Philosophy Bites is a selection of the best interviews from the hugely successful podcast of the same name. Leading philosophers discuss a wide range of philosophical issues, from ethics to aesthetics to metaphysics, in a lively, informal, personal way. Time, infinity, evil, friendship, animals, wine, sport, tragedy - all human life is here.
This thoughtful and highly readable collection of conversations with philosophers on a broad range of topics, from the perennial problems of skepticism to the epistemological questions raised by wine tasting, put together by editors Edmonds (coauthor of Wittgenstein's Poker and documentary maker for the BBC World Service) and Warburton, senior lecturer at the Open University, displays an admirable grasp of a variety of issues. The editors' conversations with Alain de Botton on architecture and Peter Singer on animal rights manage to be accessible for the nonspecialist while still maintaining critical bite. Inevitably, the quality of thought on offer varies from one interviewee to the next, but standouts include Don Culpit's nonrealist view of God and Wendy Brown on how modern notions of tolerance can disguise severe limitations on freedom and equality. More disappointing is the volume's Anglo-American bias and its lack of interviews with non-English-language philosophers. If, as the editors say, "the spirit of philosophy is at its most apparent in conversation," then they would be well served by widening their scope. Nonetheless, as introductions to philosophy go, these bite-size dialogues add up to a surprisingly substantial whole. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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Oxford University Press, Incorporated
September 24, 2010
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