Philosophy: A Text with Readings 12th Edition
Heraclitus, an early Greek philosopher, is reputed to have declared, “Panta chorei!” which is Greek for “Everything changes!” Heraclitus’ words are certainly true of our social world today. And it is also true of the world of textbooks. So although Philosophy: A Text with Readings continues to excite readers about philosophy, changes in philosophy and in the world we inhabit necessitate revising the text. In my revisions, I tried to retain what users have said they like best about this book: that it provides depth and rigor yet is easy to read, fun to use, and manages to cover all the traditional issues with a unique combination of attention to the history of philosophy, regard for interesting contemporary concerns, and substantial selections from classical and contemporary texts. I have worked hard to explain the difficult concepts and texts of philosophy in a way that is technically rigorous and accurate, yet uses language and style that make it easy for a beginning college student with modest reading skills to understand them. I have also worked hard at making philosophy interesting and relevant to contemporary undergraduates by showing how it is directly related to their real-life concerns and preoccupations. In addition, by introducing a new series of critical thinking modules, I have tried to provide the tools that will enable students to develop their thinking and reasoning skills.
I should emphasize what a quick glance at the table of contents will confirm: this text is designed to cover more than most instructors would want to cover in a single course. Because the coverage is broad, the instructor can select those topics that he or she believes are most important and is not limited by the choice of topics that someone else might make. To make it easier for an instructor to choose what his or her course will cover, the chapters are largely independent of one another (with the exception of the new critical thinking modules) so that reading a later chapter will not require reading an earlier one. Moreover, the materials within each chapter are arranged so that the most basic or fundamental topics are at the beginning of the chapter, while later sections in the chapter address aspects of the topic that are less fundamental but that probe more deeply or more broadly into the topic. This arrangement gives the instructor the option of either having students study only the basic issues in a chapter by assigning only the early sections or pursuing the subject matter of the chapter more in depth by also assigning the later sections. Some instructors may want to cover the basics in class, and then assign students (or groups of students) the later sections as special projects. There are thus many different ways of teaching the materials in the book and many different courses that can be put together from these materials.
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