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The Mystery of Things Paperback – 3 Oct 2007


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The Mystery of Things + The Heart of Things: Applying Philosophy to the 21st Century + The Reason of Things: Living with Philosophy
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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: W&N; New Ed edition (3 Oct 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753820196
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753820193
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 12.8 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 292,999 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

A.C. Grayling is Professor of Philosophy and Master of the New College of the Humanities, London. He believes that philosophy should take an active, useful role in society. He has written and edited many books, both scholarly and for a general readership, and has been a regular contributor to The Times, Financial Times, Observer, Independent on Sunday, Economist, Literary Review, New Statesman and Prospect, and is a frequent and popular contributor to radio and television programmes, including Newsnight, Today, In Our Time, Start the Week and CNN news. He is a former Fellow of the World Economic Forum at Davos, a Vice President of the British Humanist Association, an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society, Patron of the UK Armed Forces Humanist association, Patron of Dignity in Dying, a former Booker Prize Judge, a Fellow of the Royal Literary Society, a member of the human rights group IHEU represented at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva; and much more.

Product Description

Review

"Fast becoming Britain's philosopher of choice... Certainly more of substance and merit than a mountain of Paulo Coelho." -- THE HERALD

"It is no disrespect to either author to describe AC Grayling's latest work as a thinking person's Schott's Miscellany." -- WATERSTONES BOOKS QUARTERLY

Book Description

Following the huge success of THE MEANING OF THINGS and THE REASON OF THINGS, a third collection of bestselling essays from Britain's top philosopher.

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First Sentence
Art and war usually lie at the opposite ends of human experience, although they meet sometimes in literature, where shocked perceptions find immediate expression in poetry, or recollection in prose. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Keith Appleyard VINE VOICE on 8 Jan 2005
Format: Paperback
As with Graylings other collections of thoughts, this is a lovely collection of vignettes.
Most articles run to 2-3 pages, giving enough introduction to understand the topic, and appreciate the observations being presented.
There are 3 themes : Arts (23 articles), History (14 articles) and Science (18 articles)
The topics are many & varied, my favourites ranged across :
Art : from Modern Architecture to Shakespeare;
History : from Heritage to the English Revolution;
Science : from Knowledge to Alien Abductions.
Another cherished volume to join the Grayling collection.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By M. Turle on 29 April 2004
Format: Hardcover
Alas, not quite up to the excellent standards set by this book's twopredecessors - The Meaning of Things and The Reason of Things. Some ofthe early pieces meander rather, whilst also seeming just a little toorecondite for the general reader. A shame, because one of the bestthings about Grayling's previous books in this series is theiraccessibility.
Nevertheless, the second and third chapters (which make up two thirds ofthe book) - Aspects of History and Spectating Science - are mostlyexcellent, with some particularly good pieces at the end on philosophy'smost fashionable conundrums - consciousness, cosmology and genetics.
All in all, still well worth the price, and Grayling's prose is as tautand incisive as ever.
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By RR Waller TOP 500 REVIEWER on 14 Aug 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
People who buy this hoping for further Grayling philosophy will be a little disappointed. Divided into three sections: A Miscellany of Arts, Aspects of History and Spectating Science, each with around twelve or thirteen essays varying in length from two pages to ten, it is more an insight into Grayling's varied reading interests.
He brings his encyclopaedic knowledge, clear and "philosophical" style but, most of all, his enthusiasm to each subject, making it a very interesting and varied book to read, easy to dip into and consider in sections. Knowledge for knowledge's sake and curiosity about all things human.
Going to bed with all of Jane Austen, emerging in love with Emma Woodhouse again (57-8), saving Shakespeare from mummification by Jonathan Bloom (46-56), re-living the horrors of the Fall of Berlin (119-122), the Rosetta Stone's enduring magnetism in the British Museum (137-9), Quantum theory (167-170) and whether there is, not just life, but intelligent life in the Universe (201-206), a re-look at Carl Sagan (a scientist I had just read again before finding Grayling's book) - all of these are on AC's menu. (Presumably the stipulation for intelligent life is just in case he meets them!)
I enjoyed it and recommend it. For anyone interested in AC Grayling as a thinker, it is a must; for anyone who is just interested in the world, it is essential.
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By Peter James Reid on 18 Sep 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
All Greying's essays are short, readable, interesting, i wish I could express my thoughts so clearly
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1 of 14 people found the following review helpful By M L Cornfield on 24 July 2008
Format: Paperback
This book is dull, dull, dull- it is meant to be philosophy but is just editorial instead, nowhere does it explain why his opinions are any more valid than anyone elses. As it droned on I lost interest. Yawnerama.
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