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Thinking of Answers Questions in the Philosophy of Everyday Life

A. C. Grayling

Walker Books




352 Pages



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In his acclaimed columns in the London Times and Prospect, A.C. Grayling often responds to provocative questions posed by editors and readers. These questions serve as the basis for the essays in Thinking of Answers, among them searching examinations of the following:

· Are human beings especially prone to self-deception?
· If beauty existed only in the eye of the beholder, would that make it an unimportant quality?
· Are human rights political?
· Can ethics be derived from evolution by natural selection?
· If both sides in a conflict passionately believe theirs is a just cause, does this mean the idea of justice is empty?
· Does being happy make us good? And does being good make us happy?

As in his previous books on philosophy for the general public, including Meditations for the Humanist and Life, Sex and Ideas, rather than presenting a set of categorical answers, Grayling offers suggestions for how to think about every aspect of the question at hand and arrive at one's own conclusion. Nobody can read Thinking of Answers without being fully engaged, for Grayling challenges with his intellect and inspires with his humanity.


Praise for Thinking of Answers

"Unlike many other academic philosophers, Grayling cares too much about philosophy to leave it in the classroom. Indeed, as he applies the philosophic habit of mind to the issues arising in ordinary life, he opens remarkably expansive horizons . . . Because the author repeatedly echoes the antireligious diatribes of Dawkins and Hitchens, among others, devout readers will welcome the invitation to develop their own line of reasoning. A bracing miscellany."—Booklist

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  • A. C. Grayling

  • A.C. Grayling is professor of philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London. He is the author of the acclaimed Among the Dead Cities: The History and Moral Legacy of the WWII Bombing of Civilians in Germany and Japan, Descartes: The Life and Times of a Genius, Toward the Light of Liberty: The Struggles for Freedom and Rights That Made the Modern Western World, and, most recently, The Good Book: A Humanist Bible. A former fellow of the World Economic Forum at Davos and past chairman of the human rights organization June Fourth, he contributes frequently to the Times, Financial Times, Economist, New Statesman, and Prospect. Grayling's play "Grace," co-written with Mick Gordon, was acclaimed in London and New York. He lives in London.