Have you ever lain awake at night fretting over how we can be sure of the reality of the external world? Perhaps we are in fact disembodied brains, floating in vats at the whim of some deranged puppet-master? If so, you are not alone - and what's more, you are in exalted company. For this question and others like it have been the stuff of philosophical rumination for centuries, from Plato to Popper. In a series of accessible and engaging essays, 50 Philosophy Ideas You Really Need to Know introduces and explains the problems of knowledge, consciousness, identity, ethics, belief, justice and aesthetics that have troubled the minds of great thinkers for centuries, from the ancient Greeks to the present day. Contents include: The brain in a vat, Plato's cave, Cogito ergo sum, The mind-body problem, The boo/hurrah theory, Ends and means, The categorical imperative, Acts and omissions, The rights of animals, The gambler's fallacy, Paradigm shifts, Occam's razor, Positive and negative freedom, Theories of punishment and Just war.
At a time of widespread popular cynicism and profound international unease, the need for clarity over the basic concepts of politics has never been greater. The forces of Fundamentalism endanger our Liberty and Security, while government responses to it may pose a basic threat to Justice, Democracy and Human rights. Corruption, War and Tyranny arouse public indignation which is often inflamed by Propaganda, the blandishments of Political parties and the far-from-disinterested attentions of the Media. The proper limits of the State; the legitimacy of Revolution and Political violence; the ideological tensions between Socialism, Liberalism and Capitalism; the challenges posed by Poverty, Crime and Racism: these and other ideas are essential in interpreting the current political debate and modes of government.In 50 Political Ideas You Really Need to Know, Ben Dupré provides a clear, concise account of key concepts that we ignore at our peril.
50 Big Ideas You Really Need to Know is a concise, accessible and popular guide to the central tenets of Western thought. Every important principle of philosophy, religion, politics, economics, the arts and the sciences is profiled in a series of short illustrated essays, complemented by an informative array of timelines and box features. b
Questions of ethics - about how we should act, our responsibilities to one another, the difference between right and wrong - have long been debated by philosophers the world over and form the foundations of government, culture and religion. Here, in concise, easy-to-read chapters, Ben Dupré explains the fundamentals of this discipline and how it is relevant to our lives today. Covering essential ethical concepts, including relativism, the golden rule and utilitarianism, as well as high-profile issues such as terrorism, censorship and the death penalty, 50 Ethics Ideas You Really Need to Know will lead you through the moral maze - and rattle your conscience in the process.