Students are introduced to the work of great thinkers including Descartes, Hobbes, Locke, Wittgenstein, and Ryle. These works are complemented by contemporary empirical findings concerning perception, desire, emotion, moral intuition, and other basic elements of explicit intentional cognition.
Each chapter features primary source material, commentary, and activity instructions. The activities are designed to allow students to experience each mode of cognition in relative isolation, and then to see how they combine and interrelate in more complex contexts. Finally, students use the template model of conceptual analysis to explore the material. They identify and isolate the concept to be analyzed, determine whether it is simple or complex, and if complex, identify the constituent parts of the concept. Specific topics covered include causal power, sex and marriage, compassion, ambition, justice, and death.
Through presentation and modeling the book not only enables student to do conceptual analysis with precision, it helps them understand and interpret philosophical issues. Philosophy Lab is a comprehensive, carefully designed text for first courses in philosophy. It may be used with first-year undergraduate students, advanced high-school students, or adult learners.