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Ever wonder what purpose philosophy serves? That question and others like it are the reason A PREFACE TO PHILOSOPHY was written. With this introduction to philosophy textbook, you'll get a headstart on philosophy class. Plus, it helps you learn to think philosophically, recognize philosophical problems, and avoid the common pitfalls involved in writing philosophical essays. Better grades and less stress in philosophy class makes A PREFACE TO PHILOSOPHY your best choice.
Table of Contents
Preface to the Sixth Edition
A Note to Students
Recognizing Philosophical Subject Matter
Philosophical Problems Involve Fundamental Ideas
Philosophical Problems Involve Questions of Meaning, Truth (Rational Defensibility), and Logical Relations
Philosophical Problems Are Not Straightfowardly Empirical
Two Case Studies
Taking Your First Philosophy Course
Postscript: Divisions of Philosophy
How Philosophers See Their Goals
The Relevance of Philosophy
The Lure of Philosophical Issues
Postscript: Are Gurus Philosophers?
Philosophical Progress: Clearing Up Some Misconceptions
Philosophy Is Not Merely an Exercise in Semantics
The Choice Between Competing Theories Is Not Arbitrary
Philosophers Do Agree
Philosophical Theories Are Not Merely Rationalizations of Personal Belief
Why Be Rational?
Postscript: The Cultural Matrix of Reason
Doing Philosophy: Getting Started
Preparing to Philosophize
What Kind of Claim Is Advanced?
The Claims: A Summary
What Is the Meaning of Key Terms?
Doing Philosophy: Further Considerations
Do the Arguments Support the Thesis?
Are the Premises True?
Are the Assumptions Correct?
Are the Logical Consequences Plausible?
How Adequate Is the Theory?
An Example of Philosophical Analysis: Near-Death Experience
An Example of Philosophical Analysis: Equality of Opportunity