As most students taking their first philosophy course have no idea, or worse a mistaken idea, of the nature of the subject, the first readings provide an orientation. I like the essay by Monroe and Elizabeth Lane Beardsley 1 because it is remarkably clear and will leave no one behind, but others instructors may prefer starting with Bertrand Russell’s inspirational chapter from The Problems of Philosophy 2 or Plato’s Defense of Socrates, which has the advantage of historical and philosophical importance but requires background information that some may not wish to take the time to provide.