An engagingly clear and accessible introductory text with readings, Powerful Ideas guides students through a journey of exploration and self-discovery, critically examining profound and perennial questions such as "Who am I and what am I doing here?", "How can I be sure?", "Is there a God?", "What should I do?" and "How should I live?"
- Is thematically organized and covers both analytic and Continental philosophical approaches
- Is based on the Socratic Method - one of the oldest and powerful methods of teaching that develops critical thinking and involves giving students questions but not answers.
- Introduces students to metaphysics and epistemology, to different ways to make value judgements, and to fields often neglected in introductory textbooks such as aesthetics and Eastern religion.
- Integrates brief portraits of the men and women who proposed powerful ideas in ways to think more constructively about themselves and their place in the world.
CHAPTER 1 Introduction
Martin Heidegger "What Is Called Thinking?"
Charles Saunders Peirce How to Make Our Ideas Clear
CHAPTER 2 Metaphysics-What is Real?
Plato "The Myth of the Cave"
Willard Van Orman Quine "On What There Is?"
CHAPTER 3 Epistemology-How do we Know That?
David Hume "Sceptical Doubts Concerning the Operations of the Understanding"
CHAPTER 4 Who Am I? My Mind, Other Minds, and the Nature of Reality
René Descartes Meditations on First Philosophy
R. D. Laing The Politics of Experience
Thomas Nagel Other Minds
CHAPTER 5 Free will and Determinism
William James The Dilemma of Determinism
Epictetus "On Freedom"
CHAPTER 6 What about God? Philosophy of Religion in the Western Tradition
William James The Will to Believe
CHAPTER 7 Enlightenment, Nirvana, Rebirth-Eastern Religion and Thought
Theos Bernard Hinduism
Sogyal Rinpoche The Tibetain Book of Living
Eva Wong Seven Taoist Masters
CHAPTER 8 Twentieth-Century American Philosophy-"What Is, 'Is'?"
Alan Montefiore and Bernard Williams Analytic Philosophy
Bertrand Russell "The Value of Philosophy"
CHAPTER 9 Existentialism and Humanism
Edmund Husserl "Phenomenolgy"
Wilfrid Desan Introduction to The Tragic Finale
CHAPTER 10 Aesthetics-Judging Beauty
Willem de Kooning "What Abstract Art Means to Me"
Ned Rorem "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Critic"
Robert Motherwell "What Abstract Art Means to Me"
Octavio Roca Cuban Ballet
CHAPTER 11 Ethics and the Good Life
Aristotle "The Virtues"
Immanuel Kant "The Categorical Imperative" from Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals
John Stuart Mill Utilitarianism
CHAPTER 12 We are not Alone Here-Political Philosophy
Jean-Jacques Rousseau A Dissertation On the Origin and Foundation of the Inequality of Mankind
John Locke Two Treatises on Government
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels Communist Manifesto
Alan Ryan "On Politics"
Epicurus "Life: A User's Manual"