THE REASON OF THINGS: LIVING WITH PHILOSOPHY Hardcover – 2001
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Given the brevity of the articles, sure they can't give you an in-depth discussion on the topic, but its just deep enough to get one thinking about the topics.
I'm sure any reader of this book will take away some favourite sections. For me, the entries on Religion & Evil were particularly thought-provoking (no connection intended).
I think this would be an excellent 'pocket-book' to dip into for anyone in their late teens trying to come to terms with the world.
Only disappointment - no Bibliography, so when Grayling frequently quotes other Authors / Philosophers, I don't know where to go to for further reading; so now I'm trying to find a work by Midas Dekkers (from the entry on Decay).
Grayling doesn't profess to be a Philosopher (contrary to what someone else wrote about him on the flyleaf) - but says that (a) he teaches Philosophy and (b) he studies Philosophy. He writes very well.
Grayling is at his best when promoting the liberal cause and when writing on liberal virtues. He exposes a great deal of cant and hypocrisy in what is said and written about a wide range of issues. My own view is that he lets himself down when writing on religion and religious matters. He shows that intolerance and bigotry can mar the writing of a humanist as easily as that of a Christian or Muslim. The mark of the liberal is to judge each individual by the good or bad he or she does rather than by the label he or she wears.
In this selection, Grayling includes an account of how he came to philosophy. He was fortunate to discover Plato and then other great authors in his early teens. Grayling's books in turn could prove an ideal introduction for teenagers today into rational ways of discussing some of life's big questions. I was going to write that I hope some schools will adopt them as texts for personal and social development programmes, but perhaps that would be a sure way of having them rejected. Far better that young people discover these books themselves as an addition to football, playstations, and (as in Grayling's day) kissing in the back row of the cinema. Perhaps Amazon can slip them into recommendation lists for teenagers.
I enjoyed this second set of essays and look forward to the imminent release of collection three - The Mystery of Things.
This seemed to want to answer my question. It is a great book, split into many subheadings, describing many of the worlds components and why they exist. Now in university and having travelled half the world, I now know how profound the world is. Not everything is here. If only school could have taught this, I doubt kids would be as shallow to themselves as they are, and be prepared to go out into the world and discover themselves, as Socrates believed everyone should. Its a travesty how little people think about themselves and the fabric of life, and seem happy to live in their jobs and the tv. Society seems to encourage this. My main hope with this book, is that if only a few teenagers read this book after leaving school or college, they will understand that there is more to life than work and routines. A.C. Darling has written a book, and I hope continues to, that could inspire young people to reach further than they ever thought possible. I recommend this book for my peers. You will feel a lot more open-minded when you do.
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