Making Sense: Philosophy Behind the Headlines

Paperback | May 3, 2004

byJulian Baggini

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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 andanalyzed 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 thereach 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 thenews 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 humantherapeutic 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 beliefs.

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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 andanalyzed by everyone, but is the private life of a...

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 co...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:312 pages, 7.48 × 5.43 × 0.87 inPublished:May 3, 2004Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0192805061

ISBN - 13:9780192805065

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Philosophy behind the headlines1. Knowing the truth2. Doing the right thing3. The thinking voter4. The call to arms5. In the wake of science6. The environment7. When faith meets reason8. Calculating value9. The life and death of the selfConclusion: Philosophy beyond the headlinesNew Afterword: The 2003 Iraq war

Editorial Reviews

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