, thought experiments, simplicity, explanations
and naturalism. While aimed at upper level undergraduates, this book can be profitably studied by graduate students and researchers in philosophy who will
learn about their own perhaps unconscious methodological preferences. Case studies illustrating each method also serve as an overview of the latest trends in
philosophy of mind, metaphysics, epistemology, and early analytic philosophy." Bernard Linsky, University of Alberta.
Grayling, Anthony C., ed. 1995. Philosophy 1: A Guide through the Subject. New York: Oxford University Press.
Contents: List of Contributors VIII; Editor's Introduction 1; 1. Epistemology by Scott Sturgeon, M. G. F. Martin, A. C. Grayling 7; 2.
Philosophical logic by Mark Sainsbury 61; 3. Methodology the elements of the philosophy of science by David Papineau 123; 4. Metaphysics by Tim Crane and David
Wiggins 181; 5. The philosophy of mind by Martin Davies 250; 6. Ancient Greek philosophy I: The Pre-Socratics and Plato by Christopher Janaway 336; 7. Ancient
Greek philosophy II: Aristotle by Hugh Lawson-Tancred 398. 8. Modern philosophy I: The rationalists and Kant by Roger Scruton 440; 9. Modern philosophy II: The
empiricists by A. C. Grayling 484; 10. Ethics by Bernard Williams 525; 11. Aesthetics by Sebastian Gardner 583; Index 629.
"Each of the chapters that follow is devoted to a major area of philosophical endeavour. They are their own introductions to the questions
they discuss, and therefore need little supplementary introduction here. But a preliminary note about what each chapter contains will help with orientation, as
Chapter 1: Epistemology. Epistemology - sometimes called 'theory of knowledge' - concerns the nature and sources of knowledge. The questions
asked by epistemologists are, What is knowledge? How do we get it? Are all our means of seeking it equally good? To answer these questions we need to define
knowledge if we can, examine the means we employ in seeking it, and confront sceptical challenges to our claims to have it. Each of the three parts of Chapter
1 takes up one of these tasks. The first considers the problem of giving an adequate definition. The second examines one major means to knowledge - sensory
perception - and the third surveys sceptical arguments and efforts to counter them.
Chapter 2: Philosophical Logic. Philosophical logic is in many respects the workshop of philosophy, where a set of related and highly
important concepts come in for scrutiny, among them reference, truth, existence, identity, necessity, and quantification. These concepts are fundamental not
just to philosophical inquiry but to thought in general. This chapter examines these concepts by focusing upon the question of reference. The first two
sections look at what seem to be the most obvious examples of referring devices, names and descriptions. The third concerns a problem about existence; the
fourth examines identity statements and the fifth considers the question whether, when true, such statements are 'necessarily' true. The final section examines
some views about truth.
Chapter 3: Methodology. Epistemological discussions of the kind pursued in Chapter 1 concern the concept of knowledge in general. A more
particular application of it concerns science, one of the major fields of knowledge acquiring endeavour. Philosophical investigation into the assumptions,
claims, concepts, and methods of science raises questions of great philosophical importance. The elementary part of this inquiry, here called Methodology,
focuses largely on questions about the concepts and methods used in and its problems; the concept of laws of nature; realism, instrumentalism, and under-
determination of theory by evidence; confirmation and probability; and the concept of explanation.
Chapter 4: Metaphysics. All the foregoing branches of philosophy share certain problems about what ultimately exists in the universe. These
problems are the province of Metaphysics. Its primary questions are, What is where, and what is its nature? These questions immediately prompt others, so many
indeed - and so important - that some of them have now come to constitute branches of philosophy in their own right, for example, philosophy of mind and
philosophical theology. In addressing questions about the nature of reality, the metaphysician has to examine concepts of time, free will, appearance and
reality, causality, universals, substance, and a number of others besides. Here four of these topics are considered: causation, time, universals, and
substance. Note that questions about causality also come up in the chapters on Methodology and Mind, and the discussion of substance connects with the
discussion of Aristotle in the chapter on Greek philosophy (see below) - thus exemplifying the interconnectedness of philosophical inquiry.
Chapter 5: The Philosophy of Mind. Questions about the nature of mind were once usually included in metaphysics, but their great importance
has led to so much debate, and to such significant use of materials from the neighbouring fields of psychology and brain physiology, that the philosophy of
mind is now treated separately. Chief among the points requiring discussion are the relation of mind and brain, the nature of phenomena have casual powers or
are merely in some sense by-products of brain activity. The sections in this chapter take up each point in turn.
Chapter 6-9: The History of Philosophy. Because the problems of philosophy are ancient and persistent, studying the history of philosophy is
an important part of a philosophical education. It is not simply, or even very largely, that this study is interesting for its own sake - although it certainly
is - but rather, it is that the outstanding philosophers of the past made contributions to philosophy which we must grasp in the interests of our current work.
To study the history of philosophy is to study philosophy, for almost all the great questions were formulated and explored by our predecessors. Two main
periods of the history of Western thought are discussed in this volume: Greek philosophy from about 600 BC until 322 BC (the date of Aristotle's death), and
Modern philosophy from Descartes to Kant (the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries AD). The Greeks initiated all of philosophy's major fields, and identified
their basic questions. Two of them, Plato and Aristotle, are especially important. They and their forerunners, known as the Pre-Socratics, are the subject of
Chapters 6 and 7. The philosophers of the Modern period who have done so much to shape philosophical discussion since their day are Descartes, Spinoza,
Leibniz, and Kant (discussed in Chapter 8) and Locke, Berkeley, and Hume (discussed in Chapter 9). They are grouped in this way because the first three are
usually described as 'Rationalists' and the last three 'Empiricists' (Kant occupies a position apart), some important differences between rationalism and
empiricism being at stake. But perhaps the best order in which to read them, and to read about them, is: Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Spinoza, Leibniz,
Chapter 10: Ethics. The supreme importance of critical reflection on the values by which we live is unquestionable. Our values are the basis
of our judgements about others, and of our decisions about how to act and live. Ethics is the study of theories about moral values, and of the concepts we use
in identifying and asserting them. An important distinction is required here: a theory which prescribes how we should live is called a 'first-order' or
'normative' morality. Reflective enquiry into the assumptions, concepts, and claims of such first-order moralities is often called 'metaethics'. Both are of
crucial interest in the study of ethics, as this chapter shows. It discusses theories of ethics, examines some of the most important ethical concepts, and
investigates aspects of 'moral psychology'.
Chapter 11: Aesthetics. Aesthetics in contemporary philosophy concentrates upon discussion of the experience of appreciating artistic and
natural beauty, and investigates whether there is an underlying unity in the nature of such experience. In this chapter the three sections successively examine
aesthetic experience and judgement. fundamental concepts of the philosophy of art, and theories about the nature of art." (from the Editor's Introduction).
———, ed. 1998. Philosophy 2: Further through the Subject. New York: Oxford University Press.
Contents: Notes on the Contributors VII; Editor's Introduction 1; 1. The philosophy of psychology by Ned Block 4; 2. The philosophy of
language by Christopher Peacocke 72; 3. The philosophy of mathematics by Michael Dummett 122; 4. Philosophy and natural sciences by John Worrall 197; 5. The
philosophy of religion by M. W. F. Stone 267; 6. Political philosophy by Alan Ryan 351; 7. The philosophy of social sciences by David-Hillel Ruben 420; 8.
Later ancient philosophy by David Mitchell 470; 9. Medieval philosophy by Christopher Hughes 517; 10. Kant by Sebastian Gardner 574; 11. Continental philosophy
from Hegel by Michael Rosen 663; 12. Frege, Russell, and Wittgenstein by A. C. Grayling and Bernhard Weiss 705; 13. Indian philosophy by Paul Williams 793;
"The subjects introduced in this volume are various, and each of the chapters is independent of the others. The only unifying theme
throughout is the approach: each chapter assumes that its readers have some grounding in the basics of philosophy, and (without attempting to be exhaustive:
the Bibliographies point the way to further study) offers an account of some of the key questions in the field under discussion. No area of philosophy is
entirely free of connections to and overlaps with other areas, however, so it will be found that debate in one chapter throws light on debate in others in a
variety of ways - as to which, more below.
Six chapters have as their titles 'The Philosophy of.....'. In its more advanced regions philosophy often consists in reflection on the
assumptions, methods, and claims of an important area of intellectual endeavour. The 'philosophy of' chapters focus on crucial subjects: science mathematics,
social science in general and psychology in particular, language, and religion.
Two chapters extend the study of Philosophy's history into periods often neglected in undergraduate study, the 'post-Aristotelian' period of
later ancient philosophy, and medieval philosophy. Each is rich in intrinsic interest, and in importance for developments in later philosophy.
The high importance of political philosophy demands that it have a chapter to itself, which it gets here.
I have already mentioned the chapters that respectively survey Indian philosophy and Continental philosophy; as with the others in this
volume, they are intended to be prefaces to the further study invited by their Bibliographies, but this is a point worth iterating in their case because of
The remaining two chapters discuss the work of individuals. One is devoted to a single individual, Immanuel Kant; the other introduces themes
in the thought of three of the principal founders of twentieth-century analytic philosophy: Gottlob Frege, Bertrand Russell, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. The Kant
chapter surveys the work of a seminal modern thinker whose views have been influential in epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, and aesthetics across several
traditions of philosophical debate. The chapter on Frege, Russell, and Wittgenstein introduces a number of the most central questions of contemporary
philosophy." (from the Editor's Introduction).
Cahn, Steven M. 2002. Philosophy for the 21st Century. A Comprehensive Reader. New York: Oxford University Press.
"Introductory anthologies typically reflect the philosophical viewpoints of one or more senior scholars, each of whom makes editorial
decisions in a variety of fields. This collection draws on the judgments of a new generation of scholars, each of whom has chosen the selections and provided
introductions in one area of expertise: David Sosa (epistemology), L. A. Paul (philosophy of science), Delia Graff (metaphysics). Jesse J. Prinz (philosophy of
mind), Robin Jeshion (philosophy of language), Stuart Rachels (ethics), Cynthia A. Stark (political philosophy), and Gabriela Sakamoto (philosophy of art).
While the choice of associate editors, the structure of the book, and the contents of the first section are the responsibility of the editor, the rest of the
work has been done by the associate editors. These philosophers are in the vanguard of 21 st-century philosophy, and the choices they have made reflect their
views of the most important materials that should be mastered by 21st-century students.
Those who wish to learn more about a particular philosopher or a specific philosophical issue are urged to consult the Encyclopedia of
Philosophy (Routledge, 1999), ed. Edward Craig. It contains detailed entries with Bibliographies on every significant topic in the field.
Shorter entries, but informative and reliable, are to be found in The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy (Oxford and New York, 1994).
ed. Simon Blackburn and The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy. Second Edition (Cambridge and New York. 1999), ed. Robert Audi." (from the
Cottingham, John, ed. 2008. Western Philosophy. An Anthology. Malden: Blackwell.
Second edition (First edition 1996).
"There are many ways into Philosophy, and no good reason why one particular branch of the subject should always form the chosen route. One of
the objects of this book is to provide, within the compass of a single volume, a set of key introductory materials for the widest possible range of courses,
covering all the main branches of the subject (or at least all those suitable for teaching at a basic undergraduate level). Fundamental issues in epistemology
are dealt with in Part I ('Knowledge and Certainty'). Part II ('Being and Reality') is concerned with general metaphysics and ontology, while the philosophy of
mind is covered in Part III ('Mind and Body'). The important issues of personal identity and the freedom of the will receive separate treatment in Part IV
('The Self and Freedom'). The philosophy of religion and the philosophy of science are dealt with in Pan V ('God and Religion') and Part VI ('Science and
Method') respectively. The next two parts deal with moral philosophy: Part VII ('Morality and the Good Life') tackles theoretical and systematic issues in
normative ethics, while Pan VIII ('Problems in Ethics') covers a selection of key issues in applied moral philosophy. Finally, Pan IX ('Authority and the
State') and Pan X ('Beauty and Art') deal respectively with political philosophy and aesthetics.
Although the first two parts of the volume are devoted to epistemology and metaphysics, traditionally considered as having a 'foundational'
role in philosophy, the issues raised here are among the most demanding in the book, and there is no compelling reason why any given introductory course should
have to begin with them. Each pan of the volume is intended to be self-contained, and students and teachers are invited to work on the various parts of the
book in any order they see fit, or indeed to concentrate on any particular part or parts in isolation. That said, given the nature of philosophy there is
inevitably a fair amount of overlap between the topics raised in various parts; where this happens footnotes are provided to draw attention to connections with
relevant texts or commentary in other parts of the volume." (from the Preface, XIV-XV).
Perry, John R., Bratman, Michael E., and Fischer, John Martin. 2010. Introduction to Philosophy. Classical and Contemporary
Readings. New York: Oxford University Press.
Fifth edition (First edition 1986).
"In this anthology we have collected a variety of readings for use in a course or sequence of counts designed to introduce students to
philosophy. We have based the selection on two courses we have taught numerous times at Stanford University: "God, Self, and World" and "Value and Obligation."
The first is an introduction to metaphysics and epistemology, the second to ethics. These are one-quarter courses, usually taught in sequence, with a fair
number of students taking both.
These courses are built around classic texts supplemented by shorter selections from the past and present. We have included in this anthology
not only texts that we have found successful but also others that a survey of colleagues at Stanford and other institutions have identified as suitable. Thus,
the total number of selections is larger than can be reasonably covered in even a two-quarter sequence, and instructors will want to pick those that fit their
approach. We have included some footnotes from the original selections but have eliminated others. In some cases footnotes were eliminated because they could
not be understood in the context of the selection; in other cases this was done simply to save space. The remaining footnotes have been renumbered." (from the
Preface to the First edition).
Solomon, Robert C. 2009. Introducing Philosophy: A Text with Integrated Readings. New York: Oxford University Press.
Ninth edition (First edition 1989).
"This book derives from thirty years of teaching in very different schools in various cities and states. It is based on the belief that
philosophy is a genuinely exciting subject, accessible not only to specialists and a few gifted undergraduate majors but to everyone. Everyone is a
philosopher, whether enrolled in a philosophy course or not. Most of us are concerned with the same basic problems and use the same essential arguments. The
difference is that someone who has studied philosophy has the advantage of having encountered stronger and more varied arguments than might have been available
otherwise. In this book, the views of the major philosophers of the past twenty-five hundred years are used to give students these various arguments.
This approach offers introductory students direct contact with substantial readings from significant works in the history of philosophy, but
removes the unreasonable demand that they confront these often difficult works in full and without commentary or editing, as they would in the originals or in
most anthologies. This book is not, however, a historical introduction but rather an introduction to the problems of philosophy and the various ways in which
they have been answered. The history of philosophy thus serves to illuminate these problems and replies, not the other way around." (from the Preface).