The Philosophy Gym : 25 Short Adventures in Thinking

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Overview

From Descartes to designer babies, The Philosophy Gym poses questions about some of history's most important philosophical issues, ranging in difficulty from pretty easy to very challenging. He brings new perspectives to age-old conundrums while also tackling modern-day dilemmas -- some for the first time. Begin your warm up by contemplating whether a pickled sheep can truly be considered art, or dive right in and tackle the existence of God. In this radically new way of looking at philosophy, Stephen Law illustrates the problem with a story, then lets the argument battle it out in clear, easily digestible and intelligent prose. This perfect little mental health club is sure to give each reader's mind a great workout.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In brief chapters presented with a mix of narrative and arch dialog, such philosophical issues as the ethics of meat eating, the existence of God, and the nature of common errors in reasoning are presented as "mental exercises" for the reader. Law (philosophy, Univ. of London) is the editor of Think, a British journal whose mission is to bring philosophy into popular public view. This collection reflects that effort to popularize theory and make it accessible to an audience with no technical background. Each "exercise" offers a bit of historical staging and glimpses at some of the traditional arguments, but none really serves in lieu of reading any of the thinkers-from Plato to Wittgenstein-or of taking an introductory philosophy course. Daniel Postgate's illustrations are both useful and humorous, extending a verbal presentation that sometimes becomes tiresome in its hyperbolic characterizations of the fictional discussants. Chapter endnotes most often cite chapters within recently published anthologies rather than primary sources. Best suited for audiences in public and high school libraries.-Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley P.L., CA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780747232711
  • Publisher: Gardners Books
  • Publication date: 3/1/1904
  • Sales rank: 820,059

Meet the Author

Stephen Law is a lecturer in philosphy at the University of London, was formerly Research Fellow in Philosophy at Queen's College, Oxford and received his doctoral degree in philosophy from the University of Oxford.
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Table of Contents

Introduction
How to use this book
1 Where Did the Universe Come From? 1
2 What's Wrong with Gay Sex? 10
3 Brain-Snatched 25
4 Is Time Travel Possible? 34
5 Into the Lair of the Relativist 46
6 Could a Machine Think? 58
7 Does God Exist? 68
8 The Strange Case of the Rational Dentist 80
9 But Is It Art? 92
10 Can We Have Morality without God and Religion? 104
11 Is Creationism Scientific? 117
12 Designer Babies 130
13 The Consciousness Conundrum 141
14 Why Expect the Sun to Rise Tomorrow? 152
15 Do We Ever Deserve to Be Punished? 163
16 The Meaning Mystery 175
17 Killing Mary to Save Jodie 183
18 The Strange Realm of Numbers 193
19 What Is Knowledge? 206
20 Is Morality like a Pair of Spectacles? 218
21 Should You Be Eating That? 229
22 Brain Transplants, 'Teleportation' and the Puzzle of Personal Identity 241
23 Miracles and the Supernatural 253
24 How to Spot Eight Everyday Reasoning Errors 267
25 Seven Paradoxes 276
Index 286
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