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An Introduction To Philosophy: Knowledge, God, Mind and Morality, 1st Edition

By David Ohreen
Instructional Resources
Digital teaching aids may be available for this title. All instructor requests are reviewed by our team before the files are made accessible.
Soft Cover
ISBN-10: 017644257X
ISBN-13: 9780176442576
Publisher: Top Hat
Edition: 1st

Ohreen’s An Introduction to Philosophy is a one-semester anthology intended to bring the relevance of philosophical issues to light for students in interesting and important ways.
Reading original philosophical work can be arduous for the beginner student. An Introduction to Philosophy provides historical and contemporary readings that are easy to understand and of high philosophical quality. The articles have been edited to ensure students get the most salient philosophical ideas without having to read superfluous details.
Each chapter starts with a comprehensive introduction or commentary on the readings, setting out the main philosophical themes and concepts. The text is intentionally structured to give students contrasting and critical views regarding knowledge, god, mind, and morality.
In this ground-up Canadian text, students receive a unique set of readings focusing on five core issues in philosophy: What is the value of philosophy? Does God exist? What can we know? How does the mind relate to the body? And, what is morally right and wrong?
The readings have been selected to focus on philosophical depth, not breadth, regarding these issues. Canadian context has been included where appropriate. Moreover, the total number and size of readings has been reduced, in comparison to other texts, to maximize text usage for students.
An Introduction to Philosophy has been developed to get students thinking, philosophically, about the world in which they live.


  • Shorter Readings: Many anthologies have articles that are too technical for beginning students. The articles have been edited to ensure students get the most salient philosophical ideas without having to read superfluous details.
  • A "What Do You Think?" box, included in each chapter is intended to help students form their own opinions and also draw out class discussion.
  • Detailed Chapter Introductions provide context for the readings.
  • Exercises for Group and Class Discussion: Discussion questions are included in each chapter sub-section to facilitate class or group discussion
  • Biographical author sketches and photos accompany each reading to help students identify with the writers.
  • Modern Issues linked to Classical Theory: Where appropriate, ancient sources are juxtaposed with accessible contemporary sources to illustrate how an idea will survive and change.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: The Value of Philosophy the Purpose of Philosophy
  • Plato - The Apology (selection)
  • Bertrand Russell - The Value of Philosophy
  • Chapter 2: Ways of Knowing Scepticism and Rationalism
  • Rene Descartes - Meditations on First Philosophy (First and Second Mediations)
  • Empiricism
  • John Locke - Essay Concerning Human Understanding (selection)
  • George Berkeley - A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Understanding (selection)
  • David Hume - Enquiries Concerning Human Understanding (selection)
  • On Certainty
  • Georg Hendrik von Wright - Wittgenstein on Certainty
  • Feminist Epistemology
  • Lorraine Code - Is the Sex of the Knower Epistemologically Significant?
  • Chapter 3: The Existence of God The Ontological Argument
  • St. Anselm - Proslogium (selection)
  • Yaeger Hudson - Problems and Possibilities for the Ontological Argument
  • The Cosmological Argument
  • St. Thomas Aquinas - Summa Theologiae (selection)
  • Theodore Schick Jr. - The ?Big Bang? Argument for the Existence of God.
  • The Teleological (Design) Argument
  • William Paley - Natural Theology (selection)
  • David Hume - Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (selection)
  • Richard Dawkins - The Improbability of God
  • The Problem of Evil
  • William Rowe - The Problem of Evil
  • Belief and Faith
  • Simon Blackburn - Infini?Rien
  • Natalie Angier - Im No Believer
  • Chapter 4: The Mind/Body Problem Dualism
  • Rene Descartes - Meditations on First Philosophy (Sixth Mediation)
  • Patricia Churchland - Substance Dualism
  • Identity Theory
  • William Lyons - Nothing but the Brain
  • Functionalism
  • Jerry Fodor - Materialism
  • John Searle - Can Computers Think?
  • Eliminative Materialism
  • Paul Churchland - Eliminative Materialism
  • Chapter 5: Morality: Searching for Right and Wrong God and Morality
  • Plato - Euthyphro
  • Ethical Relativism
  • James Rachels - The Challenge of Cultural Relativism
  • Utilitarianism
  • John Stuart Mill - Utilitarianism (selection)
  • Richard Brandt - Moral Obligation and General Welfare
  • Deontological Ethics
  • Immanuel Kant - Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals (selection)
  • Joshua Glasgow - Kants Principle of Universal Law
  • Feminist Ethics
  • Alison Jaggar - Feminist Ethics

Author Information

David Ohreen

David Ohreen is a sessional instructor of philosophy at Mount Royal University in Calgary. He received his PhD from the University of Wales.