What follows is intended to be a moderately helpful yet woefully incomplete bibliographic guide to some of the longstanding issues of debate in philosophy. Wherever possible, we have provided links to the topics in the bibliography, and we have always provided brilliant introductory comments and running analysis.
The Main Questions are:
"What did you know and when did you know it?" While these words might strike fear into any politician in the post-Watergate era, they are the philosopher's bread and butter. In fact, the question that we all want to ask Ollie and Ronnie is rather presumptuous by philosophical standards, because we need to agree on exactly which mental states count as knowledge before we can answer it. For any position you might take on this issue, there is probably some famous philosopher who has endorsed it, so be of good cheer.
Is the light at the end of the tunnel really just the headlight of an oncoming train? If so, then perhaps we should rethink the oft-heard advice to go into the light when we have our out-of-body experiences when we are clinically dead. Don't laugh! Even A. J. Ayer reported an out-of-body experience at the end of his life, and it motivated him to write that it wasn't logically impossible that we are possessed of nonphysical souls. But, of course, he was about a million years old, and as crazy as an outhouse rat when he said all this, so I guess you can laugh if you want.
Are you feeling as if it is up to you what you do next? Then, to coin a term, you are feeling "free will-ly." But don't despair. You are not alone. I'm feeling free will-ly, too. As much as I feel that way, I must confess I do not believe free will is possible. I'm an incompatibilist who thinks indeterminism holds no hope of free action, but that puts me in a small minority. Read on and trace the debate from the beginnings of the conflict between determinism and free will to the modern scientific age wherein we find indeterminisim at the root of all being and renewed interest in the idea that free will is incompatible with determinism. Let's just hope we can sort the whole mess out before there is another sequel and I have to figure out a way to incorporate 'Harpooned by Noncompliant Japanese Whaling Vessels: The Journey to the Market' into the patter.
God? Are you there? It's me, Michael. Well, I guess I understand why you're not answering me, but there are a lot of other people here who would like to talk to you. And a lot of them have not done half of the terrible stuff I have. So come on, tell them what's up.
Whether the existence of a supreme being can be proved by reason and/or evidence alone is probably the most often asked question in the history of humankind (the second being: How can the French find Jerry Lewis amusing?"). However you answer the question, you must explain the role of reason, the role of faith and you must explain the existence of evil to satisfy the philosopher's questions about the existence of god. Read from this list, and you'll be on your way to getting into the fray, and may God (or whatever) have mercy on your soul (if you have one).
We're still working on all of these links. Actually, we have a lot of good ideas about organizing these into a fantastic website, but I can't think of anything funny to say about the rest of these, so we're letting them lie for now. As soon as I think of some more riotously clever stuff to say about some area of philosophical inquiry, you can bet it will be deemed an important enough area of philosophy to be included in Patton's Argument Clinic.
Contemporary Philosophy of Mind: An Annotated Bibliography compiled by David Chalmers
Zombies on the web Also by David Chalmers. Bibliography of web articles related to the logical possibility of zombies and its impact on the questions related to consciousness.