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Reason at work: Introductory readings in philosophy Paperback – 1990

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Introduction. The Elements of Argument. Part I: Ethics. Joel Feinberg, Psychological Egoism. James Rachels, The Challenge of Cultural Relativism. J.L. Mackie, The Subjectivity of Values. John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism. Norman E. Bowie and Robert L. Simon, Some Problems with Utilitarianism. Immanuel Kant, Morality and Rationality. Thomas Nagel, Moral Luck. W.D. Ross, What Makes Right Acts Right. Aristotle, The Nature of Moral Virtue. G.E.M. Anscombe, Modern Moral Philosophy. James Rachel, The Ethics of Virtue. Peter Singer, Famine, Affluence and Morality. Judith Jarvis Thomson, A Defense of Abortion. Part II: Social and Political Philosophy. Plato, What Do We Owe Our Country? Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from the Birmingham City Jail. Thomas Hobbes, Authority and Security. John Locke, Limited Government as Defender of Property. James Madison, The Federalist, No. X. John Stuart Mill, On Liberty. David Lyons, Human Rights and the General Welfare. Joel Feinberg, The Nature and Value of Rights. John Rawls, A Theory of Justice. Robert Nozick, Distributive Justice. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Communism. Michael Walzer, In Defense of Equality. Part III: Theory of Knowledge. Plato, Knowledge as Justified Belief. Descartes, Certain Knowledge. John Locke, Empiricism. David Hume, The Problem of Induction. Nelson Goodman, The New Riddle of Induction. Lawrence Bonjour, Foundationalism. W.V.O. Quine, The Interdependence of Beliefs. Lawrence Bonjour, The Coherence Theory. Edmund L. Gettier, Is Justified True Belief Knowledge. Robert Audi, Knowledge, Justification and Truth. Thomas S. Kuhn, Objectivity, Value Judgments, and Theory Choice. Philip Kitcher, Believing Where We Cannot Prove. Part IV: Metaphysics. John Locke, Real and Nominal Essence. Irving Copi, Essence and Accident. Saul Kripke, Metaphysical Necessity. John Locke, Personal Identity. Thomas Reid, Of Identity and Mr. Locke. Bernard Williams, The Self and the Future. Derek Parfit, Divided Minds and the Nature of Persons. Kathleen V. Wilkes, Fugues, Hypnosis and Multiple Personality. B.F. Skinner, Hard Determinism. G.E.Moore, Free Will. Roderick Chisholm, Human Freedom and the Self. Harry Frankfurt, Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person. Part V: Philosophy of Religion. Saint Anslem and Gaunilo, The Ontological Argument. Saint Thomas Aquinas, Five Proofs for the Existence of God. David Hume, The Teleological Argument. Ernest Nagel, A Defense of Atheism. Richard Swinburne, The Problem of Evil. Steven M. Cahn, The Problem of Goodness. Anthony Flew, R.M. Hare, Basil Mitchell, Theology and Falsification. Nelson Pike, Divine Omniscience and Voluntary Action. John Hick, The New Map of the Universe of Faiths. Part VI: Philosophy of Mind. Rene Descartes, Dualism. Gilbert Ryle, Descartes' Myth. Daniel Dennett, Carlesian Materialism. B.F. Skinner, Behaviorism. Daniel Dennett, Skinner Skinned. Jerry A. Fodor, The Mind-Body Problem. Paul M. Churchland, Eliminative Materialism. A.M. Turnig, Can Machines Think? John Searle, Is the Brain's Mind a Computer Program? Paul M. Churchland and Patricia S. Churchland, Could a Machine Think? --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Steven M. Cahn is one of America's most distinguished teachers of philosophy. He has authored or edited more than forty books as well as numerous articles, most in the fields of metaphysics, philosophy of religion, ethics, political philosophy, and philosophy of education. Among his works are FATE, LOGIC, AND TIME; SAINTS AND SCAMPS: ETHICS IN ACADEMIA, 25th Anniversary Edition; FROM STUDENT TO SCHOLAR; A CANDID GUIDE TO BECOMING A PROFESSOR; PUZZLES & PERPLEXITIES: COLLECTED ESSAYS, Second Edition; EXPLORING ETHICS, Second Edition (ED.); POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY; THE ESSENTIAL TEXTS, Second Edition (ED.); THE AFFIRMATIVE ACTION DEBATE, Second Edition (ED.); EXPLORING PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION (ED.); and CLASSICS OF WESTERN PHILOSOPHY, Seventh Edition. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 739 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich; 2nd edition (1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0155759914
  • ISBN-13: 978-0155759916
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.6 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,842,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Steven M. Cahn a Professor of Philosophy at the City University of New York Graduate Center in New York City.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Reader From Aurora on September 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Reason at Work edited by Chan and Sher is an anthology of philosophical essays. The areas of discuss are ethics, metaphysics, philosophy of religion, epistemology philosophy of the mind. The contributions are largely drawn from contemporary writers; however, there are some classic pieces by Aristotle, Descartes, and Kant etc.

As with all of collections, it may be helpful to look at the on-line table of contents to confirm the specific contributions (there is often significant overlap between the different anthologies). I thought the selections dealing with ethics and philosophy of the mind were particularly well chosen, covering key questions and thinkers. The philosophy of religion section was the weakest aspect of the text. Pike's piece on divine foreknowledge and free will has been refuted and should be replaced. Additionally, although I enjoy Hick, given the tremendous about of quality contemporary work in this field a contribution from a more representative thinker is warranted (e.g. Plantinga, Moreland or Craig).

Overall, this is a good collection, however, probably not good value at almost $100. I got mine second hand for $8 (hard cover, 1996 edition, excellent condition).
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Format: Hardcover
"Reason at Work," an anthology edited by Stephen Cahn and others, contains a mix of classical and contemporary readings in ethics, social and political philosophy, theory of knowledge, metaphysics, philosophy of religion, and philosophy of mind. Its chief selling point is that a number of standard writings in each of these areas are anthologized. For example, the section on ethics includes a selection from Mill on utilitarianism and Aristotle on virtue. "Theory of knowledge" includes selections from Plato, Descartes, Locke, and Hume. In "philosophy of religion" we find Anselm's ontological argument (and Gaunilo's response), Aguinas' Five Ways, and Hume's criticism of the design argument.

This chief selling point, however, is also one of its drawbacks. For, much of what is contained here is found in other anthologies that are designed for introductory courses in philosophy. Moreover, while its selections from the classic works in philosophy are decent, its choices from contemporary (or near-contemporary) philosophers need to be updated. For example, the discussion between Flew, Hare, and Mitchell on "Theology and Falsification" has been so thoroughly dissected that it has died its own death of a thousand qualifications. And, while B.F. Skinner on "Behaviorism" may be an interesting period piece, even most behaviorists today would shudder at some of what Skinner says.

In sum, although this is not a bad anthology, there's no compelling reason to recommend it, since there are many currently available that are far better.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I needed this book for a philosophy class, but enough good information is covered that I'm going to keep it for some deep reading.
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