Those who begin the study of philosophy may easily become discouraged. Many classic texts are daunting in their complexity, and much contemporary writing is intended primarily for a professional audience. In Exploring Philosophy, Steven M. Cahn has gathered recent essays by noted philosophers who place a premium on clarity, plus a number of the most accessible historical sources, thereby showing general readers what it means to think like a philosopher.
Here is a remarkably accessible and engaging introduction to philosophy. These carefully edited essays are topically organized, and address issues drawn from the major fields of philosophy, such as knowledge and skepticism, freedom and determinism, mind and body, the existence of God, the problem of evil, faith and reason, cultural relativism, abortion, euthanasia, democracy, privacy, capital punishment, affirmative action, death, and the meaning of life. The collection also contains, in preeminent translations and with explanatory notes, the complete texts of Plato's Meno, Euthyphro, Apology, and Crito as well as specially selected materials by Aristotle, Aquinas, Descartes, Hume, Kant, and Mill. Also provided are an introduction to logic and scientific method and guiding commentary by the editor.
Steven M. Cahn has proved that it is possible to discuss the core topics of philosophy without arcane terminology, unexplained references, or convoluted arguments. For anyone interested in delving into philosophy, this anthology offers an impressive sampling of lucid, inviting articles that tackle some of the field's most provocative questions.