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Philosophy Matters: An Introduction to Philosophy



Philosophy Matters: An Introduction to Philosophy

Roger Trigg

ISBN: 978-0-631-22546-1 October 2001 Wiley-Blackwell 168 Pages

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Written for those who may be approaching the subject for the first time, Philosophy Matters shows that philosophy is crucial in questioning our presuppositions, and for helping us to establish our own beliefs about the nature of the world.

Part I: What is Philosophy?:.

1. The Origins of Philosophy.

2. The Contemporary Situation.

3. Knowledge and Reason.

4. Progress in Philosophy.

5. Philosophy and the World.

Part II: Science and the World:.

6. Empiricism.

7. The Authority of Science.

8. Many Universes.

9. Physicalism and Naturalism.

Part III: Can We Understand the World?:.

10. Science and Reason.

11. The Influence of the Enlightenment.

12. What makes Science Successful?.

13. Autonomy and Choice.

Part IV: Modernity:.

14. Laws of Nature.

15. Mechanism and Machines.

16. The Reaction against Modernity.

17. The Lure of Pragmatism.

Part V: Relativism and its Flaws:.

18. Tradition and Truth.

19. A Shared World.

20. Translation and Conceptual Differences.

21. The Incoherence of Relativism.

Part VI: The Impact of Darwinism:.

22. Relativism and Scientism.

23. Darwinism.

24. A Vicious Circle.

25. Causes and Content.

Part VII: The Challenge of Determinism:.

26. The Limits of Causation?.

27. Blind Matter.

28. Reasons and Causes.

29. Do Causes Undermine Reasons?.

Part VIII: Materialism and the Laws of Nature:.

30. The Status of Mathematics.

31. Mathematics and Materialism.

32. Laws of Nature.

33. Contingent Order.

Part IX: The Brain and the Mind:.

34. The Attack on Dualism.

35. Are We Machines?.

36. The Importance of Feelings.

37. Emergence and Causation.

Part X: Reason and Philosophy:.

38. Reason and Matter.

39. Can We Accept the Non-material?.

40. Two Worlds.

41. Philosophy Matters.

"A bold, lucid and convincing introduction to the practice of philosophy. Without relying on unnecessary jargon and technicalities, Trigg guides readers into central, profound areas of philosophical concern. Philosophy, for Trigg, is not some idle, merely academic undertaking; philosophy matters when we try to think seriously about values, our place in the cosmos and the power and limits of science. This is a superb volume."
Charles Taliaferro, St. Olaf College

Roger Trigg, in Philosophy Matters (2002), confronts and elucidates the vital philosophical issues that shape our lives today. Common sense, he argues, depends on the philosophy of previous generations. Trigg illustrates how philosophy is a practical tool for understanding science, reason, the laws of nature, relativism, Darwinism, the human brain and mind. Trigg is a professor of philosophy at the University of Warwick." Science and Theology News, June 2004

"The book's apparent simplicity easily belies its sophistication. Trigg's opening chapter cleverly sets the scenefor what follows as well as providing useful background on the emergence of Western philosophy.This is an excellent book." Science and Christian Belief

  • Accessible to general readers and a useful overview for beginning students.

  • Offers a general survey of philosophy as well as a focused attack on materialism and relativism.

  • Concentrates on the problem of obtaining knowledge about the nature of reality, particularly through science.

  • Isolates and elucidates the presuppositions of modern science.