Knowing Reality
A Guided Introduction to Metaphysics and Epistemology
  • Publication Date: July 25, 2023
  • ISBN: 9781554815302 / 1554815304
  • 392 pages; 6½" x 9"

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Knowing Reality

A Guided Introduction to Metaphysics and Epistemology

  • Publication Date: July 25, 2023
  • ISBN: 9781554815302 / 1554815304
  • 392 pages; 6½" x 9"

Knowing Reality is a guided introduction to metaphysics and epistemology. Each of the book’s twelve chapters contains extended excerpts from influential historical and contemporary philosophers, as well as a guided exposition of their views and their locations within the logical space of the issues at play. Topics are introduced through engaging thought experiments, with relevant philosophical puzzles sprinkled throughout. Complex issues are explained using down-to-earth examples, with illustrations provided to connect with readers and assist them in understanding the sophisticated concepts under discussion.


“Dwayne Moore’s book is a real advance on the usual introductions to metaphysics and epistemology, which are often too difficult (as with dense anthologies) or too superficial (as with single-author ‘here’s what I think’ glosses). Moore structures and explains each topic, making clear the main debates and what’s at stake in different positions held by historical and contemporary philosophers, excerpting from original texts and drawing illuminating connections to current culture along the way. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in a lively and informed introduction to the eye-opening world of ‘M&E.’” — Jessica Wilson, University of Toronto

Knowing Reality is a wonderful textbook for use in an introduction to metaphysics and epistemology course. It is a complete resource, in that it includes excerpts from primary sources, targeted commentaries on those excerpts, and general discussions of philosophical issues written in snappy, engaging, and clear prose. Each chapter opens with a thought experiment, often taken from popular culture, and closes with a list of references to television and film in which ideas from the chapter find expression. The book also provides a lovely introduction to the difference between philosophy and sophistry and an appendix on how to write a philosophy paper.” — Jeremy Fantl, University of Calgary

“In Knowing Reality, Moore invites students to make connections between their lives and the major issues in metaphysics and epistemology. I especially appreciate that he illustrates philosophical problems with texts from popular culture (film and television in particular), and he treats these texts with as much respect as he does primary sources. In this way, Moore breaks down divisions between professional discourse and the experiences of students, who can use philosophy to enrich their daily lives.” — Doug Eskew, Colorado State University, Pueblo

Below is the table of contents of Knowing Reality, which is organized thematically. A list of all included primary source readings is also available.

Additional Resources

Chapter 1: Philosophy and Sophistry

  • 1.1 Ancient Greek Mythology
  • 1.2 Ancient Greek Philosophy
  • 1.3 Sophism
  • 1.4 The Upside of Philosophy
  • 1.5 How to Win an Argument
  • Summary
  • Additional Resources

Chapter 2: Truth and Relativism

  • 2.1 Correspondence Theory
  • 2.2 Coherence Theory
  • 2.3 Pragmatic Theory
  • 2.4 Relativism
  • Summary
  • Additional Resources

Chapter 3: Substances: Change and Sameness

  • 3.1 Milesian Materialism
  • 3.2 Eleatic Idealism
  • 3.3 Substratum Theory
  • 3.4 Bundle Theory
  • 3.5 Perdurantism
  • Summary
  • Additional Resources

Chapter 4: Personal Identity

  • 4.1 Soul Theory
  • 4.2 Bundle Theory
  • 4.3 Psychological Theory
  • 4.4 Brute Physical Theory
  • 4.5 The Relational Self
  • Summary
  • Additional Resources

Chapter 5: Mind and Brain

  • 5.1 Dualism
  • 5.2 Mind-Brain Identity Theory
  • 5.3 Functionalism
  • 5.4 Eliminative Materialism
  • 5.5 Idealism
  • Summary
  • Additional Resources

Chapter 6: Free Will and Determinism

  • 6.1 Hard Determinism
  • 6.2 Libertarianism
  • 6.3 Compatibilism
  • Summary
  • Additional Resources

Chapter 7: Knowledge

  • 7.1 Propositional Knowledge
  • 7.2 Descartes’ Rationalism
  • 7.3 Hume’s Empiricism
  • 7.4 Naturalized Epistemology
  • 7.5 Social Epistemology
  • Summary
  • Additional Resources

Chapter 8: Perception

  • 8.1 Direct Realism
  • 8.2 Skepticism
  • 8.3 Representational Model
  • 8.4 Idealism
  • 8.5 Intentionalism
  • Summary
  • Additional Resources

Chapter 9: Self-Knowledge

  • 9.1 Inner Sense Model
  • 9.2 Behaviourism
  • 9.3 Acquaintance Model
  • 9.4 Externalist Models
  • 9.5 Self-Deception
  • 9.6 Rationality and Irrationality
  • Summary
  • Additional Resources

Chapter 10: Philosophy of Science

  • 10.1 Aristotle
  • 10.2 Francis Bacon
  • 10.3 David Hume
  • 10.4 Immanuel Kant
  • 10.5 Logical Positivism
  • 10.6 W.V.O. Quine
  • 10.7 Helen Longino
  • Summary
  • Additional Resources

Chapter 11: God and Naturalism

  • 11.1 The Cosmological Argument for Theism
  • 11.2 The Naturalistic Argument for Naturalism
  • 11.3 The Teleological Argument for Theism
  • 11.4 The Problem of Evil
  • Summary
  • Additional Resources

Chapter 12: Religious Experience, Faith, and Reason

  • 12.1 Varieties of Religious Experience
  • 12.2 Religious Experience as Delusions
  • 12.3 The Principle of Credulity and the Principle of Testimony
  • 12.4 Naturalistic Accounts
  • 12.5 Reason and Faith
  • 12.6 Fideism
  • 12.7 Evidentialism
  • 12.8 The Belief Model
  • Summary
  • Additional Resources

Appendix: How to Write a Philosophy Essay

Permissions Acknowledgements
Image Credits
List of Included Readings

Dwayne Moore is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Saskatchewan.

  • • A “hybrid” text combining the author’s skillful explanations with brief primary source readings.
  • • Over forty concise readings, representing a broad mix of historical sources and contemporary discussions, all thoughtfully excerpted for student readers.
  • • Introduces numerous core topics in metaphysics and epistemology such as relativism, philosophy of mind, free will, perception, science, and religious belief.
  • • Offers a balanced analysis of issues that accurately and fairly represents the pros and cons of competing positions.
  • • Illustrations and diagrams are integrated throughout.

This book has a complimentary companion website for students, which offers:

  • • Links to related online videos for each of the book’s chapters.
  • • An automated tool for planning argumentative essays.

Instructors adopting this book for course use are also granted access to an instructor website providing additional materials:

  • • Supplemental questions for each of the book’s chapters, including essay and short answer questions as well as multiple-choice questions that can be integrated into Learning Management systems such as Blackboard, D2L, and Moodle.
  • • PowerPoint slides for each of the book’s chapters.

Read a sample from Chapter 4: Personal Identity, from Knowing Reality. (Opens as a PDF.)