In Making Sense, Julian Baggini examines the philosophical issues and disputes that lie behind such news stories as the Clinton-Lewinsky affair, the war against terrorism, the siege at Waco, genetically modified foods, and advances in human therapeutic cloning.
Baggini, founding editor of the highly popular Philosopher's Magazine, shows how we can use the techniques of philosophy and the insights of its greatest practitioners to understand the issues behind the headlines. He explains the proper role of philosophy in such inquiries, showing both the limits and the reach of the philosophical analysis of current affairs, and also argues that applying philosophy to news stories can and should inform our wider understanding--what we know, believe, and value.
Baggini covers themes such as war, truth, morality, the environment, religious faith, the ending of life, and the meaning of value. He weaves philosophy and current affairs to create a compelling narrative that challenges how we make sense both of the world around us and of our own beliefs.
`In this excellent book, Baggini takes ten news stories from recent years and uses them to illustrate a constructive relationship between philosophy and real life. The stories that make the cornerstone of his discussions have been well selected, providing clear access to an impressively uncomplicated tutorial on the underlying arguments. The key point is that the philosophy has a valuable part to play in deciphering the media, and that the media can show us
which of our intellectual tools are really useful. A pudding proved, in this case, in the eating.'
Good Book Guide, February 2003
`An excellent book that brings a good breath of philosophical fresh air into consideration of the philosophical issues behind the headlines... The book is well written and will appeal to those wishing to get behind the headlines with some clear thinking.'
Scientific and Medical Network, 2002
`...a compelling narrative that challenges how we make sense both of the world around us and of our own beliefs.'
Publishing News, July 2002
Introduction: Philosophy behind the headlines
1: Knowing the truth
2: Doing the right thing
3: The thinking voter
4: The call to arms
5: In the wake of science
6: The environment
7: When faith meets reason
8: Calculating value
9: The life and death of the self
Conclusion: Philosophy beyond the headlines
New Afterword: The 2003 Iraq war