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Life's Ultimate Questions: An Introduction to Philosophy [Hardcover]

By Ronald H. Nash (Author)
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Item description for Life's Ultimate Questions: An Introduction to Philosophy by Ronald H. Nash...

A basic textbook on introduction to philosophy, Life's Ultimate Questions is from a renowned teacher and communicator and can be used in Christian and secular classrooms alike.

Publishers Description
Life's Ultimate Questions is unique among introductory philosophy textbooks. By synthesizing three distinct approaches -- topical, historical, and worldview/conceptual systems -- it affords students a breadth and depth of perspective previously unavailable in standard introductory texts. Part One, Six Conceptual Systems, explores the philosophies of: naturalism, Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Augustine, and Aquinas. Part Two, Important Problems in Philosophy, sheds light on: The Law of Noncontradiction, Possible Words, Epistemology I: Whatever Happened to Truth?, Epistemology II: A Tale of Two Systems, Epistemology III: Reformed Epistemology, God I: The Existence of God, God II: The Nature of God, Metaphysics: Some Questions About Indeterminism, Ethics I: The Downward Path, Ethics II: The Upward Path, Human Nature: The Mind-Body Problem and Survival After Death

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Zondervan
Pages   395
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.25" Width: 7.75" Height: 9"
Weight:   1.75 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Aug 1, 1999
Publisher   Zondervan Publishing
ISBN  0310223644  
ISBN13  9780310223641  
UPC  025986223649  

Availability  0 units.

More About Ronald H. Nash

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Ronald H. Nash (PhD, Syracuse University) was professor of philosophy at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He is the author of numerous books, including The Concept of God and Faith and Reason.

Ronald H. Nash currently resides in Orlando, in the state of Florida.

Ronald H. Nash has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Contemporary Evangelical Perspectives
  2. Economics and the Christian Worldview
  3. Faith Lessons S
  4. Spectrum Multiview Book Series Spectrum Multiview Book Serie
  5. Student Library

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > General
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > History & Surveys
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Philosophy

Christian Product Categories
Books > Theology > Theology & Doctrine > Philosophical Theology

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Reviews - What do customers think about Life's Ultimate Questions-Hardcover?

An effective intro to specifically Christian philosophy  Mar 17, 2006
Ron Nash is first and foremost a Christian philosopher, and he approaches all subjects from that angle, even an introductory text such as Life's Ultimate Questions. This is all well and good, but it means that this text is really only appropriate for use in Christian colleges and seminaries, which is obviously what Nash has in mind.

With that out of the way, I have to give Nash a lot of praise for his work here. Decades of teaching philosophy have honed his writing and communication skills to a degree where he can make complex concepts sound simple. The structure of the book is interesting as well. In the first half, Nash defines and critiques the conceptual systems of six major philosophers: Democritus (naturalism), Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus (Neoplatonism), Augustine, and Aquinas. The second half deals with specific philosophical topics and problems, and here Nash moves into recent philosophy with discussions of analytic philosophy, postmodernism, and the like. This structure is very effective, as it achieves more of a balance between the history of philosophy approach and the topical approach, while leaning more toward the topical when it comes to philosophical movements and questions that are representative of contemporary philosophers.

Nash sprinkles his discussion of these topics with criticisms from the standpoint of a Christian worldview. Again, this is fine, as all philosophers are working from a specific perspective, but a text that claims to be "An Introduction to Philosophy" probably ought to be a little less partisan. Consider something like Millard Erickson's Systematic Theology. Erickson is a premier evangelical theologian, but in his introductory texts he lays out the different viewpoints on different subjects always using the same structure: he defines a certain view, follows with positive aspects of that view and finishes with criticisms. In other words, he presents all sides while making clear what his own position is. Contrast Nash, who is a bit more heavy-handed.

As it is, however, Life's Ultimate Questions is an effective and readable introduction to philosophy. A believer who wants an introduction to specifically Christian philosophy can't go wrong with Nash.
A simple intro to traditional philosophical questions  Oct 10, 2001
Nash (presently a prof. at RTS) has used his great powers of simplification to make this book easily understandable to even the most casual reader. The questions dealt with (and most importantly the general approach) in the book is that of the old-fashioned logocentric sort.

Nash does have some good explanations of Plato's and Aristotle's philosophy that I found helpful. But, every subject is dealt with only very shortly. Perhaps Nash puts the most effort and time into logic and logically possible worlds. Though that is interesting, I find it somewhat disappointing, too. This book has basically nothing about 20'th century philosophy, except for a tiny bit about decontructionists. One of my main problems with this is that Nash is a Clarkian in his epistemology. Beware of that when you read it. For those of you who are used to reading more open-ended up-to-date stuff, this will definately strike you as ...-retentive.

But, I would recommend this to any Christian who is interested in a general introduction to Christian thought. And, Nash has a good, though brief, introduction to the latest in anti-evolutionary thought. I found this book helpful, though not necessarily "nice".

A Good Intro Text for Philosophy  Nov 19, 2000
Nash has produced a pretty good intro text to the study of philosophy. The book itself contains two major sections and an introduction. One of the more positive features of the text is the fact that Nash stresses the importance of a worldview and worldview evaluation. This angle is missing in all other intro texts that I have read, and seems to work as a nice addition to this particular text. The first part of the text is aptly titled "Six Conceptual Systems." In this pat Nash covers Naturalism, Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Augustine, and Aquinas. This section is simply an introduction into the thinking of these men and Naturalism (and their worldviews). Actually, Nash has a nice way of making all these philosophers easy to grasp. The second part consists of Problems in Philosophy. Here Nash covers logic, epistemology, metaphysics, God's existence, ethics, and human nature. In part two Nash covers Reformed epistemology (which he makes known that he is in favor of this system) and he also covers Open Theism (which he makes known that he is opposed to this type of theology). Nash is a moderate rationalist and this come out in the text. The redeeming qualities of this work are: 1) It's simplicity, 2) It's overall thematic style that is geared around worldviews and, 3) Nash's inclusion of medieval philosophers (especially Aquinas). I mention #3 since many if not most intro text do not include Aquinas which is a real pity since he was the greatest of the medieval philosophers. The one major vice, it seems of this text, is the fact that Nash comes across a little haughty and pugnacious at times. He asserts certain opinions in the text that might have been left out if all he is trying to do is simply give an exposition of the information. However, if Nash is attempting to serve an opinion in this work, then he has done so quite readily with Open Theism as well as postmodernism. That being the case, perhaps Nash meant this book to have some apologetic qualities about it. Nonetheless, if what he was aiming for was simply an intro to philosophy (which is what is declared on the back cover description) then these opinions might have been best saved for other works. However, this text is distinctly Christian, and perhaps Nash wanted to evaluate these systems for the purpose of the Christian reader. Overall, I would recommend this text to beginning students to help them gain a better understanding of the issues of philosophy.
Understanding Philosophy  Nov 11, 2000
Ronald Nash has completed a great introductory book on thE subject of philosophy. He begins by discussing world views and then writes about the six conceptual systems: Naturalism, Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus,Augustine, ansd Aquinas. He writes about the Law of Non-contradiction and epistemology. The strength of the book are the chapters on God's existence and nature.

The book is very much highly prone to Christian Theism. However, he writes truthfully about the theories and peoples involoved throughout philosophy. Since he is writing a text book, you will not find any overt evangelism taking place here, which is a good thing, since this book is actually menat as a primer for college students.

The book is easy to read and Nash's strength is his ability to make complicated subjects easy to understand.

More than a philosophy textbook  Apr 20, 2000
Lots of people are frightened of textbooks; too difficult to understand, they think. Too dry, others suppose. "Life's Ultimate Questions" can help even the most general reader get a handle on the most important philosophers in history. The book can provide a foundation that can help even a beginner move on to dozens of important topics such as do humans have a soul? Is there life after death? How can we know if God exists? What are the most important options in ethics? How can we know that something is the case? This book is a solid and helpful piece of work.

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