First Philosophy: Knowing and Being – Second Edition
Fundamental Problems and Readings in Philosophy
  • Publication Date: June 17, 2013
  • ISBN: 9781554811816 / 1554811813
  • 560 pages; 7¾" x 9¼"

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First Philosophy: Knowing and Being – Second Edition

Fundamental Problems and Readings in Philosophy

  • Publication Date: June 17, 2013
  • ISBN: 9781554811816 / 1554811813
  • 560 pages; 7¾" x 9¼"

First Philosophy: Knowing and Being brings together over thirty classic and contemporary readings in epistemology and metaphysics. Mindful of the intrinsic difficulty of the material, the editors provide comprehensive introductions both to each topic and to each individual selection. By presenting a detailed discussion of the historical and intellectual background to each piece, the editors enable readers to approach the material without unnecessary barriers to understanding. A brief introduction to arguments is included, as are appendices on terminology and philosophical puzzles and paradoxes.

First Philosophy is also available in complete and concise editions, which cover a full range of introductory philosophical topics.

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“Andrew Bailey and Robert Martin’s First Philosophy: Knowing and Being is exemplary. In my judgement, its selection of pieces on the philosophical issues involved in thinking about knowledge, science, God, mind, and free will could hardly be bettered. The book offers instructors an ideal means of introducing students to the rigours and joys of serious philosophical reflection.” — Mark Migotti, University of Calgary

Praise for the first edition of First Philosophy:

“I would recommend First Philosophy to anyone teaching an introductory philosophy course.” — Paul Churchland, University of California, San Diego

“This is an extremely well-done philosophy text. … [It] should become a standard in introductory philosophy classes.” — Patricia Blanchette, University of Notre Dame

First Philosophy has a good selection of articles for my purposes, and the accompanying introductory background material is absolutely brilliant.” — Jillian Scott McIntosh, Simon Fraser University

“The introductions are fabulous; students find them very helpful. Overall, First Philosophy is an excellent anthology for first-year students; the text has made my job significantly easier.” — Jennifer M. Phillips, Indiana University, Bloomington

“Bailey’s extensive and informative introductions are excellent and are a great help to both students and instructors. Bailey’s choice of readings along with his wonderful introductions make First Philosophy the best introductory philosophy text I have used.” — Marc Ereshefsky, University of Calgary

“The main difference between other anthologies and First Philosophy is Bailey’s supplementary material, which is excellent. The explicative material is likewise excellent: clear, highly relevant, useful, easily understood. The wonderful supplementary material makes this a very good text indeed.” — Jeff Foss, University of Victoria

First Philosophy combines a great selection of texts with thoughtful, accessible introductory material. It’s a wonderful, perfectly pitched introduction to the discipline for lower division students. It is always my first choice when I’m teaching ‘Intro.’” — Shannon Dea, University of Waterloo

How to Use This Book
Suggestions for Abridgement

Chapter 1: Philosophy

  1. What Is Philosophy?
  2. A Brief Introduction to Arguments
  3. Introductory Tips on Reading and Writing Philosophy

Chapter 2: Epistemology—Is the External World the Way It Appears to Be?

Introduction to the Question
René Descartes

  • Meditations on First Philosophy

John Locke

  • from An Essay Concerning Human Understanding

George Berkeley

  • Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous, First Dialogue

Immanuel Kant

  • Critique of Pure Reason, Introduction

Bertrand Russell

  • The Problems of Philosophy, Chapters 1–3

Edmund L. Gettier

  • “Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?”

Lorraine Code

  • “Is the Sex of the Knower Epistemologically Significant?”

Chapter 3: Philosophy of Science—When, if Ever, Are Scientific Inferences Justified?

Introduction to the Question

David Hume

  • from An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Sections IV and V

Carl Hempel

  • from “Scientific Inquiry: Invention and Test”

Karl Popper

  • “Science: Conjectures and Refutations”

Thomas Kuhn

  • “Objectivity, Value Judgment, and Theory Choice”

Helen Longino

  • “Can There Be a Feminist Science?”

Chapter 4: Philosophy of Religion—Does God Exist?

Introduction to the Question

St. Anselm of Canterbury

  • Proslogion, Preface and Chapters 2–5
    Pro Insipiente (“On Behalf of the Fool”), by Gaunilo of Marmoutiers
    Anselm’s Reply to Gaunilo

St. Thomas Aquinas

  • Summa Theologiae, Part I, Question 2, The Existence of God (In Three Articles)

David Hume

  • from Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion

Gottfried Leibniz

  • Theodicy: Abridgement of the Argument Reduced to Syllogistic Form

J.L. Mackie

  • “Evil and Omnipotence”

William James

  • “The Will to Believe”

Chapter 5: Philosophy of Mind—What Is the Place of Mind in the Physical World?

Introduction to the Question

Gilbert Ryle

  • The Concept of Mind, Chapter 1: “Descartes’s Myth”

Hilary Putnam

  • “The Nature of Mental States”

John R. Searle

  • “Minds, Brains and Programs”

Thomas Nagel

  • “What Is It Like to Be a Bat?”

Frank Jackson

  • from “Epiphenomenal Qualia”
    from “What Mary Didn’t Know”

David Chalmers

  • “The Puzzle of Conscious Experience”

Chapter 6: Freedom and Determinism—Do We Have Free Will?

Introduction to the Question

Paul Rée

  • The Illusion of Free Will, Chapters 1 and 2

C.A. Campbell

  • On Selfhood and Godhood, Lecture IX, “Has the Self Free Will?”

A.J. Ayer

  • “Freedom and Necessity”

Bernard Williams and Thomas Nagel

  • “Moral Luck”

Appendix 1: Philosophical Puzzles and Paradoxes

Appendix 2: Philosophical Lexicon

Image Credits


Sources for Quotations

Andrew Bailey is Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Guelph.

Robert M. Martin is Professor of Philosophy (retired), Dalhousie University.

First Philosophy offers companion sites and extra content for both instructors and students.

The instructor site features teaching notes on many authors, suggested essay topics, and questions for discussion, as well as multiple-choice review questions on each of the book’s readings, which can be downloaded as Word files or in a digital format that can be uploaded to many Learning Management Systems (Blackboard, Moodle, etc.). An access code to the website is included with all examination copies.

The student companion site has additional readings, interactive self-test quizzes, materials on writing about philosophy, and sample essays. An access code to the website is included with all new copies. If you purchased a used copy or are missing your passcode for this site, please click here to purchase a code online.

For a sample of First Philosophy — Knowing and Being click here (opens as a PDF).

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