Philosophy Bites

Overview

Take 25 of the liveliest philosophers of our time. Talk to each about one of the most intriguing topics you can think of-from ethics to aesthetics to metaphysics. The result is a Philosophy Bite-a lively, informal conversation that brings the subject into focus.

First made public on the enormously popular Philosophy Bites podcast, the conversations are now published in book form for the first time.

Infinity, ...

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Overview

Take 25 of the liveliest philosophers of our time. Talk to each about one of the most intriguing topics you can think of-from ethics to aesthetics to metaphysics. The result is a Philosophy Bite-a lively, informal conversation that brings the subject into focus.

First made public on the enormously popular Philosophy Bites podcast, the conversations are now published in book form for the first time.

Infinity, evil, time, friendship, animals, wine, sport, tragedy-all human life is here.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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.)
Library Journal
In this highly accessible book, Edmonds (coauthor, with John Eidinow, Wittgenstein's Poker) and Warburton (philosophy, Open Univ.; Philosophy: The Basics) present 25 interviews with leading philosophers who engaged with the authors on their popular website, philosophybites.com. The interviews, which were originally podcasts, have been revised by the interviewees so that they are easier to follow when read. They cover a broad range of philosophical topics—from performance-enhancing drugs in sports to the problem of evil—with such figures as A.C. Grayling, Kwame Anthony Appiah, and Miranda Fricker. The authors explain that, although the interviews may be short, they do not gloss over the topics. Instead, the dialogs show the complexity and rational thought needed in examining each topic, while also demonstrating how philosophy can be applicable to our lives. VERDICT The authors have done a wonderful job of conveying the entertaining and engaging format of their podcasts. Readers can enjoy each thematically arranged piece individually or read the book in its entirety to gain a better understanding of current philosophical issues. This book will be very rewarding for anyone with an interest in philosophy.—Scott Duimstra, Capital Area Dist. Lib., Lansing, MI
From the Publisher

"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, displays an admirable grasp of a variety of issues."--Publishers Weekly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199576326
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 9/25/2010
  • Pages: 216
  • Sales rank: 528,700
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

David Edmonds is a documentary maker for the BBC World Service. He is the author or co-author of several books, including the international bestseller Wittgenstein's Poker, written with John Eidinow (short-listed for the Guardian First Book Award, translated into twenty five languages), Bobby Fischer Goes to War, and Rousseau's Dog.
Nigel Warburton is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the Open University.

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Table of Contents

Introduction xi

What is Philosophy? xiii

Ethics

1 Julian Savulescu on 'Yuk!' 1

2 Simon Blackburn on Relativism 10

3 Peter Singer on Animals 18

4 Michael Sandel on Sport and Enhancement 29

5 Alexander Nehamas on Friendship 38

Politics

6 Kwame Anthony Appiah on Cosmopolitanism 47

7 Miranda Fricker on Credibility and Discrimination 58

8 Anne Phillips on Multiculturalism 68

9 Will Kymlicka on Minority Rights 77

10 Wendy Brown on Tolerance 88

Metaphysics and Mind

11 A. W. Moore on Infinity 97

12 David Papineau on Scientific Realism 105

13 Barry Stround on Scepticism 117

14 Hugh Mellor on Time 126

15 Tim Crane on Mind and Body 134

16 Timothy Williamson on Vagueness 142

Aesthetics

17 Derek Matravers on the Definition of Art 153

18 Alain de Botton on the Aesthetics of Architecture 162

19 Barry C. Smith on Wine 172

20 Alex Neill on the Paradox of Tragedy 181

God, Atheism, and the Meaning of Life

21 Don Cupitt on Non-Realism about God 191

22 John Cottingham on the Meaning of Life 201

23 Stephen Law on the Problem of Evil 210

24 Keith Ward on Eastern and Western Idealism 219

25 A. C. Grayling on Atheism 230

Notes on Contributors 239

Further Reading 241

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