Introducing Philosophy : God, Mind, World, and Logic book cover
1st Edition

Introducing Philosophy
God, Mind, World, and Logic

ISBN 9780415537148
Published January 13, 2015 by Routledge
456 Pages

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Book Description

Written for any readers interested in better harnessing philosophy’s real value, this book covers a broad range of fundamental philosophical problems and certain intellectual techniques for addressing those problems. In Introducing Philosophy: God, Mind, World, and Logic, Neil Tennant helps any student in pursuit of a ‘big picture’ to think independently, question received dogma, and analyse problems incisively. It also connects philosophy to other areas of study at the university, enabling all students to employ the concepts and techniques of this millennia-old discipline throughout their college careers – and beyond. 


-- Investigates the philosophy of various subjects (psychology, language, biology, math), helping students contextualize philosophy and view it as an interdisciplinary pursuit; also helps students with majors outside of philosophy to see the relationship between philosophy and their own focused academic pursuits

-- Author comes from a distinguished background in Logic and Philosophy of Language, which gives the book a level of rigor, balance, and analytic focus sometimes missing from primers to philosophy

-- Introduces students to various important philosophical distinctions (e.g. fact vs. value, descriptive vs. prescriptive, norms vs. laws of nature, analytic vs. synthetic, inductive vs. deductive, a priori vs. a posteriori) providing skills that are important for undergraduates to develop in order to inform their study at higher levels. They are essential for further work in philosophy but they are also very beneficial for students pursuing most other disciplines

-- Is much more methodologically comprehensive than competing introductions, giving the student the ability to address a wide range of philosophical problems – and not just the ones reviewed in the book

-- Offers a companion website with links to apt primary sources, organized chapter-by-chapter, making unnecessary a separate Reader/Anthology of primary sources – thus providing students with all reading material necessary for the course

-- Provides five to ten discussion questions for each chapter, helping instructors and students better interact with the ideas and concepts in the text

Table of Contents

I The Nature of Philosophy 1 The Main Features of Philosophy 2 Philosophy's History and Legacy 3 The Philosophical Temperament 4 Important Concepts and Distinctions 5 Kant's Two Distinctions 6 Important Opposing `-Isms' II Philosophy and Method 7 What is Logic? 8 Inductive Reasoning 9 The Method of Conceptual Analysis 10 The Method of Conceptual Explication 11 The Method of Thought-Experiment 12 Intellectual Creativity and Rigor 13 Deduction in Mathematics and Science 14 The Methodological Issue of Reductionism III The Existence of God 15 A Priori Arguments for the Existence of God 16 The Argument From Design 17 The Argument From Contemporary Creationism 18 Pascal's Wager 19 The Problem of Evil IV Mind, Body and External World 20 The Pivotal Figure of Descartes: Dualism and Skepticism 21 Problems about Mind 22 Cartesian Dualism versus Logical Behaviorism 23 Materialism and Supervenience 24 Functionalism 25 Free will v. Determinism V Representation, Inference and the Elusive Infinite 26 Representation and Evaluation 27 From Evaluation to Deduction 28 Paradoxes 29 Description v. Deduction: The Clash of Ideals A The History of Western Philosophy B Formal Results in the Theory of Probability Bibliography Index

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Neil Tennant (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is Humanities Distinguished Professor in Philosophy and Distinguished University Scholar at The Ohio State University. He has published widely in the philosophy of logic and language, metaphysics, philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of mind, and the history of analytic philosophy. He teaches classes regularly at Ohio State, from 100-level Intro to Philosophy courses to Advanced Graduate-level Seminars.


"This is one of the best introductions to philosophy I know of. It covers many subdisciplines of theoretical philosophy, is extremely well-argued, and is wittily written. It teaches precision in both concept-formation and argumentation but does not invest it in all-too abstract and irrelevant problems. Instead, it focuses on the great issues of philosophy—from the existence of God to the nature of the mind. Even the expert philosopher will benefit from it."

Vittorio G. Hösle, University of Notre Dame, USA

"Virtually without exception, present-day introductions to philosophy are anthologies, mosaics of thought combining deliberations from varied sources and points of view. The systemic unity of thought that ought to be the hallmark of rigorous philosophy is entirely absent from such a Cook's tour transit across the landscape of thought. The unique feature of Tennant’s book is that it traverses a vast array of key issues from an integrated and consistent conceptual and methodological point of view. It superimposes upon thematic and doctrinal diversity a deeply insightful and analytical unity. The book will be a delight to teach."

Nicholas Rescher, University of Pittsburgh, USA