By Mitchell S. Green

This short, based ebook introduces scholars and normal readers to philosophy via center questions and subject matters - quite these related to ethics, the life of God, unfastened will, the relation of brain and physique, and what it's to be an individual. It additionally encompasses a bankruptcy on reasoning, either theoretical and useful, that develops an account of either cogent logical reasoning and rational decision-making. all through, the emphasis is on beginning newbies to philosophy via rigorous but vigorous attention of a few of the main basic questions a considering individual can ask.

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Extra resources for Engaging Philosophy: A Brief Introduction

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Premise 1 just states a definition. It does not assume that “God” refers to anything. In fact, none of premises 1–4 assumes that “‘God” refers to 3 I owe this example to Richard Gale. Anselm summarizes this line of thought by saying that so long as the GCB exists in your understanding, that is, so long as you can form a coherent idea of the GCB, you must acknowledge that the GCB exists in reality as well. A monk who was a contemporary of Anselm’s, Gaunilo, held that this argument must have gone wrong somewhere.

5. Create your own example of a fallacy of equivocation, then use our definition of validity to show that this argument is not valid. 6. Describe a case in which it would be practically irrational, according to our theory of subjective expected utility, to use a decision matrix or some other formal device to calculate the subjective expected utility of a prospective action. 7. My cousin George never wears seatbelts when he drives. His reason is that it is possible that one day while driving he might go off a bridge or the side of a road and end up at the bottom of a lake or river.

The structure of the above-displayed line of reasoning is known as a reductio ad absurdum: We start with supposing something, show that supposition leads to an absurdity, and then infer that the supposition in question must be false. Clarke tries this with the assumption that the universe is nothing but an ICRDB. If he can show that this assumption implies a falsehood, he will show that this assumption cannot be true. If premise 1 is false, that might either be because the universe is nothing but a finite causal regression of dependent beings or because the universe has at least one independent being in it.

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