Consider Philosophy, Books a la Carte Edition

By Bruce N. Waller

Published by Pearson

Published Date: Nov 2, 2010


Offering a balance of theory and applications through a mix of text and readings, Consider Philosophy begins with chapters covering philosophical theory, each of which is followed by related, classical readings. 


Featuring selections from the world’s most influential philosophers, this combination of primary texts and explanatory pedagogy presents the material in a clear, accessible way that does not sacrifice rigor.  Making connections among different philosophical theories throughout, the text helps students to engage the subject matter and apply theories to important contemporary philosophical issues.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Chapter One:  Thinking Critically and Cordially About Philosophy

            Irrelevant Reason Fallacy

            Ad Hominem Arguments

            Strawman Fallacy

            Appeal to Authority



            Further Reading


Chapter Two:  Philosophical Questions About Religion

            Conceptions of God

            Arguments for Existence of God

                        The Cosmological Argument

                        The Ontological Argument

                        The Argument from Design

                        The Intuitive Argument

                        Pascal’s Wager

            The Problem of Evil

            Ockham’s Razor

            Do Science and Religion Occupy Different Spheres?


                        From Genesis and Exodus

                        Spinoza, from A Theologico-Political Treatise

                        Aristotle, from The Metaphysics

                        Leibniz, from Theodicy

                        Stephen Gould, “Non-Overlapping Magisteria”

                        Richard Dawkins,  “You Can’t Have it Both Ways: Irreconcilable Differences?”

            Questions for Thought


            Further Reading


Chapter Three:  What Can We Know?


                        The Copernican Revolution



                        Descartes and Reason

                        Descartes’ Method of Doubt

                        I Think, Therefore I Exist

                        The Lasting Influence of Descartes


                        Descartes, Meditations, 1 and 2

                        Wittgenstein, from On Certainty

            Questions for Thought


            Further Reading


Chapter Four:  Rationalism, Empiricism, Kant


            God said, Let Newton Be


                        John Locke

                        David Hume

            Immanuel Kant


                        David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, sections 2 and 12

                        Immanuel Kant, from Prolegomena to any Future Metaphysics

            Questions for Thought


            Further Reading


Chapter Five:  Contemporary Epistemology

            Permanence and Change





                        William James, from Pragmatism

                        Bertrand Russell, “Transatlantic Truth”

                        John Dewey, from Reconstruction in Philosophy

            Questions for Thought


            Further Reading


Chapter Six:  What Is the Mind?

            Mechanism and the Mind

            Descartes and Mind-Body Dualism

                        Advantages of Mind-Body Dualism

                        Problems for Mind-Body Dualism and Interactionism

            Pre-Established Harmony




            Dual-Aspect Theory





                        Descartes, Meditations, 6

                        Daniel Dennett, “Where Am I?”

                        Thomas Nagel, “What Is It Like to Be a Bat?”

            Questions for Thought


            Additional Reading


Chapter Seven: Personal Identity

            Practical Implications of Personal Identity

            Physical Identity

            Souls and Personal Identity

            Memory and Identity

            Science Fiction and Personal Identity Problems

            Beyond Personal Identity

            Strains on Our Ordinary Concept of Personal Identity

            Identity and the One

            The Narrative Account of Personal Identity


                        John Locke, from Essay Concerning Human Understanding

                        David Hume, from A Treatise of Human Nature

                        Derek Parfit, from Reasons and Persons

Alasdair MacIntyre, from After Virtue

            Questions for Thought


            Further Reading


Chapter Eight: Fatalism, Determinism, Free Will


            Fatalism and Determinism


                        Resistance to Determinism

                                    Does Determinism Make God the Source of Evil?


                        Lorenzo de Valla, “Dialogue on Free Will”

                        Desiderius Erasmus, from A Disquisition upon Free Will        

                        Martin Luther, from Bondage of the Will

                        David Hume, “Of Liberty and Necessity”

Questions for Reflection

Further Reading


Chapter 9: Is Free Will Compatible With Determinism?

            Does Determinism Destroy Creativity?

            Does Determinism Destroy Free Will?

                        Hard Determinism

                        Soft Determinism (Compatibilism)

                                    Hume’s Compatibilism

                                    Hierarchical Compatibilism

                                                Challenges to Hierarchical Compatibilism

                                    Rationalist Compatibilism


                        William James, from Pragmatism

                        Harry G. Frankfurt, “Freedom of Will and the Concept of a Person”

                        Susan Wolf, “Asymmetrical Freedom”

            Questions for Reflection

            Further Reading


Chapter 10: Are We Morally Responsible?

            Libertarian Free Will

            What About Moral Responsibility?

            Should We Hold People Morally Responsible?

            Strong Feelings and Moral Responsibility


                        Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, “Oration on the Dignity of Man”

                        C. A. Campbell, from On Selfhood and Godhood

                        Thomas Nagel, “Moral Luck”

                        Daniel Dennett, from Elbow Room

                        Bruce N. Waller, “Uneven Starts and Just Deserts”

            Questions for Reflection

            Additional Resources


Chapter 11: Ethics: Reason and Emotion

Kant vs. Hume

            Utilitarian Ethics

                        Criticisms of Utilitarianism


                        David Hume, from A Treatise of Human Nature

Immanuel Kant, from Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals, and The Critique of Practical Reason        

                        Jonathan Bennett, “The Conscience of Huckleberry Finn”

                        John Stuart Mill, from Utilitarianism

            Questions for Reflection

            Additional Reading


Chapter 12:  Ethical Theories

            Divine Command Theory of Ethics



            Social Contract Ethics

            Care Ethics


                        James Rachels, “God and Human Attitudes”

                        George N. Schlesinger, from New Perspectives on Old-Time Religion

Elvin Hatch, “The Good Side of Relativism”

                        Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan

                        Jean Hampton,“Two Faces of Contractarian Thought”

                        Annette Baier,“What Do Women Want in a Moral Theory?”

            Questions for Reflection

            Additional Resources


Chapter 13:  Are There Objective Ethical Truths?


            Virtue Theory

            Ethical Nonobjectivism

                        The Argument from Diversity

                        The Argument from Queerness

            Contemporary Moral Realism


                        W. D. Ross, from The Right and the Good

                        Aristotle, from Nicomachean Ethics

                        J. L. Mackie, from Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong

                        Michael Smith, “Realism”

                        Richard Rorty, from Philosophy and Social Hope

            Questions for Reflection

            Additional Resources


Chapter 14: Political Philosophy

            Justification of Government

                        Social Contract

            Liberal and Conservative

            Positive and Negative Liberty

            Obeying or Disobeying the Law


                        Jean-Jacques Rousseau, from “The Origin of Inequality”

Henry David Thoreau, from “Resistance to Civil Government”

                        John Stuart Mill, from On Liberty

            Questions for Reflection

            Additional Resources



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