This new book features a unique, engaging approach to introduce students to philosophy. It combines traditional readings and exercises with fictive narratives starring central figures in the history of the field from Plato to Martin Luther King, Jr. The book makes innovative use of compelling short stories from two writers who have prominently combined philosophy and fiction in their work. These narratives illuminate pivotal aspects of the carefully selected classic readings that follow. This gives students two ways to understand the philosophical positions: through indirect argument in fiction and through direct, deductive presentations. Study questions and writing exercises accompany each set of readings and help students grasp the material and create their own arguments.
Michael Boylan received a Masters in English and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and is professor of philosophy at Marymount University. He is the author of numerous articles and books on philosophy and literature, including The Extinction of Desire; The Good, the True, and the Beautiful; and Critical Inquiry (Westview Press). Charles Johnson earned a Ph.D. in Philosophy and is the S. Wilson and Grace M. Pollock Professor of English at the University of Washington in Seattle. He is a 1998 MacArthur Fellow and the 2002 recipient of an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature. He received the 1990 National Book Award for his novel Middle Passage.