A.C. Grayling

The reason of things

The Reason of Things: Living with Philosophy is a collection of 60 short essays by A.C. Grayling, most of which were initially written for his column in the Guardian

The book is in seven parts. The first, Moral Matters has essays on topics such as eating meat, and sex and marriage. Public Culture includes the role of teachers and conservation of historic buildings. Politics, justice and pluralism are among the topics in Community and Society and then Anger and War is a long section including essays on slavery, guns and bystanders. Then come two short sections Grief and Rememberance and Nature and Naturalness and the final section is Reading and Thinking which includes some autobigraphical material on how Grayling came to study philosophy.

The essays are interesting enough, and tell of Grayling's position on a large number of topics, but they are really too short to look at any of them properly, and the book doesn't have an index or any notes for the reader to follow up. So I wouldn't recommend it if you are looking for convincing arguments, but it's fine if you want to dip into short, easy to read, pieces on important topics.

Amazon.com info
Hardcover 320 pages  
ISBN: 0297829351
Salesrank: 5595473
Published: 2002 Orion Pub Co
Amazon price $24.67
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Product Description
The most important question we can ask ourselves is: what kind of life is the best? This is the same as asking: How does one give meaning to one's life? How can one justify one's existence and make it worthwhile? How does one make experience valuable, and keep growing and learning in the process - and through this learning acquire a degree of understanding of oneself and the world?

A civilised society is one which never ceases debating with itself aboutwhat human life should best be. Some would, with justice, say that if wewant ours to be such a society we must all contribute to that discussion. This book is, with appropriate diffidence, such a contribution. It consists of a collection of Grayling's regular 'Last Word' columns in the Guardian.This time topics include Suicide, Deceit, Luxury, Profit, Marriage, Meat-eating, Liberty, Slavery, Protest, Guns and War.