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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $62.00
  • January 2015
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-93220-1
  • 1168 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

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  1. Philosophy

The Norton Introduction to Philosophy


Alex Byrne (Editor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Joshua Cohen (Editor, Apple University), Gideon Rosen (Editor, Princeton University), Seana Valentine Shiffrin (Editor, University of California - Los Angeles)


An introduction to philosophy by experts for beginners.

Edited by a team of four leading philosophers, The Norton Introduction to Philosophy introduces students to contemporary perspectives on major philosophical issues and questions. This text features an impressive array of readings, including 25 specially-commissioned essays by prominent philosophers. A student-friendly presentation, a handy format, and a low price make The Norton Introduction to Philosophy as accessible and affordable as it is up-to-date.


An exceptional editorial team

The editors of The Norton Introduction to Philosophy are among the most highly regarded philosophers in the U.S. Combined, they possess expertise in most of the major subfields of philosophy—metaphysics (Rosen and Byrne), epistemology (Byrne and Rosen), philosophy of mind (Byrne), ethics (Cohen, Shiffrin, & Rosen), and political philosophy (Cohen & Shiffrin). 

25 specially-commissioned essays written specifically for undergraduates

Unique to The Norton Introduction to Philosophy are 25 commissioned pieces from leading philosophers that were written not for their peers, but for readers who have had no prior training in philosophy. In addition to essays by editors Alex Byrne and Gideon Rosen, The Norton Introduction to Philosophy features new, exclusive essays by David Chalmers, Steward Cohen, Alan Hájek, Ned Hall, Elizabeth Harman, Barbara Herman, Rosalind Hursthouse, Rae Langton, David Lyons, Tim Maudlin, Martha Nussbaum, T. M. Scanlon, John Simmons, Galen Strawson, Sharon Street, Judith Jarvis Thomson, Michael Tye, Jonathan Vogel, R. J. Wallace, Roger White, Timothy Williamson, Jonathan Wolff, and Stephen Yablo. 

104 readings—more than any other text of its kind—in a handy, portable format

Published in an attractive one-column design similar to Norton’s hallmark anthologies, The Norton Introduction to Philosophy manages to accommodate more readings than any competing text in a handy, portable format that is more convenient to carry and easier to read than traditional two-column texts. 

Smart, student-friendly pedagogy helps readers navigate challenging selections and ideas

Sensitive to the challenges that philosophical texts can pose for undergraduates, the editors of The Norton Introduction to Philosophy have provided exceptionally clear and accessible introductory matter and pedagogical aids before and after the readings. 

    (Pieces highlighted by “***” were specifically commissioned for The Norton Introduction to Philosophy and are exclusive to it.)

    Part I: The Philosophy of Religion

    Chapter 1: Does God Exist?
    Anselm of Canterbury, from Proslogion: “The Ontological Argument”
    Thomas Aquinas, from Summa Theologica: “The Five Ways”
    William Rowe, “The Problem of Evil and Some Varieties of Atheism”
    William Paley, from Natural Theology: “The Argument from Design”
    John Stuart Mill, “Theism”
    ***Roger White, “The Argument from Cosmological Fine-Tuning”

    Chapter 2: Is it Reasonable to Believe without Evidence?
    Blaise Pascal, from Pensées: “The Wager”
    ***Alan Hájek, “Pascal’s Ultimate Gamble”
    William James, “The Will to Believe”
    Alvin Plantinga, “Is Belief in God Properly Basic?”

    Part II: Epistemology

    Chapter 3: What is Knowledge?
    Plato, Meno
    Edmund Gettier, “Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?”
    Gilbert Harman, from Thought: “Evidence One Does Not Possess”
    Linda Zagzebski, “The Inescapability of Gettier Problems”
    ***Timothy Williamson, “Knowledge and Belief”

    Chapter 4: How Can We Know About What We Have Not Observed?
    David Hume, from Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding: “Sceptical Doubts Concerning the Operations of the Understanding,” “A Sceptical Solution to these Doubts”
    P. F. Strawson, “The ‘Justification’ of Induction”
    Nelson Goodman, “The New Riddle of Induction”
    Gilbert Harman, “The Inference to the Best Explanation”
    Karl Popper, “The Problem of Induction”

    Chapter 5: How Can We Know What Causes What?
    David Hume, from Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, “Of the Idea of Necessary Connection,”
    Susanna Siegel, “The Visual Experience of Causation”
    John Stuart Mill, from System of Logic, “The Method of Differences,”
    ***Ned Hall, “Causation and Correlation”

    Chapter 6: How Can You Know Your Own Mind, or the Mind of Another Person?
    Alec Hyslop and Frank Jackson, “The Analogical Inference to Other Minds”
    Saul Kripke, from Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language, “Other Minds”
    Maurice Merleau-Ponty, from The World of Perception, “Man Seen from the Outside”
    D. M. Armstrong, from A Materialist Theory of the Mind, “Introspection”
    Gilbert Ryle, from The Concept of Mind, “Self-Knowledge”
    ***Alex Byrne, “Skepticism about the Internal World”

    Chapter 7: How Can We Know about the External World?
    René Descartes, Meditation I
    David Hume, from Treatise of Human Nature, “Of Scepticism with Regard to the Senses,”
    G. E. Moore, “Proof of an External World”
    ***Stewart Cohen, “Contextualism”
    ***Jonathan Vogel, “Skepticism and Inference to the Best Explanation”
    ***Rae Langton, “Ignorance of Things in Themselves”

    Part III: Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Mind

    Chapter 8: Is Mind Material?
    René Descartes, Meditation II and Meditation VI
    Gilbert Ryle, from The Concept of Mind, “Descartes’ Myth”
    J.J.C. Smart, “Sensations and Brain Processes”
    Hilary Putnam, “The Nature of Mental States”
    John Searle, “Can Computers Think?”

    Chapter 9: What is Consciousness?
    Thomas Nagel, “What is it Like to be a Bat?”
    Frank Jackson, “Epiphenomenal Qualia”
    Frank Jackson, “Postscript on Qualia”
    Patricia Smith Churchland, from Neurophilosophy, “Are Mental States Irreducible to Neurobiological States?”
    ***David Chalmers, “The Hard Problem of Consciousness”
    ***Michael Tye, “The Puzzle of Transparency”

    Chapter 10: What is Color?
    John Locke, from Essay Concerning Human Understanding, “Some Farther Considerations Concerning Our Simple Ideas”
    D. M. Armstrong, from A Materialist Theory of the Mind, “The Secondary Qualities”
    C. L. Hardin, “Are ‘Scientific’ Objects Colored?”
    Colin McGinn, from The Subjective View, “Secondary Qualities”

    Chapter 11: What is There?
    Peter van Inwagen, “Fiction and Metaphysics”
    ***Gideon Rosen, “Numbers and Other Immaterial Objects”
    ***Stephen Yablo, “A Thing and its Matter”
    ***Tim Maudlin, “Science and Metaphysics”

    Chapter 12: What is Personal Identity?
    John Locke, from Essay Concerning Human Understanding, “Of Identity and Diversity”
    Richard Swinburne, “Personal Identity: The Dualist Theory”
    Derek Parfit, from Reasons and Persons, Chapters 10 and 12
    Bernard Williams, “The Self and the Future”



    Part IV: From Methaphysics to Ethics

    Chapter 13: Do We Possess Free Will?
    ***Galen Strawson, “Free Will”
    Roderick Chisholm, “Human Freedom and the Self”
    A.J. Ayer, “Freedom and Necessity”
    Harry Frankfurt, “Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility”
    Susan Wolf, “Asymmetrical Freedom”
    P. F. Strawson, “Freedom and Resentment”

    Chapter 14: Is Morality Objective?
    J. L. Mackie: from Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong, “The Subjectivity of Values”
    ***R. Jay Wallace, “Moral Subjectivism”
    Thomas Nagel, from The Last Word, “Ethics”
    Philippa Foot, “Moral Relativism”
    ***Sharon Street, “Does Anything Really Matter?”

    Part V: Ethics and Political Philosophy

    Chapter 15: Why Do What is Right?
    Plato, from Republic
    ***Judith Jarvis Thomson, “Why Ought We Do What is Right?”
    David Hume, from A Treatise of Human Nature, “Of the Passions” and “Of Morals”; from Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals “Why Utility Pleases”
    Immanuel Kant, Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals I

    Chapter 16: How Do We Reason about What is Right?
    John Stuart Mill, from Utilitarianism
    Immanuel Kant, from Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals II
    T.M. Scanlon, “Contractarianism and Utilitarianism”
    ***Rosalind Hursthouse, “Virtue Ethics”
    John Rawls, from A Theory of Justice, “Some Remarks about Moral Theory”
    ***Elizabeth Harman, “Is it Reasonable to Rely on ‘Intuitions’ in Ethics?”
    Friedrich Nietzsche, from The Genealogy of Morals, Beyond Good and Evil, and The Gay Science

    Chapter 17: Do Your Intentions Matter?
    David Hume, from A Treatise of Human Nature, “Of Justice and Injustice”
    G.E.M. Anscombe, “Mr. Truman’s Degree”
    ***T. M. Scanlon, “When Do Intentions Matter to Permissibility?”
    ***Barbara Herman, “Impermissibility and Wrongness”

    Chapter 18: What Is the Right Thing to Do?
    Peter Singer, “Famine, Affluence and Morality”
    Onora O’Neill, “The Moral Perplexities of Famine Relief”
    Judith Jarvis Thomson, “A Defense of Abortion”
    Don Marquis, “Why Abortion is Immoral”
    Thomas Nagel, “War and Massacre”
    John Rawls, from The Law of Peoples, “On the Killing of Civilians in Wartime”

    Chapter 19: How Can the State Be Justified?
    Aristotle, from Politics
    Thomas Hobbes, from Leviathan
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau, from The Social Contract
    ***John Simmons, “Rights-Based Justifications for the State”
    ***David Lyons, “The Utilitarian Justification of the State”

    Chapter 20: What is the Value of Liberty?
    John Locke, A Letter Concerning Toleration
    John Stuart Mill, from On Liberty, “Of Individuality as One of the Elements of Well-Being”
    Patrick Devlin, “Morals and the Criminal Law”
    Amartya Sen, “Elements of a Theory of Human Rights”

    Chapter 21: Does Justice Require Equality?
    John Rawls, from A Theory of Justice, “Principles of Justice”
    Harry Frankfurt, “Equality as a Moral Ideal”
    ***Martha Nussbaum, “Political Equality”
    ***Jonathan Wolff, “Equality as a Basic Demand of Justice”
    Robert Nozick, from Anarchy, State, and Utopia, “Distributive Justice”

    Brief Guide to Logic and Argumentation

    Guidelines for Writing Philosophy Papers


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