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Philosophy - 2nd Edition - ISBN: 9780434986088, 9781483183237


2nd Edition

Made Simple

Authors: Richard H. Popkin Avrum Stroll
eBook ISBN: 9781483183237
Imprint: Made Simple
Published Date: 8th September 1986
Page Count: 384
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Philosophy: Made Simple, Second Edition provides information pertinent to the fundamental philosophical problems. This book discusses the developments in philosophy. Organized into seven chapters, this edition begins with an overview of the usage of philosophy in the interpretation or evaluation of what is important or meaningful in life. This text then examines the intimate connections of political philosophy with ethics and with the social sciences. Other chapters consider some of the fundamental metaphysical problems that have persisted throughout the ages and examine the most popular metaphysical systems in the history of philosophy. This book discusses as well the aspect of philosophy that examines the intellectual questions that arise in considering religious views. The final chapter examines some of the main movements in modern philosophy. This book is a valuable resource for teachers as well as undergraduate and graduate students. Readers who are seeking the simplest introductions to philosophy will also find this book useful.

Table of Contents



1 Ethics

Definition of "ethics"

Ethics originates in everyday life

Classification of ethical theories

Classical theories


Aristotle: the doctrine of the mean

Hedonism: the philosophy of Epicurus



Christian ethics

Philosophy of Spinoza

Utilitarianism: Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill

Kantian ethics

Modern ethics

Subjectivism and objectivism

Naturalism, non-naturalism and emotivism

Motivist, deontological and consequence theories

Analysis of subjectivism and objectivism

Applied ethics

Suggested further reading

2 Political philosophy

Definition of "political philosophy"

Plato"s political philosophy

Political philosophy of Thomas Hobbes

Political philosophy of John Locke

Political philosophy of John Stuart Mill

Political philosophy of Karl Marx

Contemporary political theory

Suggested further reading

3 Metaphysics

What is metaphysics?

Pluralism and monism

Scope of metaphysics

The problem of permanence and change

The mind-body problem

The problem of free will and determinism

Types of metaphysical system

Some criticisms of metaphysics

Suggested further reading

4 Philosophy of religion

Philosophy and religion

The problem of religious knowledge

Natural and revealed religion

Hume"s argument

The cosmological (or causal) argument

The ontological argument


The problem of the nature of God

Suggested further reading

5 The theory of knowledge

Rene Descartes: the problem posed

The problem of knowledge: a closer look

Ancient Greek philosophy


Socrates"s theory of universal forms

The philosopher-king

Descartes"s theory of knowledge

The argument for objective reality

Rationalist theories of knowledge

Empirical philosophy

John Locke

Bishop George Berkeley

David Hume

Summary of the empirical theory of knowledge

The empiricist critique of rationalism


6 Logic

Definition of "logic"

Deductive and inductive logic

Deductive logic: the syllogism

Terminology of logic

Affirmative and negative propositions

Universal, particular and singular propositions

The four standard propositions of logic

Distribution of terms

Middle, major and minor terms

Rules for determining validity and invalidity

Translating ordinary into logical sentences

Equivalent sentences





Logic, semiotics and semantics


Answers to exercises

Suggested further reading

7 Contemporary philosophy


The pluralistic universe


Some criticisms of pragmatism

Philosophical analysis

Logical atomism: the philosophy of Bertrand Russell and Ludwig Wittgenstein

Logical positivism: Schlick, Carnap, A. J. Ayer

Ordinary language philosophy: Moore and the later Wittgenstein

Existentialism and phenomenology

Soren Kierkegaard

Contemporary existentialism

Suggested further reading



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© Made Simple 1981
8th September 1986
Made Simple
eBook ISBN:

About the Authors

Richard H. Popkin

Avrum Stroll

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