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The Meaning of Things: Applying Philosophy to life

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Meaning of Things: Applying Philosophy to life.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Prof A.C. Grayling(Author Reader)

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Thinking about life, what it means and what it holds in store does not have to be a despondent experience, but rather can be enlightening and uplifting. A life truly worth living is one that is informed and considered so a degree of philosophical insight into the inevitabilities of the human condition is inherently important and such an approach will help us to deal with real personal dilemmas.



This book is an accessible, lively and thought-provoking series of linked commentaries, based on A.C Grayling's 'The Last Word' column in the Guardian. Its aim is not to persuade readers to accept one particular philosophical point of view or theory, but to help us consider the wonderful range of insights which can be drawn from an immeasurably rich history of philosophical thought.



Read by AC Grayling

Author, journalist and philosopher AJ Grayling's new book The Meaning of Things: Applying Philosophy to Life is a collection of short, self-contained essays or sketches, which began as contributions to the Guardian's "Last Word" column. Like Alain de Botton in The Consolations of Philosophy Grayling is concerned with the application of philosophy to everyday life. However, he is less concerned with what a particular great philosopher might say about particular problems than with human vices and virtues and matters pertaining to the human condition.

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Review Text

  • By Silver Tock on 26 August 2017

    Using it for GAMSAT revision for S2 :DI feel like I would enjoy this more if I wasn't reading with an intention of learning how to write essays. But some of the topics are quite interesting to read and makes some strong arguments.

  • By W L ALLSOPP on 23 November 2002

    Philosophy is an odd subject in that the popular conception of the subject is strongly at varience with the philosophy taught in Anglo American universities. You see this in those cultish advertisements for philsophy classes you find in London tube stations. Pandering to a need among much of the population for some philosophical guidence in life. For better or for worse, modern Anglo-American philosophy is not much to do with that at all. This has created a vacuum into which a huge number of new agist pseudo clap trap has happily inserted itself.I think Grayling's books are best seen as a way of addressing this need. I think reviewers such as the single negative reviewer below miss the point if they are expecting hard philosophical arguments. Of course you can do no more than skate over a subject such as morality or virginity in the few pages Grayling devotes to each topic. But that is OK. There are many books available to those interested in a more in depth analysis. These thought are meant as no more than opening thoughts on an issue, from a smart and well read author, designed to get people to think avout these issues in a clear headed way. Grayling leans quite heavily on his understanding of history and Greek philosophy as an antidote to the modern analytical style of philosophy. I found his treatment of the many facets of love and romance particularly thought provoking.

  • By Nancy on 23 September 2016

    I've really enjoyed reading this book. Thought-provoking and interesting i enjoy the way it is broken up into short 2-3 page chapters so you can easily read a little and pick up from where you left of whenever you feel like it. I did buy this for Gamsat section 1 and it does help as it has aided in widening my vocabulary and providing me with a wide range of topics to potentially discuss but even after Gamsat i am still reading this book as i really enjoy. If you often question life and the world around you but don't want anything majorly heavy or just an introduction to philosophy i think this is a good place to start.

  • By summitscape on 8 April 2010

    One of the most insightful works I've ever read. Extraordinary in its simplicity and wisdom. A must-read for anyone with an interest in understanding the curiosities and complexities of modern life. Truly inspiring.

  • By starrymessenger on 2 January 2011

    To those who ask the question "What use is philosopy?" perhaps one answer would be to give them a copy of this book. Its subtitle is "Applying Philosophy to Life" and that's precisely what it does - it's a series of observations or short essays on a wide range of subjects that affect all of our lives - love, sorrow, tolerance, morality, and many more - by a professional philosopher. The author does not offer formal or informal proofs for any of these observations (that would require a treatise on each of them)but simply reveals his considered thoughts on each subject and by doing so broadens the readers's outlook, prompting he or she towards an alternative view, initiating thought and perhaps debate. And isn't this the "use of philosopy"? - to initiate debate, to shake one out of tired cliches, to provide alternatives to habitual modes of thought and unconsidered assumptions (nowadays constantly mirrored back at us by the mass media making alternative ways of thinking almost impossible)? This is an excellent, erudite, thought provoking collection of essays. You will not agree with all the views expressed - you may even be outraged by some of them; good - that's a start. Now you may be prompted to consider how you might defend your own views or even to re-consider them. You might find that liberating. However, if you like to read only views that reinforce those you already hold then you have an easy alternative - simply read your favourite newspaper.

  • By Jordan on 20 July 2017

    awesome book


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