Lucidly written, this extensive and very original introduction to philosophy features over fifty brief, jargon-free essays arranged in pairs. Each pair answers one of the principal philosophical questions, such as "Does God exist?" or "Are we free?", with two opposing points of view. On the topic of relativism, for example, one essay argues that morality is created by society and relative to it, while the other claims that moral standards are absolute and universal. Each essay takes a definite stand and promotes it vigorously, creating a sharp contrast between the two positions. While the essays often employ standard arguments of great philosophers, they present the ideas in contemporary language with vivid examples. The accessible style and conflicting answers engage students and promote class discussion. While other textbooks present a series of excerpts and theories without attempting to coordinate them into a larger picture, Philosophical Dilemmas encourages students in introductory philosophy courses to think for themselves and to begin constructing their own worldviews.
Martin, Mike W. A Review of Phil Washburn, "Philosophical Dilemmas: Building a Worldview." Ethics 108.1 (1997): 237-238.
University of Chicago Press