What Philosophy Can Do by Gary Gutting

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Read What Philosophy Can Do Online Free - How can we have meaningful debates with political opponents?

How can we distinguish reliable science from over-hyped media reports?

How can we talk sensibly about God?

In What Philosophy Can Do, Gary Gutting takes a philosopher’s scalpel to modern life’s biggest questions and the most powerful forces in our society—politics, science, religion, education, and capitalism—to show how we can improve our discussions of contentious contemporary issues.

Gutting introduces readers to powerful analytic tools in the philosopher’s arsenal that they can use to make new sense of current debates. One such tool is a crucial distinction between inductive and deductive reasoning that explains why both sides on a disputed issue often are sure they have compelling cases for their views. Another is the Principle of Charity, which requires opposing parties to present each other’s arguments in their strongest forms—a tool that would make critiques both more respectful and more effective. Gutting also shows how concepts introduced by philosophers from Plato and Aristotle to Michel Foucault and John Rawls can clarify public discussions about morality, the economy, and medicine.

From informed assessments of scientific claims to careful analyses of arguments for and against religious belief, Gutting brings a calm, clear-headed approach to some of the most divisive issues on the table today. He scrutinizes our relationship to work and freedom in capitalism; our modern understanding of happiness and the good life; the value of liberal arts education and the humanities; the role of science and politics in shaping public policy today; and the value of art and popular culture. Perhaps most meaningfully, Gutting shows how we can talk about our own deepest beliefs clearly and directly, while listening to what others have to say to us. What Philosophy Can Do makes a powerful case for philosophy’s importance to public discussions, and shows us that this ancient tradition of inquiry may yet have much to say about our future.

Title : What Philosophy Can Do
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0393242285
Edition Language : English
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 320 pages


Jon rated it ★★★☆☆

January 27, 2016

Gary Gutting does a kind of survey of contemporary social issues, ranging from politics, science and religion to more specialized areas like education and abortion. By taking on these various issues as a philosopher, he intends to show what philosophy has to contribute to these topics, as well as...

Dharma rated it ★★★★☆

March 23, 2017

Gutting provides a handy guidebook on what philosophy has done and what it can do in a number of areas. I would recommend this to someone who has an interest in philosophy and its application, but has little time for browsing through tomes of philosophy books. While it has indeed been watered dow...

bks rated it ★★★★☆

June 30, 2017

Personally I enjoy reading this book. It is clearly intended for non-academic audience; philosophy is about forming logical arguments and counterarguments. Gutting's goal is really to get people interested in this topic, so that they are willing to spend time exploring those in the future. Like h...

Jonathan rated it ★★★★★

February 08, 2016

While pretty generous with four-star reviews, I tend to reserve five stars to those books that set an ambitious target and then succeed in hitting it. In this case, author Gary Gutting (Professor of Philosophy at Notre Dame and frequent contributor to the Stone philosophy column in the New York T...

Mike rated it ★★★★★

September 05, 2016

This book explains in a clear and non-technical way how the tools used by professional philosophers can be used by ordinary (thoughtful) people to help them better analyze and understand controversial issues in our society. His chapter on "education in a capitalist society" is very thought provok...

Tweeting rated it ★★★★☆

April 04, 2017

An enjoyable and clear read that would benefit many people. Unfortunately, the people likely to read it are the ones who don't need to.

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