Philosophy: All That Matters

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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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About the author

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 popularises 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.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Hodder & Stoughton
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Published on
Jul 27, 2012
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Pages
160
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ISBN
9781444155853
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Philosophy / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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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.
John Locke’s 1689 Two Treatises of Government is a key text in the history of political theory – one whose influence remains marked on modern politics, the American Constitution and beyond.

Two Treatises is more than a seminal work on the nature and legitimacy of government. It is also a masterclass in two key critical thinking skills: evaluation and reasoning. Evaluation is all about judging and assessing arguments – asking how relevant, adequate and convincing they are. And, at its heart, the first of Locke’s two treatises is pure evaluation: a long and incisive dissection of a treatise on the arguments in Sir Robert Filmer’s Patriarcha. Filmer’s book had defended the doctrine that kings were absolute rulers whose legitimacy came directly from God (the so-called “divine right of kings”), basing his arguments on Biblical explanations and evidence. Locke carefully rebutted Filmer’s arguments, on their own terms, by reference to both the Bible and to recorded history. Finding Filmer’s evidence either to be insufficient or unacceptable, Locke concluded that his argument for patriarchy was weak to the point of invalidity.

In the second of Locke’s treatises, the author goes on to construct his own argument concerning the sources of legitimate power, and the nature of that power. Carefully building his own argument from a logical consideration of man in “the state of nature”, Locke creates a convincing argument that civilised society should be based on natural human rights and the social contract.

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