Making Sense

Making Sense : Philosophy Behind the Headlines

3.56 (53 ratings by Goodreads)
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Making Sense examines the philosophical issues and disputes that lie behind the news headlines of the day. We read about what is happening in the world, but how do we know what the truth is, or whether there is one 'truth' at all? A president has his private sexual affairs discussed and analyzed by everyone, but is the private life of anyone the proper moral concern of others? A war against terrorism is declared, but what justifies the use of armed forces with its inevitable loss of life? Making Sense draws out these philosophical disputes and shows how we can use the techniques of philosophy and the insights of its greatest practitioners to understand the issues behind the headlines better. It explains the proper role of philosophy in this respect, showing both the limits and the reach of philosophical analysis of current affairs. It also argues that applying philosophy to news stories can and should inform our wider understanding; what we know, believe and value. A philosophically informed reading of the news creates a two-way process where philosophy sheds light on the news and the news, thus illuminated, sheds light on our philosophy. The book covers themes such as war, truth, morality, the environment, religious faith, the ending of life and the meaning of value. It examines such news stories as the Clinton-Lewinsky affair, the war against terrorism, the siege at Waco, the genetically modified foods debate and advances in human therapeutic cloning. The discussions interweave 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 more

Product details

  • Paperback | 312 pages
  • 138 x 186 x 18mm | 340.19g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0192805061
  • 9780192805065
  • 929,952

Review quote

...a compelling narrative that challenges how we make sense both of the world around us and of our own beliefs. * Publishing News, July 2002 * 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 * 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 *show more

About Julian Baggini

Julian has both an academic and journalistic background. He was awarded a PhD in philosophy from University College London in 1997 for his thesis on personal identity. However, he decided not to then embark on an academic career and focused instead on The Philosophers' Magazine. He has published as a freelance, with his reviews and comment pieces appearing in, among others, the Independent, Independent on Sunday, Times Educational Supplement and New Humanist. He also has a regular column in The Skepticshow more

Table of contents

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 warshow more

Rating details

53 ratings
3.56 out of 5 stars
5 13% (7)
4 40% (21)
3 40% (21)
2 6% (3)
1 2% (1)
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