What Would Socrates Say?
Philosophers answer your questions about love, nothingness, and everything else
By Alexander George
(Potter Style, Hardcover, 9780307351272, 256pp.)
Publication Date: August 7, 2007
What Would Socrates Say? helps the armchair philosopher solve age-old quandaries and contemporary ethical dilemmas.
- If no one ever loves me during my lifetime—if I don’t have a relationship—will I have not lived a good life?
- Do the advances in the field of biotechnology threaten our moral values?
- Are there any reasons to have a child that aren’t selfish?
- Is there no such thing as bad art?
- What’s the difference between a terrorist and a freedom fighter?
- Am I morally bound to tell my sex partner if I fantasize about someone else while making love to him or her?
These are among the profound, paradoxical, playful, and classic questions asked and answered in this book drawn from AskPhilosophers.org, the popular website created by some of today’s most highly esteemed philosophers. Using their knowledge of the arguments laid down by the likes of Aristotle, Camus, Locke, and Socrates, and their own insightful interpretations, they break down tough issues in a digestible, personal, and even humorous style. Included are questions on today’s hot-button topics (war, euthanasia); timeless conundrums about religion and morality (how do we know God exists?); personal perplexities about adultery, child-rearing, and sex; and a few lighthearted topics like whether it’s right to let your kids believe in Santa.
Featuring real questions from real people around the world—doctors, lawyers, the uneducated, the elderly, and even young children (for example, “If everything has an opposite, like night and day, then what’s the opposite of a banana?”)—this book is for anyone seeking enlightenment on a complicated or an elusive concept relevant to the lives we lead today. Whether you agree with the answers given or not, this book reminds us of Socrates’ famous words—“a life unexamined is not worth living”—and, in doing so, encourages us to think a little more deeply, a little more critically, and, well, a little more philosophically about how we make our way in the world
ALEXANDER GEORGE is a professor of philosophy at Amherst College and the creator of AskPhilosophers.org.