Beau Branson, Book Editor
I’d like first to acknowledge Christina Hendricks, the series editor for the Introduction to Philosophy open textbook series of which this book is a part. A great debt is owed to her for her vision and initiative in conceiving of and executing the plan for the series as a whole. One of the most natural impulses for human beings is to ask questions, which, at bottom, is what philosophy is. Yet, many never become aware of the range or the depth of the questions that might be asked in life or the various answers proposed down through the centuries, either because they lack the opportunity, or because they are too intimidated by the reputation of philosophy even to make a beginning. Thus, producing textbooks that are both free and written in a style accessible to most any student is a noble goal that helps open up philosophy to all who might benefit from it. Christina’s efforts in this regard are to be applauded, and we can all hope that this experiment will serve as a model for others in the future to build on.
Apurva Ashok was our project manager from Rebus, and her assistance was invaluable. Nobody who has tried to publish in academia could fail to marvel at the speed with which she responded to any request for information or assistance. Without her help, neither this book nor others in the Introduction to Philosophy series would have been completed as quickly as they have been.
Great thanks are also due to our peer reviewers, Thomas Carroll and Finley Lawson, as well as to Helena Fisher, our undergraduate reviewer. Drs. Carroll and Lawson were extremely gracious to volunteer their time for this project. They caught numerous issues and provided valuable questions, comments and objections at various points in every chapter, which helped make the final product simultaneously more rigorous and yet more accessible to undergraduates with no prior knowledge of philosophy. Helena Fisher was a brilliant addition to the reviewers, coming on board specifically to give us the perspective of an undergraduate on how understandable and relevant the text might be to most students. I have no doubt she has a bright future ahead of her, and wish her well in her further studies.
Finally, my greatest debt of gratitude is due to the authors, without whom the book would not be what it is. In chapter order, they are Marcus William Hunt, Robert Sloan Lee, Steven Steyl, Hans van Eyghen, and Timothy D. Knepper. All of them have been extremely easy to work with and highly professional, which has made my job as editor not only much easier, but even—gasp!—a joy. Each has brought something unique to the text, and I cannot thank them enough.
Christina Hendricks, Series Editor
I would like to thank the authors in this book for their patience as we worked through the process of conceiving the book and getting it to publication. Because this is one of the first books to be published in the Introduction to Philosophy open textbook series, we were sometimes creating processes and workflows as we went along, and this meant things may have taken longer than anyone expected at first!
Special thanks to Beau Branson, who signed up to this project early on and has been a joy to work with. He has shown great patience and flexibility as we worked through the process of figuring out just how to go about publishing the books in this series. He has also done an excellent job of selecting authors for chapters and editing those chapters to result in a clear, engaging, and accessible book.
Also instrumental to the success of this book are the peer reviewers, Thomas D. Carroll, Helena Fisher, and Finley Lawson, who volunteered their time and expertise to read through a draft of the whole book and provide constructive comments and suggestions.
Jonathan Lashley has done an amazing job with the design of the book covers for this series, using original artwork by Heather Salazar (who is the editor for the Philosophy of Mind book in this series). The book covers are exceptionally well done, and really bring the series together as a whole.
Colleen Cressman has provided much-needed help with copyediting. I am very grateful for her thorough and detailed efforts, and for the suggestions she made to help make the chapters as accessible as possible for introductory-level students. And thank you to Chris Hubbard for help with inputting and formatting the content into Pressbooks so that it looks and reads well. This is a great deal of effort to learn to do starting from scratch, and I am deeply grateful to Chris for taking it on.
When I started this project there were many discussions amongst philosophers from various parts of the world on the Rebus Community platform, and their ideas and suggestions contributed significantly to the final products. There were also numerous people who gave comments on draft chapter outlines for each book. Thank you to the many unnamed philosophers who have contributed to the book in these and other ways!
This book series would not have gotten beyond the idea stage were it not for the support of the Rebus Community. I want to thank Hugh McGuire for believing in the project enough to support what we both realized at the time was probably much bigger than even our apprehensions about its enormity. Zoe Wake Hyde was instrumental in getting the project started, particularly in helping us develop workflows and documentation. And I’m not sure I can ever thank Apurva Ashok enough for being an unfailingly enthusiastic and patient supporter and guide for more months than I care to count. She spent a good deal of time working with me and the book editors to figure out how to make a project like this work on a day-to-day level, and taught me a great deal about the open publishing process. Apurva kept me on track when I would sometimes drop the ball or get behind on this off-the-side-of-my-desk project. She is one of the best collaborative partners I have never (yet!) met in person.
Finally, I want to thank my family for understanding how important this work is and why I have chosen to stay up late so many nights to do it. And for their patience on the many groggy, pre-coffee mornings that followed.