Made Simple

2nd Edition - September 8, 1986

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  • Authors: Richard H. Popkin, Avrum Stroll
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483183237

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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

  • Preface


    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


Product details

  • No. of pages: 384
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Made Simple 1986
  • Published: September 8, 1986
  • Imprint: Made Simple
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483183237

About the Authors

Richard H. Popkin

Avrum Stroll

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