Writing in an engaging lecture-style format, Elliott Sober shows students how philosophy is best used to evaluate many different kinds of arguments and to construct sound theories. Well-known historical texts are discussed, not as a means to honor the dead or merely to discuss what various philosophers have thought, but to engage with, criticize, and even improve ideas from the past. In addition—because philosophy cannot function apart from its engagement with the wider society—traditional and contemporary philosophical problems are brought into dialogue with the physical, biological, and social sciences. Text boxes highlight key concepts, and review questions, discussion questions, and a glossary of terms are also included.

Core Questions in Philosophy has served as a premier introductory textbook for more than two decades, with updates to each new edition. New improvements to this seventh edition include a lower price and a new Routledge companion website that includes:

    • Updated supplementary readings, with the inclusion of more work from female philosophers
    • New videos and podcasts, organized by their relevance to each chapter in the book.

Visit the companion website at: www.routledge.com/cw/sober.

part I|35 pages


chapter Chapter 1|6 pages

What Is Philosophy?

chapter Chapter 2|12 pages

Deductive Arguments

chapter Chapter 3|15 pages

Inductive and Abductive Arguments

part II|78 pages

Philosophy of Religion

chapter Chapter 4|15 pages

Aquinas’s First Four Ways

chapter Chapter 5|8 pages

The Design Argument

chapter Chapter 6|13 pages

Evolution and Creationism

chapter Chapter 7|8 pages

Can Science Explain Everything?

chapter Chapter 8|8 pages

The Ontological Argument

chapter Chapter 9|7 pages

Is the Existence of God Testable?

chapter Chapter 10|9 pages

Pascal and Irrationality

chapter Chapter 11|8 pages

The Argument from Evil

part III|57 pages

Theory of Knowledge

chapter Chapter 12|9 pages

What Is Knowledge?

chapter Chapter 13|12 pages

Descartes’ Foundationalism

chapter Chapter 14|10 pages

The Reliability Theory of Knowledge

chapter Chapter 15|6 pages

Justified Belief and Hume’s Problem of Induction

chapter Chapter 16|7 pages

Can Hume’s Skepticism Be Refuted?

chapter Chapter 17|6 pages

Beyond Foundationalism

chapter Chapter 18|5 pages

Locke on the Existence of External Objects

part IV|77 pages

Philosophy of Mind

chapter Chapter 19|10 pages

Dualism and the Mind/Body Problem

chapter Chapter 20|7 pages

Logical Behaviorism

chapter Chapter 21|8 pages

Methodological Behaviorism

chapter Chapter 22|6 pages

The Mind/Brain Identity Theory

chapter Chapter 23|7 pages


chapter Chapter 24|10 pages

Freedom, Determinism, and Causality

chapter Chapter 25|9 pages

A Menu of Positions on Free Will

chapter Chapter 26|9 pages


chapter Chapter 27|9 pages

Psychological Egoism

part V|69 pages


chapter Chapter 28|5 pages

Ethics—Normative and Meta

chapter Chapter 29|8 pages

The Is/Ought Gap and the Naturalistic Fallacy

chapter Chapter 30|9 pages

Observation and Explanation in Ethics

chapter Chapter 31|10 pages

Conventionalist Theories

chapter Chapter 32|15 pages


chapter Chapter 33|10 pages

Kant’s Moral Theory

chapter Chapter 34|10 pages

Aristotle on the Good Life