Ebooks

What is the meaning of life? It is a question that has intrigued the great philosophers--and has been hilariously lampooned by Monty Python. Indeed, the whole idea strikes many of us as vaguely pompous, a little absurd. Is there one profound and mysterious meaning to life, a single ultimate purpose behind human existence? In What's It All About?, Julian Baggini says no, there is no single meaning. Instead, Baggini argues meaning can be found in a variety of ways, in this life. He succinctly breaks down six answers people commonly suggest when considering what life is all about--helping others, serving humanity, being happy, becoming successful, enjoying each day as if it were your last, and "freeing your mind." By reducing the vague, mysterious question of meaning to a series of more specific (if thoroughly unmysterious) questions about what gives life purpose and value, he shows that the quest for meaning can be personal, empowering, and uplifting. If the meaning of life is not a mystery, if leading meaningful lives is within the power of us all, then we can look around us and see the many ways in which life can have purpose. We can see the value of happiness while accepting it is not everything. We can see the value of success, without interpreting that too narrowly. We can see the value of seizing the day as well as helping others lead meaningful lives. We can recognize the value of love, as perhaps the most powerful motivator of all. Illustrating his argument with the thoughts of many of the great philosophers and examples drawn from everyday life, Baggini convincingly shows that the search for meaning is personal and within the power of each of us to find.
It’s a question that has puzzled philosophers and theologians for centuries and is at the heart of numerous political, social, and personal concerns: Do we have free will? In this cogent and compelling book, Julian Baggini explores the concept of free will from every angle, blending philosophy, sociology, and cognitive science to find rich new insights on the intractable questions that have plagued us. Are we products of our culture, or free agents within it? Are our neural pathways fixed early on by a mixture of nature and nurture, or is the possibility of comprehensive, intentional psychological change always open to us? And what, exactly, are we talking about when we talk about “freedom” anyway?

Freedom Regained brings the issues raised by the possibilities—and denials—of free will to thought-provoking life, drawing on scientific research and fascinating encounters with everyone from artists to prisoners to dissidents. He looks at what it means for us to be material beings in a universe of natural laws. He asks if there is any difference between ourselves and the brains from which we seem never able to escape. He throws down the wildcards and plays them to the fullest: What about art? What about addiction? What about twins? And he asks, of course, what this all means for politics.

Ultimately, Baggini challenges those who think free will is an illusion. Moving from doubt to optimism to a hedged acceptance of free will, he ultimately lands on a satisfying conclusion: it is something we earn. The result is a highly engaging, new, and more positive understanding of our sense of personal freedom, a freedom that is definitely worth having.

In this book:



'Philosophy is like fish: best presented without too much adornment; hard to get just right and easy to ruin.'




What's the point of it all? In Philosophy: All That Matters, bestselling philosopher Julian Baggini shows how abstract ideas feed into the most important existential questions of all. He tells the story of Philosophy, bringing together and interlinking all its different areas, to create what is perhaps the first non-historical narrative of the subject -- one that takes you right to its heart.


It places philosophy firmly at the centre of what makes us human. From ethics and metaphysics, to the philosophy of science and religion, Baggini explains what makes us different to other species, why philosophy lies at the heart of that difference, and why that matters.



This accessible and readable book will appeal to both students and general readers, giving a fascinating taste of philosophy -- and what matters most within it.







The All That Matters series:





All That Matters books:



All books in the All That Matters series are written by world experts in their subject field. These experts work to distil a topic and get right to its heart, making the book accessible for both students and general readers. Each compelling book contains new and interesting perspectives and tells stories that matter.







The Author:




'one of our most lucid and accessible popularisers of philosophy'




Julian Baggini is a philosopher, author and journalist, who was recently named on the Observer's list of Britain's top public intellectuals. His doctorate was from University College London on the philosophy of personal identity, and his books have been published globally and translated into twelve languages.


Baggini is widely regarded as one of our most lucid and accessible popularisers of philosophy. His work appears regularly in the Guardian, Prospect and the New Humanist, and he founder The Philosophers Magazine. Julian has also appeared as a character in an Alexander McCall Smith novel, and been the subject of a question in University Challenge.
Keep up with Julian Baggini on his website or follow his Twitter account @microphilosophy
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Other books in the All That Matters series:






All That Matters - Interesting introductions to important issues



Books on the following subjects are available from the All That Matters series: Muhammad, Water, Political Philosophy, Sustainability, God, Intelligence, Love, Russian Revolution, War, and Creativity.















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