This is a collection of 13 essays honoring Steven Cahn, presented to him on the occasion of his 25th year as Professor of Philosophy at the City University of New York. The essays address issues concerning the teaching of philosophy, the responsibilities of professors, and the good life.
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)
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)
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.
Exploring Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology, Second Edition, is a remarkably accessible and engaging introduction to philosophy. Steven M. Cahn brings together extraordinarily clear, recent essays by noted philosophers and supplements them with influential historical sources. Most importantly, the articles have been carefully edited to make them understandable to every reader. The topics are drawn from the major fields of philosophy and include knowledge and skepticism, freedom and determinism, mind and body, the existence of God, the problem of evil, cultural (...) relativism, abortion, euthanasia, democracy, capital punishment, affirmative action, and the meaning of life. Exploring Philosophy, Second Edition, contains, in preeminent translations and with explanatory notes, the complete texts of Plato's Meno, Euthyphro, Defence of Socrates, and Crito as well as specially selected materials by Aristotle, Aquinas, Descartes, Hume, Kant, and Mill. The second edition has been expanded to present the material on knowledge and mind in two separate sections; the latter contains an essay on artificial intelligence by John Searle and updated selections on the mind-body problem by Thomas Nagel, Gilbert Ryle, and Richard Taylor. This edition also adds essays by Simon Blackburn, Martin Luther King, Jr., Norman Malcolm, and Robert McKim, and additional excerpts from Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics. An introduction to logic and scientific method and guiding commentary by the editor are also provided. Exploring Philosophy, Second Edition, is a landmark collection that enables all readers to appreciate for themselves the importance and fascination of philosophical inquiry. (shrink)
What are the inherent claims that lie at the core of religion? Which of them are defensible by reason, and which are not? Potential answers to these questions and more, from influential philosophers past and present, may be found in this short book edited by Steven M. Cahn. Featuring fifty-two classic and contemporary readings, Exploring Philosophy of Religion: Text and Readings is a topically-organized anthology that presents broad coverage of seven major areas in the philosophy of religion - the (...) concept of God, the existence of God, religious language, miracles and mysticism, belief in God, resurrection and immortality, and religious pluralism - in a clear and accessible format. With guiding introductory material from Professor Cahn, each of the readings has been carefully selected and edited for maximum clarity and comprehensiveness; only the most essential material is included. To further foster understanding, the text also features an appendix consisting of Professor Cahn's monograph, God, Reason, and Religion, which provides a synthesis and interpretation of the crucial issues raised throughout the 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)
Steven M. Cahn's advice on the professorial life covers an extensive range of critical issues: how to plan, complete, and defend a dissertation; how to navigate a job interview; how to improve teaching performance; how to prepare and publish research; how to develop a professional network; and how to garner support for tenure. He deals with such hurdles as a difficult dissertation advisor, problematic colleagues, and the pressures of the tenure clock. Whether you are beginning graduate study, hoping to (...) secure an academic position, or striving to build a professorial career, Cahn's insights are invaluable to traversing the thickets of academia. (shrink)
In 1962, the philosopher Richard Taylor used six commonly accepted presuppositions to imply that human beings have no control over the future. David Foster Wallace not only took issue with Taylor's method, which, according to him, scrambled the relations of logic, language, and the physical world, but also noted a semantic trick at the heart of Taylor's argument. _Fate, Time, and Language_ presents Wallace's brilliant critique of Taylor's work. Written long before the publication of his fiction and essays, Wallace's thesis (...) reveals his great skepticism of abstract thinking made to function as a negation of something more genuine and real. He was especially suspicious of certain paradigms of thought-the cerebral aestheticism of modernism, the clever gimmickry of postmodernism-that abandoned "the very old traditional human verities that have to do with spirituality and emotion and community." As Wallace rises to meet the challenge to free will presented by Taylor, we witness the developing perspective of this major novelist, along with his struggle to establish solid logical ground for his convictions. This volume, edited by Steven M. Cahn and Maureen Eckert, reproduces Taylor's original article and other works on fatalism cited by Wallace. James Ryerson's introduction connects Wallace's early philosophical work to the themes and explorations of his later fiction, and Jay Garfield supplies a critical biographical epilogue. (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)
Ideal for survey courses in social and political philosophy, this volume is a substantially abridged and slightly altered version of Steven M. Cahn's Classics of Political and Moral Philosophy (OUP, 2001). Offering coverage from antiquity to the present, Political Philosophy: The Essential Texts is a historically organized collection of the most significant works from nearly 2,500 years of political philosophy. It moves from classical thought (Plato, Aristotle) through the medieval period (Aquinas) to modern perspectives (Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Hume, (...) Adam Smith, Hamilton and Madison, Kant). The book includes work from major nineteenth-century thinkers (Hegel, Marx and Engels, Mill) and twentieth-century theorists (Rawls, Nozick, Foucault, Habermas, Nussbaum) and also presents a variety of notable documents and addresses, including the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and speeches by Abraham Lincoln 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 an engaging essay by a leading contemporary authority. These introductions include Richard Kraut on Plato and Aristotle; Paul J. Weithman on Aquinas; Roger D. Masters on Machiavelli; Jean Hampton on Hobbes; A. John Simmons on Locke; Joshua Cohen on Rousseau and Rawls; Donald W. Livingston on Hume; Charles L. Griswold, Jr., on Adam Smith; Bernard E. Brown on Hamilton and Madison; Paul Guyer on Kant; Steven B. Smith on Hegel; Richard Miller on Marx and Engels; Jeremy Waldron on Mill; Thomas Christiano on Nozick; Thomas A. McCarthy on Foucault and Habermas; and Eva Feder Kittay on Nussbaum. (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.
Originally published in 1955, The Moral Decision remains today a fresh, lively, and literate quest for moral guides in the American system of law. Each topic is introduced with a real courtroom case followed by a summary of the uncontroverted facts, the issues before the court, the judge's opinion, and Edmond Cahn's objective and penetrating discussion of the ethical issues involved. The cases chosen operate as prisms, revealing an entire spectrum of moral forces—personal ambitions, group standards, lusts, sufferings, and (...) ideals. A new foreword by Norman Redlich, Dean of the New York University School of Law, affirms the value of The Moral Decision as an authoritative and humane introduction to law and morality. (shrink)
Accessible, flexible, and affordable, The World of Philosophy: An Introductory Reader presents philosophy in all its diverse array of thought and practice, offering standard Western historical and analytic materials alongside writings from Chinese, Indian, Native-American, African American, continental, and other sources. Approximately 25% of the contemporary readings are by women, including leading feminist theorists. Many articles have been edited to sharpen their focus and make them understandable to students with little or no background in philosophy. The readings are enhanced by (...) introductions, study questions, and a glossary at the end of the book. A new online Ancillary Resource Center and a Companion Website at www.oup.com/us/cahn offer additional resources for instructors and students.Featuring not only essential readings from the Western canon but also selections on compelling topics like Hindu and Buddhist conceptions of the self, Confucian and Buddhist morality, world hunger, animal rights, sexism, and racism, The World of Philosophy offers students a distinctive blend of traditional and non-traditional perspectives. (shrink)
The Elements of Philosophy: Readings from Past and Present is a comprehensive collection of historical and contemporary readings across the major fields of philosophy. With depth and quality, this introductory anthology offers a selection of readings that is both extensive and expansive; the readings span twenty-five centuries. They are organized topically into five parts: Religion and Belief, Moral and Political Philosophy, Metaphysics and Epistemology, Philosophy of Mind and Language, and Life and Death. The product of the collaboration of three highly (...) respected scholars in their fields - Tamar Szabó Gendler, Susanna Siegel, and Steven M. Cahn - The Elements of Philosophy also includes introductions from the editors, explanatory footnotes, and a glossary. (shrink)
Analysis of ART and abortion must include the experiences of women at the emerging center of American life, as well as those at the top and bottom of the socioeconomic scale. Our contribution explores the triple system of fertility regulation, analyzing the intersections between fertility and class and using the experiences of women in the middle to add depth to our understanding of women's exercises of autonomy.
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)
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.
Peopling the donor world -- The meaning of family in a changing world -- Creating families -- Creating communities across families -- The laws of the donor world: parents and children -- Law, adoption, and family secrets: disclosure and incest -- Reasons to regulate -- Regulating for connection -- Regulating for health and safety: setting limits in the gamete world -- Why not to regulate -- Conclusion: challenging and creating kinship.
As a final project for a business and society course, students presented analyses of ethical dilemmas in business settings; each dilemma was different, chosen either from the student’s personal business experience or from a recent business news event. Students identified multiple decision criteria relevant to the dilemma and then recommended a decision, reflecting a prioritizing of the multiple decision criteria. The goal of this research was to learn whether personal experience led to different decision priorities. Analyses from 121 students taken (...) from six semesters of the course were sorted by choice of topic, as well as by which decision criterion was given top priority. Results showed significant differences between the personal examples and the news examples. Students typically put ethical concerns first when analyzing news events. However, whenit came to personal events, more self-serving concerns often took priority. These disparate results suggest that even when knowledge is gained from study of theory and cases, it may not be applied to dilemmas that arise in students’ own experiences. (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)
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)
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.
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)
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?