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How ought we to live? What really exists? How do we know? This Very Short Introduction discusses some of the key questions philosophy engages with. Edward Craig explores important themes in ethics, and the nature of knowledge and the self, through readings from Plato, Hume, Descartes, Hegel, Darwin, and Buddhist writers. Throughout, he emphasizes why we do phiilosophy, explains how different areas of philosophy are related, and explores the contexts in which philosophy was and is done.
This new edition includes a new chapter on free will, discussing determinism and indeterminism in the context of Descartes and Hegel's work. Craig also covers the Problem of Evil, and Kant's argument on the source of moral obligation.
1: Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction
2: What should I do? Plato's Crito
3: How do we know? Hume's, Of Miracles
4: What am I? An unknown Buddhist on the Self: King Milinda's chariot
5: Some themes
6: Of 'isms'
7: Some more high spots: a personal selection
8: Freedom of the will
9: What's in it for whom
Where to go next
Edward Craig is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Cambridge University, and Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge. He is the author of several books, including Knowledge and the State of Nature (OUP, 1991), and The Mind of God and the Works of Man, (OUP, 1996). He was General Editor of the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy until 2011.
Review of the first edition:
"[The Very Short Introduction to Philosophy] shows that philosophy really can be fascinating, broad-minded and full of surprise. As a means of stimulating interest in the subject it has few rivals."
– Julian Baggini, The Philosopher's Magazine