From Publishers Weekly
A book that uses the techniques and theories of Western philosophy as a way to gain insight into current affairs has the potential to be dry as a piece of unbuttered white toast, but Baggini has penned a wonderfully accessible volume of just that sort. Founding editor of The Philosophers' Magazine, Baggini brings the writings of Nietzsche, Jeremy Bentham (who memorably remarked that the notion of natural rights was "nonsense on stilts") and John Stuart Mill to bear on an engaging analysis of the Clinton-Lewinsky affair and the role of ethics in private and public life. Genetically modified food, euthanasia, the role of science in society and even the nature of truth are all subjected to Baggini's rigorous yet readable investigation. Readers will no doubt disagree with some of his conclusions-such as when he asserts, via Kierkegaard, that religious faith should be a "terrifying leap" rather than a "soothing panacea"-but that's part of the whole point. As he writes in his introduction, "I do not intend this book as the last word but as an invitation for more philosophizing to begin."
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"The best popular primer I've seen on the foundations of humanist thought...Entertaining and useful...The reader is able to learn about freedom and its limits, different concepts of equality, pacifism and just war theory, ways to determine harm to the environment, the problem of assigning value, the issues of faith versus reason as well as 'cults' versus established religions, and arguments for establishing the validity of science."