Philosophy for the 21st Century: A Comprehensive Reader

Philosophy for the 21st Century: A Comprehensive Reader

Philosophy for the 21st Century: A Comprehensive Reader

Philosophy for the 21st Century: A Comprehensive Reader

Synopsis

Philosophy for the 21st Century, an introductory anthology, is an extraordinarily comprehensive collection of historical and contemporary readings. It covers all major fields, including not only metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and philosophy of religion, but also philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, political philosophy, and philosophy of art. This volume is unique in drawing on the judgments of a new generation of scholars, each of whom has chosen the articles and provided the introduction for one section of the book. These associate editors--Delia Graff, Robin Jeshion, L. A. Paul, Jesse J. Prinz, Stuart Rachels, Gabriela Sakamoto, David Sosa, and Cynthia A. Stark--are at the forefront of 21st-century philosophy. Their selections include the work of such leading contemporary thinkers as Nancy Cartwright, Saul A. Kripke, David Lewis, Thomas Nagel, Robert Nozick, Derek Parfit, and Sydney Shoemaker, along with classic works from 2500 years of philosophy. The book has been structured to maximize continuity, and an introductory essay by Simon Blackburn explains the tools of symbolic logic. This groundbreaking volume sets a new standard for introducing students to the importance and fascination of philosophical inquiry.

Excerpt

Introductory anthologies typically reflect the philosophical viewpoints of one or more senior scholars, each of whom makes editorial decisions in a variety of fields. This collection draws on the judgments of a new generation of scholars, each of whom has chosen the selections and provided introductions in one area of expertise: David Sosa (epistemology), L. A. Paul (philosophy of science), Delia Graff (metaphysics), Jesse J. Prinz (philosophy of mind), Robin Jeshion (philosophy of language), Stuart Rachels (ethics), Cynthia A. Stark (political philosophy), and Gabriela Sakamoto (philosophy of art). While the choice of associate editors, the structure of the book, and the contents of the first section are the responsibility of the editor, the rest of the work has been done by the associate editors. These philosophers are in the vanguard of 21st-century philosophy, and the choices they have made reflect their views of the most important materials that should be mastered by 21st-century students.

Those who wish to learn more about a particular philosopher or a specific philosophical issue are urged to consult the Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Routledge, 1999), ed. Edward Craig. It contains detailed entries with bibliographies on every significant topic in the field. Shorter entries, but informative and reliable, are to be found in The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy (Oxford and New York, 1994), ed. Simon Blackburn and The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, Second Edition (Cambridge and New York, 1999), ed. Robert Audi.

I am grateful to Robert Miller, my editor at Oxford University Press, for his encouragement and advice; to David Shatz, with whom I consulted regarding the contents of the first section; to Maureen Eckert, my research assistant at the City University of New York Graduate Center, for her generous help in preparing the manuscript for publication; to Ian Gardiner, for his conscientious proofreading; and to the staff of Oxford University Press for its help at all stages of production. I especially thank the eight outstanding scholars who readily agreed to participate in this collaborative project.

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