Victor Valley College

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An Introduction to Philosophy

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The goal of this text is to present philosophy to newcomers as a living discipline with historical roots. While a few early chapters are historically organized, my goal in the historical chapters is to trace a developmental progression of thought that introduces basic philosophical methods and frames issues that remain relevant today. Later chapters are topically organized. These include philosophy of science and philosophy of mind, areas where philosophy has shown dramatic recent progress. This text concludes with four chapters on ethics, broadly construed. I cover traditional theories of right action in the third of these. Students are first invited first to think about what is good for themselves and their relationships in a chapter of love and happiness. Next a few meta-ethical issues are considered; namely, whether they are moral truths and if so what makes them so. The end of the ethics sequence addresses social justice, what it is for one’s community to be good. Our sphere of concern expands progressively through these chapters. Our inquiry recapitulates the course of development into moral maturity

Material Type: Textbook

Author: W. Russ Payne

The Originals: Classic Readings in Western Philosophy

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It is important for students not only to get an appreciation and understanding of philosophy but also to be exposed to the very words and ideas of those who have shaped our thinking over the centuries. Accordingly, the title of this collection hints at the facts that these readings are from the original sources and that these philosophers were the originators of many of the issues we still discuss today. Major areas of philosophy covered here are: Ethics, Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Religion, Ethics, Socio-Political Philosophy, and finally, Aesthetics.

Material Type: Textbook

Author: Jeff McLaughlin

Words of Wisdom: Intro to Philosophy

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Words of Wisdom can come from anyone. In this text we discuss topics ranging from "Are Humans good by nature?" to "Is there a God?" to "Do I have the right to my own opinion?" Philosophy is the study of wisdom, and can emerge in our conversations in places like social media, in school, around the family dinner table, and even in the car. The text uses materials that are 2,500 years old, and materials that were in the news this year. Wise people come in all shapes and types, and from every culture on earth. We have poetry and folktales, sacred writings and letters. Dialogues and interviews, news columns, podcasts, Ted Talks, You Tube recordings and even comedy are all a part of the content in this text.You will be most successful using this collection this on line.

Material Type: Textbook

Author: Jody Ondich

General Philosophy Lectures

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A series of lectures delivered by Peter Millican to first-year philosophy students at the University of Oxford. The lectures comprise of the 8-week General Philosophy course, delivered to first year undergraduates. These lectures aim to provide a thorough introduction to many philosophical topics and to get students and others interested in thinking about key areas of philosophy. Taking a chronological view of the history of philosophy, each lecture is split into 3 or 4 sections which outline a particular philosophical problem and how different philosophers have attempted to resolve the issue. Individuals interested in the 'big' questions about life such as how we perceive the world, who we are in the world and whether we are free to act will find this series informative, comprehensive and accessible.

Material Type: Full Course, Lecture

Author: Peter Millican

Introduction to Philosophy: Ethics

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We often make judgments about good and bad, right and wrong. Philosophical ethics is the critical examination of these and other concepts central to how we evaluate our own and each others’ behavior and choices. This text examines some of the main threads of discussion on these topics that have developed over the last couple of millenia, mostly within the Western cultural tradition. It considers basic questions about moral and ethical judgment: Is there such a thing as something that is really right or really wrong independent of time, place and perspective? What is the relationship between religion and ethics? How can we reconcile self-interest and ethics? Is it ever acceptable to harm one person in order to help others? What do recent discussions in evolutionary biology or have to say about human moral systems? What is the relation between gender and ethics? The authors invite you to participate in their exploration of these and many other questions in philosophical ethics. If you are adopting or adapting this book for a course, please let us know on our adoption form for the Introduction to Philosophy open textbook series: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdwf2E7bRGvWefjhNZ07kgpgnNFxVxxp-iidPE5gfDBQNGBGg/viewform?usp=sf_link.

Material Type: Textbook

Authors: Christina Hendricks (Series Editor), Douglas Giles, Frank Aragbonfoh Abumere, George Matthews (Book Editor), Jeffrey Morgan, Joseph Kranak, Kathryn MacKay, Michael Klenk, Paul Rezkalla, Ya-Yun (Sherry) Kao

Introduction to Logic and Critical Thinking

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This is an introductory textbook in logic and critical thinking. The goal of the textbook is to provide the reader with a set of tools and skills that will enable them to identify and evaluate arguments. The book is intended for an introductory course that covers both formal and informal logic. As such, it is not a formal logic textbook, but is closer to what one would find marketed as a critical thinking textbook. Downloadable as a pdf file.

Material Type: Textbook

Author: Matthew J. Van Cleave

Fundamental Methods of Logic

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Fundamental Methods of Logic is suitable for a one-semester introduction to logic/critical reasoning course. It covers a variety of topics at an introductory level. Chapter One introduces basic notions, such as arguments and explanations, validity and soundness, deductive and inductive reasoning; it also covers basic analytical techniques, such as distinguishing premises from conclusions and diagramming arguments. Chapter Two discusses informal logical fallacies. Chapters Three and Four concern deductive logic, introducing the basics of Aristotelian and Sentential Logic, respectively. Chapter Five deals with analogical and causal reasoning, including a discussion of Mill's Methods. Chapter Six covers basic probability calculations, Bayesian inference, fundamental statistical concepts and techniques, and common statistical fallacies.

Material Type: Textbook

Author: Matthew Knachel

Introduction to Political Philosophy

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This course is intended as an introduction to political philosophy as seen through an examination of some of the major texts and thinkers of the Western political tradition. Three broad themes that are central to understanding political life are focused upon: the polis experience (Plato, Aristotle), the sovereign state (Machiavelli, Hobbes), constitutional government (Locke), and democracy (Rousseau, Tocqueville). The way in which different political philosophies have given expression to various forms of political institutions and our ways of life are examined throughout the course.

Material Type: Assessment, Full Course, Lecture, Lecture Notes, Syllabus

Author: Steven B. Smith

Introduction to Western Political Thought

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Political thought, otherwise known as political theory or philosophy, is the study of questions concerning power, justice, rights, law, and other issues pertaining to governance. This course examines major texts in the history of political thought and asks how different views on human nature inform the design of government. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to: summarize the passage of political thought through the classical, Renaissance, and Enlightenment periods and based on the works of Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Tocqueville, and Marx; compare and contrast the differences between Plato and Aristotle with regard to their understandings of the nature of the person, ethics, society, citizenship, and governance; explain the historical and intellectual context in which the political thought that helped to develop the modern state came to be; compare and contrast the concepts of justice, freedom, equality, citizenship, and sovereignty in the works of Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau; explain the different versions of, and importance of, 'the state of nature' to political thought; identify the influences of Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau on the development of the United States Constitution; summarize the thoughts of Alexis de Tocqueville on the American political landscape, particularly with regard to religion and equality, and why this has importance beyond the American context; explain Karl Marx's world view, with particular regard to his critique of democracy and the modern, politically liberal, state; how it came to be; and its fundamental link to capitalism. (Political Science 201)

Material Type: Assessment, Full Course, Lecture, Lecture Notes, Reading, Syllabus

Modern Philosophy

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This is a textbook (or better, a workbook) in modern philosophy. It combines readings from primary sources with two pedagogical tools. Paragraphs in italics introduce figures and texts. Numbered study questions (also in italics) ask students to reconstruct an argument or position from the text, or draw connections among the readings. And I have added an introductory chapter (Chapter 0 – Minilogic and Glossary), designed to present the basic tools of philosophy and sketch some principles and positions. The immediate goal is to encourage students to grapple with the ideas rather than passing their eyes over the texts. This makes for a better classroom experience and permits higher-level discussions. Another goal is to encourage collaboration among instructors, as they revise and post their own versions of the book.

Material Type: Textbook

Authors: Dunn, Alexander, Ott, Walter

Six Ways of Being Religious

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The book proposes the hypothesis that six generic ways of being religious may be found in any large-scale religious tradition such as Christianity or Buddhism or Islam or Hinduism: sacred rite, right action, devotion, shamanic mediation, mystical quest, and reasoned inquiry. These are recurrent ways in which, socially and individually, devout members of these traditions take up and appropriate their stories and symbols in order to draw near to, and come into right relationship with, what the traditions attest to be the ultimate reality.

Material Type: Textbook

Author: Dale Cannon

Conversations with History: Islamic Societies, with Ira Lapidus

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Ira Lapidus, Professor Emeritus of History at the University of California, Berkeley, and the founding Chair of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies on the Berkeley campus joins Harry Kreisler to discuss Islam, its relation to politics, the treatment of women in Islamic societies, and how an understanding of Islamic history might inform U.S. foreign policy. (54 min)

Material Type: Lecture

Confessions by St. Augustine

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Confessions is the name of an autobiographical work, consisting of 13 books, by St. Augustine of Hippo, written in Latin between AD 397 and 400. Modern English translations of it are sometimes published under the title The Confessions of St. Augustine in order to distinguish the book from other books with similar titles. Its original title was Confessions in Thirteen Books, and it was composed to be read out loud with each book being a complete unit. It is generally considered one of Augustine's most important texts.

Material Type: Case Study, Reading

Author: St. Augustine

Colonial Religion

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This collection uses primary sources to explore religion during the Colonial period of US History. Digital Public Library of America Primary Source Sets are designed to help students develop their critical thinking skills and draw diverse material from libraries, archives, and museums across the United States. Each set includes an overview, ten to fifteen primary sources, links to related resources, and a teaching guide. These sets were created and reviewed by the teachers on the DPLA's Education Advisory Committee.

Material Type: Primary Source

Author: Adena Barnette

Conversations with History: Biblical Insights into the Problem of Suffering

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Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes biblical scholar Bart Ehrman for a discussion of his intellectual odyssey with a focus on how the Bible explains the problem of human suffering. The conversation includes a discussion of the challenges of biblical interpretation when confronting this age old problem of the human condition. Included are topics such as the contribution of the prophets, a comparison of the old and new testaments, the book of Job, and the emergence of apocalyptic writers. (57 minutes)

Material Type: Lecture