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Great Philosophical Arguments

An Introduction to Philosophy

By Lewis Vaughn

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Format: Paperback, 688 pages
Published In: United States, 01 July 2011
Great Philosophical Arguments is based on the fact that much of the power, drama, and pleasure of philosophy comes from argument-specifically from the many touchstone arguments that generated much of the philosophical canon. Like other topically organized introductory philosophy readers, this book is organized around the main areas of philosophy: the existence of God, knowledge and skepticism, mind and body, free will and determinism, ethics, and contemporary ethical debates, including abortion, euthanasia, and global hunger and poverty. But what is unique is the systematic focus on argument. The reading selections are organized by argument. Each argument is introduced by a briefing that (1) sketches the argument, (2) provides conceptual background for it, and (3) reviews some of the main philosophical responses to it. After the briefing come two to four selections presenting the classic statement of the argument, critiques and defenses of it, and discussions of related debates. At the end of each agrument are useful essay questions for further analysis. Vaughn's approach focuses students' attention on argumentation, where much of the philosophical work gets done; it gives them clear points of reference for navigating material in which they often get lost; and it helps them understand and appreciate the philosophical dialectic-the interplay of argument and counterargument among articles and authors. An introductory Chapter One explains the concerns and methods of philosophy, explains its practical and theoretical benefits, and provides a short lesson in identifying, constructing, and assessing arguments. Each chapter has an extensive introduction to the issue and arguments, and essay questions at chapter endings urge reflection on the chapter as a whole. Other pedagogical features include biographical text boxes, bold key terms lists at the ends of chapters and collected in an end-of-book glossary, suggestions for further readings, and an appendix on How to Write an Argumentative Essay. An Instructor's Manual and Testbank on CD features chapter summaries, reading summaries, lecture outlines in PowerPoint format, and objective test questions for use in exams or midterms. A Companion Website for both students and instructors at www.oup. com/us/vaughn includes all the material from the Instructor's Manual and Testbank, and such resources for students as study questions, interactive quizzes, flashcards with key words, and helpful web links. Message: The only introduction to philosophy textbook that teaches students to think critically about philosophical arguments-that shows students how to identify, understand, and critique philosophical arguments.

Table of Contents

CHAPTERS 2-7 OPEN WITH AN INTRODUCTION AND CLOSE WITH ESSAY QUESTIONS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING; CHAPTER 1. PHILOSOPHICAL WORK; CHAPTER 2. THE EXISTENCE OF GOD; 1. THE COSMOLOGICAL ARGUMENT; 2. THE DESIGN ARGUMENT FROM ANALOGY; 3. THE DESIGN ARGUMENT FROM THE BEST EXPLANATION; 4. THE ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENT; 5. THE ARGUMENT FROM MIRACLES; 6. THE ARGUMENT FROM EVIL; CHAPTER 3. KNOWLEDGE AND SKEPTICISM; 7. DESCARTES' DREAM AND EVIL GENIUS ARGUMENTS; 8. DESCARTES' ARGUMENT AGAINST SKEPTICISM; 9. BERKELEY'S ARGUMENT AGAINST THE EXISTENCE OF MATERIAL OBJECTS; 10. HUME'S ARGUMENT AGAINST INDUCTION; CHAPTER 4. MIND AND BODY; 11. DESCARTES' CONCEIVABILITY ARGUMENT FOR DUALISM; 12. NAGEL'S BAT ARGUMENT AGAINST MIND-BODY IDENTITY; 13. CHALMERS' ZOMBIE ARGUMENT AGAINST MATERIALISM; 14. BLOCK'S CHINESE BRAIN ARGUMENT AGAINST FUNCTIONALISM; 15. SEARLE'S CHINESE ROOM ARGUMENT AGAINST STRONG AI; CHAPTER 5. FREE WILL AND DETERMINISM; 16. ARGUMENT FOR HARD DETERMINISM; 17. INDETERMINIST ARGUMENT FOR FREE WILL; 18. ARGUMENT AGAINST COMPATIBILISM; 19. ARGUMENT AGAINST LIBERTARIANISM; CHAPTER 6. ETHICS; 20. ARGUMENT FOR CULTURAL RELATIVISM; 21. ARGUMENT AGAINST ETHICAL EGOISM; 22. ARGUMENT AGAINST THE DIVINE COMMAND THEORY; 23. ARGUMENT AGAINST UTILITARIANISM; 24. ARGUMENT AGAINST KANTIAN ETHICS; CHAPTER 7. PHILOSOPHY AT WORK: CONTEMPORARY ETHICAL DEBATES; ABORTION; TWO ARGUMENTS AGAINST ABORTION; TWO ARGUMENTS FOR ABORTION; EUTHANASIA; TWO ARGUMENTS AGAINST EUTHANASIA; TWO ARGUMENTS FOR EUTHANASIA; GLOBAL HUNGER; 33. HARDIN'S ARGUMENT AGAINST AIDING THE POOR; 34. SINGER'S ARGUMENT FOR AIDING THE POOR

About the Author

Lewis Vaughn is the author or coauthor of numerous books, including Philosophy: The Quest for Truth, Eighth Edition (2011), Classics of Philosophy, Third Edition (2010), Contemporary Moral Arguments (2010), The Power of Critical Thinking, Third Edition (2009), Bioethics (2008), and Writing Philosophy (2005), all published by Oxford University Press.

Reviews

"I very much like the general theme of this book. Organizing things around a set of philosophical arguments is a good approach, since the skills of identifying, stating, and critiquing arguments happen to be exactly the skills that ought to be a primary focus of any introductory course."--Dennis Earl, Coastal Carolina University"This is an excellent Introduction to Philosophy text. I think that the 'argument' approach as presented in this book is very effective. The approach of first introducing the issue and the arguments, then offering a 'pro/con' set of readings, followed by questions, will encourage students to analyze the readings and to distinguish the respective arguments."--Kevin W. Sweeney, University of Tampa"The author's style is a real strength of this book. Clear and engaging, and with a real knack for explaining clearly and quickly where the essence of a problem and the crux of an argument are."--Jozef Muller, University of Florida" "I very much like the general theme of this book. Organizing things around a set of philosophical arguments is a good approach, since the skills of identifying, stating, and critiquing arguments happen to be exactly the skills that ought to be a primary focus of any introductory course."--Dennis Earl, Coastal Carolina University"This is an excellent Introduction to Philosophy text. I think that the 'argument' approach as presented in this book is very effective. The approach of first introducing the issue and the arguments, then offering a 'pro/con' set of readings, followed by questions, will encourage students to analyze the readings and to distinguish the respective arguments."--Kevin W. Sweeney, University of Tampa"The author's style is a real strength of this book. Clear and engaging, and with a real knack for explaining clearly and quickly where the essence of a problem and the crux of an argument are."--Jozef Muller, University of Florida"

EAN: 9780195342604
ISBN: 0195342607
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Dimensions: 23.4 x 19.1 x 2.6 centimetres (1.04 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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