William C. Gentry was both an academic philosopher, perfectly willing to engage in the philosophical 'conversations' of the written word and, more importantly, a true philosopher, in the Platonic and Socratic style. Engaging with those around him in discourse, in live conversations, which are the vehicle of actual philosophical inquiry and discovery. These essays are the product of those conversations. Gentry's thoughts consisted of investigations into the deepest and most profound questions of human nature, ethics, and knowledge. This volume is a tribute both to his role as a teacher and philosopher. As a teacher, friend, and colleague, Gentry was the epitome of the philosopher: questioning, exploring, critiquing, discovering.
William C. Gentry was Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Henderson State University. Among other things, he was instrumental in the founding of the Honors College and the Masters of Liberal Arts Program. A gifted colleague, he was a leader and an inspiration in the philosophical community and on the tennis court. Kevin K. J. Durand is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Henderson State University and the author of numerous books on Ancient Philosophy, Ethics, and the work of Alfred North Whitehead. A product of the Honors Program, he misses his regular talks with Bill about philosophy and tennis.
Part 1 Preface Chapter 2 Philosophy: What's It All About? Chapter 3 Philosophy or Bumper Stickers? Chapter 4 Philosophy and Fundamentalism: Teaching Bible-belted Students Chapter 5 Ethical Decision Making Chapter 6 Questions on Ethical Decision Making Chapter 7 A Critique of Pojman's View of the Grounding Moral Norms Chapter 8 Some Reflections on Perspectivism, Relativism, and Truth Chapter 9 Making Critical Choices Chapter 10 An Alternative to Moral Logic, or "Gentry's Alternative" Chapter 11 In Defense of a Reasoned Ethical Egoism Chapter 12 A Modest Defense of Altruism Chapter 13 A Modest Defense of Ethical Objectivism and Absolutism Chapter 14 The Morality of Using Surplus Human Embryos in Stem-Cell Research Chapter 15 More on Ethical Relativism and Ethical Absolutism Chapter 16 Two Concepts of Freedom Chapter 17 A Case for Determinism Chapter 18 Pythagoras and the Mystery Cults Chapter 19 The Homeric Worldview Chapter 20 Plato's Three Faculties: Notes on the Republic Chapter 21 Introduction to the Middle Ages Chapter 22 St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109 CE) Chapter 23 Introduction to the Renaissance Chapter 24 The Mind/Body Problem Chapter 25 The Romantic Movement and Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778 CE) Chapter 26 The Difference between Philosophy and Religion Chapter 27 On Defining Religion Chapter 28 The Problem of Evil for the Theist Chapter 29 Comments on Process Theology Chapter 30 What's in a Name? Chapter 31 A Charge Chapter 32 Veterans' Day, 1987 Chapter 33 After the Tornado (1997) Chapter 34 The House that Bill Built Chapter 35 A Friend, Colleague, and Mentor Chapter 36 A Remembrance of Bill Chapter 37 Henderson's Renaissance Man Chapter 38 My Dr. Gentry Chapter 39 A Gentleman and a Scholar Chapter 40 A Great Man and Friend Chapter 41 Swinging from the Flagpole Chapter 42 A Fragment of the Philosopher Chapter 43 Wonderful Memories Part 44 Endnotes Part 45 Bibliography Part 46 Index