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Questions that Matter: An Invitation to Philosophy, 6/e
Ed L. Miller, University of Colorado -- Boulder
Jon Jensen, Luther College

Table of Contents


1. What Is Philosophy?
The Word Itself
The Fields of Philosophy
A Rational, Critical Enterprise
A Working Definition
Philosophy, Religion, and Science
A Little Logic
What Is An Argument
Professor Miller’s Four Principles
Of Beards and Bread
Chapter 1 in Review
Readings from:
Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers
Plato, Apology
Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles
Jaggar, "How Can Philosophy Be Feminist?"
Woodhouse, A Preface to Philosophy


2. The First Metaphysicians
The First Theory of Reality
Three Pre-Socratic Traditions
The Discovery of Form
Chapter 2 in Review
Readings from:
Aristotle, Metaphysics
Copleston, A History of Philosophy
Guthrie, A History of Greek Philosophy
Heidegger, An Introduction to Metaphysics

3. The Idea of Form
Plato and Socrates
The Two Worlds: Appearance and Reality
The Theory of Forms
Degrees of Reality and Knowledge
The Good, the Sun, and the Cave
Aristotle’s Criticism of Plato
Aristotle’s View of Form
After Plato and Aristotle
Chapter 3 in Review
Readings from:
Plato, Euthyphro, Timaeus, The Republic, Phaedo
Aristotle, Metaphysics, Poetics
Quine, "On What There Is"

4. Mind and Matter
Descartes: The Father of Modern Philosophy
“What Can I Know for Certain?”
The Intuition of Mind
The Deduction of God
The Deduction of Matter
Some Objections
The Mind-Body Problem
Mind: A Set of Dispositions or Functions
Chapter 4 in Review
Readings from:
Descartes, Discourse on Method, Meditations on First Philosophy
Searle, Minds, Brains and Science
Ryle, The Concept of Mind
Churchland, Matter and Consciousness

5. Idealism
What is Idealism?
Berkeley and Locke
Berkeley’s View: Esse est percipi
Five Proofs for Subjective Idealism
Hylas and Philonous
Solipsism or God?
Some Objections
Chapter 5 in Review
Readings from:
Berkeley, Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous

6. Materialism
What is Materialism?
Man a Machine
The New Materialism
Are the Mind and Body Identical?
Beyond Freedom and Dignity: Skinner
Are All Things Determined?
Chapter 6 in Review
Readings from:
Lucretius, The Nature of Things
Hobbes, Leviathan
Laplace, A Philosophical Essay on Probabilities
La Mettrie, Man a Machine
Hanson, "The Dematerialization of Matter"
Taylor, Metaphysics
Churchland, Matter and Consciousness
Danto, Connections to the World
Skinner, Beyond Freedom and Dignity


7. Skepticism
Varieties of Skepticism
Pyrrho: The Classic Skeptic
Is Absolute Skepticism a Coherent Position?
Rorty and Friends: Historicism and Pluralism
Chapter 7 in Review
Readings from:
Diogenes Laertius (on Pyrrho), Lives of Eminent Philosophers
St. Augustine, Against the Academicians
Richard Roty, Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature
Grenz, “Star Trek and the Next Generation”
Plantinga, "The Twin Pillars of Christian Scholarship"

8. The Way of Reason
Two Main Theories about the Basis of Knowledge
Reason as the Basis of Knowledge
The Rationalism of Plato
The Rationalism of Descartes
A Contemporary Version: Chomsky
Chapter 8 in Review:
Readings from:
Plato, Phaeodo
Descartes, Discourse on Method, Rules for the Direction of the Mind
Chomsky, Aspects of the Theory of Syntax, "Language and the Mind"

9. The Way of Experience
What is Empiricism?
Classical Empiricism: Aristotle and St. Thomas
Modern Empiricism: Locke
Radical Empiricism: Hume
Chapter 9 in Review
Readings from:
Aristotle, Posterior Analytics
St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologia
Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding
Hume, A Treatsie of Human Nature, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

10. The Problem of Certainty
Kant and Hume
Some Important Terminology
Is There Synthetic A Priori Knowledge?
The Limits of Reason
Chapter 10 in Review
Readings from:
Kant, Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics, Critique of Pure Reason


11. God and the World
Natural Theology
The Cosmological Argument
The Teleological Argument
The Problem of Causality
Chapter 11 in Review
Readings from:
St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, Summa Contra Gentiles
Jastrow, God and the Astronomers
Paley, Natural Theology; Tennant, Philosophical Theology
Black Elk Speaks
Hume, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion
Kant, Critique of Pure Reason

12. God and Reason
The Ontological Argument
Is Existence a Predicate?
The Moral Argument
Is There a Moral Law?
Is Religious Experience Evidence for God?
Chapter 12 in Review
Readings from:
St. Anselm, Proslogium
Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy
Kant, Critique of Pure Reason
Malcolm, Knowledge and Certainty
Lewis, Mere Christianity
Rashdall, The Theory of Good and Evil
Russell and Copleston, "The Existence of God"
Weil, Waiting for God
Broad, Religion, Philosophy, and Psychical research
James, The Varieties of Religious Experience
Freud, The Future of an Illusion

13. God and Evil
What Is the Problem?
Some Solutions
Evil as a Privation of Goodness
The Free-will Defense
Evil as Therapy
Evil Is Irrational
Chapter 13 in Review
Readings from:
Mill, Three Essays on Religion
Hume, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion
St. Augustine, The Enchiridion on Faith, Hope and Love, On Free Choice of the Will
Plantinga, God, Freedom, and Evil
Mackie, "Evil and Omnipotence"
Irenaeus, Against Heresies
Hick, Evil and the God of Love
Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays, The Plague


14. Challenges to Morality
The Challenge of Relativism
The Challenge of Determinism
The Challenge of Psychological Egoism
The Challenge of Existentialism
Chapter 14 in Review
Readings from:
Skinner, beyond Freedom and Dignity
Benedict, "Anthropology and the Abnormal"
James, "The Dilemma of Determinism"
Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding
D'Holbach, The System of Nature
Stace, Religion and the Modern Mind
Frankena, Ethics
Hume, An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals
Hobbes, On Human Nature
Sartre, "Existentialism"
de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
Jaggar, "Feminist Ethics"
Marcel, The Philosophy of Existentialism

15. Utilitarianism
The Question of Consequences
What Is Utilitarianism?
Bentham’s Version: Quantity over Quality
Mill’s Version: Quality over Quantity
Some Objections
Chapter 15 in Review
Bentham, The Rationale of Reward, An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation
Mill, Utilitarianism
Williams, A Critique of Utilitarianism
Moore, Principia Ethica
Regan, "The Radical Egalitarian Case for Animal Rights"

16. The Role of Duty
Morality as Unconditional
The Good Will
Kant’s Categorical Imperative
The Test of Moral Actions
Some Objections
Chapter 16 in Review
Readings from:
Beck, Preface to translation of Kant, Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals
Kant, Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals
Martin Luther King, Jr., "The Ethical Demands of Integration"
Regan, The Case for Animal Rights
Taylor, Respect for Nature

17. Virtue
Character and Action
Aristotle on Happiness and Virtue
The Virtues
Is There a Natural Law?
Chapter 17 in Review
Readings from:
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics
Hill, Ideals of Human Excellence and Preserving the Natural Environment
St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae

18. Liberty
The Liberal Perspective: Locke
Liberalism and Capitalism
A Radical Response: Marx
Some Objections
Chapter 18 in Review
Readings from:
The Bill of Rights
Locke, Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Second Treatise of Government
The International Declaration of the Rights of Man
Declaration of Independence
Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations
Marx, Early Writings

19. Democracy
Government by the People
Rousseau's Social Contract
Some Objections
Plato's Philosopher Kings
Chapter 19 in Review
Readings from:
Declaration of Independence
Rousseau, The Social Contract
Hobbes, Leviathan
Hume, Of the Original Contract
de Tocqueville
Democracy in America
Plato, Republic
Aristotle, Politics

20. Justice
The Problem
Rawls: Justice as Fairness
Nozick: Justice as Entitlement
MacIntyre: Justice as Virtue
Okin: Justice, Gender, and the Family
Chapter 20 in Review
Readings from:
MacIntyre, After Virtue
Rawls, A Theory of Justice
Marty, "Rawls and the Harried Mother"
Nozick, Anarchy, State, and Utopia
Sheffler, "Natural Rights, Equality, and the Minimal State"
Feinberg, Social Philosophy
Okin, Justice, Gender, and the Family

A (Short) Philosophical Dictionary
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