This is the first volume of a two-volume introduction to and guide through philosophy.
It is intended to orientate, assist, and stimulate the reader at every stage in the study of the subject.
Eleven extended essays have been specially commissioned from leading philosophers; each surveys a major area of the subject and offers an accessible but sophisticated account of the main debates.
An extended introduction maps out the philosophical terrain and explains how the different subjects relate to each other.
The first part of the book deals with the foundations of philosophical enquiry: epistemology; philosophical logic; methodology; metaphysics; and the philosophy of mind.
The second part offers four historical chapters, two on ancient and two on modern philosophy, introducing great thinkers from the past, explaining and discussing their ideas, and showing the value of studyingthem today.
The third part comprises two chapters devoted to questions of value, in ethics and aesthetics.
Full annotated bibliographies are provided at the ends of chapters to serve as guides to further reading.
This is real philosophy, not simplified philosophy; it will be accessible for the beginner but equally valuable for the third-year student.
Deep and challenging questions are not shirked; the reader will be given a sense of involvement in the practice of philosophy today.