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Questions That Matter: An Invitation to Philosophy, Shorter Version Paperback – August 8, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0072975017 ISBN-10: 0072975016 Edition: 3rd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 3rd edition (August 8, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0072975016
  • ISBN-13: 978-0072975017
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 6.3 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #204,250 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ed L. Miller holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Southern California and a Doctorate of Theology from the University of Basel, Switzerland. He has taught for the last thirty years at the University of Colorado, Boulder. In addition to being a member of the philosophy faculty, he also teaches for the Religious Studies Department and is Director of the Theology Forum. He is a member of the American Academy of Religion, the Society of Christian Philosophers, and Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas.

JON JENSEN received his PhD in Philosophy from the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he was a student of Professor Miller. While his philosophical interests vary widely, his research and publications focus on environmental philosophy. Jensen has taught at the University of Colorado, Green Mountain College, and now at Luther College, his alma mater. In addition to teaching philosophy, he is an active member of Luther’s Environmental Studies program and enjoys canoeing, bicycling, backpacking, and gardening.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By J. Samples on December 6, 2007
Format: Paperback
I have taught courses in philosophy and religion for the past 17 years at several colleges and universities in Southern California. I have dozens of introduction to philosophy textbooks in my personal library (instructor complementary review copies from various publishers). For several years I struggled to find a textbook that would buttress my diligent efforts to teach philosophy to young men and women in a challenging and stimulating fashion. By far, the best introduction to philosophy textbook I have ever seen or used is Ed Miller's outstanding book QUESTIONS THAT MATTER (hereafter QTM). Allow me to mention six reasons why this book is truly an exceptional textbook in philosophy.

First, QTM strikes an excellent balance between scholarly content on one hand, and a readable writing style on the other. A motivated and reflective college student will come away from this volume with a thorough and understandable introductory knowledge of the discipline of philosophy.

Second, QTM provides a comprehensive introduction to philosophy by introducing the student to the major branches or fields of philosophy, including metaphysics (study of reality), epistemology (study of knowledge), ethics (study of the good), logic (study of correct reasoning), and philosophy of religion (critical analysis about God).

Third, while QTM is organized in a topical manner, it includes a wealth of information about all of the leading philosophers of the Western world, including relevant excerpts from the various philosophers' writings in their major fields of contribution. This text also includes brief but very informative mini-biographies of the leading philosophers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Counselor on February 16, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This text is very informative, but not an easy read. The summaries at the end of each chapter were helpful, as well as the glossary of terms in the back of the book. I had to reread many of the chapters. If this was the shorter version, I'll be sure to avoid the long version.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth Samples on April 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
I have taught courses in philosophy and religion for the past 18 years at several colleges and universities in Southern California. I have dozens of introduction to philosophy textbooks in my personal library (instructor complementary review copies from various publishers). For several years I struggled to find a textbook that would buttress my diligent efforts to teach philosophy to young men and women in a challenging and stimulating fashion. By far, the best introduction to philosophy textbook I have ever seen or used is Ed Miller's outstanding book QUESTIONS THAT MATTER (hereafter QTM). Allow me to mention six reasons why this book is truly an exceptional textbook in philosophy.

First, QTM strikes an excellent balance between scholarly content on one hand, and a readable writing style on the other. A motivated and reflective college student will come away from this volume with a thorough and understandable introductory knowledge of the discipline of philosophy.

Second, QTM provides a comprehensive introduction to philosophy by introducing the student to the major branches or fields of philosophy, including metaphysics (study of reality), epistemology (study of knowledge), ethics (study of the good), logic (study of correct reasoning), and philosophy of religion (critical analysis about God).

Third, while QTM is organized in a topical manner, it includes a wealth of information about all of the leading philosophers of the Western world, including relevant excerpts from the various philosophers' writings in their major fields of contribution. This text also includes brief but very informative mini-biographies of the leading philosophers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Doug Erlandson TOP 500 REVIEWER on February 27, 2013
Format: Paperback
I taught introduction to philosophy at a community college for nearly twenty years. During that time I struggled to find a text that students with no background in philosophy could understand but which at the same time displayed sufficient depth as to provide genuine insight into the issues being considered. "Questions That Matter: An Invitation to Philosophy" is such a book. For several years I used the "Shorter Version" and found it perfect for community college students. In talking to students, I discovered that a high percentage of them found the text useful and were able to comprehend most if not all of it.

One of the best features is that its editors combine a substantial amount of their own description with primary-source material, thereby providing a guide for the student when he or she reads the primary source itself. Too many anthologies do not do this. Most college freshmen are not prepared to delve into the classical works of philosophy without such guidance, and attempting to do this simply results in discouragement and the sense that philosophy is incomprehensible.

While it is true that "Questions That Matter" occasionally oversimplifies an issue or what a philosopher is saying, it does not do this often. Moreover, given the complexity of philosophical argumentation, such oversimplification (so long as it does not radically distort a position or an issue) is understandable (and perhaps unavoidable). Such oversimplifications can be rectified when students who have accepted this invitation to philosophy enroll in upper-division classes. For those who will never take another philosophy class in their lives (i.e., most students), having some comprehension of the basic issues, even if their understanding is a bit oversimplified, is better than having no understanding at all.
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