7th Edition

Core Questions in Philosophy

ISBN 9781138487338
Published March 2, 2020 by Routledge
360 Pages 29 B/W Illustrations

USD $79.95

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Book Description

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

23. Functionalism

24. Freedom, Determinism, and Causality

25. A Menu of Positions on Free Will

26. Compatibilism

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

32. Utilitarianism

33. Kant’s Moral Theory

34. Aristotle on the Good Life

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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

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