Problems from Philosophy is an introductory text organized around the great philosophical problems―the existence of God, the nature of the mind, human freedom, the limits of knowledge, and the truth about ethics. It begins by reflecting on the life of the first great philosopher, Socrates. Then it takes up the fundamental question of whether God exists. Next comes a discussion of death and the soul, which leads to a chapter about persons. The later chapters consider whether objective knowledge is possible in science and ethics.
Problems from Philosophy represents the final work of philosopher James Rachels. In it, he brings the same liveliness and clarity to the introduction of philosophy present in his other best-selling texts. Problems from Philosophy has been revised by James Rachels’ son Stuart, who has carefully refined his father’s work to further strengthen its clarity and accessibility. The fourth edition features revisions on discussions of free will, artificial intelligence, idealism, and Kantian ethics.
James Rachels (1941–2003) wrote The End of Life: Euthanasia and Morality, Created from Animals: The Moral Implications of Darwinism, Can Ethics Provide Answers? And Other Essays in Moral Philosophy, Problems from Philosophy, and The Legacy of Socrates: Essays in Moral Philosophy. His website is www.jamesrachels.org.Stuart Rachels is associate professor of philosophy at the University of Alabama. He has revised several of James Rachels’ books, including The Right Thing to Do; The Elements of Moral Philosophy ; and Problems from Philosophy. He won the United States Chess Championship in 1989, at the age of 20, and is a Bronze Life Master at bridge.
About the Fourth Edition
1. The Legacy of Socrates
2. God and the Origin of the Universe
3. The Problem of Evil
4. Do We Survive Death?
5. The Problem of Personal Identity
6. Body and Mind
7. Could a Machine Think?
8. The Case Against Free Will
9. The Debate Over Free Will
10. Our Knowledge of the World Around Us
11. Ethics and Objectivity
12. Why Should We Be Moral?
13. The Meaning of Life
Appendix: How to Evaluate Arguments
James and Stuart Rachels' text has long been perfect for introduction to philosophy courses. As strong as ever with great updates and an improved chapter on Free Will, I highly and enthusiastically recommend this new edition of Problems from Philosophy!