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Reflections on the Issues of Philosophy
I began this journal purely for my own edification, after having been out of college for awhile and feeling
withdrawal from the kind of analytical thinking that my classes forced me to undertake. All of the texts in this
journal come from Classical Philosophical Questions (Twelfth Edition), edited by James Gould and Robert
Mulvaney. This anthology provides an adequate survey of nearly all of the key issues within the field of
philosophy, and has therefore allowed me to develop my opinions on a wide range of topics. Each entry consists
of a detailed exposition of a selected text usually rich in quotes to maintain a sense of the writer's style, followed
by my own reflections on the arguments, specifically what I consider its strengths and weaknesses. Though my
perceived audience is that of educated intellectuals already familiar with the topics I am covering, I believe that
my writing is clear enough for even a casual reader without any background in the field to understand. The
practical value of this journal is therefore to make some of the most abstract and difficult philosophical issues
accessible to the casual reader.
What is the Best Approach to Philosophy?
4. Four Approaches to Philosophy - Charles S. Peirce, "The Fixation of Belief"
5. The Scientific Approach - Herbert Feigl, from "Naturalism and Humanism"
Are Ethics Relative?
15. Ethics Are Relative - Ruth Benedict, "Anthropology and the Abnormal"
16. Ethics Are Not Relative - W. T. Stace, from The Concept of Morals
Are Humans Always Selfish?
17. Humans Are Always Selfish - Plato, from the Republic
18. Humans Are Not Always Selfish - James Rachels, from "Egoism and Moral Skepticism"