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Mark Foreman: Prelude to Philosophy

Chapter 4 overviews the different branches of philosophy and the major questions dealt with by each. The study of philosophy can be reduced into palatable bites by approaching through a historical perspective. Doing this involves examining the works of great philosophers, and perceiving how ideas developed over time. Foreman point out four periods: ancient philosophy; the medieval period; the Renaissance; and contemporary philosophy. Another way to break up philosophy into smaller bits is by looking at through its various worldviews advocated. He points out two in this regard: naturalistic and non-naturalistic, the latter of which include monotheism, deism, polytheism, pantheism, and panentheism. Regarding major topics within philosophy Foreman indicates that they are metaphysics, the study of reality; epistemology, the study of knowledge; and axiology, the study of values.

The last three chapters deal with the primary method of philosophy: logic and the analysis of arguments. Indeed, chapter 5 introduces basic language and types of logical reasoning. Chapter 6 covers informal fallacies, and chapter 7 offers a tactical approach to constructing and analyzing arguments. An epilogue is offered last that describes the virtues of a Christian philosopher.

An important distinction of this book is that it is written specifically for Christians, even more specifically for those who are new to philosophy; as such, it presumes no knowledge of philosophy by the reader. I recommend it heartily to those who have interests in examining further the reasons for philosophizing in the contemporary environ, as well as for those who are already employed in doing so, but desire justification for their pursuits.

Reviewed by Bradford McCall


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Category: Living the Faith, Summer 2016

About the Author: Bradford L. McCall, B.S. in Biology (Georgia Southwestern St. University, 2000), M.Div. (Asbury Theological Seminary, 2005), grew up on a cotton farm in south Georgia. A graduate student at Holy Apostles College and Seminary, Bradford has particular interest in teleology, causation and early modern philosophy.

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