BN.com Gift Guide

Answers for Aristotle: How Science and Philosophy Can Lead Us to a More Meaningful Life

( 1 )

Overview


How should we live? According to philosopher and biologist Massimo Pigliucci, the greatest guidance to this essential question lies in combining the wisdom of 24 centuries of philosophy with the latest research from 21st century science. In Answers for Aristotle, Pigliucci argues that the combination of science and philosophy first pioneered by Aristotle offers us the best possible tool for understanding the world and ourselves. As Aristotle knew, each mode of thought has the power to clarify the other: ...
See more details below
Hardcover
$21.27
BN.com price
(Save 24%)$27.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (32) from $4.12   
  • New (18) from $4.14   
  • Used (14) from $4.12   
Answers for Aristotle: How Science and Philosophy Can Lead Us to A More Meaningful Life

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$15.49
BN.com price
(Save 44%)$27.99 List Price

Overview


How should we live? According to philosopher and biologist Massimo Pigliucci, the greatest guidance to this essential question lies in combining the wisdom of 24 centuries of philosophy with the latest research from 21st century science. In Answers for Aristotle, Pigliucci argues that the combination of science and philosophy first pioneered by Aristotle offers us the best possible tool for understanding the world and ourselves. As Aristotle knew, each mode of thought has the power to clarify the other: science provides facts, and philosophy helps us reflect on the values with which to assess them. But over the centuries, the two have become uncoupled, leaving us with questions—about morality, love, friendship, justice, and politics—that neither field could fully answer on its own. Pigliucci argues that only by rejoining each other can modern science and philosophy reach their full potential, while we harness them to help us reach ours. Pigliucci discusses such essential issues as how to tell right from wrong, the nature of love and friendship, and whether we can really ever know ourselves—all in service of helping us find our path to the best possible life. Combining the two most powerful intellectual traditions in history, Answers for Aristotle is a remarkable guide to discovering what really matters and why.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this careful examination of the surprising connections between science and philosophy, CUNY-Lehman College philosopher Pigliucci (Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk) begins with "sci-phi," the "idea that philosophy and science can be combined to give us the best possible knowledge about the world and how to act within it." He links Aristotle's observations on the striving for moral and physical happiness against the desire for immediate gratification with recent research on weight loss, demonstrating the physical limits of most treatments. Using the often-discussed "trolley dilemma," in which one person must be sacrificed if the majority are to be saved, the author explains how most people follow a utilitarian approach toward moral decision-making—pursuing the greatest good for the greatest number of people. They follow a different theory, however, if the situation requires them to actively harm someone in order to save lives. Brain scans of healthy people support these tests, showing that different situations provoke reactions in sections of the brain associated with either emotion or abstract reasoning. This is a witty and insightful look at the relevance of philosophy today. Agent: Judy Heiblum, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Oct.)
From the Publisher

Philosophy Now
Answers for Aristotle is a lively, impressively-argued foray into topics ranging from Kepler’s improvement of Copernicus’s heliocentric theory, to the discovery of Neptune, to Stanley Milgram’s obedience experiment, to Kantian duty ethics….Answers for Aristotle is a veritable Cook’s Tour of science, philosophy, and the curious meeting ground of the two. The best approach, as the author intended, is to sit back in a quiet hour or two and take it all in, then look back afterward to behold the vast terrain you have covered.”

The Philosopher’s Magazine
“Wide-ranging and very readable ….[Pigliucci provides] fascinating and well-thought-out examples….he shows us that philosophy and science can together become greater than the sum of their parts.”

Choice
“Pigliucci is proof positive that the reports of philosophy’s death have been greatly exaggerated…. This book is a refreshing, sympathetic look at how philosophy can enlist the help of science to answer enduring questions…. [A] highly enjoyable book.”

San Francisco/Sacramento Book Review
“[A] very important book…. It is a fascinating book and great reading…. [Pigliucci’s] knowledge is astounding.”

Brain Pickings
Answers for Aristotle explores diverse yet uniformly fascinating and essential subjects we’ve previously explored and will continue to explore for the foreseeable lifetime—love, morality, what it means to be human, the meaning of life, the limits of science, and much more.”

Skeptical Inquirer
“[Pigliucci] is that rare academic…who is both an evolutionary biologist and philosopher (he has doctorates in both fields), and so he knows, better than most, that both science and philosophy are essential to understanding ourselves and our world….[A] lively discussion.”

New Scientist
“[Answers for Aristotle] will make you reflect on both the meaning of science…and of your own life.”

Publishers Weekly
“[A] careful examination of the surprising connections between science and philosophy….[Answers for Aristotle] is a witty and insightful look at the relevance of philosophy today.”

Booklist Online
“Bravely renewing the entire Aristotelian project, Pigliucci surveys the latest scientific research in primatology, psychology, and neurobiology, always integrating the researchers’ empirical findings into a meaningful philosophical perspective. This scientific-philosophical (or “sci-phi”) perspective opens onto particularly provocative interpretations of human morality….Remarkably versatile....A book sure to spark debate.”

Kirkus Reviews
“A useful introduction to sources on both sides of the science-philosophy divide.”

Dario Maestripieri, Professor of Comparative Human Development, The University of Chicago, and author of Games Primates Play
“Massimo Pigliucci’s beautiful mind and encyclopedic knowledge are on full display in Answers for Aristotle. He is as comfortable discussing quantum physics and cognitive psychology as he is explaining the complexities of evolutionary biology and moral philosophy. Answers for Aristotle is a stimulating, entertaining book that demonstrates that we need both science and philosophy to make sense of who we are and how we live our lives.”

Glenn Branch, Deputy Director, National Center for Science Education
“From ethics to epistemology, from the self to the state, from the hormones of love to the heavens above, Massimo Pigliucci’s Answers for Aristotle argues for the mutual relevance of science and philosophy in understanding the world in which we live. Enthusiastic, enlightening, and enthralling.”

Kirkus Reviews
A look at why both science and philosophy are necessary to "approach the perennial questions concerning how we construct the meaning of our existence." Pigliucci (Philosophy/CUNY-Lehman Coll.; Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science From Bunk, 2010, etc.), who holds doctorates in both biology and philosophy, provides an overview of relevant philosophic arguments about virtue, beginning with Aristotle's thoughts on how to achieve a happy and fruitful life: "doing the right things for the right reason" while rising above "weakness of the will." Pigliucci compares this with the views of utilitarian philosophers such as Jeremy Bentham and the rule-based prescriptions of Immanuel Kant. He also looks at how neuropsychologists deal with the putative existence of free will by constructing experiments (using fMRI scanning devices) that show brain activations of muscles before a subject is aware of making a conscious decision to act. Warning that experiments often do not simulate realistic situations, he argues that the relationship between science and philosophy is highly complex. We must "let philosophy (informed by science) guide us in principle, and to use science (steered by philosophy) as our best bet for implementing those principles," he writes. Pigliucci applies Aristotle's four causes principle to illustrate the nature of religious belief, which "is made possible by the neurobiological characteristics of the human brain that make us prone to superstitious thinking." A useful introduction to sources on both sides of the science-philosophy divide.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465021383
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 10/2/2012
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 685,806
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author


Massimo Pigliucci is a professor in the philosophy program at the City University of New York’s Graduate Center and was formerly a biology professor at Stony Brook University. He is the author or editor of eight previous books, most recently Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk. He lives in New York City.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

1 Sci-Phi and the Meaning of Life 1

Part I How do we Tell Right from Wrong?

2 Trolley Dilemmas and How we Make Moral Decisions 21

3 Your Brain on Morality 31

4 The Evolution of Morality 45

5 A Handy-Dandy Menu for Building your Own Moral Theory 59

Part II How do we Know What we Think we Know?

6 The Not so Rational Animal 77

7 Intuition Versus Rationality, and How to Become Really Good at What you do 91

8 The Limits of Science 109

Part III Who Am I?

9 The (Limited) Power of the Will 127

10 Who's in Charge Anyway?: The Zombie Inside you 143

Part IV Love and Friendship

11 The Hormones of Love 157

12 Friendship and the Meaning of Life 173

Part V The (Political) Animal Inside you

13 Right, Left, Up, Down: On Politics 187

14 Our Innate Sense of Fairness 203

15 On Justice 213

Part VI What About God?

16 Your Brain on God 231

17 The Evolution of Religion 243

18 Euthyphro's Dilemma: Morality as a Human Problem 263

Conclusion: Human Nature and the Meaning of Life 273

Acknowledgments 289

Digging Deeper 291

Index 307

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2013

    loved it!

    i bought one for myself, then i bought another one for a friend. great gift idea!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)