This textbook grew out of an introduction to philosophy course that we designed, initially the result of the urging of our former associate dean, Eric Snider, who was tragically killed while riding his bike to work in late July, 2016. Eric never got to see the project he initiated come to fruition, but we greatly benefitted from his support while he was our associate dean. It is not every day that philosophers are lucky enough to have an administrator who was himself an excellent philosopher. For the years he was in our department at Lansing Community College (LCC), Paul Jurczak and I benefitted from his special concern for the humanities, which was a bright spot in an otherwise gloomy environment that regularly fails to understand the value and purpose of the humanities. Eric’s specialization was ancient Greek philosophy. He wrote a dissertation at Vanderbilt in the 1980s with Alasdair MacIntyre on Aristotle’s account of practical reasoning. Undoubtedly this textbook would have been much richer if it contained his input. We dedicate this textbook to Eric Snider (1957-2016).
This textbook also was supported by a grant that was secured by Regina Gong when she ran the Open Educational Resources (OER) grant program at LCC. Although she has moved onto bigger and better things at Michigan State University, where she is the OER and Student Success Librarian, we are grateful for her tireless work in support OER during her tenure at LCC. Especially at a community college, where a higher proportion of students are first-generation college students or from less privileged backgrounds, providing high-quality, low-cost textbooks is essential for helping to secure equity in higher education. We are grateful for Regina’s vision on this and for getting us all on board.
Matthew Van Cleave
August 18, 2019