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The Elements of Philosophy: Readings from Past and Present

by Steven M. Cahn Susanna Siegel Tamar Szabó Gendler

The Elements of Philosophy: Readings from Past and Present offers an extensive collection of classic and contemporary readings, organized topically into five main sections: Religion and Belief, Moral and Political Philosophy, Metaphysics and Epistemology, Philosophy of Mind and Language, and Life and Death. Within these broad areas, readings are arranged in clusters that address both traditional issues--such as the existence of God, justice and the state, knowledge and skepticism, and free will--and contemporary topics--including God and science, just war theory, vegetarianism, and time travel. Carefully chosen selections from a wide range of pre-20th-century philosophers are paired with writings from more than fifty leading contemporary philosophers and thinkers. The traditional philosophers represented range from Plato and Aristotle to Immanuel Kant and A. J. Ayer; the contemporary philosophers include Saul Kripke, David Lewis, Thomas Nagel, Derek Parfit, Hilary Putnam, Robert Nozick, Judith Jarvis Thomson, John Rawls, Bernard Williams, and Susan Wolf. Also included are selections from linguist Noam Chomsky, physicist Albert Einstein, and psychologist William James. Edited by a team of scholars who are also highly esteemed instructors, The Elements of Philosophy is uniquely student-friendly. A team of undergraduate philosophy majors played a central role in helping to select topics, choose readings, and identify terms likely to require clarification. In response to their suggestions, the volume includes detailed introductions to each section, explanatory footnotes that define unfamiliar terms and concepts, an extensive glossary, and a guide to further resources. A companion Instructor's Manual, available on CD, offers article summaries, suggested essay questions, reading guides, model handouts, and sample syllabi. One of the most extensive and expansive anthologies available, The Elements of Philosophy is an ideal choice for both general and targeted introductory philosophy courses.

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