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Philosophy: Why It Matters

Helen Beebee, Michael Rush

ISBN: 978-1-509-53215-5 March 2019 Polity 160 Pages


We constantly disagree with each other on issues of fundamental importance. Does God exist? Should the latest scientific findings be trusted? Are there innate psychological differences between men and women?

In four lively chapters, Beebee and Rush explain philosophy’s role in addressing such questions. They consider what it means to be human, how we should engage in public debate, philosophy’s relationship with science and religion, and the nature of our moral choices. Far from being only an abstract endeavour, philosophy engages with issues on a practical level, and philosophers draw inspiration from real-life situations. At its core, philosophy is about how to live and how to make sense of the world we inhabit. It is a set of tools and techniques for clearly and systematically considering our arguments and uncovering our hidden assumptions, which helps us to make more informed choices about what to believe and how to act. Philosophy is everywhere, and open to everyone.



1 Understanding Ourselves

2 Understanding Public Debate

3 Understanding the World

4 Understanding How to Behave


Further Reading

‘Philosophy professors and students will find this wonderful little book to be a perfect gift for those who ask them what philosophy is or why philosophy matters.’
Alfred Mele, Florida State University 

 ‘Excellent, easy to follow, and informative. Beebee and Rush make a good case for the importance of philosophy in part by demonstrating the joys of engaging in philosophy.’
Derek Matravers, The Open University