Writing in an engaging lecture-style format, Elliott Sober shows students how philosophy is best used to evaluate many different kinds of arguments and to construct sound theories. Well-known historical texts are discussed, not as a means to honor the dead or merely to discuss what various philosophers have thought, but to engage with, criticize, and even improve ideas from the past. In addition—because philosophy cannot function apart from its engagement with the wider society—traditional and contemporary philosophical problems are brought into dialogue with the physical, biological, and social sciences. Text boxes highlight key concepts, and review questions, discussion questions, and a glossary of terms are also included.
Core Questions in Philosophy has served as a premier introductory textbook for more than two decades, with updates to each new edition. New improvements to this seventh edition include a lower price and a new Routledge companion website that includes:
- Updated supplementary readings, with the inclusion of more work from female philosophers
- New videos and podcasts, organized by their relevance to each chapter in the book.
Visit the companion website at: www.routledge.com/cw/sober.
Table of Contents
Part One: Introduction
1. What Is Philosophy?
2. Deductive Arguments
3. Inductive and Abductive Arguments
Part Two: Philosophy of Religion
4. Aquinas’s First Four Ways
5. The Design Argument
6. Evolution and Creationism
7. Can Science Explain Everything?
8. The Ontological Argument
9. Is the Existence of God Testable?
10. Pascal and Irrationality
11. The Argument from Evil
Part Three: Theory of Knowledge
12. What Is Knowledge?
13. Descartes’ Foundationalism
14. The Reliability Theory of Knowledge
15. Justified Belief and Hume’s Problem of Induction
16. Can Hume’s Skepticism Be Refuted?
17. Beyond Foundationalism
18. Locke on the Existence of External Objects
Part Four: Philosophy of Mind
19. Dualism and the Mind/Body Problem
20. Logical Behaviorism
21. Methodological Behaviorism
22. The Mind/Brain Identity Theory
24. Freedom, Determinism, and Causality
25. A Menu of Positions on Free Will
27. Psychological Egoism
Part Five: Ethics
28. Ethics—Normative and Meta
29. The Is/Ought Gap and the Naturalistic Fallacy
30. Observation and Explanation in Ethics
31. Conventionalist Theories
33. Kant’s Moral Theory
34. Aristotle on the Good Life
Elliott Sober is Hans Reichenbach Professor and William F. Vilas Research Professor in the Philosophy Department at the University of Wisconsin—Madison, USA. His most recent book is The Design Argument (2018).
"A really excellent introduction to philosophy does the following: meets the student at their level, then takes them up a notch, and approaches traditional topics in unique and interesting ways. This book does those things."
Fred Adams, University of Delaware
- Companion website resource