This book will be the first collection of classic and contemporary readings devoted to the subject of happiness. Part I will include classic readings from Plato to Sartre, thus providing a brief tour of the most important theories of ethics and emphasizing their approaches to happiness. Part II will be devoted to the work of contemporary theorists who have sought to grasp the concept of happiness from a variety of perspectives.
Now even more affordably priced in its second edition, Classic and Contemporary Readings in the Philosophy of Education is ideal for undergraduate and graduate philosophy of education courses. Editor Steven M. Cahn, a highly respected contributor to the field, brings together writings by leading figures in the history of philosophy and notable contemporary thinkers. The first section of the book provides material from nine classic writers, while the second section presents twenty-one recent selections that reflect diverse approaches, including pragmatism, analytic (...) philosophy, feminism, and multiculturalism. The second edition features expanded selections by Locke, Rousseau, Kant, and Dewey, along with eight new readings. (shrink)
The book_ Fate, Time, and Language: An Essay on Free Will_, published in 2010 by Columbia University Press, presented David Foster Wallace's challenge to Richard Taylor's argument for fatalism. In this anthology, notable philosophers engage directly with that work and assess Wallace's reply to Taylor as well as other aspects of Wallace's thought. With an introduction by Steven M. Cahn and Maureen Eckert, this collection includes essays by William Hasker, Gila Sher, Marcello Oreste Fiocco, Daniel R. Kelly, Nathan Ballantyne, Justin (...) Tosi, and Maureen Eckert. These thinkers explore Wallace's philosophical and literary work, illustrating remarkable ways in which his philosophical views influenced and were influenced by themes developed in his other writings, both fictional and nonfictional. Together with _Fate, Time, and Language_, this critical set unlocks key components of Wallace's work and its traces in modern literature and thought. (shrink)
How should we evaluate the success of each person's life? Countering the prevalent philosophical perspective on the subject, Steven M. Cahn and Christine Vitrano defend the view that our well-being is dependent not on particular activities, accomplishments, or awards but on finding personal satisfaction while treating others with due concern. The authors suggest that moral behavior is not necessary for happiness and does not ensure it. Yet they also argue that morality and happiness are needed for living well, and together (...) suffice to achieve that goal. Cahn and Vitrano link their position to elements within both the Hellenistic and Hebraic traditions, in particular the views of Epicurus and lessons found in the Book of Ecclesiastes. Written in an accessible style and illustrated with incisive vignettes drawn from history, literature, films, and everyday life, _Happiness and Goodness_ is a compelling work of philosophy for anyone who seeks to understand the nature of a good life. (shrink)
The most comprehensive collection of its kind, Ethics: History, Theory, and Contemporary Issues, Third Edition, is organized into three parts, providing instructors with flexibility in designing and teaching a variety of courses in moral philosophy. The first part, Historical Sources, moves from classical thought (Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, and Epictetus) through medieval views (Augustine and Aquinas) to modern theories (Hobbes, Butler, Hume, Kant, Bentham, and Mill), culminating with leading nineteenth- and twentieth-century thinkers (Nietzsche, James, Dewey, Camus, and Sartre). The second part, (...) Modern Ethical Theory, includes many of the most important essays of the past century. The discussion of utilitarianism, Kantianism, egoism, and relativism continues in the work of major contemporary philosophers (Foot, Brandt, Williams, Wolf, and Nagel). Landmark selections (Moore, Prichard, Ross, Ayer, Stevenson, Hare, Baier, Anscombe, Gauthier, and Harman) reflect concern with moral language and the justification of morality. The concepts of justice (Rawls) and rights (Feinberg) are explored, as well as recent views on the importance of virtue ethics (Rachels) and an ethic influenced by feminist concerns (Held). In the third part, Contemporary Moral Problems, the readings present the current debates over abortion, euthanasia, famine relief, animal rights, the death penalty, and whether numbers should play a role in making moral decisions. The third edition expands Part II, Modern Ethical Theory, adding essays by Onora O'Neill, Ruth Barcan Marcus, Allan Gibbard, Nicholas L. Sturgeon, and Martha Nussbaum. Part III, Contemporary Moral Problems, features new essays on abortion by Mary Anne Warren, Don Marquis, and Rosalind Hursthouse; an essay on the death penalty by Stephen Nathanson; and a debate between John M. Taurek and Derek Parfit on when and why one should save from harm a greater rather than a lesser number of people. The book concludes with an essay by Judith Jarvis Thomson on the trolley problem. Wherever possible, each reading is printed in its entirety. (shrink)
What is living well? We describe two contrasting lives and ask whether one is better lived than the other. Many philosophers, among them Susan Wolf, Richard Kraut and Stephen Darwall would say so. We criticize their position, which views certain activities as intrinsically more worthy than others. Instead, we conclude that persons are living well if they act morally and find long-term satisfaction, regardless of the pursuits they choose.
Featuring nine new articles chosen by coeditor Steven M. Cahn, the third edition of E. D. Klemke's The Meaning of Life offers twenty-two insightful selections that explore this fascinating topic. The essays are primarily by philosophers but also include materials from literary figures and religious thinkers. As in previous editions, the readings are organized around three themes. In Part I the articles defend the view that without faith in God, life has no meaning or purpose. In Part II the selections (...) oppose this claim, defending instead a nontheistic, humanistic alternative--that life can have meaning even in the absence of theistic commitment. In Part III the contributors ask whether the question of the meaning of life is itself meaningful. The third edition adds substantial essays by Moritz Schlick, Joel Feinberg, and John Kekes as well as selections from the writings of Louis P. Pojman, Emil L. Fackenheim, Robert Nozick, Susan Wolf, and Steven M. Cahn. The only anthology of its kind, The Meaning of Life: A Reader, Third Edition, is ideal for courses in introduction to philosophy, human nature, and the meaning of life. It also offers general readers an accessible and stimulating introduction to the subject. (shrink)
In the decades since Robert Nozick posed his now famous thought experiment involving the experience machine, philosophers have taken his treatment as conclusive. A review of the literature finds almost no one who has argued that people would choose the experience machine. To find such unanunity among philosophers is unexpected. But the situation is especially surprising because Nozick's conclusion appears mistaken. In support of this view, we offer three different sorts of reasons why persons would be inclined to choose the (...) experience machine. We illustrate these reasons by the use of numerous examples at least as plausible as the experience machine itself. (shrink)
Classics of Political and Moral Philosophy provides in one volume the major writings from nearly 2,500 years of political and moral philosophy. The most comprehensive collection of its kind, it moves from classical thought (Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, Cicero) through medieval views (Augustine, Aquinas) to modern perspectives (Machiavelli, Hobbes, Spinoza, Locke, Rousseau, Hume, Adam Smith, Kant). It includes major nineteenth-century thinkers (Hegel, Bentham, Mill, Nietzsche) as well as twentieth-century theorists (Rawls, Nozick, Nagel, Foucault, Habermas, Nussbaum). Also included are numerous essays from (...) The Federalist Papers and a variety of notable documents and addresses, among them Pericles' Funeral Oration, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, and speeches by Edmund Burke, Abraham Lincoln, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, John Dewey, and Martin Luther King, Jr. The readings are substantial or complete texts, not fragments. An especially valuable feature of this volume is that the works of each author are introduced with a substantive and engaging essay by a leading contemporary authority. These introductions include Richard Kraut on Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, and Cicero; Paul J. Weithman on Augustine and Aquinas; Roger D. Masters on Machiavelli; Jean Hampton on Hobbes; Steven B. Smith on Spinoza and Hegel; A. John Simmons on Locke; Joshua Cohen on Rousseau and Rawls; Donald W. Livingston on Hume; Charles L. Griswold, Jr., on Smith; Bernard E. Brown on Hamilton and Madison; Jeremy Waldron on Bentham and Mill; Paul Guyer on Kant; Richard Miller on Marx and Engels; Richard Schacht on Nietzsche; Thomas Christiano on Nozick; John Deigh on Nagel; Thomas A. McCarthy on Foucault and Habermas; and Eva Feder Kittay on Nussbaum. Offering unprecedented breadth of coverage, Classics of Political and Moral Philosophy is an ideal text for courses in social and political philosophy, moral philosophy, or surveys in Western civilization. (shrink)
How is principled divestiture possible, for it passes the guilt of ownership from seller to buyer, thus exchanging one wrong for another? In response to this puzzle I posed (Analysis 47.3), Roger Shiner argues that since the seller does not cause the buyer to act, the seller maintains moral integrity. But your wish to sell your stock is logically equivalent to your wishing someone to buy it. By hypothesis you believe it wrong for anyone to buy it. So your wish (...) to sell is the wish that someone else do wrong. And that desire is immoral. The puzzle thus remains unsolved. (shrink)
Exploring Ethics: An Introductory Anthology, Second Edition, is a remarkably accessible, concise, and engaging introduction to moral philosophy. Steven M. Cahn brings together a rich, balanced, and wide-ranging collection of forty classic and contemporary readings. Most importantly, he has carefully edited the articles so that they will be exceptionally clear and understandable to undergraduate students.
Suppose I uncover a plot to set off a bomb that would destroy a city. Only I am in position to foil the scheme. Doing so, however, would cost me my life. I may choose, of course, to sacrifice myself and thereby save thousands of others. But am I morally obligated to do so?
The concept of Heaven raises innumerable difficulties but is so attractive that many may wish to believe in the idea regardless of any arguments against it. Even though unreasonable, it might play a positive role in some lives.Export citation.
This paper describes a fourteen-week course titled “Teaching Philosophy” whose goal was to prepare new teachers on how to provide effective instruction to undergraduates. The author recounts a number of the benefits that result from teaching new instructors how to teach: slower and clearer instruction, better attention to motivating topics, as well as the capacity to present material in a more organized way. In addition to providing feedback from students who took the course, the author contends that these types of (...) courses provide an important step toward more effective teaching. (shrink)
Classics of Modern Political Theory: Machiavelli to Mill brings together the complete texts or substantial selections from the masterpieces of modern political theory. The most comprehensive anthology of its kind, this volume includes well-known works by Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Hegel, and Marx, and significant contributions from Spinoza, Montesquieu, Hume, Adam Smith, Kant, Burke, Bentham, and Tocqueville. A distinctive feature of this collection is the inclusion of the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and numerous papers from The Federalist. An extended (...) introduction to each author's writings, provided by a renowned authority on the subject, features biographical data, philosophical commentary, and bibliographical guides. Ideal for courses in political philosophy and intellectual history, as well as surveys of Western Civilization, this book presents influential authors and ideas that have shaped modern political thought. (shrink)
Contributors: Steven M. Cahn, James W. Nickel, J. L. Cowan, Paul W. Taylor, Michael D. Bayles, William A. Nunn III, Alan H. Goldman, Paul Woodruff, Robert A. Shiver, Judith Jarvis Thomson, Robert Simon, George Sher, Robert Amdur, Robert K. Fullinwider, Bernard R. Boxhill, Lisa H. Newton, Anita L. Allen, Celia Wolf-Devine, Sidney Hook, Richaed Waaserstrom, Thomas E. Hill, Jr., John Kekes.
I suggest that in teaching about God we remind students of the following four essential points: (1) belief in the existence of God is not a necessary condition for religious commitment; (2) belief in the existence of God is not a sufficient condition for religious commitment; (3) the existence of God is not the only supernatural hypothesis that merits serious discussion; and (4) a successful defense of traditional theism requires not only that it be more plausible than atheism or agnosticism (...) but also that it be more plausible than all other supernatural alternatives. (shrink)