The Philosophy Major’s Introduction to Philosophy : Concepts and Distinctions book cover
1st Edition

The Philosophy Major’s Introduction to Philosophy
Concepts and Distinctions

ISBN 9780367482978
Published August 26, 2020 by Routledge
208 Pages 50 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Many philosophy majors are shocked by the gap between the relative ease of lower-level philosophy courses and the difficulty of upper-division courses. This book serves as a necessary bridge to upper-level study in philosophy by offering rigorous but concise and accessible accounts of basic concepts and distinctions that are used throughout the discipline. It serves as a valuable advanced introduction to any undergraduate who is moving into upper-level courses in philosophy. 

While lower-level introductions to philosophy usually deal with popular topics accessible to the general student (such as contemporary moral issues, free will, and personal identity) in a piecemeal fashion, The Philosophy Major’s Introduction to Philosophy offers coverage of important general philosophical concepts, tools, and devices that may be used for a long time to come in various philosophical areas. The volume is helpfully divided between a focus on the relation between language and the world in the first three chapters and coverage of mental content in the final two chapters, but builds a coherent narrative from start to finish. It also provides ample study questions and helpful signposts throughout, making it a must-have for any student attempting to engage fully with the problems and arguments in philosophy.

 Key Features

    • Integrates topics from various areas of philosophy, such as philosophy of language, metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and philosophical logic
    • Provides descriptions of logico-mathematical tools necessary for philosophical studies, such as propositional logic, predicate logic, modal logic, set theory, mereology, and mathematical functions
    • Makes connections with modern philosophy, including discussions of Descartes’s skepticism and dualism, Locke’s theory of personal identity, Hume’s theory of causation, and Kant’s synthetic a priori
    • Includes well-known entertaining puzzles and thought experiments such as the Ship of Theseus, the Statue and the Clay, a Brain in a Vat, and Twin Earth
    • Lists helpful Exercise Questions and Discussion Questions at the end of each chapter and answers selected questions at the back of the book

Table of Contents

1. Particulars and Universals; Logic and Language
1.1 Tokens and Types; Particulars and Universals
1.2 Realism and Anti-realism
1.3 Propositional Logic
1.4 Predicate Logic
1.5 Identity
1.6 Necessary and Sufficient Conditions
1.7 Quotation

2. Extension and Intension
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Set Theory
2.3 Mereology
2.4 Kinds of Extension and Intension
2.5 Possible Worlds
2.6 Mathematical Functions
2.7 The Possible Worlds Analysis of Intension
2.8 Rigid Designators
2.9 A Problem with the Possible Worlds Analysis of Intension

3. Analyticity, Apriority, and Necessity 
3.1 Four Distinctions in Truths
3.2 Logical vs Non-logical Truths
3.3 Analytic vs Synthetic Truths
3.4 A Priori vs A Posteriori Truths
3.5 The Possible Worlds Analysis of Modality; Modal Logic
3.6 Metaphysical Modality; the Necessary Truth
3.7 Essence and Haecceity
3.8 The Puzzle about the Statue and the Clay
3.9 De Re and De Dicto Modality
3.10 'The Trinity Thesis’
3.11 Kant’s Synthetic A Priori
3.12 Kripke’s Necessary A Posteriori
3.13 Counterfactual Conditionals
3.14 Causation
3.15 Epistemic and Deontic Modality
3.16 Temporal Modality

4. Content, Linguistic and Mental 
4.1 Form and Content; Linguistic and Mental Content
4.2 Propositional Attitudes
4.3 Extensional and Intensional Contexts
4.4 De Re and De Dicto Mental Content
4.5 Descartes’s Argument for Dualism
4.6 Skepticism; ‘a Brain in a Vat’
4.7 Moral Error Theory
4.8 Performative Utterances
4.9 Moral Expressivism and the Frege-Geach Problem

5. Internalism and Externalism
5.1 Internalism vs Externalism in General
A: Semantic Internalism and Externalism
5.2 The Description Theory of the Reference of Proper Names
5.3 Kripke’s Criticism of the Description Theory
5.4 The Causal Theory
5.5 Searle’s Defense of the Description Theory
5.6 The Meaning of Natural Kind Terms; ‘Twin Earth’
5.7 Two Internalist Responses
5.8 Narrow vs Wide Content; Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Properties
5.9 Supervenience
B: Internalism and Externalism in Epistemology
5.10 The JTB Theory of Knowledge
5.11 Internalist Theories: Foundationalism and Coherentism
5.12 An Externalist Theory: Reliabilism
5.13 Putnam’s Semantic Externalist Argument against Skepticism
C: Internalist and Externalist Elements in Personal Identity
5.14 Locke’s Theory of Personal Identity
5.15 Genuine and Pseudo Memory
5.16 The Duplication Problem and the No Competitor Theory

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Ken Akiba is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA. Akiba specializes in philosophical logic, metaphysics, and philosophy of language and is co-editor (with Ali Abasnezhad) of the anthology Vague Objects and Vague Identity: New Essays on Ontic Vagueness (2014).