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Reading Philosophy

Selected Texts with a Method for Beginners

Guttenplan, Samuel / Hornsby, Jennifer / Janaway, Christopher / Schwenkler, John

Reading Philosophy


2. Auflage März 2021
384 Seiten, Softcover
Wiley & Sons Ltd

ISBN: 978-1-119-09467-8
John Wiley & Sons

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A key introductory philosophy textbook, making use of an innovative, interactive technique for reading philosophical texts

Reading Philosophy: Selected Texts with a Method for Beginners, Second Edition, provides a unique approach to reading philosophy, requiring students to engage with material as they read. It contains carefully selected texts, commentaries on those texts, and questions for the reader to think about as they read. It serves as starting points for both classroom discussion and independent study. The texts cover a wide range of topics drawn from diverse areas of philosophical investigation, ranging over ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind, aesthetics, and political philosophy.

This edition has been updated and expanded. New chapters discuss the moral significance of friendship and love, the subjective nature of consciousness and the ways that science might explore conscious experience. And there are new texts and commentary in chapters on doubt, self and moral dilemmas.
* Guides readers through the experience of active, engaged philosophical reading
* Presents significant texts, contextualized for newcomers to philosophy
* Includes writings by philosophers from antiquity to the late 20th-century
* Contains commentary that provides the context and background necessary for discussion and argument
* Prompts readers to think through specific questions and to reach their own conclusions

This book is an ideal resource for beginning students in philosophy, as well as for anyone wishing to engage with the subject on their own.

Prefaces to First and Second Edition ix

Sources and Acknowledgements xiii

Introduction 1

1 Doubt 7

Introduction to the Problem 7

Introduction to Descartes 8
Rene Descartes, 'First Meditation: What Can Be Called into Doubt' 9

Commentary on Descartes 12

Introduction to Moore 17
G. E. Moore, 'Proof of an External World' (extracts) 18

Commentary on Moore 21

2 Self 27

Introduction to the Problem 27

Introduction to Descartes 28
Rene Descartes, 'Second Meditation: Of the Nature of the Human Mind...' (extract) 29

Commentary on Descartes 32

Introduction to Ryle 35
Gilbert Ryle, 'Descartes' Myth' 36

Commentary on Ryle 45

3 Tragedy 51

Introduction to the Problem 51

Introduction to Hume 52
David Hume, 'Of Tragedy' 53

Commentary on Hume 58

Introduction to Feagin 63
Susan L. Feagin, 'The Pleasures of Tragedy' 64

Commentary on Feagin 72

4 Dilemma 77

Introduction to the Problem 77

Introduction to Lemmon 80
E. J. Lemmon, 'Moral Dilemmas' (extract) 80

Commentary on Lemmon 85

Introduction to Foot 89
Philippa Foot, 'Moral Dilemmas Revisited' (extracts) 89

Commentary on Foot 94

Introduction to Nussbaum 100
Martha C. Nussbaum, 'The Costs of Tragedy: Some Moral Limits of Cost-Benefit Analysis' (extract) 100

Commentary on Nussbaum 113

5 Friendship 119

Introduction to the Problem 119

Introduction to Aristotle 121
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book VIII (extracts) 121

Commentary on Aristotle 124

Introduction to Stroud 129
Sarah Stroud, 'Epistemic Partiality in Friendship' (extracts) 129

Commentary on Stroud 142

6 Equality 149

Introduction to the Problem 149

Introduction to Williams 150
Bernard Williams, 'The Idea of Equality' (extracts) 150

Commentary on Williams 165

Introduction to Nozick 173
Robert Nozick, Anarchy, State and Utopia (extracts) 173

Commentary on Nozick 178

7 Identity 183

Introduction to the Problem 183

Introduction to Locke 186
John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (extracts) 187

Commentary on Locke 194

Introduction to Williams 199
Bernard Williams, 'The Self and the Future' 199

Commentary on Williams 213

8 Freedom 219

Introduction to the Problem 219

Introduction to Schopenhauer 220
Arthur Schopenhauer, Prize Essay on the Freedom of the Will (extracts) 220

Commentary on Schopenhauer 233

Introduction to Wolf 237
Susan Wolf, 'Asymmetrical Freedom' (extract) 238

Commentary on Wolf 245

9 Consciousness 253

Introduction to the Problem 253

Introduction to Nagel 254
Thomas Nagel, 'What Is It Like to Be a Bat?' (extracts) 255

Commentary on Nagel 262

Introduction to Churchland 266
Patricia Churchland, 'The Hornswoggle Problem' (extracts) 267

Commentary on Churchland 274

10 Causality 279

Introduction to the Problem 279

Introduction to Hume 280
David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature, Book I (extracts from Part III) 282

Commentary on Hume 291

Introduction to Anscombe 300
G. E. M. Anscombe, 'Causality and Determination' (extract) 300

Commentary on Anscombe 307

11 Qualities 313

Introduction to Some Problems 313

Introduction to Boyle and Locke 315
Robert Boyle, The Origin of Forms and Qualities (extracts) 316

Commentary on Boyle 318
John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (extract from Book II, Chapter VIII) 322

Commentary on Locke 328

Introduction to Berkeley 332
George Berkeley, The Principles of Human Knowledge and Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous (extracts) 333

Commentary on Berkeley 338

Further Reading and Resources 345

Index 351
Samuel Guttenplan is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck, University of London, retiring after nearly 35 years in Birkbeck's philosophy department. Professor Guttenplan was the founding Executive Editor of the interdisciplinary journal Mind & Languagein 1986 and he served in that capacity for five and then sixteen years from 2000, continuing now as an Editor. His research interests include the philosophies of mind, language, philosophical logic, and ethics.

Jennifer Hornsby is Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck, University of London. She is Emeritus Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and a Fellow of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, of the British Academy, and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Christopher Janaway is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southampton. He is general editor of the Cambridge Edition of the Works of Schopenhauer, and has published widely in the history of philosophy, particularly on Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, and in aesthetics.

John Schwenkler is Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Florida State University. He is the author of Anscombe's 'Intention': A Guide. Professor Schwenkler's research is in the philosophy of mind and action, ethics, epistemology, and cognitive science.

S. Guttenplan, Birkbeck College, London; J. Hornsby, Birkbeck College, London; C. Janaway, University of Southampton