Philosophy 16 - 1.4.2 An Overview of Your Philosophy Textbook

This textbook is organized in a way that generally reflects the broad areas of specialization in contemporary academic philosophy. Areas of specialization can be grouped into the following fields: historical traditions; metaphysics and epistemology; science, logic, and mathematics; and value theory. The fields of science, logic, and mathematics include research into contemporary symbolic logic as well as interdisciplinary work in the philosophy of mathematics and the sciences; these areas are closely related to metaphysics and epistemology. Value theory includes metaethics and the meaning of value, aesthetics, normative moral theories (ethics), and political philosophy. This textbook aims to provide a general overview of each of these areas. We give students a theoretical survey of each field in philosophy and introduce applications of these areas of study to contemporary issues of interest. Additionally, we have an explicitly multicultural focus. We emphasize that philosophy has been studied and practiced throughout the world since the beginning of recorded history. In doing so, we are attempting to confront the Eurocentric bias that has been inherent to the study of philosophy in the West and create a more inclusive curriculum.

Throughout this text, we introduce you to the stunning array of philosophers and ideas from ancient Greece, Rome, and China, the classical Islamic and the late medieval European worlds, Africa, India, Japan, and Latin America. We help situate you within the different regions and time periods using timelines and other tools.

Whether you go on to study philosophy or this is the only philosophy course you take, the habits of mind and techniques of philosophical thought you will learn can have a transformative effect. When you allow yourself to reflect on how a certain situation connects to the whole, when you critically examine your own biases and beliefs, when you investigate the world with an open mind, informed by rational methods of investigation, you will arrive at a richer sense of who you are and what your place is in the world.

The content of this course has been taken from the free Philosophy textbook by Openstax