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Philosophy for Everyone begins by explaining what philosophy is before exploring the questions and issues at the foundation of this important subject.
Key topics and their areas of focus include:
- Moral philosophy – the nature of our moral judgments and reactions, whether they aim at some objective moral truth, or are mere personal or cultural preferences; and the possibility of moral responsibility given the sorts of things that cause behavior;
- Political philosophy – fundamental questions about the nature of states and their relationship to the citizens within those states
- Epistemology – what our knowledge of the world and ourselves consists in, and how we come to have it; and whether we should form beliefs by trusting what other people tell us;
- Philosophy of mind – what it means for something to have a mind, and how minds should be understood and explained;
- Philosophy of science – foundational conceptual issues in scientific research and practice, such as whether scientific theories are true; and
- Metaphysics - fundamental questions about the nature of reality, such as whether we have free will, or whether time travel is possible.
This book is designed to be used in conjunction with the free ‘Introduction to Philosophy’ MOOC (massive open online course) created by the University of Edinburgh’s Eidyn research centre, and hosted by the Coursera platform (www.coursera.org/course/introphil).